Most of us love to come away from our holiday with a lovely dark, glowing tan, but it’s important to always be careful in the sun. It’s always good to be a little persistent in taking care of your skin.
Hyperpigmentation (dark spots)
Hyperpigmentation (also known as dark spots) is when your skin has produced an excess of melanin. Your body produces this overproduction as a defense against the sun’s UV rays. Uneven production of melanin results in an uneven skin tone.
Skin discoloration often shows itself in uneven patches, giving the skin a mottled appearance. While fair-skinned people are more likely to develop the condition, darker skins may also suffer dark brown patches as a result of sun damage too.
What are the causes of hyperpigmentation (dark spots)?
Inflammation caused by sunlight
When your skin is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun, it produces an inflammatory response. This response takes place right at the moment your skin is exposed to sunlight, but the levels are so low that it goes unnoticed. If you keep your skin exposed to sunlight for a longer period of time, the inflammation levels increase.
SEE ALSO: Tanning: Prevention and precaution
Anything from a cut to a pimple can damage your skin, leading to excess melanin production. Your body copes with it by producing an inflammatory reaction. When your skin is injured, it might not be able to regenerate the skin pigments that were there before. When the skin pigments can’t be regenerated, darker pigments get generated over the damaged area.
How to prevent hyperpigmentation (dark spots)
• Avoid exposure when the sun is at its peak (usually between 12pm – 3pm)
• Make sure that you wear sunglasses, full-coverage clothing, and sunscreen of at least SPF 30. This will help with tendencies towards your hyperpigmentation
• Makeup may lessen the appearance of patchiness and lotions such as hydroquinone will help even out your skin tone.
Uneven pigmentation can sometimes go away by itself, but if not, try one of these DIY recipes to see if it will make any difference.
DIY remedies to get rid of hyperpigmentation
Lemon is one of the best natural skin brighteners out there. Its high citric acid content effectively exfoliates the skin and lightens and brightens hyperpigmentation after just a few uses.
Directions: Slice a lemon and gently rub it on dark spots to lighten them. Let the juice sit for 10 minutes and then rinse off thoroughly to reveal soft, lighter skin. If your skin is sensitive, try mixing fresh lemon juice with aloe vera gel or honey to lessen the sting.
Note: Never apply lemon juice to open or irritated skin
RECOMMENDED: Lemon Essential Oil from Fushi
This is enriched with fatty acids, vitamin C and oleic acid. Avocados can effectively help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Plus, the various enzymes and high amount of Vitamin E in avocados can also reduce pigmentation.
Directions: Mash one ripe avocado into a smooth paste. Apply the paste on the affected area. Leave it on for half an hour, and then wash it off with lukewarm water. Follow this remedy twice daily for at least one month to start to see results.
Oils to help hyperpigmentation
Agan, Tamanu and Rosehip Oils
These oils are restorative, hydrating and refining. They speed up the recovery of the skin when it needs a little boost. Argan, Tamanu, and Rosehip oils will help to replenish the skin and quicken healing, decreasing the chances of getting hyperpigmentation. Applying these oils will also help lighten your skin faster. They also promote collagen production and cell regeneration.
Castor oil is crammed with fatty acids, specifically omega-3 fatty acids. These fatty acids are the magic ingredient that help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. They do this by piercing the scar tissue and pumping it out. Omega-3s hydrate the skin, while stimulating the growth of healthy tissue, which give you a blemish free and supple appearance to the skin. This is how Castor oil helps reduce scars and discolouration of the skin.
Tip: To achieve maximum effect, work a little bit of castor oil evening over the face. Using Castor oil twice a day will help to reduce the signs of hyperpigmentation.
RECOMMENDED: Castor Oil Organic from Fushi
Wheat germ oil
Wheat germ oil is full of essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals. One of its most prominent nutrients though, is Vitamin E. Wheat germ’s high vitamin E content makes it perfect to use for skin regeneration and healing. It locks in and maintains moisture, which is very important for cell turnover. If you use this oil at least once a day on problem areas for a few weeks, your hyperpigmentation should become a few shades lighter.
Note: This oil should be used carefully as it has a very high comedogenic rating.