Women in their 50s are usually undergoing dramatic hormonal changes, and can experience a whole array of frustrating skin issues as a result. Whilst hyperpigmentation may be one of the more common ones out there, it can also be one of the most frustrating skin conditions to treat. Caused by an increase in melanin, which is the natural substance that gives your skin its color, there are so many products out there aimed at treating hyperpigmentation that it can be hard to know which ones are actually effective. The next time you are unsure, just keep an eye out for some of these powerful ingredients.
When it comes to treating hyperpigmentation, hydroquinone is one of the most powerful ingredients out there. Because of this, it is only available via prescription, meaning that you will need to visit a dermatologist in order to use it. Hydroquinone works by blocking the enzyme that produces melanin, and while it will treat hyperpigmentation, it needs to be followed up with a strong SPF, otherwise the skin will soon darken again.
Derived from the soybean plant, soy is already found in many products aimed at post-menopausal women, as it helps to increase skin thickness, as well as the production of collagen. When it comes to hyperpigmentation, soy has been proven to block melanosomes from entering the top layer of skin. Melanosomes are small parcels of melanin, and by being blocked, this prevents the skin from darkening.
Kojic acid is a completely natural ingredient, and is derived from a fungus that is similar to mushrooms. Since it is natural, it is a much gentler and milder alternative to hydroquinone, and works by limiting the production of epidermal melanin. Hydroquinone can often be too harsh for the body at this stage in life, which is why kojic acid is often used instead.
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3, and works in a similar way to soy by blocking melanosomes. However, unlike soy, studies have shown that niacinamide is able to repair and lighten some of the damage that has already been caused.
Mulberry extract comes from the root of the mulberry tree, and is another ingredient that is natural, which is always a better choice when the body is already experiencing so many changes. Mulberry extract has been shown to effectively reduce the production of melanin at much lower concentrations than even kojic acid and hydroquinone.
The best way to prevent your hyperpigmentation from worsening, as well as protect your skin from more areas of hyperpigmentation, is to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen all year round. Sunscreens that contain a physical blocker, such as zinc oxide, are preferable, as these are likely to do a better job at preventing the sun’s rays from entering your skin and interfering with your melanin production. Along with this, it is important to be eating a diet rich in antioxidants and a variety of nutrients, as this will enhance your skin’s ability to repair its cells and to protect against any further UV damage.