Pop quiz: What is hyperpigmentation? If you break down the word, it’s pretty easy to understand: hyper means more than normal, while pigmentation refers to the color of skin.
Hence, the appearance of darker patches of skin or dark spots is referred to as hyperpigmentation. It’s one of those skin conditions that doesn’t discriminate, no matter your skin tone or what season it is (i.e. not just summer!).
What causes hyperpigmentation?
Now let’s get a little science-y. Hyperpigmentation is typically due to the excessive production of a pigment called melanin by melanocyte cells. This skin condition isn’t usually an immediate cause for concern, and there are several different types, such as:
- Sunspots - Small dark spots caused by excessive exposure to sun.
- Melasma - Patches of pigmented skin caused due to hormonal changes and UV radiation.
- Post-inflammatory (PIH) - Dark spots caused by inflammation or injury (like when you pick at a wound).
With the boom of the skincare industry, there is now a wide range of over-the-counter products available that target hyperpigmentation. Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) like glycolic and lactic acid and Beta Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) like salicylic acid are most commonly recommended by dermatologists to treat PIH and sunspots.
On the other hand, prescription products like Tretinoin and Hydroquinone are recommended to treat Melasma. But while chemical exfoliation, expensive laser treatments, and serums may help clear your complexion, one of the most effective products to prevent dark spots is probably already sitting on your vanity: sunscreen.
The best sunscreen to prevent hyperpigmentation
Here at Everyday Humans, we live by the saying, “Prevention is better than cure.” Certain types of Hyperpigmentation can be prevented by:
- Limiting exposure to sun between the hours of 12:00PM and 4:00PM.
- Wearing hats, scarves and any other items of clothing that provide sun protection.
- Using daily sunscreen.
Previous studies have shown that sunscreen by itself can help prevent the exacerbation of hyperpigmentation. So if you already have dark spots, having SPF on will keep UV rays from creating more melanin, which may worsen the appearance of spots. And if you don’t have dark spots, SPF can act as a barrier that prevents melanin overproduction.
So, what is the best sunscreen to prevent hyperpigmentation? First, you’ll want to use something that provides broad spectrum protection, with a minimum SPF 30. Our award-winning Resting Beach Face is an SPF 30 Sunscreen Serum that ticks all these boxes and more.
This lightweight, oil free sunscreen is perfect as an everyday sunscreen + moisturizer in one. Not only is it fast-absorbing and 100% invisible on all skin tones, it’s also packed with plant-powered goodness and antioxidants. With Kopara extract, spinach, and green tea, it goes the extra mile to protect your skin from pollutants like cigarette smoke, pollutants, and blue light — all of which can also cause damage to your skin.
By strengthening and nourishing your skin barrier, your skin is better equipped to fend off aggressors and hyperpigmentation. Don’t forget to reapply sunscreen every 2 hours to maximize the protection!
Shop your SPF essentials on Everyday Humans.