Okay, let’s talk about one of life’s greatest annoyances: Hyperpigmentation.
Firstly, what is it? Hyperpigmentation is just a fancy name for dark spots on your skin. I’m talking freckles, sunspots and post-acne marks. Freckles and sunspots are a result of, you guessed it, sun exposure. UV damage causes melanin to pool in the upper layers of your skin.
Post-acne scars, on the other hand, occur when excess melanin is produced and deposited into the cells of your skin in response to acne inflammation. The worst part? These spots tend to stick around for a long time. Sometimes, they may not even resolve on their own without a little help.
So what can you do? Plenty! Let’s dig in…
Four ways to treat hyperpigmentation
I’ve covered the basics of exfoliation many times before, but to recap: Manual exfoliation essentially triggers your skin to start repairing itself. Over time, fresh, new cells make their way to the surface while old, pigmented, dulling cells are sloughed away. I’m a big fan of exfoliating at least twice a week with brown sugar on a wedge of pineapple or sea salt and coconut oil.
#2: Fruit enzymes
Think of fruit enzymes as a form of gentle, non-abrasive exfoliation. Fruit enzymes soften and effectively scrub delicate skin to help fade dark spots and dissolve dulling dead skin cells. A few to look out for include papaya seed oil, pineapple enzyme, apple fruit extract and pumpkin extract.
#3: Vitamin C
Vitamin C used topically in a serum is a bit of an overachiever when it comes to hyperpigmentation! Its antioxidant properties help prevent dark spots from forming in the first place. It also helps lighten up surface pigmentation caused by UV damage and acne inflammation. I consider it an indispensable part of my routine – you should too!
#4: Essential oils
Often overlooked and entirely undervalued, certain essential oils harness crazy healing power. Geranium, rose, lavender, frankincense and helichrysum essential oils, for example, are exceptionally adept at fading marks and spots, diminishing scars and reducing inflammation. Helichrysum essential oil in specific contains the highest known amount of beta-diketones, which are reputed to promote the formation of new skin tissue. Consider me impressed!
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but these are my favourite all-natural hyperpigmentation fading solutions in a sea crowded with retinol, hydroxy acids and dreaded hydroquinone. Now go on and start fading those pesky spots!