How Collagen Helps With Hyperpigmentation - Amandean

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April 06, 2021 5 min read

In this article:

  • What's hyperpigmentation and what causes it?
  • How to treat and prevent hyperpigmentation
  • Collagen supplements for managing hyperpigmentation

What'shyperpigmentation and what causes it?

Pigmentation just means coloring, and your skin gets its color from apigment calledmelanin.Hyperpigmentation is a common and often harmless condition in which certain patches, or areas of the skin become darker than the surrounding areas, due to excess melanin production. Freckles, rosacea, birthmarks, and sunspots are all different manifestations of hyperpigmentation that can appear anywhere on the body.

Melasma, another form ofskin discoloration thatlooks very similar tohyperpigmentation, also causes symmetricaldark spots to form on the face. Between1.5% and 33% of the population may getmelasma. It is often called the "pregnancy mask" because anywhere between 15-50% of pregnant women may get it. Bothhyperpigmentation andmelasma are thought to worsen with UV ray exposure, butmelasma is highly influenced by hormones, whereashyperpigmentation is not.

Everyone knows thatsun exposure causes freckles,hyperpigmentation and yes, a great tan... but how exactly?Melanocytes are the skin cells that manufacture melanin. People with darker skin tones have more of them, and they are evenly spread throughout their skin. In individuals with fair skin, the melanocytes form into small clusters and when exposed to sunlight, theoverproduction ofmelanin causes the skin to darken and form freckles and/or tanned skin.Sun exposure isn't the only thing to causehyperpigmentation though. People with darkskin tones are more likely to experiencehyperpigmentation than people with light skin (who are more likely to form freckles).Hyperpigmentation can also be triggered by:

  • Inflammation (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation)
  • Pregnancy
  • A side effect of drugs such as oral contraceptives
  • Injury or wounds that impact the skin
  • Using alpha-hydroxy acids in cosmetics

How to treat and preventhyperpigmentation

Whether you’ve never experiencedhyperpigmentation or are looking to prevent it from getting any more severe, the first rule of thumb is to usesun protection! This is by far the best way to avoidsun damage andhyperpigmentation. Before you go out, always applybroad-spectrum sunscreen or use a hat and clothing to protect your face and body from getting burned. You should also add amoisturizer withSPF of at least 30 to youreverydayskincare routine, even if you're not having a beach day. On cloudy days, the UV index can still be dangerously high.

When it comes to fadinghyperpigmentation, time is in your favor. If you experience suddenhyperpigmentation that doesn't seem to fade, contact adermatologist or doctor to explore it further. Otherwise, if you want tobrighten your skin and help speed the fading process along, here's what you can do:

  • Lightening andbrightening creams: In most cases, we recommend healing the skin from the inside out with nutrition and supplements. But when it comes tohyperpigmentation, topical products can help equally as much. Look forlightening gels containinghydroquinone, licorice extract, N-acetylglucosamine, and niacinamide. If you’re looking for a dietary supplement, consider glutathione.
  • Facial acids: Anothertopical product that can improvehyperpigmentation is the use ofexfoliating, facial acids. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), beta hydroxy acids (BHAs),glycolic acids,salicylic acids,lactic acids,kojic acid, penetrate the skin to stimulatecell turnover. You can apply a facial toner with acid after using a hydratingcleanser, or use a serum.
  • Retinoids:Retinoids (vitamin A derivatives) are one of the most commonly usedanti-aging treatments in the world ofdermatology. In addition to preventing and fillingfine lines and wrinkles,retinol can even out yourskin tone.Retinols can be purchased in drug stores and online in varying strengths and it’s pretty powerful stuff! Start slow, especially if you havesensitive skin, and make sure that you aren't using any other ingredients in yourskincare routine that mightnegatively react withretinol.
  • Chemical Peels andMicroneedling:Though the methodology of both of these procedures varies, both leverage our bodies' natural ability to repair itself withcollagen. Sometimes called "resurfacing", these procedures use "controlled injury" to penetrate deep layers of the skin and stimulatecollagen production. Because this leaves the skin exposed, you should not do at-homechemical peels frequently. Yourdermatologist will be able to determine if you are a better candidate for achemical peel or amicroneedling (ormicrodermabrasion) procedure and will be able to help decrease the likelihood of severeside effects.
  • Collagen Supplements:Many of the most effectivehyperpigmentation treatments aim to do one thing - boostcollagen production.Collagen is the body's most powerful and plentiful protein, and is responsible for wound healing and supporting healthy skin and joints.Collagen is packed with the "anti-aging amino acid" glycine, which helps to boost your skin'shydration. Not only can it help to repair damaged, hyperpigmented skin, but it can also reduce the appearance offine lines and wrinkles, and improve your skin's texture. The trouble is that as we age, our bodies produce less and lesscollagen. Moreover,free radicals can deteriorate thecollagen already in our bodies. This is where supplementation can help reverse signs of aging and managehyperpigmentation.Marinecollagen, one of the mostbioavailable sources ofcollagen, can be added to your morning coffee or breakfast to help repair the skin and minimizehyperpigmentation while you work!
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is anotherskincare hero!Vitamin C is a powerfulantioxidant that protects your skin fromfree radicals and oxidative stress. It is also known to inhibittyrosinase, anenzyme needed formelanin production. It's a critical nutrient that allows your body to producecollagen and hyaluronic acid.Studies show that it's evenmoreeffective at treatinghyperpigmentation when paired withvitamin E.

Collagen is the key to retaining your skin's healthy and youthful glow! The best way to protect thecollagen you already have, ensure future production,and managehyperpigmentation is to skip long days in the sun and always wear protection. When the damage has already been done, give your body what it needs to "erase"hyperpigmentation from your skin with anall-naturalcollagen supplement.

Summary Points

  • Hyperpigmentation is a common and often harmless condition in which certain patches, or areas of the skin become darker than the surrounding areas, due to excess melanin production
  • Whether you’ve never experienced hyperpigmentation or are looking to prevent it from getting any more severe, the first rule of thumb is to use sun protection
  • Many of the most effective hyperpigmentation treatments aim to do one thing - boost collagen production
  • Marine collagen, one of the most bioavailable sources of collagen, can be added to your morning coffee or breakfast to help repair the skin and minimize hyperpigmentation while you work
  • Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects your skin from free radicals and oxidative stress

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