There are six basic skin types and each one has its own unique set of characteristics and best care practices. ChitoCare beauty has rounded up some essential skincare tips for each one. In this article, we look at hyperpigmented skin.
Understanding what skin type you have will help you chose products that suit your skin’s needs and it will help you develop a skincare routine that works best for your skin type. Irrelevant of skin type, however, consistency plays a key role in maintaining healthy, glowing, youthful skin.
Hyperpigmented skin refers to skin that produces more melanin than normal skin. This causes pigment issues that manifest in the form of skin discolouration, an uneven skin tone, or darker spots or patches that can appear anywhere on the body, commonly referred to as sunspots or age spots. Hyperpigmented skin is often found in people with darker skin tones, and in people over the age of 40. Let’s look at what hyperpigmented skin looks like and what skincare habits keep it healthy.
Characteristics of hyperpigmented skin
There are three distinct types of hyperpigmentation in the skin: sunspots, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. While sunspots are typically a natural occurrence, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation often appears after skin injuries or acne breakouts, leaving behind skin discolouration that can range from pink, red or purple, to brown, grey or black.
Melasma, on the other hand, is a skin condition that requires special treatment. While melasma is also often triggered by sun exposure, heat, and hormonal changes, and it can be managed and treated, it is a lifelong skin condition and therefore never completely eradicated.
Characteristics of hyperpigmented skin include:
- Uneven skin tone or discolouration
- Flat, darker patches of skin that can vary in size
- Skin patches or spots that are brown, black, grey, red, or pink
- Inflammation due to sun exposure
- A more pronounced appearance of scars, acne pimples and scars, injuries, or bruises
Other things that can trigger hyperpigmented skin include:
- Hormonal changes during puberty and pregnancy
- Skin injuries or traumas
- Overexposure to UV light
Skincare routine for hyperpigmented skin
For people with a hyperpigmented skin type, a skincare routine must absolutely include sun protection. This is the case for all skin types, however hyperpigmented skin is exacerbated by exposure to UV rays, as sunlight can trigger increased melanin production, making the problem worse. A skin care regime for hyperpigmented skin must not only be tailored to one’s skin tone, but also to the type of hyperpigmentation they are dealing with.
Protecting hyperpigmented skin from the sun is the most important action to take when it comes to preventing pigment issues, such as sun-related dark spots. When people with normal skin sit in the sun, the melanin in the cells of our skin’s outermost layer (known as the epidermis) work to protect us from ultraviolet rays. We tan because sunlight causes the skin to produce more melanin, making the skin turn darker. As people with hyperpigmented skin already have an increased production of melanin, this darkening effect is more pronounced, resulting in dark spots, discolouration, and pigment differences.
Therefore, wearing a sunscreen with a SPF (Sun Protection Factor) of 30 or higher every day is essential for people with hyperpigmented skin. Overexposure to UV light not only causes premature skin aging for all skin types, resulting in wrinkles, fine lines, dryness, sagging, dullness or sunburn, it can even damage skin cell DNA or cause cancer. For those already dealing with hyperpigmentation issues, it makes the problem even worse. As UVA rays can penetrate clouds and windows, it is necessary to wear sunscreen all year round, even in winter or on cloudy days.
Cleansing and exfoliating
Clean skin is important for all skin types, as a collection of dirt and bacteria can cause further skin issues, such as acne, oiliness or irritation. People with hyperpigmented skin should avoid products that contain alcohol, parabens and other harsh chemicals, as they could leave your skin feeling dry, flaky or sore. Wash with a mild cleanser twice a day to clear away dirt, grime, pollution and make up. A gentle exfoliator once or twice a week will stimulate cell turnover and help to remove excess melanin from your cells.
ChitoCare beauty Body Scrub is also suitable for the face, as it contains bioactive marine chitosan that works to reduce inflammation and covers the skin in a thin protective film that is biocompatible, boosting natural skin repair processes. Natural microgranules from bamboo stem powder and walnut shells work to gentle exfoliate the skin, while antioxidants and hyaluronic acid fight oxidative stress and help lock in moisture. The result is refreshed, rejuvenated skin with a smooth and soft texture. Exfoliate only once or twice a week to avoid irritation.
All skin types need moisture, including hyperpigmented skin. Sufficient moisture within our skin gives it bounce, elasticity, smoothness and a dewy look. For people with hyperpigmented skin, topical serums that tackle the specific problem can be greatly beneficial. Overnight serums can be especially powerful, as our body goes into repair mode at night when we sleep. Applying products in the correct order is also important, so remember to apply serums before other moisturizers or heavier creams.
Serums not only deliver nutrients in a concentrated way, but they also help the permeability of ingredients found in other products. ChitoCare beauty Anti-Aging Repair Serum contains moisture-loving hyaluronic acid that increases skin hydration and natural antioxidants that fight oxidative stress, boosting the natural repair process of the skin, helping improve skin tone and texture.
One of the side effects of hyperpigmented skin is inflammation. This can mean the skin becomes red, sore to the touch, swollen, bumpy, itchy or with a burning or stinging sensation. Because inflammation can contribute to the formation of unwanted pigment, including anti-inflammatory products in your skin care regime can soothe and calm hyperpigmented skin. Anti-inflammatory ingredients can help to prevent inflammatory skin reactions and post-breakout marks, scars, spots or discolouration.
For example, Niacinamide, helps to regulate tone, reduce inflammation, and heal irritated skin, and is often used by people with acne-prone and hyperpigmented skin to help even out discolouration caused by acne scars and sunspots. Zinc is a trace mineral that helps to even pigmentation and balance skin tone, regenerating connective tissue and supporting collagen synthesis, making for plump, bright and smooth skin.
Anti-inflammatory ingredients can be taken orally in the form of supplements or applied topically. ChitoCare medical Healing Spray is a topical spray for irritated or damaged skin and can be used to treat skin inflammation, acne symptoms caused by hyperpigmentation, sunspots, sunburn and minor wounds. It is suitable for use on the sensitive skin of the face and forms a protective film over the skin that promotes the skin’s natural healing process.
Antioxidants protect the skin from environmental aggressors that can make inflammation, dark spots and hyperpigmentation worse. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent oxidative stress of the skin caused by free radicals – those unstable molecules that attack healthy cell structures. Oxidative stress can cause, among other things, hyperpigmentation of the skin, so including antioxidants such as Vitamin C in your skin care routine can promote brighter skin with a more even tone.
Fill up on antioxidants by eating lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and supplement your skin care routine with a dietary supplement such as ChitoCare beauty Hair, Skin & Nails, to ensure you are getting enough nourishing nutrients. Containing Vitamin C, zinc, silica, selenium, a marine collagen complex, a multimineral complex and marine chitosan, this blend of natural ingredients will help nourish your skin from the inside out.
Apply a soothing face mask once a month to treat your skin to some additional nutrients. ChitoCare beauty Serum Mask is ideal as a monthly treatment, as it deeply hydrates the skin, supports collagen and elastin production, and leaves your skin feeling soft and moisturized.
Keep in mind that, even though we are each born with a specific skin type, skin type can change as we age, or due to intrinsic or extrinsic factors. The trick with any skincare regime is to keep it consistent and to pay attention to how your skin reacts – to new products, to weather changes, or to hormonal imbalances, such as those during menstruation or menopause.
ChitoCare beauty is the first skincare brand to incorporate marine chitosan into its products. Scientifically proven properties of chitosan include film-forming, moisture control and powerful skin repair.