uneven skin tone
- What is hyperpigmentation?
- What is Hydroquinone?
- Why is sun protection important to effective treatment of hyperpigmentation?
- I'm treating my hyperpigmentation, but it's not going away. Why?
Q: What is hyperpigmentation?
A: Hyperpigmentation is the result of an overproduction of melanin.
Melanin is what gives skin and hair its color, and amongst other benefits, helps protect skin against damaging UV light and absorbs heat from the sun. However, an overproduction of melanin leads to a mottled, uneven skin tone. Overproduction of melanin is stimulated by excessive sun exposure, hormones, or scarring.
1) Sun exposure: When skin is repeatedly exposed to UV light, sun damage occurs. Brown spots appear as a result of too much melanin being produced to help protect skin from UV light.
2) Hormones: Melasma is hormone-related hyperpigmentation caused by increased hormone stimulation. It is most commonly experienced by women who are pregnant (which is why it’s also known as the “mask of pregnancy”) or taking contraceptives, but can also be a product of reactions to cosmetics or medications.
3) Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation: This is a darkening of skin that’s the result of acne scarring or skin injury due to inflammatory response in skin. The cells associated with melanin production are closely linked with the skin immune system cells; meaning you can’t stimulate one without stimulating the other.
Q: What is Hydroquinone?
A: Hydroquinone is a topical ingredient popular for skin lightening.
It’s classified as an over-the-counter drug in the United States and has been used in concentrations up to 2% within products designed to lighten skin.
While it is popular, there are many concerns regarding its safety. It is estimated that one-third of the population is allergic to Hydroquinone, and skin may become photosensitized with prolonged use, causing an actual darkening of skin.
Throughout the years, many highly respected administration agencies have recognized Hydroquinone as a potent cytotoxic (substances toxic to cells) agent with potential cancer-causing, DNA-altering properties.
Q: Why is sun protection important to effective treatment of hyperpigmentation?
A: When a hyperpigmented area is exposed to UV light, more melanin production is triggered on a cellular level, causing further darkening.
Ironically, melanin production and further darkening of skin is just your skin trying to protect itself from UV light. But this can cause the strictest of brightening regimens to fail to produce results. Daily application of a minimum of SPF30 will help shield skin from UV light to control melanin production on a cellular level.
Q: I'm treating my hyperpigmentation, but it's not going away. Why?
A: It's important to recognize that there is no quick-fix to hyperpigmentation. However, combining your at-home regimen with professional treatments can expedite the process.
It can take up to 50 days for existing hyperpigmentation to lessen in appearance even when skin is being actively treated. This is because hyperpigmentation takes place on a cellular level. It must be controlled before it can be reduced. In addition, if the pigment resides deeper in the skin it is very difficult to treat, and you may need to seek the advice of a physician for a more invasive treatment. If the hyperpigmentation is also being hormonally driven or stimulated, then the cause needs to be corrected.
It is possible to help expedite results. Speak with your professional skin therapist about pairing your at-home regimen with a series of professional skin brightening treatments, which can help you see results in as little as 30 days.
Some of the products your professional skin therapist may prescribe will include:
pure light spf50
Shield the skin from UV-induced hyperpigmentation (brown spots, discoloration and uneven skin tone) with this medium-weight daytime treatment.
Restore skin luminosity and maximize PowerBright TRx™ results with this rich, nighttime moisturizer.
c-12 pure bright serum
Lightweight, highly-active topical treatment combats hyperpigmentation (brown spots, discoloration and uneven skin tone) day and night.