Did you know hormones, sun exposure, acne, heat, and more could be contributing to your uneven skin tone?
There is great diversity in the color of human skin around the world. But whatever each person’s unique shade may be, the general desire is for uniformity of skin color; no splotches of discoloration, spots, or other changes in pigmentation.
But… is it possible to get a perfectly even complexion? The answer may surprise you.
Before exploring the causes behind hyperpigmentation and skin discoloration, it is important to first understand pigmentation.
Pigmentation refers to darkening or lightening of the skin. It is a part of how your skin works as it reacts to external factors.
Melanin is the pigment that produces skin color. While it provides pigmentation in humans, it also plays an important biological role by providing protection against damage from the sun and UV light.
Melanin is produced in skin cells called melanocytes that live in the outermost layer of our skin. Think about these like pigment factories that can be triggered to produce melanin.
Fun fact: Scientists theorize that evolution over hundreds of thousands of years is responsible for the diverse palette of human skin tones we see around the world today. Our ancestors developed permanent pigmentation levels in their skin as a form of natural protection against the sun. Most skin pigmentation (coloration) disorders that break up your otherwise even skin tone are completely harmless, such as birthmarks and freckles. It is likewise normal to see new discolorations appear on our skin as we age. However, you may be interested to learn there are well-defined causes and treatments for some of these skin issues. Preventative measures may also be taken to improve your skin’s chances of achieving even coloring.
Back to Your Skin. What is Hyperpigmentation?
When excess melanin is produced, you have hyperpigmentation.
Hyperpigmentation is a term that describes a common, usually harmless occurrence where the skin changes to flat, darkened patches due to the overproduction of melanin.
This can make spots and patches of skin appear darker than surrounding areas. It can occur in small patches, cover large areas, and even affect the entire body. Common examples of hyperpigmentation include freckles, acne marks, age spots (also called liver spots), and melasma.
Most Common Causes of Hyperpigmentation
Some people (maybe you) have always noticed some areas of their skin are different shades.
If this is a new development, it’s likely the hyperpigmentation can be linked to something your skin experienced.
Ultraviolet Radiation (Hello, Sun!)
That nice tan you have? Your skin doesn’t love it. The majority of pigmentation occurrences are caused by sun damage. Age or liver spots are the most common form of skin hyperpigmentation, and they occur due to sun damage. These small, darkened patches are usually found on the hands, face, or other areas frequently exposed to the sun.
Photomelanosis is increased pigmentation due to sun exposure, most commonly found on the face, neck and back. These areas may appear patchy or as diffused darkening.
Heat can be a trigger for melanocytes to start over-producing melanin! You’re more likely to wind up with heat-induced dark spots if you’re Asian, African-American, or Latinx, since susceptibility to hyperpigmentation is genetic.
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (also called PIH)
This type of hyperpigmentation is linked to inflammatory causes that may have happened YEARS before you see the dark spots. When trauma occurs to your skin, melanocytes create melanin which then slowly rises to the surface.
Any harsh act that has occurred on your skin can cause hyperpigmentation in the future. Chemical peels, Microdermabrasion, Retin-A, and harsh facial scrubs are commonly linked to hyperpigmentation.
Picking at blemishes causes injury to the skin. And skin remembers. If you picked at acne as a teenager, it’s likely as an adult you will see slightly darker spots of pigmentation emerging from beneath layers of skin.
Melasma, or Chloasma, affects 90% of pregnant women. It shows up as spots or patches which are similar in appearance to age spots, but cover larger areas of skin. These will often appear on the forehead, face, and stomach. This is a type of hyperpigmentation caused by abnormal hormone levels in the body. Its surprise appearance could be influenced by pregnancy, ovarian or thyroid dysfunction, or even the contraceptive pill.
Treatment for Hyperpigmentation
Exfoliate regularly to break up the pigmented cells to allow them to fade.
Look for a lightening moisturizer that contains one (or some) of the ingredients on the list below!
