September is the month when many of us say goodbye to summer and look forward to cooler months of autumn. We pack away the beach umbrellas, bathing suits and colorful towels until next year. And while memories of s’mores and sunsets fade away, freckles and sunspots picked up while soaking up the summer rays can linger on for weeks. Hyper-pigmentation comes in many forms and can be caused by many things, not only from overexposure to the sun. NOSI Skincare has all the tips and products you need to fade your freckles now, and restore your skin to a healthy glow.
Hyper-pigmentation is caused by excess melanin causing dark spots to appear on the surface of the skin. Sun damage is the most common cause of excess melanin production. It can occur on the surface layers of the skin, often on the face, chest and hands, after only a few minutes of sun exposure. Extended sun exposure, or sunburns can cause hyper-pigmentation to occur in the deeper layers of the skin and come to the surface as the skin naturally sheds layers. Sometimes this can happen years after the damage was done. Using a derma roller with 540 microneedles can help skincare products penetrate the skin better to lighten these spots before they appear on the surface of the skin. For more information about derma rolling, check out my recent blog, “Ways to Boost Collagen and Look Your Best.”
All Skin Types Need Protection
People of all ages, races, and skin types can experience hyper-pigmentation. Everyone, regardless of skin tone, should seek shade, wear protective clothing and use a broad-spectrum, water-resistant sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher to help prevent skin cancer and premature skin aging. People with fair skin tones know first-hand how quickly the sun can damage their skin. They seek shelter from damaging rays in doors, under hats and umbrellas. Many people with darker complexions think they don’t need to protect themselves from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays, but that is not the case. According board-certified dermatologist Neelam Vashi, MD, FAAD, director of the Boston University Center for Ethnic Skin and the Boston University Cosmetic and Laser Center, “While hyper-pigmentation caused by sun exposure over time is a common sign of aging in patients with all skin tones, it can be especially pronounced with patients with darker skin. “
Sun damage is not the only cause of hyper-pigmentation. Other causes include hormones and birth control pills. Melasma, also known as a pregnancy mask, occurs when hormones change and usually occurs in the second and third trimester. It is noticeable typically on the forehead chin, nose, cheeks and upper lip. Its t is very reactive to light and heat, so exposure to the sun combined with the hormonal changes make it very difficult to treat. When taking birth control pills, the body goes under similar kind of hormonal change that occurs during pregnancy, so hyper-pigmentation may occur when on birth control pills, typically within one to four months of starting to take them.
I recently wrote two articles on acne, “How to Win the Battle against Acne” and “The Hormonal Acne Curse”. Along with all the symptoms covered in those articles, acne can also cause post-inflammatory hyper-pigmentation. This stems from scarring that can occur from acne and may take a while longer for this to reach the surface because it occurs in deeper layers of the skin. These articles are full of natural acne treatments and a great resource for anyone suffering from this condition.
Fade Hyper-pigmentation by Exfoliating
Regularly exfoliating the skin removes some of the damage and speeds up the rate at which clusters of pigmented skin cells turnover, helping to even out the skin. Fade your hyper-pigmentation now with this great natural exfoliant using baking soda. Make a paste by combining 1 tablespoon of baking soda with 2 teaspoons of water. Mix well and gently massage the paste into the skin. Then rinse with warm water. You can spot-treat hyper-pigmentation by dabbing fresh lemon juice onto the discolored areas and let dry. I find a cotton ball or swab is perfect for this targeted application.
A Natural Mask
If you regularly read my blogs, you know I’m a big fan of natural masks you can make with simple ingredients found in your kitchen as well as a clean and healthy diet. My Papaya Lightening Mask is a great way to lighten the appearance of your face and décolleté. Blend 2 tablespoons of Manuka honey with a ½ cup of mashed papaya. Using clean fingertips, gently apply over the face in a circular motion and let sit for 15-20 minutes, then rinse off with warm water. Pat dry with a clean, soft towel. As for your diet. . . remember, what you put into your body will reflect back out through your skin and hair. So always eat a balanced diet that includes dark leafy greens, friendly fats and collagen-boosting foods rich in vitamin C.
Natural Skin Care
Of course, using natural skincare products is essential, and NOSI Skincare products are naturally sourced, vegan friendly and paraben free. Try our Apple Stem Cell Brightening Serum, which is specially formulated to even out your skin tone. The Swiss apple stem cells will lighten dark spots and give uneven skin tone a balanced brighter appearance. Turmeric and resveratrol boost cell regeneration and UV resistance. It’s all natural and hydroquinone-free so it’s a much safer alternative to harsh chemicals and laser treatments. To combat skin discoloration, use NOSI Skin Care’s Citrus Smoothing Moisturizer with Vitamin C. Tomato and Tangerine oil, along with Hawthorne Berry Extract, makes this cream a powerful daily-use hydrator that naturally restores an even, healthy skin tone.
Hyper-pigmentation can be experienced by everyone and while some causes are internal, most of it is caused by damage from sun exposure. A sensible prevention program, combined with good skincare and a healthy diet can make those spots fade from your complexion now, like the sun setting into the horizon. I’m always available to chat with you directly on this or any skincare topic. Simply go to NOSIskincare.com, and click on the Free Advice button at the bottom of the screen. It’s just under my picture. I look forward to chatting with you soon!
Donna Mansbart, a skincare and haircare professional, is the owner of NOSI Skincare.