One of our most-asked questions of all time is: how can I treat dark spots, sun damage and uneven skin tone? Hyperpigmentation and discoloration are very common skin conditions, but can be difficult to reverse.
Unlike a breakout, dark spots aren't something that develops overnight. Excess pigmentation can be the result of both internal and external factors. Sun exposure, oxidative stress, hormones and even certain medications can interfere with the skin's natural melanin production for long periods of time.
Therefore, it's important to remember that treating discoloration requires patience and consistency. The good news is that you have lots of option to both minimize and mitigate the damage. Read on!
FIVE TIPS FOR DEALING WITH DISCOLORATION
1.) Use a vitamin C serum daily
Vitamin C is a must for treating excess pigment and should be used daily to both prevent and repair dark spots. Sun exposure increases free radicals in the skin and can damage the DNA structure of the skin cells. This creates oxidative stress and stimulates the production of melanin over time. The potent antioxidant properties of vitamin C make it an ideal choice to help boost the skin's immunity and protect it against further damage.
2.) Know about ingredients that brighten
When shopping for a product to treat discoloration, the options can seem endless. However, not all brightening products are created equal. Some ingredients we love for their ability to naturally lighten and brighten the skin are: kojic acid, alpha-arbutin and licorice extract for slowing the production of melanin. Additionally, we recommend azelaic acid and niacinamide for calming chronic redness.and evening out skin tone.
3.) Regular peels for gentle exfoliation
Regular exfoliation is an important part of keeping pigment in check, as we want to encourage healthy cellular turnover. Exfoliation keeps the skin producing new healthy cells to replace the ones that have been damaged.
Chemical peels can be an excellent option for exfoliation. However, consistency is key. If getting monthly professional peels isn't in the cards, no worries. At-home peels are a plenty effective and efficient option that you can utilize regularly. Look for ingredients like vitamin A or retinol, lactic acid and glycolic acid, which gently exfoliate and lift layers of damaged cells.
4.) Be diligent with your SPF
The best way to combat sun damaged skin is to avoid the damage in the first place. Unfortunately, if sun protection isn't already part of you routine, any other efforts to treat the skin may be ineffective.
If you regularly exfoliate or use a retinol product, your skin may be extra vulnerable to sun exposure and susceptible to hyperpigmentation. Look for protective products with an SPF 30 or higher. Use your sun protection daily and don't forget to re-apply every two hours, if you are in the sun.
5.) Incorporate regular facial massage
You might have noticed that we are big fans of facial massage at The Glowtocol, and with good reason. In addition to its other many benefits, facial massage is wonderful for helping with discoloration.
Because it increases blood flow, circulation and lymphatic drainage, massage can help oxygenate, detoxify and flush out stagnation below the surface of the skin. The result is a brighter and more even skin tone. Check out this page for our free facial massage tutorials.
GLOWTOCOL FAVES FOR TREATING DISCOLORATION
Vitamin C Serums
Image courtesy of Intelligent Elixirs