I think perhaps many of us have a skin concern that makes us self-conscious, especially when your area of concern flares up during certain seasons or with hormonal changes. 

And for many of us, we haven't found the perfect solution for it yet. 

As I write this article, I'm thinking of the three different eye creams I have on my bathroom stand, which were all bought for the purpose of treating the dark circles under my eyes. 

Spoiler alert: my dark circles are still visible sans concealer, but that's a self-inflicted problem of not actually sticking to one eye cream to see which one will actually work.

Relatable content? I would think so.

READ MORE: "I tried this popular treatment for hyperpigmentation - and my skin already looks brighter" 

Some of the leading skin concerns among women of colour include adult acne, aging, dull skin and hyperpigmentation. And today we're talking about hyperpigmentation because, according to Environ Skin Care, studies show that 80% of women experience some sort of skin discolouration. 

Firstly, what is hyperpigmentation?

Speaking at a product launch, Harvard-trained dermatologist Dr Susan Taylor –  who was involved in the work that went into Eucerin's latest product range as a hyperpigmentation researcher – says "hyperpigmentation can be described as the appearance of darkened patches or spots on the skin that make skin look uneven".

In addition to this, Cape Town-based dermatologist Dr Nomphelo Gantsho explains the cause of hyperpigmentation in detail as follows:

Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin produces more melanin. People with darker skin tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation can be caused by sun damage, inflammation or other skin injuries, including those related to acne vulgaris and hormones in melasma.

Certain medications, such as antimalarial drugs and tricyclic antidepressants can cause hyperpigmentation. More serious conditions that cause hyperpigmentation include Addison’s disease and Hemochromatosis.

READ MORE: Having a skin emergency? Quick fixes for each skin concern

Real people

My mom has had hyperpigmentation on her cheeks for as long as I can remember, and because of this, she learnt how to do her makeup very well – beauty vloggers have nothing on her foundation blending skills, I swear. But even with her flawless makeup, she never skimped on skincare, using Clinique and Estée Lauder products religiously. 

And over the years, the hyperpigmentation became less visible. 

READ MORE: Here's what could be causing those unwanted darker marks on your skin 

TV personality Zuraida Jardine also recently opened up about her journey with hyperpigmentation and how self-conscious it made her feel, especially given the nature of her work as a public figure. 

She even recalled a time during the prime of her TV career when she would have to get her makeup touched up regularly during shoots due to her pigmentation.

In light of this, we recently ran a poll on our Instagram stories where we asked you if uneven skin tone is one of your skin concerns, because it can be treated with the same products used for hyperpigmentation. The poll results revealed that 76% of our Instagram followers have uneven skin tone. 

When asked if they had found the perfect treatment for this skin concern, 87% said "not yet". 

Well, we hope that will change soon once you start using the below highly recommended products.


But before we get you shopping for the best products on the market, these are the treatment options Dr Nomphelo shared with W24:

"If a person wants to treat hyperpigmentation for cosmetic reasons, they can seek advice from a dermatologist who will be able to advise them on the best treatment methods available," she says before offering options.

There are a range of possible treatment methods and home remedies that people can try such as avoiding the sun, using sunscreen SPF >30, and if you have acne, avoid picking your skin.

We recommend Dermalogica's new Prisma Protect SPF30 sunscreen, which defends against UV rays, free radical damage and pollution. 

It retails for R1099 (50ml) at Dermalogica.

hyperpigmentation treatment

"For skin inflammation, use corticosteroids under the supervision of a dermatologist," advises Dr Nomphelo Gantsho.

Topical treatments include ingredients that lighten the skin, such as:

- azelaic acid

- hydroquinone - kojic acid

- retinoids, such as tretinoin

- vitamin C

Other treatments include chemical peels and needling. 

Alternatively, we recommend you try these products below that are formulated to treat hyperpigmentation specifically:

Eucerin Thiamidol range 

Try their Anti-Pigment dual serum, which includes thiamidol and hyaluronic acid as ingredients. R609.95 at Foschini Beauty

Other products included in this range are the Even Pigment Perfector day and night creams, which retail for R449 each at Clicks.

By the way, if you buy any three Eucerin skincare products at selected Clicks stores, you get the cheapest one free.

Environ: Focus Care Radiance 

With the revolutionary 3-step Mela-Smart System, this range includes four products "that work together to help inhibit the six complex steps involved in the formation of hyperpigmentation." 

The Focus Care Range will be available in South Africa on 10 June 2019.

Portia M Anti-Blemish Marula Skin day cream

You can try this product to treat other types of skin discolouration. It's enriched with omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids. 

Get it for R62.99 at Clicks.

hyperpigmentation treatment

Can hyperpigmentation disappear completely over time?

Dr Nomphelo says that treating the underlying cause of hyperpigmentation can make it disappear completely.

Additionally, avoiding the sun and wearing sunscreen can help clear the hyperpigmentation.

What other treatments and products have worked for you? Tell us here.

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