According to Wikipedia, hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of skin or nails caused by increased melanin.
As dark skin scars easily, there are only a lucky few of us who haven’t been blighted by old acne scars (mum was right, we shouldn’t have picked them) freckles and general discolouration.
In what feels like a lifelong mission, I think I have finally found the perfect storm, the right combination of things to effectively deal with my hyperpigmentation.
My first step was trying to figure out what gave me spots in the first place. Before I dealt with old scars left by spots it was important to try and prevent new ones. For me it meant removing sugar from my diet. As I’m intolerant to dairy and gluten anyway it wasn’t too difficult but it’s only when I made a conscious effort to check the label of everything I was eating that the condition of my skin improved. I then felt I could move on to dealing with dark marks, some from when I was a teenager.
Diet Part 2
Around ten years ago my mum got all into vitamins (Natures Best) and got me a regular supply of high potency flax seed oil capsules. It took about three months but as flaxseed is high in Omega-3 fatty acids which increase the speed at which skin wounds heals; I did notice that gradually the dark marks were lightening.
When I got pregnant my midwife advised I stop taking them and I never got round to restarting. A month or so ago I saw these on offer in Holland & Barrett and have been having 2 tablespoons every morning with my breakfast. I believe it is helping to gradually fade the marks but it has certainly helped make the surface of my skin smoother.
I’m very careful here; I am not advocating skin lightening. I’d rather keep the dark marks that end up a whole shade lighter. Skin brightening products have improved in leaps and bounds since the infamous overdosing on hydroquinone days and today’s products have special formulations that only work on the areas that actually need it.
I’ve just finished Andrew Weil for Origins Skin Tone Correcting Serum which I reviewed in detail here. Again it takes about three weeks to see even a spec of difference but it did help to lessen the visual impact of my dark marks. It didn’t make a massive difference but it did gently brighten my skin.
For me the piece de resistance has been Eucerin Even Brighter Serum. I have been using it every day, morning and night for just over two weeks and my dark marks have lightened considerably. The applicator is like a giant cotton bud and you simply dab the serum onto the marks after washing your face. Allow to dry (takes around 5 minutes) and continue with your usual skincare/makeup routine.
It’s only now I’ve been using it for just over two weeks that I can see a difference. Before that I was wondering if it was a waste of time but now I am 100% convinced. Products I had tried in the past only worked on new and fresh scars; this serum is lightening marks that are almost 20 years old. Don’t get me wrong, the marks aren’t gone completely (yet, if ever) but they are definitely much, much lighter.
And this makes a difference to how I look and how I feel about my skin. I’ve never been one for a face full of mask like make up but now I can just brush on some mineral powder and be on my merry way. I haven’t used concealer in over a week!
It’s taken me what feels like forever but I have finally found what I think is the perfect combination of products, working on the inside and outside, to effectively deal with my dark marks.