When it comes to caring for our skin, we all want it to look as perfect as it can be. However, pesky pigmented spots can pose as an obstacle in our journey to a clear and fresh complexion. From UV exposure to hormone imbalance, there are a variety of factors that could lead to hyperpigmentation within the skin. Such factors include the environmental aggressors that our skin is exposed to on a daily basis and even your own skincare habits. The formation of hyperpigmentation, which includes freckles, melasma, and sunspots, is usually due to a result of skin reacting to said exposure and overproducing melanin to protect itself. However, it is worth mentioning that there are indeed ways to naturally prevent hyperpigmentation, and the first order of business is to cut out these 5 bad habits from your daily routine.
Not Managing Stress Well
Poor management of stress can cause an unpleasant range of health issues, and even send your hormones spiralling; which ultimately leads to undesired breakouts and skin irritation. Since stress takes a toll on your skin, it leaves your complexion unfortified against free radicals as well as harmful environmental aggressors. Thus, this triggers the skin to produce too much melanin and sebum as a way to protect itself. That said, not keeping stress levels to a minimum can indeed give rise to hyperpigmentation issues. For example, skin discolouration caused by conditions such as Addison’s and Cushing’s Disease can be exacerbated with stress, due to the imbalance of cortisol within your body. It may not be easy to manage stress, but taking time out to relax, eating well, and practising meditation techniques every now and then can certainly help.
Not Wearing Sunscreen Properly
When your skin is exposed to harmful UVA and UVB rays for extended periods of time without proper sunscreen, it can lead to brown spots and hyperpigmentation issues caused by the skin’s natural overproduction of melanin. Wearing sunscreen is probably something you have heard multiple times – be it your parents nagging at you to put on sunblock at the pool or beauty articles reinforcing the importance of sunscreen time and time again – but, they are completely right. Sun protection is crucial for keeping hyperpigmentation at bay, as well as premature skin ageing, skin cancer, and several other skin changes. Besides, sun exposure can encourage skin inflammation, which results in worsened rosacea and the formation of acne scars in some cases. To avoid these skin woes altogether, keep in mind to apply SPF before leaving the house and re-apply once every 2 hours to ensure total protection against UV rays.
Not Using Products That Are Suitable For Your Skin
If you have ever reacted badly to a skincare or makeup product, and even gotten redness within your complexion in the process, it is probably best to toss it into the bin. This visible side effect of using products that are not suitable for your skin is also known as Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation, which could potentially discolour and irritate your skin with continued usage. This form of skin irritation is caused by products that are either too strong for your skin type or if you apply more than instructed to do so on the label. Potent skincare products such as skin peels and retinol can usually cause such side effects, so make sure to do your research before incorporating a skincare product into your beauty regimen.
Not Patch Testing
To truly find out if a skincare product is suitable for your skin type, patch testing it is your best bet. Sure, we are all in awe of the comprehensive Korean multi-step skincare routine to ward off common skin woes, but introducing your skin to a bevy of skincare products all at once is going to overwhelm your complexion. To avoid skin irritation and potential inflammation, slowly incorporate the products into your beauty routine and make sure that all these products work for your skin before committing to them. On top of that, you should always perform a patch test on a small area of your skin before using it daily, in order to avoid unnecessary hyperpigmentation and breakouts. In the event that your skin is allergic to certain ingredients within the product, it could trigger a bad reaction that ultimately leads to melanin production and hyperpigmentation within the skin.
Not Quitting Smoking
We all know that smoking is detrimental to our health and even wreaks havoc on our skin by causing premature ageing as well as skin inflammation. The toxic pool of chemicals within cigarettes are extremely harmful towards the skin as it breaks down collagen and prevents the skin cells from repairing themselves. Additionally, smoking can also cause your body to generate more free radicals that in turn, leads to sagging skin and uneven skin tone. Lack of oxygen flow to the skin also plays a part in hyperpigmentation issues within the complexion, which makes for another reason to ditch those cigarettes for good.