Skincare Ingredients to Treat, Prevent and Get Rid of Pigmentation
Hyperpigmentation or dark spots can be described as unwanted discoloration left behind from acne scars, sun exposure, medication, hormones or simply ageing. It also affects almost everyone over time – so, if you don’t have pigmentation now, don’t be surprised should you get it later in life. Now the good news is that plenty of products and technologies exist as a means to clearing up or fading dark spots. The not so good news? While many products claim to help with treating pigmentation, not many can actually deliver on results.
This cheat sheet will help you look closely at labels and understand the right ingredients needed to fight hyperpigmentation. Whether it’s to treat, prevent or completely reverse pigmentation, these will DO the job.
Vitamin C has many skin benefits ranging from brightening, hydration to fighting signs of ageing. When applied topically, it is also an effective tool for treating hyperpigmentation.
The antioxidant properties of Vitamin C are effective in neutralizing free radicals formed by UV rays or pollution. This in turn prevents skin damage including that caused by pigmentation. Vitamin C is also highly reactive when it comes in contact with water and air, so it gets tricky to stabilise or keep for a long time.
For a fresh-as-it-gets dose of this powerhouse, try the Citrine Pure Vitamin C Elixir and Powder. When combined, the Elixir activates the professional-grade, pure Vitamin C powder, creating a high-potency mixture that offers unparalleled skin brightening and rejuvenating benefits.
Is there anything Retinol can’t do? The most stable form of Vitamin A, Retinol helps with ageing, acne, redness and boosts radiance. It also helps with pigmentation by penetrating deep into the skin and interfering with pigment production.
SW1 SUPER HELPER Mattifying & Detoxifying Serum is a multi-tasking complexion hydrator that balances and softens the skin while keeping skin clear from acne. The presence of retinol and alpha-hydroxy acids accelerates cellular renewal keepin skin wrinkle-free.
Derived from the leaves of bearberry, cranberry, mulberry or blueberry shrub, Arbutin a naturally occuring derivative of hydroquinone, inhibits tyrosinase and thus prevents the formation of melanin.
Hydroquinone is considered the gold standard in skin lightening agents and Arbutin is its friendlier, more accessible version that comes with the same efficacy in a natural format.
Innovative skincare formula brand The Ordinary, also carries the Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Concentrated Serum, a product that combats discoloration and blemish-prone skin.
Harnessing the powers of Purified Alpha Arbutin and Hyaluronic Acid, this lightweight and fast-absorbing serum minimises the appearance of brown spots, whilst inhibiting melanin formation to reduce the look of hyperpigmentation.
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Heard how the Japanese rave about Kojic Acid? Derived from a variety of different fungi and organic substances such as mushrooms, Kojic Acid is one of the most effective and natural skin whitening agents. In fact, some studies suggest that Kojic Acid is more effective than Hydroquinone and does not come with the typical irritations or long term complications associated with Hydroquinone.
The beauty of Kojic acid lies in its ability to not only suppresses tyrosinase (an enzyme that increases pigment creation) activity, but also to help topical treatments penetrate more deeply.
VMV Hyppallergenics Illuminants + Cream is a cult antioxidant-rich cream, known to regenerate skin cells. It brightens skin tone with Kojic Acid plus Bearberry Leaf and repairs overexposed skin with Vitamin C, Green Tea and Rice Phytic Acid. The non-drying formula lightens dark spots and inflammation, and provides intensive moisture to deliver brighter, healthier skin cells.
Known for its anti-inflammatory benefits, Azelaic acid is a great option for those dealing with both acne as well as hyperpigmentation. Azelaic acid is a natural material produced by a yeast that lives on normal skin, Malassezia furfur.
Azelaic acid also helps reduce pigmentation, and is particularly useful for darker skinned patients whose acne spots leave persistent brown marks or even those with melasma.
This Azelaic Acid Ampoule brightens the complexion while visibly improving the evenness of skin texture and reducing the look of blemishes. Its super potent formula delivers a higher concentration in comparison to typical beauty store products and comes supported with a form of hyaluronic acid for enhanced delivery.
When it comes to prevention of pigmentation and spots the easiest way to avoid them is sun protection! Not only that, if you already have sun spots, a sunscreen will keep them from darkening further. In fact, some experts go as far as to say that if you are not using sunscreen every single day of your life, you are wasting your money and time on other products!
How does sunscreen protect the skin from dark spots? Sun protection prevents the accumulation of photodamage that eventually leads to pigmentation and hyperpigmentation that develops after acne. Our skin cells respond to UV light via a self-protective mechanism, by producing larger quantities of melanin. SPF blocks this light that causes injury to cells and leads to darker spots. This is why diligently using sunscreen every day is the best defense you can give your skin against pigmentation and discoloration.
As with other products, all sunscreen is not created equal so make sure you choose a high quality, chemical-free version for best results. For instance, Umbrella by SW1 comes with SPF 70 in a water-resistant, matte base. 100% chemical-free, fragrance-free and water and sweat proof, it blends 3 antioxidant teas, an invisible shine-absorbing micro mesh and UV reflectors. Suitable for those with sensitive skin, this sunscreen is safe to use even on children!