Beat hyperpigmentation in 5 steps
Summer is in full swing, which calls for weightless, light coverage makeup as we try to beat the heat. This can cause a bit of stress for ladies who feel some type of way about showing the bumps, scars, acne marks or dark marks, which is known as hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation particularly affects people of color when we experience bumps, bruises or any kind of skin trauma. As our skin repairs itself, it can leave a dark mark and the severity of the hyperpigmentation depends on the severity of the breakout and how we care for our skin during that time.
Here are 5 ways to beat hyperpigmentation your melanin glows brighter than ever:
Quit picking at your skin! Bumps aren’t fun to look at, and the first thing we do to get rid of them is squeeze, squeeze, squeeze until they’re gone. I’ll admit it’s satisfying to get rid of that pus or excess sebum, but 99.99 percent of the time it’s never worth all the dark marks you’ll have after. If you must do extractions, learn how to do them properly at home or save a little extra change to get a monthly facial.
Gently exfoliate. You should already be doing this, but if you’re not, start now! Exfoliants help slough off dead skin, brightening dark spots and aiding the healing process. Plus, this will help ward off additional breakouts. But be careful — you don’t want to overdo it. If you do, you’ll risk burning your skin. Just do it a couple times a week, and talk to a skincare specialist to help you choose the best option. You can exfoliate using a:
- Brush — Companies such as Vanity Skin have brush heads specifically for exfoliating your skin.
- Granule — This is what we’re most familiar with. You can use an exfoliating cleanser with granules to scrub off that top layer of dead skin. Be careful to avoid products with microbeads or large, harsh granules. Choose a product with finely milled granules or use an exfoliating powder you can mix with water.
- Chemical — Alpha Hydroxy Acids, Beta Hydroxy Acids, and Glycolic Acids are all chemical exfoliants. You can choose a cleanser or toner with these ingredients over a brush or granule exfoliant. But, be careful! Don’t go for products with super-high percentages of these acids for quicker results because if misused, you’ll burn your skin. Also, you’ll have to use sunscreen or limit it to nighttime use because of increased sun sensitivity.
Use a dark spot corrector. There are plenty of dark spot correctors on the market in the form of serums to wear under moisturizer or targeted spot treatments. My favorite is Clinique’s Even Better Dark Spot Corrector. It seriously speeds up healing time without altering your overall skin tone. Please avoid products with Hydroquinone! It’s super effective in fading dark spots, but its use is controversial due to concerns about it possibly being a carcinogen.
Use sunscreen. I’m guilty of slacking on my sunscreen use, but it’s seriously an important product in ensuring your skin stays youthful, supple and cancer free. Many times, hyperpigmentation takes longer to go away because sun exposure makes those dark marks even darker. Choose a zinc-free sunscreen to avoid a gray or white cast on the skin, or opt for a colorless suncreen mist. If you’re a girl who loves rocking foundation, choose one that’s formulated with SPF.
Be patient. Now that you know what products to use, be patient and let your routine work its magic. Your skin fully regenerates itself about every 28-30 days, so it can take a couple months to fully get rid of hyperpigmentation. If you have severe hyperpigmentation issues, set up an appointment with a dermatologist that specializes in working with patients of color to create a plan that could include laser and chemical peel treatments.