Hyperpigmentation is defined as any dark spot or lesion on the skin. It commonly comes in the form of liver spots, freckles, moles, suntans, and scars due to cuts, burns, abrasions, sun damage. For some, getting rid of hyperpigmentation can be a long process but it can absolutely be done.
How to get rid of hyperpigmentation naturally
Essential oils have been used for many purposes for centuries. These oils are derives from plants, flowers, and fruit. They can be obtained mixed in with product or by themselves. Essential oils should be applied topically and can be used over the entire face or in smaller areas as a spot treatment. Massage is commonly practiced using essential oils. Massaging the area effected by hyperpigmentation will allow the product to drive deeper into the skin. After massaging let sit for 2 minutes and rinse.
Oils commonly used for skin lightening include:
- Cedar wood
Fruit can help get rid of hyperpigmentation when applied topically or consumed. When you eat food its nutrients are released through the bloodstream and carried to hungry cells. When cells inside of the body are nourished cells outside including skin cells feed from the remnants. Applying fruit topically can mean combining fruits and creams to make a mask, extracting juices, or obtaining oils.
Fruits used for skin lightening include:
How to get rid of hyperpigmentation fast
Lasers are used in many cosmetic procedures to promote cell turnover by heat. The most advanced procedures are performed by a doctor but can banish aggressive scars, dark spots, uneven skin tone, and stains from melisma. There are no lengthy aftercare instructions although redness and swelling may occur.
Medical grade chemical peels deliver quick results. Acids are used to remove several layers of the skin, including live layers. When all layers containing hyperpigmentation are removed, new skin will grow without it. Since skin heals itself someone who gets a chemical peel would have to wait 15-30 days for skin to return to normal and healing could be painful.
How to get rid of hyperpigmentation with skin care products
Hydroquinone is an FDA approved agent that helps get rid of hyperpigmentation by surpassing the skin’s melanin. Over the counter products can only contain up to 2% and higher does can be prescribed by a physician.
It is very effective at getting rid of hyperpigmentation but causes controversy due to its effects. Using hydroquinone safely means using it for three months then giving it a break because it can thin the skin. Thinner skins means being more susceptible to sun damage and defeats the purpose of treatment. When under the care of hydroquinone the usage of sunscreen is imperative.
This brightener is commonly found in mushrooms and the residue of fermented Japanese rice wine. It is most frequently used to get rid of hyperpigmentation issues like freckles and dark spots. Lotions, creams and soaps commonly contain this ingredient with the intent to whiten skin.
When this ingredient is used it inhibits the production of melanin, causing skin to appear lighter. Kojic acid is so effective that it has had success in getting rid of hyperpigmentation from melisma. It is also antibacterial and has been successfully used in treating acne. Soy and rice are also believed to contain kojic acid.
Mulberry is also commonly used in cosmetics for its lightening benefits. Mulberry gets rid of hyperpigmentation by effecting the production of melanin and activity of the oxidase tyrosinase. Skin color depends on how much melanin the skin produces and if melanin production is decreased the skin will lighten.
An oxidase is an enzyme that causes oxidation by attacking a cell and completely draining its oxygen. Molecules that cause oxidation most likely come from the environment but you can defeat these oxygen thieves by using antioxidants. Mulberry is known for its antioxidant properties.
An extract so powerful it can reverse hyperpigmentation caused by melanoma. Licorice extract helps to hinder the production of melanin and tyrosinase activity.
Unless hyperpigmentation is genetic discoloration only goes so deep. The skin is comprised of several layers and if layers containing hyperpigmentation are removed dark spots will be eliminated. Exfoliation is the act of removing dead skin cells. About every 30 days or so skin automatically desquamates or sheds and removing it makes room for new skin.
This process is usually performed by using a scrub. Sand, beads, rocks, and other material aid in exfoliation by scraping dead skin. Removing live skin puts you at risk for scaring so be sure not to over exfoliate the skin. Manual exfoliation should only be performed up to twice a week.
Do not perform manual exfoliation if:
- You are diabetic
- You have thin/sensitive skin
- You have open cuts, scraps, wounds, or abrasions
- You have severe active acne
- You have recently received a chemical peel
- You are on Accutane, retinol or any skin thinning medications
Chemical exfoliation uses agents that eat away or peel dead skin to help get rid of hyperpigmentation. When using a chemical peel no manual manipulation is required, exfoliation will happen naturally. Ingredients including acids and enzymes are used as exfoliation agents and for some may be harsh. If you are someone with highly reactive skin chemical peels may not be the right choice. There are limits on ingredient amounts depending on the ingredient in question but higher does can be given by a doctor.
How to get rid of hyperpigmentation on a budget
Stay out of the sun
The sun one of the first things that begins to age the skin. In fact about 80% of the skin’s sun damage is done by the age of 18 but slowly reveals itself as it gets older. When in the sun the skin absorbs its ultraviolet rays. Ultraviolet A or UVA rays are responsible for aging the skin. The rays can penetrate so far through the skin it can alter DNA, causing cancer.
Ultraviolet B or UVB rays are responsible for burning the skin. They can alter melanin causing production to slow. Avoiding the sun is one of the best ways to get rid of hyperpigmentation. If you are treating uneven skin tone, dark spots, or any other hyperpigmentation issue if you do not wear sunscreen it could get worse.
Avoid tanning beds
Just like the sun tanning beds exude ultraviolet rays. Today tanning beds are very popular among women between the ages of 18-35 which is why skin cancer is the killer of more women in the age group than breast cancer. Statistic show that about 30 million people tan indoors and 2.3 million of them are teens. Exposing the skin to extreme amounts of UV rays can result in several forms of hyperpigmentation:
- Age spots
- Sun burn
Getting rid of hyperpigmentation without the use of sunscreen is almost impossible. Sunscreen works by effectively blocking ultraviolet rays. The success of your sunscreen depends on two things.
- The SPF or Sun Protection Factor of your sunscreen measures how many UV rays are being blocked from the skin. An SPF of between 15 and 30 is recommended for complete protection. SPF 15 block about 93% of sun rays whereas SPF 30 blocks 97%. Higher levels of SPF don’t protect much more than these and aren’t necessary unless you plan to be exposed for long periods of time.
- A sunscreen’s spectrum refers to which type of ultraviolet rays it blocks. Broad spectrum sunscreen is recommended due to its ability to protect from both UVA and UVB rays.
In order for sunscreen to work all day long it must be applied every two hours. It is recommended that you cover the body with two layer to avoid missing any areas. Some brands may offer a waterproof option. This does not mean the sunscreen works well it just means it can resist water. Most sunscreens can withstand water for about 80 minutes before being reapplied.
There are many ways to get rid of hyperpigmentation but some methods may not deliver results for your skin type. Combining methods can bring great success but can leave skin dry. Be sure to follow a complete skin care regimen along with whatever hyperpigmentation treatments you choose.