The best way to banish hyperpigmentation once and for all? We’ve got the answers here.
One of the most common misconception about hyperpigmentation is that it will fade away by itself and that no treatment, of any sort, is necessary. It is true that some types of pigmentation, like acne scars, can eventually fade over time (keep in mind that this doesn’t happen overnight, but can take a few months, or even longer). However, the majority of hyperpigmentation like pesky sun spots still need to be treated in order to be fully eradicated.
First of all, what exactly is hyperpigmentation?
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, commonly abbreviated as PIH, is the abnormal pigment that appears after your skin has suffered from inflammation or trauma. It can happen after acne, allergic reactions, burns, eczema or even after chemical peels and treatments. Most often you’ll see PIH as flat, brown marks where the inflammation had occurred. Depending on how lucky you are, it can go away in a few weeks… or it can hang around for years until you finally decide to treat them!
So… what’s the best way to treat hyperpigmentation?
Like many other things in the realm of skin care, prevention is much better than cure. You can avoid PIH in a number of ways, such as not picking at your skin (yes, don’t pop those pimples!) and always putting on sunscreen. However, there are a number of products you can use to treat existing hyperpigmentation:
1. VITAMIN C
Products loaded with Vitamin C are known to be best at treating hyperpigmentation. The Tiam My Signature Vitamin C Source (originally known as O.S.T C20 Original Pure Vitamin C Serum) is a powerful game changer for fading acne scars. It is loaded with 20% ascorbic acid (vitamin c), niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid, which not only brighten and even out the skin, but also help in reducing inflammation.
If you’re a first-timer with Vitamin C, I would highly recommend the Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop, which contains only 5% ascorbic acid. This vitamin C serum is effective in treating hyperpigmentation, but still gentle enough for sensitive skin to use.
2. CHEMICAL EXFOLIANTS
Nope, I’m not talking about your good ol’ apricot scrub! You need chemical exfoliants, in the form of AHAs or BHAs, that will gently exfoliate and remove the skin cells with pigment. Look out for ingredients like glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid and salicylic acid, and retinol if your skin is up to it. Your exfoliation can be in the form of a cleanser, toner, serum or a dedicated exfoliant like COSRX AHA 7 Whitehead Power Liquid.
3. BRIGHTENING SERUMS
Brightening serums can also be incorporated in your daily skincare routine to even out your entire face, not just the dark spots. The white truffle in Neogen White Truffle Serum in Oil Drop contains high amount of vitamin C, which makes them effective in brightening and getting rid of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. They’re also high in vitamin B3, or Niacin, which is essential in repairing damaged skin and Vitamin B12, which is known to help prevent the growth of any future hyperpigmentation.
For more serious cases, there's always the option of chemical peels, lasers, and microneedling. These methods allow your skin to renew cells faster in order to reveal the new, non-hyperpigmented skin. However, these are all best left to the professionals, so do consult your dermatologist if considering.