Get even with dark spots: Hyperpigmentation explained
You might have noticed dark spots on your face, particularly if you've been exposed to more sunlight lately. Or you might have seen dark spots creep up on your skin as you age. This is usually due to hyperpigmentation, which occurs for a few reasons and can result in dark spots.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyper means “more," while pigment means “color." This overproduction of pigment can make certain sections of skin appear darker than others.
A type of hyperpigmentation — sometimes referred to as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation — can appear as dark spots or dark patches on the skin. You may not only notice hyperpigmentation on the face, but also on the chest, back, arms, and hands.
What causes hyperpigmentation?
The discolorations are caused by a number of factors. “Our skin is a fascinating organ that is exposed to the environment. Sun exposure and pollution can activate inflammation in the skin that may lead to hyperpigmentation," says Thomas Mammone, PhD, MBA, VP Skin Physiology and Pharmacology, Advanced Technology Pioneering at Estee Lauder Companies.
Many people experience post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from the trauma that pimples and blemishes can leave on skin. This tends to be more common in people with darker skin tones who may have squeezed or picked at a blemish; this can result in injury or irrigation causing the dark spots.
Sunspots or age spots are a form of skin hyperpigmentation that are common in people of all skin tones, and they often appear on the hands and face after prolonged exposure to the sun. Free radicals, produced by UV light and other environmental factors (like pollution), can cause irritation on skin. That can show up as discoloration, uneven skin tone, and yes, dark spots.
Some women notice dark spots due to melasma, which is a result of hormonal changes, most likely to develop during pregnancy. This can lead to hyperpigmentation or dark spots anywhere on the body but especially on the face and stomach.
Want more even skin tone? Of course you do. Here's how to get even with dark spots.
How to address hyperpigmentation
Luckily you don't need to spend hours in a dermatologist's office using expensive treatments if you want to reduce signs of skin hyperpigmentation, such as dark spots and uneven skin tone. You can minimize the look of dark spots on your face with high-quality products incorporating ingredients that target hyperpigmentation.
A lightweight watery essence lotion like Even Better Brightening Essence Lotion gently exfoliates and hydrates the skin, prepping it for the hyperpigmentation skincare routine that follows. Tap it onto clean skin using your fingers. This lotion contains CL302 Brightening Complex™, a powerful complex of ingredients built around Clinique's proprietary brightening molecule.
Another powerful ingredient, gyokuro extract, is a type of antioxidant-rich Japanese green tea that helps quell the look of irritation, which can trigger future dark spots. These and other powerful ingredients work together to sweep away dull skin cells at the surface, help reduce visible redness, and produce softer, smoother-looking skin.
Step 2: Break up the appearance of dark spots.
Next apply the Even Better™ Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter for dramatic brightening results that address hyperpigmentation (dark spots and uneven looking skin tone) while interrupting the look of future dark spots, too. The ingredients in Clinique's CL302 Brightening Complex™ work together like a “jab, hook, punch" for dark spots:
UP302, Clinique's proprietary molecule, a powerful ingredient to help skin look more even.
Salicylic acid and glucosamine to help exfoliate the skin's surface.
Yeast extract to break up up (exfoliate) the look of those excess pigment clusters that cause the appearance of dark spots.
Vitamin C, a potent antioxidant that helps brighten skin and even out the look of skin tone.
Step 3: Strengthen and repair.
Hydrate skin with Even Better™ Clinical Brightening Moisturizer. This moisturizer also contains CL302 Brightening Complex™ , which has been shown to visibly improve multiple dimensions of discoloration — dark spot contrast, dark spot intensity, dullness, and redness caused by irritation. Other ingredients like glucosamine help weaken the bonds holding those dead skin cells together, contributing to the look and size of dark spots, while hyaluronic acid helps provide rich hydration for healthier-looking skin.
While you're tackling dark spots on face, why not address dark circles under your eyes, too? Even Better™ Eyes Dark Circle Corrector brightens the under-eye area and reduces the look of dark circles while helping to massage away puffiness.
By following this hyperpigmentation routine, you'll notice less contrast and definition in the dark spots on face and elsewhere on the body. Following a skincare routine that addresses hyperpigmentation will result in a more even looking, glowing complexion and a more youthful look.
How to prevent hyperpigmentation
Once you've visibly treated the dark spots on your face, follow steps to prevent dark spots from appearing in the first place as best you can. Protect your skin from the sun and environmental issues with these best practices:
Start with a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Try Even Better™ Clinical Serum Foundation Broad Spectrum SPF 25 for full coverage that prepares you to face the day with a buildable foundation. Not only does it help protect your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, it also features the UP302 molecule to target dark spots, while vitamin C helps restore radiance, and salicylic acid helps smooth skin.