A holistic, multi-layered approach to hyperpigmentation:
EIN – ART
Realize that not all hyperpigmentations are the same. There are 3 common types of pigmentation. Melasma (caused by hormonal changes, contraception) is the most persistent and can take up to 7 years to resolve. UV-induced pigmentation (sun spots, liver spots, etc.) is the next most stubborn and is particularly sensitive to renewed darkening due to sun exposure. The last is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, ie redness or darkness, caused by skin injuries like acne. Unfortunately, SSRIs (medicines for anxiety and depression) can make PIH worse.
TWO – UMBRELLA
Sunscreens are absolutely vital. Wear it daily, EVEN IF you work / live in a dark cave, wear hats, etc. And it is important that you repeat it often – it is not enough just to put it on once in the morning. Mineral sunscreens are safer than chemical sunscreens (chemical sunscreens can actually oxidize and betray your skin by causing the aging damage you think you will prevent from using).
A good option is to apply regular sunscreen at home in the morning and have a powder sunscreen stick with you all day long for fat-free, light touch-ups. If you're worried about sunscreen acne aggravation, using a mix-in like our moss halo powder is a great option to turn your favorite, non-acnes favorite facial oil into sunscreen.
THREE – INTERNAL HEAT
Internal heat, a concept in traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda, can also increase / revitalize melanin production. Avoid sporting activities where you are hot and sweaty, hot saunas, hot tubs, drinking alcohol, and eating spicy food. Take cool herbs and consume cool foods. Consider rolling with a jade roller that has been refrigerated. This has several advantages – it reduces heat in the skin and stimulates lymphatic flow.
FOUR – LYMPH
Speaking of lymph stimulation, stagnation in the skin, another holistic medical concept, is associated with persistent pigmentation problems. Stimulating lymphatic fluid helps relieve stagnation. A good way to drain the lymphatic fluid is to have a face massage every day. A great tool for this is Gua Sha. Remember to keep a light to medium touch and move slowly – lymph is a thick viscous liquid, and you will get better results with a slow massage.
FIVE DEPIGMENTATION SERUM
There are many ingredients and products for skin care that can help to lighten the skin. Look for a serum that contains a combination of ingredients that have been shown to support the skin's depigmentation mechanisms. Vitamin C (contained in moss Illumina), licorice root or other lightening vegetable substances such as hops or bearberry are very often used for hyperpigmentation.
There are also stronger, yet synthetic ingredients such as peptides with depigmenting properties and acids such as tranexamic acid. If you take depigmentation very seriously, ingredients such as hydroquinone, corticosteroids and kojic acid are used very often and have the highest effectiveness, but are associated with safety concerns and side effects.
However, if you prefer more persistent pigmentation like melasma, the dermatologist may prescribe creams like tri-luma (a combination of steroids, hydroquinone and retinol).
Here is our view of a depigmentation serum.
SIX – PATIENCE
Remember that even the best dermatologist recipe creams sold for hundreds of dollars have been tested over a 12 week (3 month) period, and even after 12 weeks only a percentage of users will see the results and NO users have seen the full results of depigmentation.
In order to reduce hyperpigmentation, both a depigmenting serum and a sunscreen must be used faithfully and consistently. It takes at least a month for the results to appear. However, it is more common that the results are only displayed after 8 to 12 weeks. The first 8 weeks are a leap in faith. For those who want to see immediate results, a laser may be the better option.
SEVEN – LASER
A good “non-chemical” option is a BBL laser (broadband light). This type of treatment is not cheap, but it is used successfully to reduce age spots and other pigment spots, as well as to even out skin tone and reduce wrinkles. There is a little stagnation after the laser and it hurts a little, but not unbearable.
It is common for BBL to get a few treatments. So work so that you put your pigmentation into the budget in one fell swoop, rather than assuming that you care about it. Note that there is an interruption and the skin is red for a week or two after lasering and may peel off.
EIGHT – DERMAPLANING
If you don't like hitting steroids and acids hard, try deraplaning in the areas of hyperpigmentation. In short, dermaplaning shaves / scrapes the surface of the skin with a scalpel, removing both peach lint and dead skin. You can book dermaplaning from most beauticians or purchase it from Amazon dermaplaning blades if you feel able to do so. This can help reduce hyperpigmentation and promote cell regeneration.
It is not for you if you have any type of active skin condition, including active acne. It's also easy to overdo it. Keep your dermaplaning sessions at least 3 to 4 weeks apart. Finally, it should be noted that although dermal planing helps hyperpigmentation, it exaggerates it or can cause or exacerbate hyperpigmentation on a skin type for which it is not suitable.
NINE – EXFOLIATION
Speaking of dermaplaning, simple chemical peeling is very often touted as a depigmenting option. As a rule, the use of glycolic acid is recommended, since it penetrates deeply into the skin layers of all acids. However, any type of exfoliation (with the exception of abrasive mechanical means) works as long as you don't overdo it.
Excessive peeling can make hyperpigmentation worse instead of improving it, as the skin becomes more susceptible to UV rays (which should be avoided as much as possible during your depigmentation trip) AND also brings warmth to the skin (see point 3) that can stimulate melanogenesis.
TEN – CELLULAR TURNOVER
You can also stimulate cell turnover without exfoliating per se. The difference is that you stimulate the skin to shed old cells instead of removing those cells as you did for skin peeling. There are certain ingredients such as peptides or plant substances that promote cell renewal. Botanical examples include carrot seeds, helichrysum, moth bean and bakuchiol.
ELF – SURCHARGE
Finally, a supplement with "vegan collagen" should be considered, since the BioSil supplement is known. It is a combination of choline and silicon and is said to increase the production of the body's own beauty proteins collagen, keratin and elastin. Users report better results with Biosil than with collagen supplements. Supporting skin health from the inside out can help regulate and optimize all functions of the skin, and support and accelerate everything you are currently doing.
TWELVE – DOCUMENT
Document how your skin is changing. Select a specific area or mark on the skin (I took a mole near my eye and a PIH acne scar on my chin) and take a picture of these areas in a brightly lit place that you have continuous access to. Take pictures at the same angle and at about the same time of day only once a week (if you do this too often every day, you will go crazy). Use these specific markings (generally not the entire face) to track depigmentation.
Compare the images from week 1 and week 4 in week 4. Do the same in week 8 and in week 12 compared to your images in week 1. If you have different pigmentation types (eg Melasma, PIH and UV-induced), select a marking / area from each type.
Thirteen – Responsibility
In order to keep you up to date during the three months, you should introduce yourself to a responsible person like a friend or a beautician. Take a look around, swap pictures, and remember to keep using sunscreen and depigmentation serum, even if the basic repetition of the routine kills you. Book lightening facials once or twice during the 3 months waiting for results to keep your morale up.