Facts Checked By Freewill Beauty Experts - Written by Nikitha Terence (Beauty Expert) on 20th Nov 2020

What is Pigmentation? Why is Asian skin more prone to hyperpigmentation? 

We all have come across many stages of skin damage at every age. Sometimes it is rough. The ride is more smooth at certain times. However challenging the situation is, we get through it by the many means of treatments and self-care.

Pigmentation of the skin may seem like a vast topic to talk about, but it is one of the common skin issues that happens to anyone at least once in their lifetime. Like how any skin condition takes place due to our carelessness or you can blame your hormones, sometimes, the process of correcting the darkening of the skin can be a tedious one.  

What's your idea of hyperpigmentation?  

It all starts with overexposure to the sun or even the old breakouts you had because of an overdose of sugar. Hyperpigmentation can spring from these factors. Too much of this unwanted stigma breaks the epidermis' strength to withstand its opponents and results in disturbing its loyal neighbor: the melanocytes.

These melanocytes, which are in a sudden state of chaos, happen to trigger the production of melanin. Melanin spreads and tends to distribute themselves all over the place. As a result, there is some discoloration that takes place, which is not easy to handle.

The so-called sun tan follows soon after. After a long period of leaving it untreated, it can lead to uneven skin pigmentation, commonly known as hyperpigmentation.  

Is there more than one type of hyperpigmentation?  

There is not just one reason for hyperpigmentation to arise. The fatal UVA and UVB sun rays are not only the reason behind tanned skin color, but some other conditions are behind the scene. The basic kinds are: 

1. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)  

When you try to pinch a pimple or acne, the scars left behind when you try to pinch are what comes under this category. Many misunderstand birthmarks for these pimple marks, but it is not as permanent as other pigmentation types. The scars that are seen after the inflammation or an injury can also direct us to PIH.  

2. Age Spots  

These spots are the easiest to catch. It's evident in most sun-exposed areas, like starting from your forehead to your toes. Any part uncovered by a sunscreen is said to be at risk. 

3. Freckles 

Many beauty bloggers are said to flaunt fake freckles in the most sensitive manner, but those who think their face is covered by a layer of pores all over, then fear not. Freckles can turn out to be the results of one's genes.  

4. Melasma 

The most talked-about skin condition that occurs with the hormonal changes in your body. It is triggered to a higher level when there is too much exposure to the sun.  

How does pigmentation have an impact on Asian skin tone?  

When it comes to the coloring of skin, the role of melanin plays a significant role.

It is not just a single particle but a combination of complex biopolymers synthesized by melanocytes located in the epidermal layer. It is a fact that there are the same amount of melanocytes.

Still, the difference in our ethnicity and genetically made hormones make a difference in the production of melanin pigments.

Skin cancer affects at least 10℅ of the population who spend way more time under the sun. The Asian people are more prone to age spots and Melasma than the dark or Gaussian tribe. Age spots are more visible on the Asian skin tone than any other. Melasma is a type of pigmentation that commonly occurs in pregnant women. In fact, according to reports, almost 80℅ of Mexican women who were pregnant have experienced the wrath of Melasma.

When the skin's microbiome is disturbed, it leads to irritation and redness of the epidermis. Asian skin is most likely to get easily irritable than the less reactive dark skin.

Atopic Dermatitis is a normal skin condition caused by babies and children up to the age of five. It is highly prevalent in areas where there are cold climates and where pollution is high. In some studies, it has been proven that Asian children are at greater risk of developing this skin condition than Europeans or Central Americans.

When OTT sun rays affect the skin layers, you should know that the Asian beauties gain thicker wrinkles than Caucasian crow's feet or on her forehead than Caucasian or dark skin people.

In conclusion, we can put forth that Asian women are more liable to get scarred by acne marks and have more to deal with pigmentation issues.

Did you know:

White skin gets more affected by the UV rays as the dark-skinned peers have a biological protection facet of 13, which is bigger than 3 of pale skin.     

How is Melasma a part of the dark spots league?    

Popularly known as the chloasma or mask of pregnancy', Melasma is very common among pregnant ladies who go through a storm of hormonal changes. Adam Freidman, an associate professor in Washington Medical Faculty Associates, states that

 "Acne, sun spots, rashes cause the melanocyte pigment to perforate to a place deep into the skin layers that make it more arduous to heal.

