While we all dream of days with brighter, clearer and ultra-even skin, the truth is that discolouration and skin pigmentation is an issue a lot of us struggle with.
The technical term for unwanted dark spots is hyperpigmentation, and it’s one of the most common, frustrating skincare struggles that occurs. It happens when skin becomes damaged and produces extra pigment in the process of healing.
Types of hyperpigmentation range from age spots, a sign of ageing skin caused by UV exposure, to freckles which are genetic but become more prominent with prolonged sun exposure. Other types include post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is temporary and triggered by inflammatory skin disorders like acne, cuts or scars, and melasma; patches of dark spots triggered by hormones, most commonly seen during pregnancy.
While there are a number of culprits behind the dreaded skin discolouration, it’s never too late to reverse the damage. Adding certain strategic skincare ingredients to your everyday routine can minimise its appearance and give you the skin you've always wanted.
Here are BAZAAR’s favourite souped-up ingredients to tackle hyper pigmentation.
|1| Vitamin C
Vitamin C is considered one of the most effective ingredients as it brightens skin and reduces other signs of ageing. We especially love 111 Skin’s Vitamin C Brightening Booster as it has a powerful concentrate that visibly enhances and evens out skin while specifically targeting signs of hyperpigmentation and age spots.
111Skin Vitamin C Brightening Booster, Dh499, Harvey Nichols
Retinol is form of Vitamin A that speeds up cell turnover, penetrating deeply into the multiple layers of skin to help combat dark spots and discolouration. The Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil is a must-have as it's advanced retinol complex visibly reduces age spots, while blue azulene neutralises skin for a balanced, calm and even complexion.
Sunday Riley Luna Sleeping Night Oil, Dh215, Sephora
|3| Alpha Hydroxy Acids
AHAs are also a great way to reduce pigmentation and achieve smooth skin. Look for glycolic, lactic and/or citric acid on the label as they best dissolve dead skin and accelerate cell turnover, which helps fade and minimise marks over time. A great way to include AHAs into your skincare routine is with a toner. The Ole Henriksen Glow2Oh Dark Spot Toner, for example, is supercharged with glycolic and lactic acids that reduce the appearance of dark spots in as little as seven days.
Ole Henriksen Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner, Dh125, Sephora
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, one of the best preventative measures is to use a sunscreen to protect yourself from sun exposure, but not just any sunscreen – a broad-spectrum UVA/UVB with an SPF of 30 or more is best. An effective way to top up your sunscreen throughout the day is to use a mist formula, like Shiseido’s Sports Invisible Protective Mist which ensures maximum coverage while keeping make-up in place all day.
Shiseido Sports Invisible Protective Mist SPF50, Dh193, Bloomingdale’s
This is a great way to target stubborn pigmentation. The tiny needles produce controlled microchannels beneath the top layer of skin to activate its natural healing process, encouraging cell turnover and inducing the production of collagen and elastin, which evens texture and leaves skin supple.
Solaris Laboratories NY The Microneedle Tool, Dh91, Ounass.ae
Lead image courtesy of Pexels.