The most common problem I have seen in Indian women throughout my career as an aesthetician, is that of dark spots and uneven skin tone.
For that matter, I myself face the challenge of getting that I dont need makeup level of skin with continuous reoccurrence of dark spots .
Dark spots and pigmentation is so common among the women of the age 30 and above, that whenever I ask them what exactly would they want it in their skincare formulations from me, almost all of them mention the need of getting an even skin tone.
What exactly is hyper-pigmentation and why does it occur?
Over production of melanin in certain spots of skin causes hyper-pigmentation.
Hyper-pigmentation leads to darkened patches of skin.
Though the size, shape and colour of these patches might vary in different cases, but occur mostly on the body parts that are most frequently exposed, like face, neck and arms.
There can be various reasons for the occurrence of hyper-pigmentation on the skin.
The 5 most common reasons are-
Mostly found in the patients of hyperthyroidism, pigmentation occurs due to the release of a certain hormone.
Hyperthyroidism has many effects on skin but the most common is dark spots and pigmentation disorders.
2. Over exposure to sun
The harmful sunrays increase the brown pigment in the skin called melanin.
The rise in the levels of melanin in skin results in dark spots.
Therefore the excessive sun exposure can lead to fresh pigmentation patches or might increase the already existing ones.
3. Strong medication
Sometimes the side effects of certain prolonged medication can disrupt the hormone levels and can result in increased melanin production leading to discolouration and dark spots.
4. Harsh skin treatments like acne treatment
The damage caused to the skin by overly aggressive acne treatments can lead to increased production of pigment, resulting in dark spots and patches.
5. Pregnancy, Menopause or Birth control pills
The fluctuating hormones during menopause and even during the course of birth control pills can cause dark spots and pigmentation.
During pregnancy, the body produces more hormones than usual and it can lead to discolouration of the skin.
Measures to reduce the intensity of dark spots-
1. Wear a sunscreen
Sunscreen is a must have in case of discolouration of skin tone.
Pigmentation and dark spots get darker with sun exposure.
Physical sunscreens, with zinc oxide and titanium dioxide help to lower the impact of sun-rays by blocking them out.
So make sure you wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 before stepping out.
2. Use natural skin lightening products.
Skincare containing the following natural ingredients help to lighten dark spots and help even out the skin tone.
a) Alpha Arbutin
Product- Rocco skin lightening cream
b) Kojic acid
Product-Pure Body Naturals skin whitening serum
c) Licorice root extract
Product- Licorice Extract skin whitening serum
c) Vitamin C
Product Insta skin naturals Vitamin C serum
3. Appropriate Diet
Pigmentation and dark spots are caused by a combination of various factors. For the matter of fact, our diet and eating habits can bring about a major improvement in skin conditions, including hyper-pigmentation.
Foods that help recover and reduce dark spots and even out the skin tone are-
Foods rich in-
Vitamin A– Lettuce, carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale etc.
Vitamin E– Nuts, seeds, fish, avocado etc.
Vitamin B12– fortified cereals, eggs, beef, liver, Shitake mushroom etc.
Besides these food choices, its also important to drink lots of water and increase the intake of antioxidants in the form of green tea to get rid of all the toxins from the body and reduce inflammation.
Dark spots and pigmentation on the skin are not the most appealing condition, but it can be treated with few skincare and lifestyle changes.
With just some consistent measures, your skin can revive back its natural evenness and uniformity.