Beauty Editor /
Living in Australia, sun damage is quite the common ailment. After all, most of us are exposed to damaging UVA and UVB rays on a daily basis, even throughout the depths of Winter. One common side effect in particular is hyperpigmentation, AKA the darkening or discolouration of the skin’s outer layer.
Hyperpigmentation is a totally harmless form of discolouration, unlike some moles and freckles which can turn out to be cancerous. We know you don’t need the spiel, but here it is anyway — get your moles checked, girl! Back onto hyperpigmentation, though. It usually presents itself as pale brown markings that are flat and unevenly shaped. Sun exposure is the most common contributor to hyperpigmentation, but other factors can also cause it, including hormonal imbalances.
With a pretty large portion of the Aussie population experiencing some form of this as they age, the skincare world have responded — and loudly, at that. There are hundreds of varied formulas available that claim they’ll lighten and brighten those dark spots, leaving you with perfectly even, glowing skin.
To help you turn back the clock effectively, we’ve rounded up our favourite products to target skin pigmentation, including cleansers, scrubs, serums and more. Keep on reading to find out our go-to additions that’ll help balance out even the peskiest of imperfections.
Finding cleansers that effectively attack hyperpigmentation can be difficult, to say the least. Often found in gel or oil-based formulas, cleansers need to focus on stripping away makeup, dirt and debris without upsetting the skin’s moisture balance. However, the skin experts over at Dermalogica have managed to seamlessly merge brightening, cleansing and anti-ageing benefits into one coveted product.
Enter the Dermalogica AGE Smart Skin Resurfacing Cleanser. Designed to tackle the physical signs of ageing, such as wrinkles and fine lines, this product relies mainly on Lactic Acid to re-texturise the skin. Dull surface debris is gently buffed away, encouraging quicker skin cell turnover. Not only does this ensure fewer lines and bolster collagen production, but it also reveals fresher, newer layers of skin that are less deeply affected by hyperpigmentation and sun damage. Vitamin E is also integral to this formula, calming and repairing the skin whilst the Lactic Acid works its magic.
Skin exfoliants are a necessity in any beauty routine if you want to achieve clear, healthy and glowing skin. With two different forms of exfoliation, though, things can get a little tricky. We recommend featuring both chemical and manual exfoliants in your weekly routine, ensuring you don’t overdo it with either one and that you spot test everything before use. If you don’t know the difference, here’s a quick rundown. Manual exfoliants are scrubs that feature microbeads or granules, whereas chemical exfoliants take on a serum or toner-like consistency and can simply be swiped over the skin.
This particular product is a chemical exfoliant, and so, should be used once every second night to start off with. It’s one of the most talked about skincare items in the world, with one selling every second…! If you haven’t already guessed which cult product we’re talking about, it’s the Alpha-H Liquid Gold. This miraculous formula combats a whole range of issues including acne, scarring, thickened skin and uneven tone. It has amazing results for pigmentation spots in particular, as it turns over skin cells quickly and effectively. The result is fresher, smoother and more even skin underneath.
If there’s one thing asap Skin Products are known for, it’s results. With a huge range of serums, cleansers, scrubs and more, this Aussie brand are always at the forefront of innovation. Their Super A Serum is no exception, and just so happens to be an ideal product to combat hyperpigmentation issues. Designed specifically for environmentally-damaged skin, Super A combines two key ingredients that are both experts at attacking unwanted pigmentation spots. Vitamin A (AKA Retinol) and Vitamin E work harmoniously to revitalise, resurface and rejuvenate the complexion.
Apply in the evening before your moisturiser and let this unique formula work wonders while you sleep. Retinol is a known skin resurfacing superhero, and the only ingredient that’s been found to actually reverse physical ageing signs. It has benefits for acne, dryness and uneven texture, too, making it the perfect all-rounder in your skin kit. Vitamin E locks in moisture to the skin in this formula to guarantee your complexion stays hydrated. Make sure you wear a good SPF when regularly applying Retinol, as this ingredient can cause irritation when exposed to UV rays.
