Mischo Beauty School: Hyperpigmentation 101

Over the past few months I've received quite a few questions on the issue of hyperpigmentation and so I've decided to repost this entry from April 9th. I'd originally received a question from Kia of Yummy 411 with regards to women of color and the issue of hyperpigmentation as a result of having had acne, laser hair removal or from shaving. She wanted to know what I'd recommend to treat the dark areas and if I had a suggestion of a particular concealer for covering discolored areas. In sharing my response with Kia, I wanted to share this with my readers as well.

Let me qualify my response by stating that I am not a medical doctor and this response should not be mistaken as medical advice. My recommendation for treating hyperpigmentation is to first see a dermatologist who can help you determine the cause of the discoloration and the best treatment for it.

Hyperpigmentation is the overproduction of pigment (melanin) which results in discoloration or dark areas on the skin. It may be caused by a number of internal or external factors such as sunlight, injury, trauma, medication, skin diseases and skin treatments and products. Women of color are more susceptible to skin discoloration due to genetics and the differences in physiology. If you have a tendency for this disorder, then you should avoid the following:

1. Sun Exposure (it's one of the biggest causes of hyperpigmentation and will make existing disorders worse)

2. Deep Chemical Peels, Microdermabrasion or Laser Services (these services could result in injury or trauma to the skin)

3. Over-Exfoliation (this will make the disorder worse and might cause hypopigmentation, which is the loss of pigment)

4. Manipulation of Pimples (use an over-the-counter spot treatment or medication prescribed by your dermatologist to treat them)

Because shaving may cause hyperpigmentation for some, in addition to irritated skin and ingrown hairs, I would suggest waxing, threading, or using a depilatory (hair removal cream). Your dermatologist may even have a treatment to block hair growth.

I'd recommend Dermablend products as a concealer. I've heard over and over again how great they are for achieving maximum coverage and a flawless look.

Though skin of color is more susceptible to pigmentation issues, it's advantage is that due to it's difference in physiology, it has a greater protection from the sun and shows fewer signs of aging.

Any thoughts on hyperpigmentation? I'd love to hear what you think! Love your skin.

P.S. If I could be any where in the world right now it would be France for Paris Fashion Week. You all know how much I love Kerry Washington and so I couldn't resist posting the photos above! Kerry attends the Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2009 show in Paris on October 5th.

Isn't she lovely?

(photos by Francois Durand/Getty Images Europe)



MakeupByRenRen said...

aww i remember that post...i was all over that...my boyfriend has major hyperpigmentation b/c of shaving and ingrown hairs

October 6, 2008 at 4:02 PM
Dominican Enigma said...

Becaue I'm a tanned mama, when i breakout, i get hyperpigmentation as well. It sucks.

October 6, 2008 at 9:27 PM
antithesis said...

i have hyperpigmentation as a result of acne. i got fade cream from a derm. and wasnt careful enough and it lightened areas i didnt want it to. i want to try clinique's even better skin tone corrector. it's coming in the mail so cross your fingers.

October 7, 2008 at 10:31 AM
Mischo Beauty said...

To "MakeupByRenRen": Yeah, it's a repeat, but I felt new readers would learn something from it...:)

October 9, 2008 at 10:20 AM
Mischo Beauty said...

To "Dominican Enigma": Oh no- just be careful when treating the breakouts so that you don't scar, etc...

October 9, 2008 at 10:21 AM
Mischo Beauty said...

To "antithesis": Oh no! I'm sorry to hear that...sounds like the prescribed cream was somewhat strong? Please let me know how the Clinique product works out for you. :)

October 9, 2008 at 10:22 AM
Frank said...

My recommendation for treating hyperpigmentation is to first see a dermatologist who can help you determine the cause of the discolouration and the best treatment for it.

October 25, 2008 at 7:26 AM
Mischo Beauty said...

To Frank: Thanks- and thanks for stopping by! :)

October 27, 2008 at 11:52 AM

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