Home Pigmentation 101

Pigmentation 101

by Our Deep Skin

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)

  • Vitamin C

  • Hydroquinone (2%)

  • 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

  • Alpha arbutin

  • Azelaic acid

  • Bearberry Extract

Professional Procedures

  • Laser therapy (uses a beam of light to eliminate areas of hyperpigmentation)

  • Chemical peels

  • Microdermabrasion

To-do

  • 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.

Following the advice above will strengthen your deep skin, break up the appearance of hyperpigmentation, and also brighten for a more even complexion. Sun screen will further protect your skin and stop hyperpigmentation from getting worse.

The goal behind an anti-pigmentation spot treatment is to eliminate or reduce visibility of the dark spots while evening out skin tone, NOT to bleach your fabulous deep skin.

For the most part, people of colour like us, dream of a more even skin-tone rather than a brighter and lighter one. Melanin is a beautiful gift that gives us as people of color added protection from UV rays, skin cancer, and signs of aging. Protect it!

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