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    Science of Skincare: Melanin

    Age spots, freckles, acne spots – all of these are made possible by Melanin, a pigment that is naturally produced in the skin. While genetics and environmental stress can definitely affect hyperpigmentation, it is an effective skincare routine that can effectively keep hyperpigmentation at bay.

    Why Hyperpigmentation Happens

    Melanin is actually a great thing, though it may not look that way when it’s disturbing your otherwise flawless complexion. Melanin actually protects our skin against harmful UV rays.

    When melanin goes into overproduction, it deposits more pigment into the skin, resulting in dark spots. The overproduction of melanin can be stimulated by:

    • Excess and unprotected sun exposure (always wear sunscreen!)
    • Skin irritation or inflammation
    • Hormonal changes
    • Nutritional deficiencies
    • Some prescription medications (especially antibiotics that make your skin more sensitive to UV rays)

    About every eighth cell in the epidermis is a melonocyte cell – the cell responsible for hyperpigmentation. When melanin production is triggered, these cells disperse pigments up into the dermis (your outer layer of skin), sometimes creating unnatural and distressing spots on the skin.

    What You Can Do About Hyperpigmentation

    The good news is that hyperpigmentation is completely treatable and treatment is as easy as creating a balanced and effective skincare routine. This is because treating hyperpigmentation essentially starts at repairing the basic structure of skin. By using topical applications and encouraging cells to regenerate, dark spots fade quickly and easier.

    Here are some skincare musts for reducing hyperpigmentation:

    • Slather on the Vitamin C. Your skin loses 30% of its vitamin C after being in the sun. This adds up over the years. Replenish your skin with a vitamin C serum daily to boost collagen production and minimize sun damage. At Hale, our 20% Vitamin C Serum with Ferulic Acid is highly concentrated to decrease hyperpigmentation.
    • Exfoliate Often (But Not Too Often). To reduce hyperpigmentation, it’s important to exfoliate 2-3 times a week. This stimulates new cell growth that is not affected by the overproduction of melanin.
    • Try a Chemical Peel. Peels with glycolic acid and salicylic acid are excellent at evening skin tone and reducing hyperpigmentation. Hale carries a full range of peels that you can use at your spa or salon for clients struggling with hyperpigmentation.
    • Eat a Balanced Diet. Healthy melanocyte cells depend on vital nutrients found in a well balanced diet. Make sure you pack in those essential fatty acids, in addition to zinc, vitamin C, and vitamin B!

    For some, these skincare measures may not be enough. If your dark spots are especially stubborn, you may want to consider microdermabrasion or laser treatments from your local med spa or your dermatologist.

    If you would like help finding specific products to help reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation, contact one of our skincare experts today!

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