What exactly is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation happens due to an overproduction of pigment melanin in the skin. Melanin gives your skin color (tan), and its function is to protect your skin from damaging UV rays.
There are three types of hyperpigmentation:
Sunspots/sun damage — These are very common, and they develop on parts of the skin that are exposed to the sun the most, such as face, chest, neck, and hands. Freckles are also sunspots.
Melasma — This is a skin discoloration that turns patches of skin light-to-medium brown. Melasma is caused by changes in hormones and tends to occur during pregnancy, when taking birth control pills, or during times of hormonal imbalance. It increases (darkens) with sun exposure.
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) — You are perhaps most likely to have experienced PIH if you struggle with acne because the scars they leave behind are actually PIH. This kind of discoloration is due to inflammation caused by damage or trauma to the skin, including acne, cuts, burns, insect bites, overuse of certain ingredients (e.g. benzoyl peroxide, retinoids and chemical exfoliants), and cosmetic procedures (lasers, IPL, microdermabrasion, chemical peels).
So below, I’m sharing the five skin care essentials I swear by when traveling. I used these products on a recent trip to Bali and Korea, and my skin looked amazing the entire trip.
- Serums and oils
- Hair crème
- Eye and sheet masks
- Facial mists
Don’t forget to pack your best skin!
Beauty products may seem like an unlikely essential for vacation, but your skin should be the last thing you have to worry about on vacay. Hopefully these packing tips are helpful the next time you pack for vacay or even for your day-to-day beauty routine!
How Pollution Triggers Acne And Accelerates Skin Aging
Pollution is yet another source of oxidative damage your skin needs to deal with.
Oxidative damage means that free radicals, which are molecules missing an electron to be happy, go around scavenging for those electrons, damaging your cells and DNA in the process.
They can easily trigger a chain reaction, turning the molecule they have interacted with into a new free radical, and so on.
Oxidative damage is at the core of premature skin aging (think UV rays), but can also be a major contributor to acne.
So, how does our skin cope with this? You might be thinking that there must be some way for the skin to protect itself naturally. And there is!
Antioxidants are molecules that can donate the missing electron without themselves becoming free radicals. This is why we need them so much!