Lactic Acid is one of the most beneficial ingredients around for treating hyperpigmentation. Naturally derived from dairy products (lactose), Lactic Acid is an AHA similar to Glycolic Acid. However, it’s less irritating than Glycolic Acid, making it the perfect ingredient for anyone whose skin has become sensitised due to sun exposure.
Chemical peels are definitely trending in the beauty space, and Lactic Acid is often a key ingredient in such services. As a result, no-nonsense, results-driven brand The Ordinary have come up with an at-home solution. Their Lactic Acid 10% + HA 2% Superficial Peeling Formulation is a fantastic product to have around for those with hyperpigmentation issues. Simply pop onto the skin once an evening to buff away any dead skin on the surface layer, revealing a brighter and more even complexion. Tasmanian Pepperberry soothes to ensure no irritation is experienced.
Nourishment and hydration are extremely important when you’re experiencing hyperpigmentation issues, as these ensure each layer of skin remains supple and smooth even during the resurfacing process. For an all-natural way to moisturise your skin and fend off hyperpigmentation, look no further than the AHAVA Age Control Even Tone Moisturiser. Featuring protective SPF 20, this moisturiser can be applied morning and night. It’s free of parabens, works for all skin types and has brightening properties to stop darkening and discolouration in their tracks.
Another key ingredient that will help to even out the skin tone is Vitamin C. Brightening and anti-ageing, this antioxidant transforms the skin by boosting collagen production and encouraging effective cell turnover. It also has protective benefits, ensuring the skin is safe against free radical damage. One way to truly get the most out of a product is to apply it overnight, thus letting it sink in and make the most of your skin’s ‘downtime’. The Dermalogica Powerbright TRx Pure Night should be the last step in your evening skincare routine. It makes the most of Vitamin C in addition to nourishing botanical extracts, working to brighten those dark spots and even out the skin tone.
While you’re waiting for your new skincare items to do their job, you might decide you want to blur the appearance of those dark spots day-to-day. The most effective way to do so is through your makeup, and most importantly, your primer. The WhiteRX range from DECIEM has been specifically designed to provide hyperpigmentation sufferers with products that will disguise this concern without irritating the skin.
The WhiteRX White Blur with Nano-Prismatic Primer is a silicone-based primer that uses five advanced technologies to blur imperfections and brighten dark spots underneath your foundation. It also has pore-filling properties, giving the skin a smoother, more even appearance. The Anti-Pollution Miracle Tree Complex works to protect skin against environmental damage such as that from free radicals. Although this product won’t actually reverse your dark or discoloured spots, it works a charm when you simply want to mask for a while.
Of course, as they say, ‘prevention is the best cure’. Nip further hyperpigmentation issues in the bud by religiously applying your SPF of a morning, and topping it up throughout the day if need be. Make sure your SPF is broad spectrum, and so, covers both UVA and UVB rays, preventing them from penetrating the skin on a deep level.
There are so many SPF products around, so it’s easy to view them all as one in the same — heads up though, that’s not the case! Once you’ve narrowed it down to broad spectrum, ensure your facial SPF has been designed for use in this area and is non-comedogenic, so won’t clog pores. Our pick is the Dermalogica Super Sensitive Shield SPF 30, which works even for the most sensitive of complexions. Natural and chemical-free, this is a beach bag essential this summer.
What are your favourite products to use for hyperpigmentation and sun damage? Let us know over on Facebook or Instagram!
For me, less is more when it comes to beauty, so I like to keep my daily routine simple yet effective. I’m all for clean skin and lush hair! The products I am loving right now are Skinstitut’s Glycolic Cleanser, Christophe Robin’s Volumizing Conditoner with Rose Extracts, and Illamasqua’s Skin Base Foundation.
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