They can affect us as any age, those unwanted brown spots, especially from the teenage years onwards… and once they make an appearance, figuring out how to bid them adieu can seem like a never ending uphill battle for us. But alas, never fear, the Simple Beauty Blog is here! And first things first is figuring out what those pesky little dark spotsare exactly, and what may be causing them… Cumulative sun exposure is one of the most common culprits of dark spots or discoloration and what we are focusing on in today’s post– however, there is also ongoing inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, and even eczema, psoriasis or contact dermatitis that can cause pigmentation issues. If you have more serious ongoing issues with this, it could be well worth it to go to your dermatologist to rule out any major underlying issues such as these so that you can figure out if there is something external that is irritating your skin.
The crucial *super important* step in helping post inflammatory hyperpigmentation heal and fade? Using adequate sun protection… AKA sunscreen! Although this might seem a bit less exciting or mundane than some of the other products we’ll get to below, if you are not getting adequate sun protection it is much less likely that any other steps you take will help or be able to give you their full benefit. Seriously! Without sun protection, the sun’s UVA rays are literally working against your other efforts everytime the light hits your skin (yes, even indoors…!) and contributing to hyperpigmentation as well as premature aging. No thanks!! The best type of sunscreen to use if you are trying to fade hyperpigmentation? Zinc and titanium dioxide, aka - mineral based / physical sunscreens take the cake! Check out our curated recommended sunscreen list here. They offer fabulous protection against UVB rays, but where they truly out do their chemical sunscreen counterparts is in the UVA protection department. They give consistent, solid protection against UVA rays between reapplications in a way that chemical sunscreen filters that breakdown and lose effectiveness as they are exposed to light simply cannot. With those two biggies out of the way, you are probably still wondering what you can do in the mean time to help brighten your skin and accelerate the fading process…
And when it comes to that, do we ever have some skincare goodies for you!
Two of our favorite picks when it comes to fading and brightening hyperpigmentation is our truly amazing Bright On Serum and Vitamin C Serum. Chock-full of skin-loving naturally derived ingredients such as licorice root extract and rice seed extract (to name just afew!) that are well known for their ability to impart a brightening effect to the skin, these serums are a wonderful choice for anyone dealing with hyperpigmentation as they will not only work to brighten and reduce the appearance of it, but battle against future damage all the while helping your skin retain moisture, tone, and elasticity too!
The Resveratrol Peptide Complex Serum is another great choice– with the powerful antioxidant properties afforded to this serum by resveratrol, it works double time by preventing skin cell damage caused by sun exposure whilst also inhibiting tyrosinase and lightening hyperpigmentation all at once– pretty amazing, right?!
Last but not least is another well-loved Simple Beauty customer favorite– Radiance Reveal Exfoliant. I’ll start off with the obvious here: Radiance Reveal Exfoliant is a wonderfully effective yet gentle option when it comes to exfoliation, relying on Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids to dissolve dead skin cells rather than harshly scrubbing them away. One of the worst culprits when it comes to post inflammatory hyperpigmentation is unnecessarily harsh and harmful face scrubs (such as those with ground up nut shells! Ouch!) that can feel satisfying in the moment, but leave you with irritated and inflamed skin with even more severe post inflammatory hyperpigmentation than before. Radiance Reveal gives a safe and effective alternative that will even do you one better that simply removing the dead skin cells– it will actually help to maximize cell renewal aiding in the overall cell turnover and resulting in a brighter, smoother complexion overall!
All that said, make sure you listen to your skin and if you notice anything at all (sunscreen, serum, face wash, etc.) may be irritating to it– take note. Irritated, inflamed skin is not your friend– especially when it comes to healing and fading hyperpigmentation, so it always pays to be extra conscious of what you are putting on your skin and how you react to it!
Most of all though, have patience with your skin. While some surface level hyperpigmentations fade relatively quickly (but do give yourself 6 to 12 weeks for new cell turnover to appear), some deeper hyperpigmentation may never go away completely, or may take a year or more to show significant improvements. (Though a visit to your Derm. can reveal some great solutions.) That’s ok too though– it’s so important to love and appreciate the skin you’re in– and of course, on the days where you may just want a little extra coverage to even everything out, there are always plenty of mineral makeup goodies to play around with and achieve your desired look!
Abby is a photographer and blogger who never says no to a hot cup of tea or a new shade of lipstick. She lives in Monterey, CA with her husband where they enjoy hiking, cooking/eating everything vegan, and basically living the (neat and tidy) hippie dream. You can follow her @abby.roe.photo on instagram.
Lisa's Notes: I love this topic. You won't believe how good you will feel about your skin once you get your dark spots under control - You will live and play with verve again! (OK, so I exaggerate, but really, it is a pleasure to have even skin tone again).