One of the most common concerns in the beauty industry is pigmentation on the face. An uneven skin tone isn’t desired by many people yet tons of us suffer from it. There are two types of pigmentation: hyperpigmentation, and hypopigmentation. Hyperpigmentation occurs when the discolored skin is darker than the rest of the skin. Hypopigmentation happens when the skin in question is lighter than your normal skin color. Want your discoloration wiped away? Unfortunately,there are pigmentation disorders that areirreversible, so you need to know which kind you have before you begin treatment.Attempting to get rid of discoloration that cannot be reversed will be a waste of your time, and it may make the skin more fragile.
What is pigmentation?
Pigments are just colors, so it makes sense that the color of your skin is called pigmentation. The amount of melanin in your skin helps determine how much pigment you will have. Melanin is what gives the skin its color, the more melanin you have, the darker your skin will become. Those with more melanin are less sensitive to the sun and tend to have tougher skin than others.
How do pigmentation issues arise?
There are many reasons your skin can become discolored:
Acne is a very common skin disorder that can cause hyperpigmentation if it is not treated correctly. When someone with active acne pops, or scrubs the acne too vigorously, their skin may become injured and discolored. The marks leftover by acne are called acne scars. They are usually a dark red, flat, and asymmetrical.
Aging is another factor to take into consideration when looking at discoloration. Many aren’t aware, but the sun is the number one factor when it comes to aging skin. The sun has two sets of ultraviolet rays, ultraviolet A or UVA rays are responsible for aging the skin. UVA rayspenetrate the skin deeply and begin to mess with its amount of collagen and elastin. Collagen is the same thing modern women fill their lips with when they are trying to make the look “plump.” Collagen helpsthe skin look thick and supple, and once your skin is depleted of it, it will become saggy. Elastin is what gives the skin its firmness and “snapback.”
As far is discoloration is concerned, ultraviolet B or UVB rays are responsible for burning the skin. UVB rays hit the surface of your skin and begin to mess with your melanin; this is why you tan after being in the sun. After excessive sun exposure, high melanin levels can become permanent in some areas causing age spots. So many people think “freckles” come with old age, but these are age spots caused by the sun, but they do resemble freckles.
You could have a pigmentation disorder
As discussed earlier, hyperpigmentation is when the problematic skin is darker than your normal tone. There are several types of hyperpigmentation disorders:
- Chloasma– liver spots
- Lentigo– a freckle
- Melasma– pregnancy mask
- Nevus– a birthmark
- Stain-brown or wine discoloration
- Tan– excessive sun exposure causes the skin to darken
Hypopigmentation disorders include:
- Albanism– the absence of melanin
- Leukoderma– light patches caused by a congenital disease (vitiligo and albinism are examples)
- Vitiligo– White spots caused by lack of pigment.
Many of these skin disorders should be monitored by a medical professional especially since some arise from other health issues. Freckles, melasma, stains, and tans can be eliminated at home.
Get rid of your pigmentation fast
If you want to get rid of your pigmentation concerns, you must first be concerned enough to be consistent.
Exfoliating the skin can take care of a ton of issues including skin that is dry, rough, dull, and wrinkled. If your pigmentation concern can be reversed, then the discoloration won’t occur in every layer of the skin. Exfoliation helps to remove skin cells, so scrubbing the discolored skin away will help reveal healthy, even skin.
Exfoliation is done in two ways:
Scrubbing involves using an abrasive material such as dirt, rocks, sand, or microbeads to remove dead skin. It is best that you wet your skin before scrubbing to avoid skin injuries. Take a scoop of product and manipulate it in a circular motion for no more than five minutes. Be sure not to rub the skin too hard because it could cause cuts and scrapes. Exfoliation should happen once per week after you cleanse.
Develop a skin care routine
If you don’t already have a skin care routine, you need to get one now. You first need to cleanse your skin to loosen all the dirt and debris that can cause acne and other skin concerns. Use an actual facial cleanser so that it doesn’t strip the oils from your skin. Do not cleanse for more than 3 minutes because your formula will become acidic.
Next, apply your treatment product. Since your concern is pigmentation on the face, you need to invest in a product that helps lighten the skin. If you aren’t aware of which products will help reverse pigmentation the read the back and skim for these skin lightening agents:
- Kojic acid
- Licorice extract
- Bearberry extract
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
Stay out of the sun
The sun is one of the biggest contributors to pigmentation concerns, so you want to protect yourself from it. Wearing sunscreen is the best way to protect your skin from the sun. Be sure your product is broad-spectrum so you can be safe from both UVA and UVB rays. You should apply sunscreen everyday even if you work indoors because ultraviolet rays have the power to penetrate through clouds and windows.
There are natural ways to get rid of pigmented skin. All of the ingredients listed in the “Develop a skin care routine” are all natural, but some want elements that are more recognizable. Here is a list of skin lightening foods. These foods can be eaten for better skin, but work best applied topically.
- Aloe Vera