We all want the beautiful glow of sun-kissed skin, but we don’t want the consequential sun damage that comes with it. One of major signs of accumulated sun damage is an uneven skin tone. More and more people are looking for ways to treat this condition known as hyper pigmentation.
Scientists have extensively studied the process by which our skin gains its pigment, which is referred to as melanin. They do not yet fully understand why our skin’s melanin can become unevenly distributed with age. On a positive note- there are effective ways to treat sun-induced hyper pigmentation.
One ingredient that has been used to treat hyper pigmentation effectively is hydroquinone. Doctors in North America commonly prescribe hydroquinone. However, it has been banned in most of the world because it has a highly sensitizing effect on the skin. In some cases it can cause contact dermatitis and photosensitivity.
Brightening ingredients are one of the simplest and gentlest ways to treat hyper pigmentation. Licorice, bearberry, mulberry, and vitamin C are examples of the ingredients that prevent the formation of pigmentation. Also, lactic acid in 5% formulation is an alpha hydroxy acid that has been shown to effectively inhibit the enzyme that plays a central role in melanin formation.
In addition to topical applications, professional treatment such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion and laser treatments can produce accelerated results. It is best to consult a skin care professional to determine what treatment method is best for you. Results vary and it usually takes at least eight weeks to see visible lightening of the spots. A 75% lightening of the treated areas is considered a good outcome.
The most important thing to remember is that prevention is the key. Always where a sunscreen with a minimum SPF 15- even on a cloudy winter day! Use tinted moisturizers or self-tanners to get that bronzed glow.