You must agree that a smooth, even-toned complexion looks beautiful, no matter what the colour of the skin is. But very few of us are really blessed with spotless, clear skin – thank your genes if you are one of those. Even if you are genetically pre-disposed to possessing a good skin, modern day lifestyle, excessive stress, UV rays, climatic changes and environmental pollutants make it difficult to have skin free of any spots, patches or blemishes.
A little brown spot here or there on skin is not worrisome, but what really gives your skin a dull, tired look is unevenness caused by patches of pigment spread across your face. This is called hyperpigmentation – it is aging and can make you look older than your actual years. Hyperpigmentation adds a patina of dullness to your complexion. Any skin that has more melanin content is prone to accumulation of the melanin cells around the mouth and nose and other areas.
Therefore, according to skin care experts, Indian skin structure is highly prone to hyperpigmentation.
So, how does Hyperpigmentation look?
Hyperpigmentation appears as dark spots or dark discolouration or patches on your skin. Skin appears patchy and pigmented. It can appear on the sides of your cheeks, around your nose, spots across the bridge of your nose, forehead, back of your neck and decolletage. It is quite common for Indian women and men to have discolouration on certain areas of their skin. In fact, it is quite a common concern and can affect every skin type.
What is Hyperpigmentation?
While it is not really a serious skin hazard, but uneven complexion is definitely a cosmetic issue – many spend hours trying to hide those pesky little brown spots or hide the dull, dark patches on the skin. Hyperpigmentation happens when your skin produces more melanin than required, which gets deposited in patches under the skin. Your skin looks uneven whenever there is an excessive deposition of melanin pigment in certain areas of your skin. Interestingly, melanin is the pigment that gives us Indians our beautiful and varied complexion – going from dusky to golden tan to wheatish, medium tone to fair. Melanin is produced in the body by skin cells called melanocytes. Due to genetic or external factors the production of melanin under skin can get altered.
How does extra melanin cause Hyperpigmentation?
The pigment melanin forms under the skin through a series of oxidative reactions involving the amino acid tyrosine and the enzyme tyrosinase. Melanin production in the body is triggered by an enzyme called tyrosinase, which is also responsible for our hair and eye colour. When there is an imbalance in the tyrosinase production triggered by hormones, stress, sun, or some underlying ailment, excessive melanin shows on the skin by getting deposited in certain areas of face, neck and chest.
What causes Hyperpigmentation?
Several different factors can alter the production and deposition of melanin in your skin. One of the most common causes of hyper pigmentation is excessive exposure to the sun. The UV rays trigger the tyrosinase enzyme to produce more melanin under skin – excess melanin actually protects the skin from the UV rays by absorbing them before they can harm the DNA of the skin cells. The other common reason for hyperpigmentation the change in your hormonal levels especially during pregnancy, teenage years, and menopause. Other factors include skin disorders like dermatitis, medication, adrenal disorder, and lack of nutrients and vitamins in your body.
How to treat Hyperpigmentation?
When you are plagued with pigmentation and patchy, uneven complexion, you have to take care of your skin both from inside and out. Eating vitamin C rich fruit and vegetables helps to fight the oxidative damage of skin. You can use targeted skin care products like face scrubs, masks and moisturizer formulated for patchy complexion on a regular basis to fight this skin problem. What is NOT advisable, is using harmful chemicals and bleaching agents like hydroquinone. Choose safe options to get rid of your hyperpigmentation which might work slowly but in a targeted form. Choose Vedaearth’s Anti-pigmentation oil or Paul Penders Aqualuna Illuminating Cream or Amayra Natural’s Vitamin C Serum – all these are clean beauty options that you can use to target the problem of hyperpigmentation and treat it in a sustainable and safe manner. All the options suggested happen to be vegan as well so if you are looking for vegan cosmetics or vegan beauty options, we have you covered.