The top recommended product from Bee Naturals is MelaClear Pigment Lightening Creme. This product is suitable for any skin type and contains all-natural, collaborative ingredients–Daisy Blossom Extract, Niacinamide (Vitamin B3), and Panthenol (Vitamin B5)–to lighten UV induced pigmentation without bleaching surrounding skin.
Consider a series of corrective skin peels or cosmetic procedures to lighten areas of the skin. Options include the following: laser therapy, intense pulsed light, microdermabrasion, and chemical peels.
Time. This is the hardest thing, we know! It can feel like an eternity to treat hyperpigmentation. You won’t see drastic results immediately, but that doesn’t mean the brightening ingredients you’re using are ineffective. Place your trust in the science of skincare, be patient and allow your skin to naturally fade while consistently using sunscreen and other topical remedies–like the ones mentioned below.
Our Favorite Ingredients for Hyperpigmentation & Uneven Skin Tone
Alpha Arbutin: A choice brightening ingredient that is a lower strength derivative of hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is one of the most effective skin-lightening and spot-fading ingredients on the market, however, it can be harsh on your skin. Alpha Arbutin is a safer option which works by slowly releasing hydroquinone over time.
Kojic Acid: This ingredient is known to disrupt the production of melanin. It is a mild skin exfoliator which works to remove freckles and brown spots and also gets rid of the skin’s roughness and dryness.
Licorice Extract: Licorice extracts inhibits the production of tyrosinase, which in turn inhibits the production of dark spots. It also removes excess melanin and acts as a skin brightener!
Pea Extract: This ingredient keeps specific enzymes known as proteases from degrading skin proteins such as collagen and elastic, which are responsible for giving skin its firmness and elasticity. It protects your skin against the damaging effects of proteases activated by different types of skin abuse and the aging process
Resveratrol: An antioxidant found naturally in red grape skins. Resveratrol restores skin health by attracting and neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals in the skin can cause premature signs of aging and are created by too much time in the sun or environmental pollutants. Resveratrol’s topical application aids in the regeneration of healthier, longer-living skin cells which push dead, dying cells to the surface to reveal young-looking, more vibrant skin.
Combination Ingredients to Look For
Bearberry Extract with Vitamin C: This powerful skin lightening combination is found in skincare products, made from bearberry leaves extract and vitamin C. Contains a natural form of hydroquinone that inhibits production of melanin pigments in skin cells.
Lightening Herbal Blend: A blend of alpine plants, including Malva Sylvestris, Mentha
Piperita, Primula Veris, Alchemilla Vulgaris, Veronica Officinalis, Melissa Officinalis, and Achillea Millefolium. This blend inhibits the production of melanin pigments, reduces the appearance of age spots and evens out skin tone.
Amino Acid (phenylalanine) and lipids: Unique skin lightening agent made from natural amino acids. Inhibits the production of melanin, lightens age spots and dark skin areas.
Punarnava (Boerhaavia diffusa) Roots: A natural plant extract obtained from the roots of punarnava. Can reduce the number of different types of hyperpigmentation spots.
Starflower: The active ingredient (hypoxoside) is derived from Rooperi Rhizome extract. It has been shown to reduce the production of melanin in hyperactive melanocytes. It has effective properties helping to fade age spots, freckles, and hyperpigmentation.
How Can I Prevent Hyperpigmentation?
If you found our page, it may be too late to prevent what you already see on your skin.
But, great news! There are steps you can start taking today to prevent and manage future hyperpigmentation events!
Avoid exposure to the sun. Consider using a daily sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher. This serves to prevent the hyperpigmentation from becoming more prominent.
Avoid picking at the skin. Avoid picking at acne and scabs to prevent hyperpigmentation from occurring via skin damage.
The formation of dark spots and freckles are common amongst people living in tropical climates. Always, always put on sunscreen before going out.
Using the right products and ingredients to treat dark spots and pigmentation will help in the long run. Prevention should always be your focus!
