Hyperpigmentation, or uneven skin tone, is a harmless condition that affects people of all races and is caused by sun, hormones or injury.
Hyperpigmentaion is a condition where patches of skin become darker than the surrounding skin. It occurs when excess melanin is produced. Melanin is what gives our hair and skin their color.
The melanocytes (pigment cells) of dark skinned people produce more melanin than those of people with fair skin. However, when more melanin is produced than the skin can absorb, the result is mottled or uneven skin tone.
Freckles and age spots
The sun is a beautiful thing, but too much can lead to excess melanin production that causes freckles and age spots.
The result of sun exposure can be tanning, depending on your skin type. However, excess exposure to the sun causes the skin’s melanin production to go into overdrive, and can create dark patches of skin such as freckles and age spots (this varies depending on skin type).
Hyperpigmentation caused by UV usually appears on the face, hands and areas of the body frequently exposed to the sun.
Melasma or chloasma spots are a result of hormonal changes. This can occur during pregnancy, menopause or from taking the contraceptive pill.
Although melasma looks similar to age spots, they are larger and usually appear on the face and abdomen.
Other causes of hyperpigmentation
Skin diseases and injury can all leave behind their mark.
Acne, for example, can leave dark patches on the skin after the condition clears. While injuries to the skin, including surgery, can also brand the skin with hyperpigmentation.
Lightening or brightening skin care can fade hyperpigmented areas of the skin. However, exposure to UV light without applying a sun screen first will counter the effects of any brightening regime.
To ensure you don’t increase the production of melanin that causes hypermigmentation, use a broad spectrum sun screen daily. The sun screen will help shield skin from UV light, and control the production of melanin on a cellular level, regardless how its caused.
Hydroquinone, a lightening ingredient that inhibits melanin production, has been used for over 50 years in topical lightening treatments and is an effective ingredient for fading hyperpigmentation. Over-the-counter brightening products contain between 0.5% to 2% concentrations of hydroquinone, while prescription treatments usually contain 4%.
Natural alternatives to hydroquinone include:
- Mitracarpus scaber (madder) extract
- Uva ursi (bearberry) extract
- Morus bombycis (mulberry)
- Morus alba (white mulberry),
- Arbutin, and
- Broussonetia papyrifera (paper mulberry)
If you want to offer brightening products to your clients, Trulux can help. We provide an wide range of bulk brightening face products that you can decanter and relabel as your own.