Hyperpigmentation: Causes and Treatments

Written by Dania Samara, CEO of Samara Esthetics

October 13, 2022

Hyperpigmentation refers to patches of the skin becoming darker than the surrounding skin color. This is caused by an overproduction of melanin. While this may affect all skin colors, it is more often found with darker skin tones. This is because skin that is already melanated is constantly creating melanin, making trauma to the skin a perfect chance for your body to continue the development of melanocytes, thus creating hyperpigmentation. 

Now, it is not something to be ashamed of whatsoever. It's completely natural. However things such as acne scarring ( post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), melasma, or age spots ( also called liver spots) are often desired to be avoided. Here are my tried and true favorite ways to avoid and reduce the appearance of unwanted hyperpigmentation.

1. Tyrosinase Inhibitors

What are Tyrosinase Inhibitors? Tyrosinase Inhibitors are chemicals that are targeted to inhibit the production of melanin in your skin. 

How do Tyrosinase Inhibitors work? By interrupting the enzyme 'Tyrosinase' which assists in oxidizing the amino acid  'Tyrosine' which is needed to form melanin in the melanosome.

Products that contain tyrosinase inhibitors such as kojic acid, vitamin c, azelaic acid, tranexamic acid, hydroquinone, L-ascorbic acid, and many more, are all targeted specifically to treat almost all forms of hyperpigmentation.

2. Sun Protection

I'm sure you've heard this one before. And you will hear it again! Always wear your SPF lovelies. There is never enough emphasis on the seriousness of sun protection! A plethora of skin diseases and cancers are directly linked to overexposure of the sun without protection. When the skin endures an unnecessary amount of sunlight, this activates your melanin to produce in order to protect your skin, therefore further darkening the already compromised areas. While preventing the overproduction of melanin by blocking the sun's UVA and UVB rays, you may enjoy choosing a tinted sunscreen that evens out the skin tone, and contains ingredients such as niacinamide and hyaluronic acid which boost the anti pigmentation goal!  My personal favorite SPF is the ELTA MD TINTED SPF. Avoiding direct sunlight and using SPF will only help you! 

2.Try Retinol!

Retinols are notorious for being the powerhouse of a stable and proficient skincare routine. Especially known for aiding in hyperpigmentation. Since the primary purpose of a retinol is to increase cell repair and elasticity in the skin, this means giving your skin the headstart it needs to regenerate and rid the pigmentation. The three best known retinoids for hyperpigmentation are Tretinoin, Adapelene, and Tazarotene. 

Rest assured, with time, post- inflammatory hyperpigmentation fades naturally. And you are gorgeous despite the state of your skin! 

Sending you abundance, love, and light - Dania Samara

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