To answer our earlier question, “Is it possible to get a perfectly even complexion?” The answer is YES (with some exceptions such as freckles and birthmarks). It takes time and commitment to the process. Hang in there! It will get better.
Additional Bee Naturals products to support your journey to a perfect complexion:
- Ultra AA Serum
- Enzyme Exfoliating Creme/Gel
- Fruit Acid AHA / BHA Exfoliating Creme
- Oil Free Moisturizer Facial Serum, with 6% Niacinamide!
- AHA Rejuvenate 15
- Glycolic Renewal Creme
- Tinted Facial Primer
Bee Naturals is here for you! Sign up for our newsletter to learn more about the skin you’re in.
You can call (573) – 242 – 3475 or contact us for a personalized skincare consultation- we want to help!
- What to Know About Alpha Arbutin for Skin | Shape
- Top 10 Best Kojic Acid Skin Creams in India: (2021) For Fair Skin (tipsandbeauty.com)
- Evo-Ed: The Evolution of Skin Pigmentation in Humans
- Why Does It Take So Long to Treat Hyperpigmentation? – FutureDerm
- Common Hyperpigmentation Disorders in Adults: Part II. Melanoma, Seborrheic Keratoses, Acanthosis Nigricans, Melasma, Diabetic Dermopathy, Tinea Versicolor, and Postinflammatory Hyperpigmentation – American Family Physician (aafp.org)
Discovering the right skincare products for your specific skin type can often be an overwhelming process. Whether you’ve got sensitive, oily, dry, or combination skin, you should be using products that help improve your skin’s health and appearance and not hinder it. From moisturizers to toners and serums, the process of developing the correct routine is something that you often want a professional to help with. Certain ingredients like vitamin c, benzoyl peroxide, and retinol sound pretty harmless by themselves, but what can happen when they are mixed together? Some combinations of ingredients can be damaging to your skin.
Mixing Skincare Products
Imagine you’ve come up with the perfect skincare routine to battle fine lines and wrinkles. You’ve got the best makeup remover, face wash, toner, and moisturizer. Faithfully you use these products for many months yet see no improvement in your skin’s appearance. What’s the problem? According to professionals, mixing the wrong ingredients can render them inactive or ineffective.
It’s tough to nail down a good skincare routine if you’re using products from many different brands. Many cosmetic brands develop skincare products that are designed to work harmoniously together to help improve your skin’s health and appearance. When you use mix and match products from different brands, it’s like playing roulette with the results. Skincare companies like ours formulate products to work synergistically, and we make sure that they don’t contain ingredients that don’t work well together.
Retinol and AHA/BHA
Retinols are praised in the beauty industry for being the best in anti-aging, but pairing retinols with different products can sometimes be dangerous. Retinols work by increasing collagen production, improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improving cell turnover. They are particularly sensitive in which products work well in conjunction with them because of their potential for irritation. When mixed improperly with other ingredients, they can cause redness and irritation. AHA/BHA products that contain salicylic, glycolic, or lactic acid are great at exfoliating and producing a more even skin tone. Still, when they are paired with a product like retinol, they can irritate a sensitive person’s skin and cause painful peeling. Using a retinol product with a moisturizing product can help minimize potential side effects.
Retinol and Vitamin C
Vitamin C sounds like a pretty natural and mild ingredient, but retinoids can be pretty tricky to try to pair with it. Less stable forms of vitamin C can be particularly problematic. Vitamin C is an excellent environmental protector used during the daytime, whereas retinoids are better used at night since they become inactivated by sunlight. To maximize the benefits from both products, it’s better to use them separately. Use the vitamin C products during the day and the retinol at night for optimal effects.
Retinol and Benzoyl Peroxide
Retinol is a form of vitamin A, and most forms of vitamin A don’t work well with some of the most effective forms of acne fighters on the market, like benzoyl peroxide. They can compete and work against each other, with some studies showing that benzoyl peroxide can actually make retinol ineffective by deactivating it. More stable forms of vitamin A like tretinoin may be more stable when combined with benzoyl peroxide.
