Although it may not feel like it, summertime is almost over. We hope you had as much fun as we did! We love being outside in the summertime months, and since we practice what we preach, we never leave the house without SPF. All good Skin Pharm patients know that prevention is key to anti-aging efforts, so no trip to the beach or the pool is complete without your SPF.
If you felt like you got a little too much sun this summer, you may be experiencing the effects of hyperpigmentation. This is nothing to be self-conscious about, as we can address and treat hyperpigmentation — and any other skin concerns — here at Skin Pharm.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is usually caused by an increased deposition of melanin in the skin, resulting in a darkening or increased concentration in the natural color of your skin. Hyperpigmentation appears as lesions that can be of different size, distribution and pattern. How susceptible you are to hyperpigmentation is somewhat hereditary, although environmental factors such as too much sun can accelerate the visible effects.
What do I do if I think I have hyperpigmentation?
If you’re noticing more skin pigmentation this time of year, we suggest scheduling a consultation with one of our providers, as the diagnosis of most hyperpigmentation requires clinical evaluation by a medical professional. We’ll ask you about your medical history, your family history, and we’ll conduct a comprehensive skin examination to determine the extent of hyperpigmentation.
Can hyperpigmentation be fixed?
Hyperpigmentation can be challenging as it is, by nature, chronic and persistent, and with increased sun exposure you may be prone to relapsing episodes as your skin’s surface is repeatedly damaged. (Again, this is why SPF is so important!) In order to effectively combat hyperpigmentation, a Skin Pharm provider will prescribe a treatment plan including topical skin-lightening products including:
Clarifying Pads: In addition to combating breakouts, our Clarifying Pads erase unwanted pigment, tighten pores, reduce signs of aging and fight overall dullness. Salicylic acid unclogs pores, while glycolic acid removes dead skin cells. Lactic acid promotes exfoliation while hydrating skin.
Brightening Lotion: We say this is like a green juice for your face for a reason: this powerful punch of botanical extracts naturally brightens skin tone, making you look (and feel) like a million bucks. Anti-aging peptides smooth skin and improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while arbutin, an organic compound, combats hyperpigmentation.
Retinol Drops: This potent yet lightweight treatment fights hyperpigmentation, melasma and free radical damage while reducing the appearance of dark spots and wrinkles, improving skin’s overall texture. Formulated with a sustained-release delivery system that carries powerful ingredients deeper into the skin, the Retinol Drops contain pure retinol, bisabolol and vitamin C to promote a healthy glow, while vitamin E and sea whip extract help calm the skin. We often recommend alternating nights with a retinol treatment — like the aforementioned Retinol Drops — but feel free to contact us if you’re experiencing any redness or peeling as you generally have to increase usage of these products as your skin learns to tolerate such powerful ingredients.
Glow Factor: This daily brightener is your key to glowing skin. After mixing the active vitamin powder with the liquid tonic, you’ll create the perfect dose of antioxidants — vitamins C and E and ferulic acid — to brighten and replenish skin. This is an easy addition into your daily routine each morning — apply after your Youth Serum and let the Glow Factor reduce fine lines and wrinkles and improve overall skin tone (bonus: the lightweight, fluid texture absorbs quickly if you are applying makeup after). You can also add a couple of drops to your Skin Pharm SPF for an extra glow!
Beyond topical treatments
If the hyperpigmentation is severe or not responding to topical products, we recommend one of the following options:
Microneedling: Also known as collagen induction therapy, microneedling is a minimally-invasive facial rejuvenation treatment in which tiny needles create hundreds of invisible, controlled puncture wounds on the skin’s surface. Your body responds to this controlled injury by producing collagen, elastin and new capillaries, resulting in a reduction of scars, improved skin texture, firmness and hydration. This treatment, especially when paired with PRP to further increase collagen production, effectively reverses the signs of aging and sun damage, making this a great treatment for hyperpigmentation. Depending on your individual needs, we’ll likely recommend sessions every 2-4 weeks for severe hyperpigmentation, and then 4-6 weeks for continued anti-aging treatment.
Photofacials: If you’re looking to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and aging, photofacials can brighten and create even-toned skin. We use broad band light (BBL) therapy, in which high-intensity pulses of light improve the appearance of red and brown pigment. BBL therapy is customizable — and therefore more successful — and is an ideal solution for most skin types. This is one of the most effective treatments to combat hyperpigmentation as the BBL specifically targets skin cells that contain excess pigment, which will rise to the surface and slough off after the procedure (usually one to two weeks). We normally recommend one to three sessions every two to three weeks, and most patients can immediately resume normal activity post-treatment. For best results, avoid sun exposure three weeks before and after BBL treatment.