As people with deep skin, we can be prone to dark spots, on our faces or other parts of our bodies. These areas of hyperpigmentation (excess melanin production) can occur as the result of sun exposure, hormonal changes or even on a previously inflamed area of the skin. Hyperpigmentation is a condition that causes our skin to darken. Dark spots may occur on our deep skin when it over produces melanin. Melanin is the substance that gives our amazing skin its colour.
It can be tricky to deal with this on our deep skin tones, as patches tend to emerge with a higher pigment, and take a great deal longer to fade than on lighter complexions.
Many of us resort to using unsafe lightening creams in an attempt to eradicate the marks, which rarely work long-term and leave the skin more susceptible to harmful sun damage.
Another common issue faced by people of colour with their skin is PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). This occurs as a result of skin injury, such as a cut, graze or burn.
The dark scar from the damage can take from months to years to fade. This process can be sped up by gently removing layers of skin e.g. via a chemical peel. Daily use of sunscreen will also help keep a pigmented area from becoming darker.
Products/ Ingredients to use
Spf 50+ (Every AM, last step in your routine)
Kojic acid (my personal fave in a cleanser)
Licorice root extract
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA’s) e.g. glycolic, lactic or mandelic acid to exfoliate away pigmented cells
Vitamin A (retinol) to increase skin cell turnover
Laser therapy (uses a beam of light to eliminate areas of hyperpigmentation)
Wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 50 every day
Avoid direct sunlight
Moisturise your deep skin AM and PM
Avoid using harsh exfoliating products
Treat acne, psoriasis, and other conditions promptly
Diet – Anti inflammatory
Green Tea: Contains polyphenols, which has anti-inflammatory effects.
Leafy green vegetables: Contains vitamin C and phytonutrients that reduce free radical damage to the skin cells from UV rays.
Berries: Natural source of antioxidants that protects the skin and increases cell turnover.
Healthy Fats: coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, almonds, flax seeds, walnuts, and other nuts/seeds. These help to keep skin hydrated, prevent dryness, and reduce inflammation.