Water-Based Products and Oil-Based Products
It’s common knowledge that water and oil don’t mix, and for the same reason, it’s a good idea not to combine water-based skincare products with oil-based skincare products. Oils are hydrophobic, which means instead of attracting water, they repel it. For oil and water-based products to work together, they need to be specifically formulated using an emulsifier to ensure that the product does not separate. People with acne-prone or oily skin have often been afraid to use oil-based products. They’ve been told that oil clogs the skin’s pores, causing even more problems. If your skin is more oily prone, sometimes a water-based product can be a better choice, although all oils are not created equal. Some oils that are smaller and lightweight can actually be beneficial to all skin.
Some of our Favorite Skin Care Products
We produce and formulate skin and body care products with specific therapeutic purposes with high-quality ingredients. Our products are made to promote healthy skin and body for overall well-being. We use more natural ingredients by combining the best that science and nature to create luxurious products for the face and body. In order to pick the products best for your unique skin type, we would love to assist you in making the best choices. Just give us a call or email, and we’ll help you find products perfect for your skincare goals!
Clarifying Facial Wash
Our clarifying facial wash is a gentle yet effective exfoliating and clarifying facial wash. With ingredients containing AHA/BHA, this product can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles and reduce pore size. It also reduces inflammation, deeply cleanses pores to reduce excess sebum and oil, and allows for better serum and product penetration.
Clear Skin Toner
Our clear skin toner is free of drying and irritating alcohol. The formula contains natural glycolic acid for improved cell turnover and a brighter, clearer complexion. It’s pH balanced and preps the skin for treatments and serums.
Queen Bee Facial Nectar
Made with a natural ingredient base including grapeseed, sunflower, and coconut oils, the Queen Bee Facial Nectar is our go-to moisturizer for a wide range of skin types. With the addition of unbleached beeswax, evening primrose, vitamin E, and carrot seed oil, these nursing ingredients help to provide soft, well-nourished skin year-round. It defends the skin from irritants while working to fight visible signs of aging.
Let Us Help You
We are 100% committed to producing and formulating skin and body care products that are made with the highest quality ingredients. Our products have a specific therapeutic purpose, and we develop our products based on our customers’ needs. We would love to assist you in our skincare journey, so please reach out to us for a personalized recommendation for your specific skin type. We look forward to making you a customer for life!
It’s about more than cosmetics
In 2004, a British researcher named Philippa Darbre found traces of parabens in breast cancer tumors. At the time, cosmetics manufacturers used parabens extensively as a preservative. Though the data behind that particular study was not very strong, it was a wake-up call.
Suddenly, more consumers than ever started to engage in a broader conversation about cosmetics. They wanted to know what effect these products have on individuals throughout the world.
At first, the dialogue seemed little more than a fear-based grasping at straws. News outlets would report on scary scientific studies and offer little context. They would leave those without firsthand knowledge with little choice but to either overreact or ignore the studies altogether.
But something positive came out of Darbre’s research. Through it, she sounded an alarm that enabled many of us to ask more insightful questions about our beauty products.
This new conversation is called Clean Beauty.
The term Clean Beauty represents a positive discussion around cosmetics. It’s about the ingredients themselves, as well as how they are obtained, packaged, and produced. It’s about how cosmetics affect us as individuals and as citizens of the world.
In this guide, we’ll talk about what Clean Beauty is and what it is not. Throughout, we’ll provide you with information on how you can make more positive choices concerning your skincare.
What “Clean Beauty” Is Not
As we enter this discussion, I’d like to make a few things clear.
First, Clean Beauty is not about what brand you choose.
Clean Beauty does not set out to put down other serious cosmetics professionals who are endeavoring to do good work. It’s not a conversation in which we denigrate the brands found in expensive mall shops or the corner drug store.
