13 Effective Skin Care Ingredients For Hyperpigmentation
Before having a look at the most effective skin care ingredients for hyperpigmentation and how they work, let’s find out about the forms of hyperpigmentation and some other useful tips to deal with the skin issue of discoloration.
Hyperpigmentation is one of the most common skin issues women may feel worried about nowadays, looking for ways to get rid of it but why does it appear?
Some triggering factors include over exposure to the sun rays without adequate sunscreen protection as well as the use of contraceptive pills at younger ages and the application of hormone replacement therapies at older ages.
Forms of Hyperpigmentation
The appearance of brown spots on the skin, which is scientifically called Hyperpigmentation, appears in both genders, but mostly in women (90%). The exact causes of increased melanin production are unknown, but the main factors that trigger it are known. The first triggering factor is exposure to the sun.
So, let´s have a look at the different forms that hyperpigmentation takes:
1) The most common form is the skin blotches that are formed when the over-exposure to the sunlight and UV radiation leads to the melanocyte activation and the melanin deposition in the epidermis and dermis.
More often, it appears in dark color skin that can easily be tanned and especially at ages between 20 to 40 years old, but it can also appear later after 50. The spots that are formed near the surface of the skin are dark brown with a clear outline, and can be handled relatively easily compared to the ones that are formed deeper in the dermis which have a light brown or gray-blue color, an irregular outline and they are very difficult to eliminate.
Scientists believe that in the case of hyperpigmentation, there is a genetic predisposition and for most people it is a chronic disorder. This is why, unfortunately, even the positive results of a hyperpigmentation treatment can vanish and the spots reappear even after a short term exposure of the skin to the sun with no sun protection.
2) Another form of hyperpigmentation is chloasma, the brown spots that are formed on areas of the skin that get exposed to the sun. These spots are caused by hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy, hormone replacement therapy during menopause, contraceptive pills or some antibiotics and medicines.
3) Post-inflamed hyperpigmentation is the blotches that appear in dark-toned complexions – again due to the exposure to the sun – that have experienced skin problems accompanied by inflammation such as acne or eczema.
Wearing Sunscreen Daily Is Very Important
Although skin spots are not dangerous and have not proven to lead to skin cancer, dermatologists never stop reminding us that we can prevent their appearance by simply avoiding sunlight or at least protecting exposed skin areas throughout the whole year using sunscreen products of at least SPF 50 and, if possible, products that are enriched with anti-spot skin ingredients.
Banned Ingredient for Hyperpigmentation
For more than 50 years, the most active anti-spot ingredient was Hydroquinone, a synthetically made skin bleaching and lightening agent that inhibits the action of overactive melanocytes.
The unwanted side effects of this ingredient have been many. Thus, in some countries including Europe, Australia, Japan and South Africa, hydroquinone is no longer included in cosmetic products but it is only given by doctor prescription. In the USA, FDA has recommended a ban on most over the counter as well as prescription products that contain hydroquinone.
Due to this ban but regardless of it, the beauty industry has focused its research on the development of new combinations of active ingredients that can, if not completely get rid of those skin spots, at least lighten them in a mild and safer way as opposed to hydroquinone´s function.
Best Natural Ingredients for Skin Discoloration (Brown Spots)
Azelaic acid: Azelaic Acid is derived from the cultivation of the fungus Pityrosporum ovale which inhibits the activity of tyrosinase (the enzyme involved in melanin synthesis) in overactive melanocytes without affecting them physiologically.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA): Thanks to their ability to exfoliate and accelerate the cell renewal process, our well-known AHA fruit acids help remove the accumulated melanin from the surface of the epidermis and facilitate the penetration of other stronger decolouring agents into the skin.
Arbutin: This is a mild and non-toxic form of hydroquinone which limits the production of melanin by reducing tyrosinase´s activity. It comes from the pear juice and the extract of the leaves of raspberry and arbutus.
Vitamin C: In addition to vitamin C´s rich antioxidant, anti-aging and skin rejuvenating benefits, when it comes in high concentrations, it reduces melanin production by inhibiting tyrosinase activity.
Stem Cells as well as Plant Extracts and Marine Extracts: These are ingredients with multiple functions such as regulating melanin production, restoring face glow and giving the complexion an even tone.
Licorice: Licorice contains Glycyrrhetinic acid which inhibits the activity of tyrosinase and protects the epidermis from excessive melanin accumulation and the creation of brown spots.
Willow Bark Extract: Rich in salicylic acid, this extract gently exfoliates the skin and softens the appearance of hyperpigmentation spots on face and body.
Fruit Enzymes: The enzymes that are contained in many fruits and vegetables (such as bromelain in pineapple and pumpkin or papain in papaya, etc.) have exfoliating and skin lightening properties. They are widely used to make dark spots such as sun spots or age spots lighter and make skin glow.
Hexapeptide-2: A fast-acting peptide that helps restore glow to the epidermis.
Kojic acid: This natural active ingredient, which is extracted from many types of mushrooms, is considered to be the second most effective skin whitening ingredient after hydroquinone. Kojic acid breaks down melanin and prevents its production by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase.
Matrixyl 3000®: This is a patented combination of anti-aging peptides that acts proactively and helps reduce the appearance of discoloration spots.
Retinol: The most popular anti-aging ingredient, retinol, is also effective in fighting hyper-pigmentation. With its ability to accelerate cellular metabolism, it blocks spots at the time they start forming.
Soy: Soybean extract is a mild natural whitening ingredient that is believed to restrict the transfer of pigment from melanocytes to keratinocytes, thus protecting the skin from discoloration.
All in all, if you are looking for natural ways to reduce discoloration, the above natural and effective skin care ingredients for hyperpigmentation should help you achieve some very positive results.