By Manna Zel
Caused largely by sun exposure—typically referred to as “sun spots” or “age spots”—hyperpigmentation is a skin condition in which certain patches or spots of your skin appear to be a different tone than the majority of your face. For the download on hyperpigmentation in what feels like the hottest summer yet, we tapped Youth To The People’s Director of Education, Laura Cline.
“Let’s say I’ve been sitting in the sun for too long,” Cline says. “We have melanocytes in our skin that look like little hands, and each end produces pigment, designed to help protect our skin and protect our bodies. The melanocytes will keep producing an excess of melanin to protect my skin from the sun.”
Though it can be brought on by increased sun exposure, especially high in the summertime, it’s important to remember that hyperpigmentation is a year-round condition. Because there are layers of skin cells the melanin has to get through before there is visible damage, you sometimes won’t see those spots forming for months, or even years. And as Cline notes, you can also experience a form of hyperpigmentation when your breakouts or blemishes begin to scar into dark spots. When you’re treating hyperpigmentation, the goal isn’t to brighten your natural complexion overall—it’s to bring your skin back to its original tone.“Don’t ignore your nighttime routine, because your body is in repair mode while it is at rest,” Cline says. For a skin-equalizing effect, she recommends stocking up on vitamin C and investing in a good exfoliant, both of which appear in Youth To The People’s Power of Dreams Kit. At night, apply the Kombucha Power Toner and follow it up with the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask. For an extra glow, cocktail it with the Superberry Hydrate + Glow Oil. And of course, for prevention and protection, don’t forget to use your favorite SPF according to the directions, typically reapplying every few hours, whether you’re outside or inside on your computer or phone. Sun protection doesn’t stop just because you're inside!