Hyperpigmentation, melasma and dark spots are common skin conditions that both men and women experience. The uneven, blotchy, or patchy skin tone caused by age spots or discolouration of the skin can affect one’s confidence, but what can we do about this? Wearing sunscreen on your face will help prevent the worsening of existing hyperpigmentation and the formation of new pigmentation, melasma and dark spots. It can also help to brighten your skin tone by lighting existing pigmented areas.
Hyperpigmentation and Melasma
Hyperpigmentation describes a variety of skin conditions that produce dark patches, this commonly occurs due to an excessive production of melanin. The sun and environmental pollution are the main culprits for hyperpigmentation.
Melasma is a skin condition characterised by brown / greyish patches or freckle-like spot. Melasma is a skin condition characterised by brown, greyish patches or freckle-like spots. The undesirable patches or dark spots could be caused by a number of things. For example:
- Exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight and tanning beds
- High-Energy Visible (HEV), also known as Blue Light, from our LED lightings and electronic gadgets
- Pro-oxidative air pollutants
Wearing sunscreen daily is an absolute necessity to protect our skin from the formation of new hyperpigmentation and worsening of existing dark spots.
Difference between Hyperpigmentation and Dark Spots
Not all “dark spots” are considered hyperpigmentation although hyperpigmented areas may be considered as dark spots. Hyperpigmented dark patches occur when melanin is over produced. Hyperpigmentation results in flat darkened patches of skin that are light brown to black and vary in shape and size. While melanin is the major cause of hyperpigmentation, it is actually produced by the body as our skin’s natural defence against sun rays.
Age spots and liver spots are basically harmless but can be aesthetically unbearable for most women. Age spots are caused by overactive pigment cells where ultraviolet (UV) light speeds up the production of melanin giving rise to dark spots. Years of sun exposure can cause the melanin in your skin to clump together or be produced in high concentrations. As a result, age spots start to appear.
What is Sunscreen?
Sunscreen is a photoprotective topical product for the skin that absorbs, filters and scatters both ultraviolet A and B radiation. It is available in lotion, cream, or spray. Sunscreen is used to prevent premature aging of the skin, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation.
Sunscreen typically contains the following:
Sun Protection Factor (SPF)
SPF (Sun Protection Factor) is a measure of how well a sunscreen will protect skin from UVB rays. UVB rays causes sunburn, damages skin and can contribute to skin cancer. For example, if your skin would normally burn after 10 minutes in the sun, applying an SPF 50 sunscreen would protect your skin for approximately 500 minutes (8 hours) before it starts to burn. SPF 50 is an almost complete UVB block at 98 percent.
What is broad-spectrum sunscreen?
Ultraviolet UVA and UVB radiation are 2 different lights that are harmful to the skin. UVB rays target the uppermost layer of skin, causing sunburn and most skin cancers. UVA rays penetrate deeper into skin and are responsible for premature ageing of skin. Signs of premature ageing are fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, saggy skin, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation.
A broad-spectrum sunscreen protects skin from both UVA and UVB rays.
Role of Wearing Sunscreen in Hyperpigmentation
The number one cause of melasma and hyperpigmentation is sun exposure. This is why sunscreens are essential in preventing these conditions. In addition, sunscreens help reduce Oxidative stress caused by the sun’s UVA and UVB rays. These rays cause premature skin ageing and patch skin darkening that are aesthetically undesirable.
By preventing harmful UV rays from reaching your skin, sunscreens prevent melasma from flaring up and hyperpigmentation from getting worse. They can also lighten existing dark spots and reduce melasma, which is a step closer to curing these conditions!
Which type of Sunscreen is suitable for Melasma and Hyperpigmentation
Sunscreens come in two main varieties:
- Physical Blockers are sunscreens that physically block the sun rays from reaching your skin.
- Chemical Blockers use nanoparticles that absorb harmful UV rays and release the energy as heat.
Which one should you use?
Physical blockers are recommended for individuals with melasma or hyperpigmentation, although both are effective at stopping UV rays. This is because Physical Blockers literally block UV rays from reaching your skin. On top of this, the right amount of SPF required in sunscreen to protect your skin.
Dermatologists generally recommends SPF 50 for UVB protection.
- An SPF 30 allows about 3% of UVB rays to hit your skin.
- An SPF 50 allows about 2% of those rays through.
They may seem like a small difference, but the SPF30 sunscreen is allowing 50 percent more UV radiation onto your skin!
Recommended Sunscreen to Help Treat Hyperpigmentation or Dark Spots
When looking for the right and best sunscreen, there are certain factors to consider.
First, look for one that has broad-spectrum protection, meaning that it will shield skin from both UVA and UVB exposure. You should be looking for a sunscreen with no lesser than SPF 50 and Persistent Pigment Darkening 15+ (PA++++). Even if your skin tone is on the darker side, sun protection is essential in preventing melasma and hyperpigmentation problems.
Crystal Tomato® Beyond Sun Protection is More-Than-A-Sunscreen.
Crystal Tomato® Beyond Sun Protection is a Medically Proven Broad Spectrum Sunscreen with SPF 79+, Blue Light 54+ and Persistent Pigment Darkening (PPD) 17+ (PA++++). It also protects skin against environmental pollution which scientists discovered as a major cause for hyperpigmentation and premature skin ageing.
Crystal Tomato® Beyond Sun Protection is also clinically tested to increase skin hydration by 32% within 28 days, and is known to significantly whiten your skin.
It took 5 years of intensive research, formulations after formulations, multiple clinical studies conducted across the world to finally achieve the sunscreen in our hand today. An effective, high protection sunscreen which is both a Physical and Chemical sunscreen and yet with an amazing light texture and non greasy.