Causes of hyperpigmentation
It's a skin issue that so commonly affects pregnant women, it’s sometimes called the “mask of pregnancy”. 40% of New Zealand women and 62% of Australian women list it as a skin concern – and it’s been shown to be more aging than facial lines and wrinkles123.
What is it? Hyperpigmentation. Also known as melasma, dark spots, discolouration, age spots, uneven skin tone or sun damage. It occurs when an excess of melanin (the brown pigment which causes skin colour) forms dark deposits in the skin, which you see as brown spots.
When you’re trying to combat hyperpigmentation, understanding the triggers and exacerbators are the key to preventing and repairing it.
- Hormonal triggers: Hormonal changes caused by medication, birth control, or pregnancy, can stimulate the overproduction of melanin. This is why up to 80% of pregnant women have hyperpigmentation4
- Inflammatory triggers:When you have a skin injury (such as acne, an insect bite, or a wound), melanin is produced as part of the healing process, which can sometimes result in too much melanin being produced
- And the number 1 cause… sunlight:The ultraviolet (UV) rays in sunlight can trigger an overproduction of melanin in your skin. Even sun damage which occurred in your teens and twenties can start to surface in your skin later in life.
In fact, all the above forms of hyperpigmentation are aggravated by sun exposure. There’s an enzyme in your cells called tyrosinase, which is activated to produce pigment any time the cell comes into contact with UV light.
You can start to understand why we think wearing sunscreen is absolutely essential in your skincare regime. Many women try painful laser treatments and heavy hitting chemical creams from doctors and dermatologists, without realising the humble sunscreen is actually their greatest weapon in preventing dark spots! Skin experts, including the American Academy of Dermatology, recommend wearing a minimum of SPF 30.
Our new favourite brand for expecting and breastfeeding women, which has solutions for both repairing existing hyperpigmentation and preventing future dark spots – is the Emma Lewisham label, which launched last year. Emma Lewisham's Skin Reset Hyperpigmentation serum is scientifically proven when used with her Skin Shield SPF 30 and SPF 50 sunscreen, to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and improve skin tone.
Why do we rate Emma Lewisham as our #1 hyperpigmentation pick?
One of the common treatments used to address hyperpigmentation is called hydroquinone, and is highly toxic. Hydroquinone scores a 9 (out of 10, with 10 being the highest) on the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s ingredient toxicity scale. It is listed as a known human respiratory toxicant and a possible carcinogen. That’s why it’s been banned in countries like Japan and Australia.
The good news is that treating and preventing hyperpigmentation can be done effectively without compromising your health, with Emma Lewisham Skin Reset. This powerhouse serum fades any type of hyperpigmentation - from sun spots to acne scars.
For three years, Emma worked with green chemists to develop Skin Reset to specifically target hyperpigmentation along two different biological pathways. Remember that enzyme called tyrosinase which produces pigment in your skin and causes dark spots? Emma Lewisham’s Skin Reset is packed with 24 of the most nutrient dense and targeted botanicals in the world for hyperpigmentation, including kakadu plum (which has the most plant-based vitamin c in the world) and malva sylvestris. It contains powerful patented plant actives that act as a tyrosinase inhibitor. This means they actually stop the metabolic process that creates pigment, and stops the transfer of any pigment to the upper layer of your skin.
Secondly, if any pigment still manages to form, Skin Reset has a complementary active (vitamin B3) that works further downstream to deter the pigment from transferring to your skin’s surface. This is why Emma Lewisham’s formulation is different from standard brightening products on the market.
In fact, Lewisham’s Skin Reset is clinically proven to outperform cosmeceuticals and high-end synthetic brightening creams in the reduction and prevention of hyperpigmentation.
Emma Lewisham is a new standard of beauty
What we love most about Emma Lewisham, is that it’s proven to be as effective as anything on the market, but without a drop of anything unclean or unsafe. Clean beauty is defined by products that are truly 100% naturally derived, clean of any proven or suspected harmful/toxic ingredients, efficacious and ethically and sustainably made. What’s impressive is that they are aligned with the EW’s definition of ‘clean’ and ban 1400 ingredients that are suspicious and potentially harmful for human health. All of Emma Lewisham’s ingredients have "low hazard" ratings on the EWG's Skin Deep Database, the leading authority on skincare. There are no controversial preservatives like the synthetic phenoxyethanol, which is often snuck into natural brands making a paraben-free claim.
We also love Emma’s Skin Shield sunscreen, which is available in SPF 30, SPF 50 and a recently launched Skin Shield Daily Face SPF 30 day cream. To prevent skin aging, which is affected by UV rays in sunlight, you should ideally be wearing sunscreen every single day, even when it’s cloudy. This sunscreen is wonderfully light on the skin and fully rubs in, it doesn’t leave a white cast like other natural zinc sunscreens and isn’t heavy or greasy.
Even better – it’s made of 100% post-consumer recycled plastic. Meaning that it doesn’t create any new plastic, but reuses existing plastic that’s in circulation and diverts it from landfill!