Reduce the appearance of dark skin patches, or hyperpigmentation, with this expert's advice
Brought to you by Eucerin
Hyperpigmentation is a common dermatological issue.
It can be caused by either sun exposure, melasma (caused by changing hormones) or skin trauma, and it's a problem both women and men face, leaving many less confident and disheartened with their skin's appearance.
Thankfully, there are safe, non-invasive and effective ways to reduce or even banish the skin of such pesky dark patches.
Eucerin's new Anti-Pigment Range, along with its exclusive active ingredients, help target the root cause that is excess melanin production in the skin.
Eucerin's Anti-Pigment Spot Corrector (€19), Anti-Pigment Dual Serum (€52), Anti-Pigment Day Cream (€24.30) and Anti-Pigment Night Cream (€24.30)
To find out how it all works, we called in the expert, Eucerin's Medical Manager and skincare expert Dylan Griffiths, who says we might just oust those dark patches for good.
1. How is it that hormones can cause hyperpigmentation?
"Hormonal influences are the main cause of a particular kind of hyperpigmentation known as melasma, or chloasma. It's particularly common among women and is thought to occur when oestrogen and progesterone, the two key female sex hormones, stimulate the overproduction of melanin when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Hyperpigmentation can also be a side effect of certain hormone treatments."
2. Is hyperpigmentation seen more in certain skin types compared to others?
"No, it affects people of all skin types (dry, oily etc…).
There is a difference when we discuss skin tones. Though hyperpigmentation can occur in people of all skin tones, it tends to be more frequent in people with darker skin — particularly black skin. The reason is that darker skin contains a higher amount of melanin (more colour) in the skin cells and a tendency to overproduce additional melanin in response to external factors."
3. Is hyperpigmentation more common in women than it is in men?
"This varies on the type of hyperpigmentation. Melasma mostly affects women, with the American Association of Dermatologists estimating it affects men only 10 percent of the time. Other types of hyperpigmentation affect men and women equally."
4. What is the difference between freckles and the kind of skin pigmentation we're talking about here?
"Freckles are a form of pigmentation and are also caused by over production of melanin. People with very fair skin (and red-heads) have skin that is more sensitive to the sun and they form freckles very quickly from sun exposure. Freckles also has a genetic link, but it takes exposure to UVB radiation from the sun to cause them. Pigmentation can also develop from other causes other than UVB exposure such as hormonal causes (like pregnancy), or as a result of inflammation."
5. If someone notices a small patch of hyperpigmentation on the skin, what's their best move if they want to target it and reduce its appearance?
"It's always important to have any skin concerns checked by a qualified professional such as a GP or Dermatologist.
"Sun protection is the most significant step that you can take in helping to prevent hyperpigmentation in the first place. It is important to remember that the sun's rays affect the skin even on cloudy days, and so it is vital that you give your skin the daily protection that it needs. The Eucerin Anti-Pigment Day Cream (€24.30) offers effective protection from the sun, with SPF 30 and UVA filters, and prevents the formation of additional sun-induced pigmentation spots.
"If you are concerned about hyperpigmentation, look out for skincare products that have been formulated to address this concern and are clinically and dermatologically proven to be effective.
"The Eucerin Anti-Pigment Range has been specially formulated to reduce hyperpigmentation for more even, radiant skin. All four products in the range – the day cream, night cream, serum, pigment control and spot corrector – contain Thiamidol, an effective and patented ingredient that acts at the root cause of hyperpigmentation by reducing melanin production.
"It has been clinically and dermatologically proven to reduce dark spots and prevent their reappearance. The first results are visible after two weeks, and the skin improves continuously with regular use.
"Whilst Thiamidol is Eucerin-patented, there are other active ingredients that are commonly used to treat hyperpigmentation, albeit with varying efficacy. These include: Arbutin, Kojic Acid, other Resorcinol derivatives, such as B-Resorcinol, and Vitamin C and its derivatives.
"A dermo-cosmetic solution is non-invasive and can be used year-round, as part of your daily skincare routine, to reduce hyperpigmentation. It can also be used to extend the results of a dermatological treatment."
6. How do we know Thiamidol is so effective in treating hyperpigmentation?
"Eucerin tested more than 50,000 potential ingredients in the quest to find an active that would reduce hyperpigmentation while being kind on skin. Key to the Eucerin research approach was the methodology used to test the candidate ingredients. In the past, formulas had been tested on mushroom enzymes, but the R&D team insisted on testing the actives on human enzymes as a more accurate measure of their potential effectiveness.
"The innovative and effective Thiamidol is the key active in the Eucerin Anti-Pigment Range and has been clinically and dermatologically proven to reduce dark spots and prevent their re-appearance.
"First results are visible after two weeks and improve continuously with regular use.
A study of one hundred and twenty people surveyed on the Dual Serum and Day Cream stated that:
- 82 percent agreed the range effectively fights dark spots after two weeks and this increased to 98 percent after four weeks.
- 84 percent agreed the range prevents the appearance of dark spots after two weeks and this increased to 97 percent after four weeks.
7. Is it important to wear a sunscreen when using products containing Thiamidol?
"The Eucerin Anti-Pigment Day Cream includes an SPF 30 and UVA filter. The sun is the number one cause of hyperpigmentation as it is sunlight that triggers the production of melanin in the first place, so wearing appropriate sun protection daily is a key step to preventing new age spots from forming.
"For stronger sun protection, Eucerin also has the Sun Fluid Pigment Control SPF 50+. An everyday facial sunscreen for all skin types that helps to prevent sun-induced hyperpigmentation."
8. Can hyperpigmentation ever go away by itself?
"Over time, with natural cell turn over it is possible that hyperpigmentation may fade on its own, but this could be months or years, but in most cases, never completely. The best way to manage it is via a dermo-cosmetic product designed to reduce pigmentation or by consulting a dermatologist."
9. Is there any point at which someone should be concerned about their hyperpigmentation, more so regarding health than in terms of cosmetic appearance?
"Hyperpigmentation is usually a harmless condition and while you should always seek medical advice if you are concerned, it's normally nothing to worry about.
"It can, however, have an impact on your mental health and cause self-esteem and body confidence issues if you suffer from hyperpigmentation that is visible or affects a large area of your body.
"Additionally, if you note the pigmentation spots are changing colour or are growing or becoming raised, then seek a medical opinion."
10. What is the best advise you could give someone who hopes to never have to deal with darker patches on the skin or hyperpigmentation?
"Reduce the risk of hyperpigmentation by protecting yourself for the sun's harmful rays. Sun protection is key to protecting your skin. If you do suffer from pigmentation, know there are affordable, effective and clinically proven products available to support you."
So, for a professional-grade solution and total liberation from pigmentation, Eucerin's Anti-Pigment Range appears to hold the key. You can find this range and more from Eucerin at your local pharmacy and online here.
Brought to you by Eucerin
Medical skincare expert, Eucerin, sets new standards in treating hyperpigmentation with the mission to improve the quality of women's lives all over the world.
The exclusive active ingredient of Eucerin's Anti-Pigment Range, Thiamidol, acts directly to reduce melanin production in skin – the root cause of hyperpigmentation. It works by blocking the enzyme tyrosinase, which is known to increase the production of melanin.