Many of them do excellent work within specific parameters. Their choices, while not always “clean” in this particular sense, aren’t necessarily dangerous.
Second, Clean Beauty is not merely about what is “toxic” or “non-toxic.”
The reason is simple: toxicity is about dose and exposure.
For example, those who drink eight glasses of water a day tend to have clearer, more supple skin. Their kidneys function more freely, and they often find it easier to lose weight. People who have the correct dose of water even tend to think more clearly.
But people who drink too much water can go into a coma, have seizures, or even die. The dose is what makes the difference.
Here’s another example that’s a little more relevant to cosmetics.
Though we at BeeNaturals don’t use SLS (sodium lauryl sulfate) for a variety of reasons, many do. In large doses, the stuff is hazardous. But assuming normal use, nearly everyone who applies it to skin or hair is safe from its adverse effects.
Third, Clean Beauty is not about being “superior.”
Though I like to point out the benefits of Clean Beauty to people, everyone makes cosmetics purchases based on a variety of factors. These factors include access and affordability. I wouldn’t want these factors to get in the way of a BeeNaturals purchase. However, I would hate it if someone felt embarrassed that their favorite products aren’t technically “clean.”
When it comes to this topic, I also think about the pressures parents face. It’s tough being a mom or dad. I prefer not to make anyone feel guilty about what skincare products they use — or do not use — on their child.
Parents have a hard enough time as it is. Let’s leave the personal judgment out of this particular topic.
Finally, Clean Beauty is not about what’s missing from a product.
Clean formulation isn’t just saying, “We don’t use X product. Therefore, it’s clean!” There’s a lot more to it than that.
Here is what I believe the conversation should be about.
What Is Clean Beauty?
Clean Beauty is mindfully choosing cosmetics based on four main factors:
- Ingredients that positively impact a person’s skin, hair, and well-being
- Hygienic manufacturing practices
- Ethical and transparent production
That’s a lot to digest, so let’s take them one at a time.
1. Clean Beauty is about positive personal impact
When I was working forty hours a week as a nurse, I washed my hands dozens of times a day. The soap I used was “effective” in the technical sense. I was disinfecting my hands, but they became painfully dry and cracked as a result.
Eventually, I began to mindfully choose (and then make) soaps with ingredients that would not only clean my skin but also nourish it. When I did that, I was embarking on the path we now call Clean Beauty.
As I make soaps, I want to use the best nature has to offer, like avocado oil, coconut oil, and glycerin. But ingredients that are the product of science — if they have a positive effect on a person’s wellbeing — can also be “clean.”
As mentioned in a previous article, “soap” in any form cannot be natural. It’s the result of a chemical process called “saponification.” When someone says they want “natural soap,” they’re contradicting themselves!
However, the chemical decyl glucoside (an ingredient in our most gentle soaps) is widely regarded as safe, non-toxic, and non-inflammatory. By any measure, it’s a candidate for “Clean Beauty,” even if scientists formulated it in a laboratory.
Remember, it’s not where the ingredient comes from that makes it “clean.” It’s the effect it has on you as a whole person.
2. Clean Beauty products are produced hygienically
In food production, workers must follow strict guidelines as they handle, store, and wash food. They are required to meet specific standards to protect those of us who eventually eat the food. When manufacturers don’t follow these practices carefully, the results can be disastrous.
The cosmetics industry has similar requirements. However, beauty products are made all over the world. Cosmetics companies may or may not consistently check to make sure their manufacturers are meeting hygiene standards.
For those who care about Clean Beauty, we want our products to be clean literally.
One of the reasons I feel so proud of our BeeNaturals products is that I know how they’re made! As a Missouri company, we produce all of our products in my home state under my supervision. We are very conscious about hygiene.
That’s not to say products produced in other parts of the world are not made hygienically. I just believe cosmetics producers must continually check that their manufacturers are meeting standards.
