Hyperpigmentation is referred to the discoloration spots on the skin. They are darker than the rest of the skin.
The spots could be red, pink, brown, or purple. A higher level of melanin pigment than normal causes hyperpigmentation of the skin.
Melanin is the pigment that is solely responsible for the pigmentation of the skin. It gives it color. In excess, it causes hyperpigmentation.
It can occur in different skin levels such as epidermis, deeper dermis, or even on both layers.
In this post, I will share with you different peels for hyperpigmentation and help you understand how to know your peel tolerance.
Although hyperpigmentation is not harmful so to speak, in a world where beauty is at the forefront, skin freckles and discolorations are something to be corrected to most people. Common hyperpigmentation is the sunspots.
Types Of Hyperpigmentation
It is the result of sun damage. Too much exposure to UVA/UVB causes skin damage.
Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)
Hyperpigmentation caused due to skin trauma, injury, or inflammation.
This hyperpigmentation is caused by the changes in hormonal levels usually during pregnancy, menopause, or while taking birth control.
Risk Factors Leading To Hyperpigmentation
- Spending too much time in the sun
- Acne-prone skin
- Skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis
- Hormonal imbalances
- Sensitive skin
- Skin Trauma
- Old age
- Some medications
Understanding Chemical Peels
Chemical facial peels have proven one of the most effective in the treatment of various skin problems such as acne, scarring, anti-aging, pigmentation, and melasma.
If you have never used a chemical peel before and know next to nothing about it, it can be very daunting to figure out which peel would work for you.
To make it easier, keep in mind that a stronger peel is not always the better peel. Also, note that different people have different skin types.
Hence, different peels work for different people. The peel is usually stronger than the regular over-the-counter skincare product.
How Does Chemical Peel Work?
Chemical peels are what we call acid solutions. They have a pH level that is significantly lower than the natural pH level of the skin.
When you apply a chemical peel on the skin, It can dissolve the adhesive substance that is responsible for holding build-up layers of dead-skin buildup on the skin.
The dead skin, henceforth, will dry out and begin to disintegrate. It gets peeled off of your face giving way to fresh and new skin. This is a painless process.
Chemical Peels are no magic solution but they can help with:
- Balance Skin Tone
- Decrease Discoloration
- Treat Hyperpigmentation
- Decrease prominence of Sunspots and other UV related issues
- Smooth textural issues
Know Your Chemical Peel Tolerance Level
- Is excellent for the first-timers. You may experience a slight tingly or itchy feeling. People with high tolerance won’t feel a thing.
- Perfect for those who need more benefits than just the mildest acids can offer. You may again experience a light tingle or an itch but it can very well sting a bit too.
- Level 3 Is suitable for those who are receiving professional peels or for those who want to up the tolerance level. You may experience an intense stinging sensation and skin may become hot
Who Is a Chemical Peel Not Suited For?
It`s been proven that fair-skinned people get better results with chemical peels. If you have a darker skin tone, your chemical peel results may not be as impressive. People with darker skin tones also tend to get uneven skin after a peel.
Although chemical peels are meant to give you youthful skin, deep/severe wrinkles do not really benefit from these peels.
If you have deep wrinkles and want visible results, you`ll need a more extensive beauty procedure like tissue fillers(but that`s not for here or now).
You can find more info about soft tissue fillers for deep wrinkles here.
Best Facial Peels For Hyperpigmentation
This is a light-natured alpha hydroxy glycolic acid peel. It can either give a dramatic or very minimal result. It depends on the strength of the peel.
Glycolic acid has a small molecule. This molecule can penetrate the skin epidermis easily.
Due to being water-soluble, it is commonly used in treating common skin problems such as anti-aging issues, sun damage, wrinkles, and the appearance of skin.
Using Glycolic peels for at least 6-8 treatments weekly or bi-weekly will get the job done.
Beta hydroxy salicylic is an oil-soluble acid. It is extremely beneficial for skin problems such as clogged pores and acne.
It has anti-inflammatory as well as antimicrobial properties.
Salicylic acid can be tolerated by all skin tones and types. It has proven very effective for post-inflammatory pigmentation, oily skin, and rough skin.
It is used for treating acne and acne vulgaris. Using salicylic peels for at least 6-8 treatments weekly or bi-weekly will get you very good results.
Alpha hydroxy mandelic acid peel is a milder acid peel. It gives excellent results when treating acne, skin pigmentation, wrinkles, and melasma.
It does not possess the risks of PIH( post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). Check for side effects here.
Mandelic acid peel has a larger molecule. This molecule can penetrate the epidermis at a slow and even pace. It has proven itself as an excellent acid choice for all skin types.
This is a safe peel. You can use it 6-8 times weekly or bi-weekly.
Alpha hydroxy lactic peel is another milder irritation acid that gives a subtle to no visible skin peeling. Hence, it is excellent for “light” peeling.
Lactic acid peel stops the tyrosinase enzyme activity directly. That is what makes it a good alternative to deal with skin pigmentation issues.
Lactic peel also helps in the improvement of dry skin. Again, 6-8 weekly or bi-weekly treatments will give you good results.
TCA is an acid with versatile uses. It can be used as a superficial peel, as well as for deeper penetration. All skin types and tones can generally tolerate TCA very well.
It is very effective in dealing with skin pigmentation, wrinkles, rough skin, photodamage, acne, and scarring.
6-8 weekly or bi-weekly treatments will produce wanted results.
Traditionally, Jessner’s chemical peel has an equal concentration of resorcinol, lactic, and salicylic acids, i.e., of 14%. It is a preferred peel for oily and acne-prone skin. It is a safe peel.
Jessner’s peel can work with all skin tones and types. You can even alternate it with TCA peels.
The same 6-8 weekly or bi-weekly treatments will do the job. Swap to monthly after that to keep skin the way you love.
Can You Prevent Hyperpigmentation?
Now it`s almost impossible to avoid hyperpigmentation because this occurs as you age but with some loving care to your skin, you can reduce your chances of getting skin discoloration prematurely.
- Wear sunblocking clothes.(Here you can find tips on choosing sunblocking clothing)
- Cover your head with a hat whenever possible.
- When possible, avoid going to the sun at its strongest(between noon and 4 Pm although this will depend on where you live).
- Use Sunscreen faithfully, go for a minimum of SPF 40 if possible.
Conclusion On Facial Peels For Hyperpigmentation
Chemical peels have ingredients that help remove dead skin cells and work to reveal new fresh from underneath.
There are certain precautions one should take before using peels to minimize the risk of hyperpigmentation.
While using chemical peels, keep in mind that there should not be any discomfort after the procedure. After using the peel, moisturize the skin with a healing ointment.
Consult a dermatologist if you require deeper penetration in facial peels for hyperpigmentation to discuss other options.
If you prefer not to use chemical peels, look at using microdermabrasion for your skincare needs, I wrote a lengthy post here on how Microdermabrasion works.
Want to check out any of the above mentioned facial peels for hyperpigmentation and skin discoloration then
I hope this post will help you choose the right peel to suit your needs. If you have any questions, please leave me a message below.