Let’s face it. Whether it shows up as sunspots, acne marks or the mask of pregnancy, hyperpigmentation is a bit of a bummer. The nemesis of a bright, radiant complexion, it gives your skin a dull, uneven and aged appearance. So, is it any wonder we’re all so desperate to get rid of it?
A super common skin complaint, pigmentation is notoriously pesky and persistent. But that doesn’t mean you have to put up with it.
With the right skincare products, including our all-new Pro Youth Dark Spot Serum, the future (of your face) is bright. Read on for everything you need to know about hyperpigmentation, featuring topics like the different types and causes of hyperpigmentation all the way to your most effective anti-dark-mark routine.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation (or simply pigmentation) refers to unwanted areas of darker skin on your face or body. These spots or patches, which can appear brown, red, black, grey or pink, occur when there’s an overproduction of melanin – the pigment that gives skin its colour.
Discoloured areas can be small (hello, freckles) or widespread (we meet again, melasma). Affecting all ages, skin types and genders, pigmentation does not discriminate. However, darker skin tones are often more susceptible – as are women during certain hormonal stages.
What causes dark spots and pigmentation?
Ok, you already know hyperpigmentation occurs when there’s a spike in melanin. But what makes your pigment-producing melanocytes decide to up the ante? Hands down the biggest cause is unprotected sun exposure. Melanin plays a vital role in protecting us from damage caused by UV radiation – so it makes sense that your body produces more when you spend too much time outdoors.
Sun isn’t the only trigger, however. Hormonal fluctuations, inflammation and injury can also result in dark marks. Some medications and medical conditions can also be responsible, while a certain amount of discolouration is inevitable with ageing.
Now let’s take a quick look at the three major types of pigmentation.
Pro-tip? Avoid picking at all costs if you want to avoid PIH
How to treat pigmentation
The number one thing you can do to prevent and treat hyperpigmentation is to use sun protection. UV exposure causes up to 80% of premature ageing – including sunspots. So, no matter the season, make a broad-spectrum, high-SPF sunscreen the staple of your skincare routine – applied and reapplied as necessary throughout the day.
Missed the memo and already dealing with sun damage and dark marks? Don’t panic – there are treatments and products that can help even things out. Professional treatments include laser therapy and chemical peels. While, at home, active ingredients including retinol, bakuchiol, Vitamin C, AHAs and niacinamide pack a major brightening punch.
Our top 3 ingredients to fight hyperpigmentation
Known as retinol without the side effects, bakuchiol is the brightening, anti-ageing active ingredient of the moment – and the hero of our new Pro Youth Dark Spot Serum. Like your favourite Vitamin A derivative (but without the dryness and sensitivity), bakuchiol assists with dark marks and other signs of photo-ageing by penetrating deeper skin layers to speed up skin cell turnover. Increasing the production of healthy new skin cells, it also boosts collagen production for plumper, more youthful-looking skin.
Exfoliating is a must to keep your skin smooth and clear – but did you know it can also help tackle pigmentation? Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) like glycolic and lactic acid are particularly beneficial. While bakuchiol works deep down, these chemical exfoliants speed up the shedding of old, built-up cells on the skin’s surface. This helps to improve skin texture, boost radiance and even out your skin tone – while also reducing fine lines.
A potent antioxidant with countless skincare benefits, Vitamin C helps to fight premature ageing and reduce signs of sun damage – brightening the skin overall while helping diminish the appearance of dark spots. Another reason the vitamin’s a must in your anti-pigmentation tool kit? It has been shown to increase the effectiveness of your sunscreen – the single best weapon against dark marks.
So, for maximum protection, apply a Vitamin C Serum and/ or moisturiser daily under your SPF.
Looking for the ultimate anti-dark mark serum?
Addressing multiple layers of the skin with 1% bakuchiol and 5% glycolic acid, our all-new Pro Youth Dark Spot Serum is clinically proven to deliver up to 60% improvement in hyperpigmentation/dark spots (in 12 weeks). With rejuvenating and protective lilly pilly antioxidants and barrier-boosting pre/probiotics, it also delivers a 20% improvement in wrinkles and a 4X reduction in skin inflammation. While boosting hydration by 110%.
For your brightest, most even skin yet, use our Pro Youth Dark Spot Serum with bakuchiol for night-time renewal. And our Vitamin C-charged Australian Glow Berries Intense Glow Moisturiser for daily protection, followed by your favourite broad-spectrum SPF.