3. Clean Beauty products are created ethically and transparently
We who are concerned with Clean Beauty aren’t just thinking about the product itself and how it’s made. We want to know that the ingredients are obtained ethically. And we want our cosmetics manufacturers to be able to offer proof when asked.
For example, Squalane oil, an ingredient found in nearly every moisturizer, came from shark liver for many years.
Now, since the same oil can be found in many botanicals (including olives), there’s no reason to continue the unethical practice of over-fishing these endangered species. Yet, despite the positive strides we’ve made all over the world, it continues to occur.
There are other similar practices throughout cosmetics. For those of us concerned about Clean Beauty, we only want to do business with companies who are transparent about where they source their ingredients and how they’re tested.
That’s why BeeNaturals is Leaping Bunny Certified — our products are never tested on animals or come from ingredients that harm animals in any way.
4. Clean Beauty products are good for the environment
Though we can tie this point to #3, this addresses a much broader topic. It asks if the company making the product is doing so in a sustainable way. Clean Beauty products must make the lowest possible environmental impact, reducing pollution at every stage in the product’s lifecycle.
Increasingly, customers want proof their cosmetics are made using sustainable practices. That’s why savvy manufacturers — as well as those with a conscience — are working harder to “go green.”
At BeeNaturals, we value the Green Chemistry philosophy.
For example, our product packages are fully recyclable, and the paper products are 100% compostable. In our stores and manufacturing facility, we produce next to no trash — most of what passes through our doors can be recycled or reused in some way.
Additionally, we don’t use any hazardous chemicals, so our products themselves are safe for the environment.
BeeNaturals: The difference Clean Beauty can make
I founded BeeNaturals because I wanted to combine the very best of science and nature to create products that promote healthy skin for our customer’s overall well-being. That last word, “wellbeing,” is what it’s all about — and that means more than just feeling better when you look in the mirror.
To “be well,” we must consider more factors than whether or not our product works. We want to use products that do not harm our bodies or the environment. We want to use products that promote a better world.
For those of you who have chosen BeeNaturals for your skin, thank you for buying products that are kind to our world.
And my wish for you, in whatever you do, is to be well.
In Response to Questions About Hand Sanitizer
Our hand sanitizer is made with a minimum of 65% alcohol, as required for effectiveness.
Hand sanitizer does not expire. Yes, really.
To those of you who have recently ordered hand sanitizer from us or those who plan to, please be advised that due to the unavailability of our usual gelling ingredient, carbomer, we were forced to convert to xanthan gum as a thicker. Xanthan gum does not create a thick, crystal clear sanitizer that you may be accustomed to using, but the upside is that you can put it into a spray container, as well, which in some circumstances may be more convenient to use.
Though perhaps not as aesthetically pleasing, it is made to specifications required for sanitizing hands with an alcohol content of at least 65%, hydrating glycerin, and soothing essential oils of sweet orange and lavender, which now, considering the shortage, is a good thing. We wanted to be able to continue to do our part to help those at risk to have this product available at a cost after free shipping, which leaves us little or no profit.
As soon as carbomer becomes available again, we will resume using it in our hand sanitizer.
As stated in our return policy, we are not able to accept returns on hand sanitizer.
Now Using Organic, Unbleached Beeswax
Bee Naturals will begin using organic, unbleached beeswax in all products that contain this ingredient.
What does this mean for you? No concerns about potential pesticide or organophosphate residue.
It costs more, but you’re worth it!
Our Decision About the Future Use of Xylitol
Greatly reduced risk of harm to domestic animals that live in your household. We don’t want your fur babies to be at risk, plus, there is evidence that erythritol is even more effective at suppressing cavity-causing bacterial biofilm than xylitol!
For more information see: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5011233/
About Bee Naturals
Bee Naturals is committed to formulating and producing skin and body care products that have a specific therapeutic purpose and are made with the highest quality ingredients that promote healthy skin and body for overall well being.