If you struggle with dark spots and discolouration, you’re not alone. In fact, according to Dr. Dennis Gross, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare, the number one skin concern for women is not ageing or wrinkles, it’s hyperpigmentation. But what exactly is it and how do you treat it?
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation, the term used to describe areas of uneven pigmentation, is caused when melanin (what gives your hair and skin its colour) is overproduced in certain spots, causing the area to look darker than your natural skin tone. Theses brown patches are most commonly caused by excessive sun exposure, hormone imbalances (as a result of birth control or pregnancy), and inflammation or injury to the skin (a breakout, a bug bite, or even an area you might have scratched or picked at too much). Hyperpigmentation usually appears on the face, neck, and décolletage.
How do you treat it?
Hyperpigmentation is notoriously difficult to treat, but it is doable. If you’re really serious about it, it’s best to visit a dermatologist for in-clinic treatments such as light therapy and peels. However, there’s also a host of pigmentation fighting products that you can add to your everyday routine. The key is to look for formulations that feature ingredients such as liquorice extracts, vitamin C and E, niacinamide, beta hydroxy acids, like salicylic, and alpha hydroxyl acids, like glycolic and lactic. Of course, the easiest way to deal with pigmentation is to avoid it altogether by using a good sunscreen and leaving spots alone, especially when they’re not “ready”. SPF will also help keep current pigmentation from darkening.
What products should I try?
While it’s unlikely a single product will completely erase dark spots, these ones will certainly help lighten them.
This article first appeared in Harper’s Bazaar Singapore.