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The Best Skincare Products for Hyperpigmentation and Dark Spots Removal

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Sometimes, a pimple heals quickly and leaves no trace. This is the ideal situation. However, as you age, pimples and other injuries can leave dark marks on your skin that last for months before disappearing. Hyperpigmentation is a fun phenomenon.

This type of hyperpigmentation can be described as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It appears in the aftermath of wounds. To completely fade the skin-deep marks, it requires skin cells to heal and shed multiple times. It takes several months for the skin to turn over. As you age, hyperpigmentation also increases. This is because the melanocytes within your skin become more active over time. Additionally, skin becomes less resilient, firmer, dense, and smoother.

Melasma and dark patches on the skin are also common signs of hyperpigmentation. These results from hormonal changes, which are most commonly experienced by women, as well as age spots (aka sun spots) or liver spots due to excessive UV radiation. Although these types of hyperpigmentation are different in their expressions, there are many common features. These include the prevention and treatment options you can use to combat each.

How can you eliminate these spots? We spoke with Dr. Loretta Ciraldo MD FAAD, a skin expert. Here are some ways to defeat hyperpigmentation.

How to prevent hyperpigmentation

Dr. Loretta says there are two main ways to prevent hyperpigmentation. Both will be of great benefit and you’ll see a reduction in dark spots.

Limit sun exposure. In some cases, UV rays can be responsible for hyperpigmentation. Loretta advises that you apply sunscreen 30 or higher every morning, and to reapply every 2 hours if outside. This will protect your skin’s barrier function and keep it as soft, firm, and clear as possible long into the future. You can also use SPF if you have a dark spot. This will prevent any permanent damage.

Dr. Loretta advises that you choose a sunscreen with at least 7 percent zinc oxide mineral/physical protection. “Zinc oxide provides the greatest protection against the UVA spectrum of sunlight most responsible for hyperpigmentation.” These are the top UV-beaters.

Do not pick at it. Loretta says that this applies to all types of wounds: “If you have a kitchen burn, use ice and hydrocortisone on it to reduce inflammation and decrease your risk of developing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.”

Hyperpigmentation: The best skincare products

Hyperpigmentation can be treated in many ways. Most of them revolve around certain hero ingredients. These remedies can be reactive. Sometimes, these remedies are reactive. These are just a few of the key ingredients you should know.

Topical Vitamin C: Applying vitamin C cream or serum daily can stimulate collagen and protect the skin from skin-aging toxins. This is why you’ll see the term “brightening” often used with vitamin C products. It helps to promote a brighter, more youthful and firmer complexion. This is one area where it’s worth investing in top-quality products, since vitamin C is an unstable ingredient in skincare. The trusted formula of Dr. Loretta is a good place for a start.

Retinol is a vitamin A-derived component that is well-known for its ability to reverse the effects of ageing. It is able to reduce fine lines and wrinkles and boost collagen production, which results in smoother, softer and clearer skin. It can also prevent the development of dark spots by helping to prevent acne. Dr. Loretta notes that using Retinol may make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Apply it before bed and then follow-up with SPF the next morning.

There are many low-quality, over-the-counter retinoids available. However, your dermatologist might recommend a prescription retinoid (known also as tretinoin) that is of high quality and can speed up skin-clearing.

Exfoliating acids: Your familiarity with exfoliating acid is only superficial. Now it’s time to dig deeper into these ingredients. A skincare routine that includes alpha hydroxy acid (AHAs), such as glycolic acid and malic acid can help to remove surface-level cells, making way for younger, more vibrant cells. These acids are commonly referred to as “resurfacing”, “brightening,” and “peeling” depending upon their formulas and intensity. You can pair them with beta hydroxy acids (BHA), such as salicylic acid to reduce oil production and unclog pores.

You can see a licensed dermatologist to incite skin peeling to force new layers of cells to develop. Or, you can try an at-home product. For larger peels, these will use higher grades of AHAs (typically glycolic acids) or a targeted, high grade acid like trichloracetic (TCA), for spot-peeling treatments. This is useful if you only need to remove a single dark spot.

Dr. Loretta says that professional peel treatments typically use glycolic acids as high as 70% and may do so in a series six to ten times. Dr. Loretta also mentions fractionated laser and Intense Pulse Light (IPL) as common options for skin resurfacing and removing dark spots. These are just a few of the options you can discuss with your board-certified dermatologist.

Last but not least, it’s important that you focus on the milder prevention methods. These include sun protection and vitamin C serums. Take it slow when you have to choose the more aggressive options.

Dr. Loretta warns that you should not be aggressive with in-office or at-home products. “The irritation caused by aggressive approaches can itself lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation–and the aim here is to make things better, not worse.

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