It’s the widely-accepted rule that for hyperpigmentation and dark spots, use Vitamin C for fading the dark spots and brightening the skin. The trusted skincare ingredient, for the most part, almost always offer some relief. But for some people, that might not be the most effective option. Or it takes way too long. If that’s the case, maybe you should look into topical treatments.
Vitamin C is safe, yes, but it’s not the only option out there for treating dark spots. Let’s talk about different options.
Topical solutions for hyperpigmentation
Cysteamine, as experts say, is a brightening ingredient that evens out skin tone. Another one you might want to look at is tranexamic acid. This will shrink the look of dark skin spots, eliminating hyperpigmentation eventually. Thus, another way to even out skin tone.
Estheticians generally use chemical peels to treat hyperpigmentation, and they’re who you should book to do it. It’s too risky to do at home if you’re inexperienced and could cause a chemical burn. But let’s talk about how they work.
Chemical peels have BHAs and AHAs, which increase cell turnover and reveal fresh skin tones underneath. They have lactic and glycolic acid, as well as salicylic acid, which are all common ingredients in lessening hyperpigmentation. They are strong though, and should be used sparingly or by an esthetician.
Here’s a pro-tip: Don’t use chemical peels every day. A pro will tell you this as well. Don’t use them for more than 3 months at a time. But if you don’t want to use something as strong as a chemical peel, think about using an exfoliating toner. Though they’re dry (make sure you moisturize!) you can use them a couple times a week. Try using it sparingly at first, but if it works for you, work up to two or three times. Remember that you’ll have to stay consistent if you want to see results.
Don’t go with a laser treatment as your first choice—it can be dangerous, and you should consult a professional before you do. (And only visit an esthetician for treatment). However, it can be one that benefits you. Laser treatments also depend on the type of hyperpigmentation you’re dealing with. For instance, if you have melasma, or something similar, you can end up worsening your condition.
If your hyperpigmentation is post-inflammatory, you’re at last risk for inflaming the skin, because it’s already gone. Lighter skin tones might also fair better for laser treatment, but it’s worth looking into. But remember, this treatment can be risky, and you have other options available to you.
Photo via Konstantin Postumitenko