I received a message from a reader who desired some advice about healing her hyperpigmentation. If you suffer from acne, sun spots, or have a skin tone abundant in melanin, then hyperpigmentation can be an issue and extremely frustrating. The more that I’m online doing research on healing herbs and oils for skin along with watching women share their skin care journeys on YouTube, I am becoming more and more aware that having a clear complexion is very important, and many are struggling and obsessing over it.
I have observed myself obsess over my skin especially since being under the microscope of the performance industry. I’ve learned over the years that less is more with skin care, and I no longer keep a consistent specific skin care regimen with three products morning and night like I used to. (I’ll get more into detail about my new skin care regimen in another article.) Also giving yourself a serious break from wearing makeup so your skin can breath is extremely important.
One major thing that I would like to add is that as technology has improved over the years, we have also gained a new false idea of what perfect skin looks like. Every professional image that we see in magazines and advertisements has been airbrushed to perfection. Along with airbrushing, the amount of makeup used on the models is unknown in the photos as well. So below is my reader’s message as well as my response.
I have EXTREME hyperpigmentation all around my face. I’m so self-conscious about it and never go to family gatherings since there is always somebody who has to make a comment about it. I’ve been to the dermatologist and they can’t seem to prescribe any good medication without hydroquinone. My skin is also very acne prone. What do you suggest I use? I want to be confident when I walk out of the house not silently brooding and hiding my face.
You deserve to feel good in your skin and for starters determining what is causing you to continue to have acne prone skin is what I’d suggest before looking into topical treatments for the hyperpigmentation, otherwise the cycle just continues. Please take some time to discover if your acne is caused by stress, nutrition or hormone imbalance, contact dermatitis from chemical products, dehydration, etc. I wrote this article about looking deeper into skin issues.
Next I would look at what you are currently using for skin, hair, and body care, and also check some of the ingredients that I avoid specifically. I used to have each ingredient in this list linked to The Cosmetic Database with tons info, yet they changed their website links. If you have any questions about an ingredient Google it. Tons of information about ingredient toxicity will come up and some of the ingredients may cause contact dermatitis and acne.
In general, if you can’t pronounce the ingredient in a beauty product not including scientific plant names, and have no idea what it is, please avoid the product.
I’d like to say that traditional doctors have all the answers, yet I personally prefer a holistic approach with herbs and natural ingredients topically as well as organic herbs and food to heal internally. I greatly respect naturopathic medicine because they treat the body naturally versus offering chemical ointments and prescription drugs which only are used to treat symptoms. Holistic doctors can help you find the root cause of any physical symptoms of imbalance such as acne.
Our happiness is the key to allowing our body to relax and heal.
Look into your current lifestyle and reclaim the happiness and freedom that you deserve by taking the very best care of yourself as possible. Organic foods and natural beauty care, good sleep, peaceful activities whether it’s just a walk in nature or even yoga to relieve stress, and anything that brings you joy will also help balance out your body and therefore your skin. Our bodies react to our emotions more than we think.
For skin care look into doing less versus too much. Find ONE product that your skin likes and stick to it.
Your skin may be stressed from too many topical treatments and intense skin care regimens. Your skin may need a good and long break. If you have some time off from work or can stay in possibly try doing water only cleansing for your skin for two days and give it a break after you initially remove makeup. Therefore wear no makeup for those days and only wash your face with water. Use distilled or filtered water if possible. If you need moisture try aloe vera if you have no sensitivities to it. Do a patch test if unsure. You could also try a rose hydrosol for moisture. Avoid vegetable glycerin in hydrosols until you know exactly what is ailing your skin as well. Simple and single ingredients is important during this time of discovery. Also these two days will be like giving your skin a holiday from skin care regimens and makeup, so also give your mind a vacation as well and stay out of the mirror.
When switching to a very simple skin care regimen your skin my also have a transition period just as our hair has a transition period when no longer using chemical hair care. In the end your skin will thank you.
Once your skin has had a break, begin to learn your skin’s needs versus simply attacking the “problem” areas. How is your skin imbalanced? Is it flaky and in need of a gentle exfoliation? Is it extremely oily from the overproduction of sebum from irritating products? Is your skin dehydrated feeling dry and tight, yet still producing tons of oil? Is your skin a combination of these things?
Once you have a better idea what is going on with your skin you can then choose simple ingredients that suit the imbalance to bring your skin back into balance. My skin is no longer oily since I’ve began oil cleansing. I use natural oils with at least 50% linoleic acid, low in oleic acid, and rich in omega 3 fatty acid because they are best for acne prone skin and dissolve the oils that clog pores. (Read more about oils specifically for acne prone skin here.) Finding the right oils for your skin is really important and can take time. I also have greatly minimized my skin care regimen so that my skin has less to react to.
Our skin also has the ability to balance itself which is why I believe it is very helpful to literally leave it alone which is why I suggest a makeup free and water only washing period.
I hope this information helps you, and here are three more articles with natural treatments specifically for hyperpigmentation. Use your intuition on what natural treatment to try. Please try only one thing at a time so you know what is working and what isn’t. If you’d like even keep a journal so that you have notes to compare. Also try to avoid wearing makeup as much as possible especially if you are at home.
I took the photo above during my recent holiday in Maui, and I must say that this flower is no less beautiful because of the brown spot on one of the petals!
(Image by Dawn Michelle)