How to get rid of hyperpigmentation & dark spots

How to get rid of hyperpigmentation & dark spots

What is hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation isn’t necessarily a condition but a term that describes skin that appears darker than your natural skin color.

Types of hyperpigmentation

There are several types of hyperpigmentation - the common skin issues being melasma, sunspots, age spots and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

  • Melasma is typically due to hormonal changes which cause darkening of the skin. This is why many women see melasma develop during pregnancy. Melasma or patches of hyperpigmentation can appear on any area of the body, but they appear most commonly on the stomach and face.
  • Sunspots are dark spots caused by excess UV exposure or sun exposure, sending melanin production into overdrive. Generally, they appear as dark spots or patches exposed to the sun, like the hands and face.
  • Age spots similarly are dark spots that appear on skin that has had years of UV or sun exposure. Sun exposure over many years causes melanin to be produced in higher quantity and concentration.
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation / Acne Scarring is discoloration that occurs after injury or inflammation of the skin, causing excess melanin production. Acne or pimples are a very common trigger of PIH. Therefore, most people refer to PIH as acne scars.

What can cause hyperpigmentation?

While the trigger or cause of hyperpigmentation may vary, hyperpigmentation is caused more simply by excess melanin production. This is why hyperpigmentation more commonly affects darker skin, which is more prone to pigmentation changes.

Melanin is a pigment that gives skin its color. It’s produced by skin cells called melanocytes. Several different conditions or triggers can alter the production of melanin in your body. One very common one is excessive sun exposure, which can cause an increase in melanin. This is why it so important that people of color use a sunscreen daily.

How is hyperpigmentation prevented?

It’s not always possible to prevent hyperpigmentation or dark spots. However, dermatologists recommend focusing on sun protection and regular sunscreen usage. Specifically:

  • using sunscreen / sunblock with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide
  • using sunscreen with an SPF rating of at least 30
  • using broad spectrum sunscreen that blocks UVA and UVB rays
  • wearing wide-brimmed hats or clothing that block sunlight
  • avoiding the sun during the time of the day when it is strongest, which is typically 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

How to get rid of hyperpigmentation

If you are able to visit a dermatologist, you can access prescription treatments for hyperpigmentation targeted specifically to your skin - products with ingredients like hydroquinone, retinol, and tretinoin. However, not everyone has the time or money to visit a dermatologist or skincare clinic. And ingredients like hydroquinone do not work on all skin tones, or sometimes lighten skin in a way people don't want.

On the other hand, there are many topical products available off-the-shelf that claim to erase dark spots or reduce hyperpigmentation. The reality is many of them can take weeks or months before proving effective. Or they are so strong (like a chemical peel, for example) that they irritate the skin further, and may develop more blemishes and scarring. Dermatologists recommend always testing home-treatments on a small patch of your skin before committing fully, to prevent large-scale irritation.

At Lion Pose, we've combined efforts with Harvard dermatologists to create the best over-the-counter daily serum to treat hyperpigmentation specifically for darker skin tones. Our serum contains a unique blend of lactic, glycolic, azelaic, and tranexamic acids that visibly diminishes dark spots in a matter of days. We have also included nourishing ingredients like aloe and tiger grass, to ensure you skin gets a chance to repair itself and prevents additional scarring.