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What is hyperpigmentation?

Speckles, freckles and sometimes unwanted blemishes. Otherwise known as hyperpigmentation, or nature very much doing its thing in terms of protecting your sensational skin from the sun’s harmful rays. And in her own way, nature is a talented artist popping the finishing touches or beauty spots just where we like them. Or, on the other hand, sometimes going slightly off-piste and making her mark just where we don’t want her to. Hyperpigmentation is light brown to black skin spots or patches appearing in any shape or size, in clusters or solo. They’re very common and are mostly harmless.

Woman applying face cream

What causes hyperpigmentation?

Skin hyperpigmentation is a great example of our clever human bodies working with nature. Our skin’s genius has developed alongside the sun – sounds out there, but it’s true. We have clever skin cells called melanocytes designed to produce melanin (a skin pigment that ranges in color from dark brown to black) which absorbs and scatters the sun’s UV rays to protect skin cells. That’s why people who’ve lived in sunnier climates for generations sometimes have darker skin than those who’ve lived in cooler climates. When any of us are directly in the sunshine, our melanocytes can multiply and distribute unevenly and create what we know as hyperpigmentation or darker spots and patches on our skin.

What are the characteristics of hyperpigmentation?

SUN SPOTS

Sun spots are the most common type of hyperpigmentation. We know these are caused by the body’s natural defence when we over-expose it to the sun’s harmful UV rays, but what do they look like? They tend to appear on the parts of your body that see the sun the most, so your face and hands mostly. They can be black, brown or grey and show mostly as freckles or splodges.

POST-INFLAMMATORY HYPERPIGMENTATION (PIH)

This is when skin changes color anywhere on your body after damage such a wound, a rash or sometimes acne. That’s because melanin is produced when skin is healing and overproduction can form patches of a different skin color, ranging from white, pink to red, purple, brown, or black, depending on your skin tone. Always see your doctor if you have any concerns.

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MELASMA

Melasma is another type of hyperpigmentation where your skin responds to hormonal changes in your body. It tends to be more common in women, quite often during pregnancy or if you’re using hormone based contraception. Here skin tends to form patches of black or brown on the face or sometimes your tummy. Do talk to a doctor or dermatologist if you’re worried.

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Help prevent future hyperpigmentation

So, what do we need to do if we want to avoid hyperpigmentation of the unwanted variety? The most common cause of new dark spots or patches on our face tends to be over-exposure to the sunshine, either when it’s at its hottest or when we spend lengthy periods in it. But sunflowers panic not, we don’t want to avoid daylight or the vitamin D it provides us altogether. But we do need to enjoy it while staying out of direct contact with it when it’s at its strongest. It’s good news for hat lovers, the bigger the better – create your own personal parasol to provide your visage with constant shade and cover up your limbs as much as possible. It’s also good sense to try and enjoy the sunshine before 10am or after 4pm, when UV rays are less powerful. Naturally, always use a sunscreen with a SPF 30 to 50. It’s the most constant way to help protect our skin from the sun’s harmful rays and give our hard-working melanocytes a break.

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The Body Shop Vitamin C products

For a more luminous and even skin

So, we know how to behave sensibly in the sunshine. Let’s look at how best to look after skin where hyperpigmentation may have come home to roost. You could try our angelic skincare range, Vitamin C, helping your skin feel plumped with moisture and ready to set your inner and outer radiance free.

Vitamin C Daily Glow Cleansing Polish is a great way to start the day the pure and simple way. Massage on with a splash of water and feel its rich lather help purify and cleanse the skin. It’s cleanser and exfoliant in one, allowing you to get to your day quicker. Now you’ve got a beautifully clean palette you could try our Vitamin C Skin Boost Instant Smoother; a light, refreshing serum with mineral glowing particles, it boosts skin’s smoothness, radiance, and vitality leaving it soft to the touch. Infused with Amazonian Camu Camu berries help to invigorate the skin and protect against damaging environmental elements.

And now it’s the turn of Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturizer to delight your skin with a gentle yet super-smart splurge of hydration – talking to your skin tone in ways it understands. This lightweight yet nourishing day cream helps skin appear brighter and healthier – as though your skin tone has evened itself out somewhat. It’s a life affirming credit to the power of the range’s naturally inspired radiance-inducing formula.

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The Body Shop Vitamin C products

Get your glow back

If you feel like your speckles are messing with your radiance, try giving your glow a boost with our Vitamin C skincare range. The Vitamin C range is a said to be a powerhouse when it comes to getting skin cells up to shine forth. One of our brightest stars is Vitamin C Glow-Protect Lotion SPF30. It’s a triple whammy where moisture, sun protection and glow meet in perfect harmony to help soften, smooth and go-go-go your glow.

If you feel like your skin’s got a sulk on you could try our specialist smooth talker – Vitamin C Skin Reviver Instant Smoother. This sheen machine has light-reflective particles which helps inspire dull and grumpy skin to sparkle forth. And for that winning ‘I’ve arrived’ radiance, try our Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturizer, infused with vitamin C rich camu camu from the Amazonian rainforest in Peru. It helps the skin to feel hydrated, awakened and energized, so you can go forth and shine with immediate effect.

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Daily moisturizer with SPF

Vitamin C Glow-Protect Lotion SPF30

Every smiley face needs to wise up to our friend the sunshine. With all the good stuff it brings, also come UVA and UVB (ultra violet short and long rays) and these are not our skin’s ally whether you're worried about hyperpigmentation or not. But our Vitamin C Glow-Protect Lotion SPF30 certainly is. It’s dreamy all-round best buddy to your gorgeous mug even if you have sensitive skin – a great daily moisturizer with high sun protection, enriched with vitamin C. Helping set your luminosity free while staying on guard against the sun’s darker side.

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Hands scooping The Body Shop Vitamin C Moisturiser

"Absolutely love this product, I suffer from hyperpigmentation and recently, a dull complexion, but this product made my skin look brighter, glowy and well rested."

– Thehonesttruth

About Vitamin C Glow Boosting Moisturizer

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Fresh Nude Foundation at sink

How to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation on the face?

Does your inner-strength need a little boost from your outer-strength without calling in the heavy duty makeup mob? If so, we have a couple of delightful products that’ll make light work of evening out your skin tone with some natural color blending.

First up our magnificent Fresh Nude Foundation; this nifty little number works hard to cover hyperpigmented skin. It helps provide up to 24 hours of moisture while giving a semi-matte look to the skin.It comes in sixteen gorgeous skin shades and works well with sensitive skin as it's enriched with English rose water and aloe vera, ensuring it will never look cakey.

Standing next in the line of duty comes our Fresh Nude Concealer. This helps cover up those extra tough darks spots on your face and around your eyes. Light in texture with a sheen that hydrates your skin for 24 hours, it’s a winner when it comes to that even-looking, fresh-faced luminous glow. It’s comes in six shades and is packed with caffeine to have you looking wide awake.