So pigmentation of the skin gets harsher when it sticks on like a tattoo on your skin.

Melasma can be easily distinguished from the other common types of hyperpigmentation by just the symptoms and how it is caused.

Though sun exposure is generally credited for most of the chaos in melanin production, hormonal shifts in expectant mothers are primarily the reason for Melasma. In the case of appearance, New York-based dermatologist Sejal Shah says that it appears as blotted patches on our upper lip, bridge of the nose, chin, cheeks, etc.

The basic experimentation treatment can be done by OTC ingredients like retinol, Vitamin C, azelaic acid, etc. but dermatologists suggest a combination Of laser treatment and chemical peels.  

How to treat these dark spots topically?  

Jessica Wu, a prominent dermatologist, proposes that

When the melanin(brown spots) penetrate deep into the epidermis layers over the duration. So an early checkup on these spots must be done as early as it is noticed. This can lead to the vanishing of the dark marks within about two months.

Act before it's too late 

The UVB rays have never been in our favorite ever since its name has been going around. Blessed are the ones who know the actual value of sun protection and, without making any excuses, undergo all necessary processes to avoid exposure to the sun.

According to a survey, it was found that only 25℅ of the population knew how to use the sunblock in a "proper" manner. Some important facts you need to remember for the sunscreens are: 

  • You must reapply your sunscreen every two hours and never think that you will not be affected by the UVB rays indoors. So wear them all the time with an SPF 30. Remember, the higher it is, the better the protection. 
  • These rays not just increase the generation of melanocytes but also weakens the collagen layer, so start early to take proper care of your skin by applying sunscreen regularly. You will be thankful after 20 to 30 years to come.  

The Right Ingredients 

Topically applied products are used to reduce melanin content growth - the reason behind the dark layers on the cheek, forehead, nose, etc.  

Kojic acid  

Kojic acid is used in the majority of cosmetic products. It has a huge impact on Melasma's healing either alone or works even faster when combined with some lactic acid or glycolic acid. Known as one of the best skin tightening agents, kojic acid is claimed to have one℅ mild effect on the skin. It is only recommended for hyperpigmentation conditions.  

Azelaic acid  

Originally obtained from the oats' extract, wheat azelaic acid is a lesser-known cosmetic camouflage product used to brighten the skin. Dermalogists had seen a big difference in their patients' pigmented skin when treated with 4% of azelaic acid, which is higher than the effect of hydroquinone on pigments by 2℅. The best thing about this magical product it does not give as many side effects as any other hyperpigmentation erasing product.  

Combinations that work their magic on your skin! 

Topical products are most active when applied in combination. For instance, this was initially proposed by Kligman and Willis. This basic combination contained 5% hydroquinone, 0·1% tretinoin, and 0·1% dexamethasone. This assortment procedure was beneficial in Melasma, PIH, ephelides, etc. To see the advantages, one must use this twice‐daily for approximately three weeks.

The combination of 0·01% fluocinolone acetone, 4% hydroquinone and 0·05% tretinoin is more productive than any other double cream combination. According to a survey conducted, 75% of patients on the triple‐combination procedure achieved complete/near‐complete clearance compared with a maximum of 46·8% of people on dual‐combination therapy.  

The many good treatments to get rid of age spots  

The topical treatments can help our skin to keep the skin pigments at bay, and the incredible development of melanin is also be lessened to a greater extent. 

Chemical peels

Chemical peels are the best clinical solution to get rid of dark spots. It is similar to exfoliation where the removal of dead cells is involved, which gives way for renewed cells to boost collagen production, and the dark spots become visibly diminished. Even though it is one of the highest recommended, the result is not as pleasant as excepted. It can burn your skin. Dr. Jamal, a renowned esthetician, also states that at-home treatments can eliminate the dead cells but doesn't have the strong ability to curtail the sunspots.  

Laser method 

In this procedure, we utilize light in the form of lasers to heal the skin's microbiome's age spots. Lesser light intensity is used for the upper skin layers, and the power is increased when the treatment has to happen in the deeper layers of the epidermis. Make sure you take the proper advice of the experts in the procedure decision.  

Final verdict   

Hyperpigmentation occurs by many factors, but the important ones out of that list are your DNA and carelessness of not using your sunscreen well or regularly.

So the arrival of dark spots can happen to anyone and at any time, but it is all under your control when you get the correct advice from your dermatologist and use your products to the fullest.