It’s been a hot minute since faux freckle pens and eyeliners have become trending topics in the beauty scene. As this new life hack goes, adding a few dots on the face is the perfect finishing touch to the ‘no makeup’ makeup look. Not only does it give off the illusion of natural skin, but it is also an instant solution to achieving that fresh-off-the-beach, sun-kissed glow without effort (and excessive sweat!).
However, it’s one thing to willingly sport a few cute blemishes here and there, but it’s a whole different story to face unwanted dark spots all day everyday. With the makeup gone (and real face on), sun spots, age spots, and freckles can make anyone feel self-conscious. Contrary to the popular trend, people who see them as skin insecurities actually spend loads of time and money trying to cover them up. There’s no denying that skincare products and full-coverage concealers help improve the appearance of these blemishes on the surface. But here’s another thought: How about exploring a more long-term solution?
In this article, we propose a more professional approach to getting rid of hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Our suggestion: Microneedling! Despite what its name suggests, this beauty treatment can be just as easy and painless as your current skincare routine. If you give it a chance, you may never have to deal with those dark spots ever again – makeup on or not! Intrigued yet? Here’s what you need to know.
Understanding Hyperpigmentation and Dark Spots
For regular readers of our Lovoir beauty blog, you’re probably up to date with all there is to know about hyperpigmentation. After all, we do talk about it quite often, so much so that we’ve got tons of articles all about this common skin condition (linked down below in case you’ve got time to spare!).
But for the rest of you who have little to no knowledge about what hyperpigmentation actually is, we’ll catch you up on a few things you need to know!
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is a widely-used term to describe any skin discolouration problem related to high levels of melanin in our skin. Okay, before you start spacing out at the sound of scientific jargon, bare with us for a minute – it’s actually pretty interesting!
Melanin is most known as the pigment cells that give our skin its colour. But did you know that its function, first and foremost, is to protect our skin from sun damage and inflammation? When exposed to these factors, they multiply in number as a sort of shield around the affected area. Unfortunately for us, this overproduction in melanin has a trade-off: The possibility of clumped up pigments, which on the outside appear as flat spots and unwanted discolouration.
An average person is likely to refer to them as dark spots, sun spots, age spots, liver spots, freckles, melasma, and even acne marks. We once heard someone refer to them as beach bumps, and the funniest one to date: face cooties! Call it what you want, but they all basically point to the same thing: An irregular amount of melanin in our skin. What exactly triggers this, on the other hand, varies on the type of hyperpigmentation you have – which brings us to our next question.
What causes hyperpigmentation?
Sun spots are a form of hyperpigmentation caused by – yup, you guessed it! – the sun. Ideally, hours under the sun would lead to a golden tan and a pinkish glow, but too much exposure to UV radiation can actually trigger the excessive production of melanin on our skin. This is especially apparent among people who fail to wear sunscreen. So let this be your warning: SPF protection is a must!
Age spots are most associated with skin discolouration in older people. But in all honesty, they are basically just sun spots that manifest as we age. It is attributed to frequent sun exposure during our younger years that suddenly come out with a vengeance once we reach the age of 50. Like sun spots, they are usually found in areas of our body that get the most sun exposure, like our face, hands, feet, shoulders, and the upper part of our back.
Melasma is a common skin condition caused by a mix of sun exposure and hormonal changes. Science has proven the link between estrogen, progesterone, and a spike in melanin production. This explains why melasma usually occurs during hormone-related milestones like menopause and pregnancy. The good news is, most cases disappear on their own. However, if you continue to bask under the sun, melasma can persist longer and even darken in colour. A unique differentiation versus typical sun spots is how and where they appear. More than flat dark spots, they form as brown or blue-gray patches that usually manifest on the checks and sides of your face.
Freckles are often mistaken for solar lentigines, which is basically any form of hyperpigmentation triggered by sun exposure, like sun spots and age spots. While the sun can technically activate the appearance of freckles, it is more of a hereditary condition than anything else – which means, you are either born with the freckle gene or not! And if you aren’t, no amount of sun exposure can trigger this specific type of hyperpigmentation. That said, the gene is most common among redheads and light-skinned people. They can manifest as early as childhood, and then eventually fade on their own. However, if you do spend hours under the sun, chances are your freckles will increase in number.
Pro tip to differentiate sun spots from freckles: Sun spots are flat brown spots with clear borders, while freckles vary in color depending on your skin tone. They are either red, light brown, dark brown, or black spots with irregular borders, and can appear all around your body.
Can hyperpigmentation be cured?
As luck would have it, hyperpigmentation is generally treatable. For sun spots, age spots, and melasma, the right products and beauty treatments – coupled with consistency of course! – can significantly lighten their appearance to the point of becoming barely noticeable. Freckles, in particular, can naturally fade over time even without intervention. But for more persistent cases, you can rely on similar solutions to treat pigmentation.
Here at Lovoir Skin Body & Beauty, our skin therapists have helped countless customers with their hyperpigmentation concerns. We have a variety of beauty treatments like chemical peels and IPL skin rejuvenation that work in different ways, which you can read about in detail through our other articles. But today, we’ll be focusing on one particular treatment: Microneedling!
Microneedling for Hyperpigmentation and Dark Spots
Microneedling is a popular cosmetic treatment known for its ability to improve skin texture and skin tone problems in just a few sessions. Despite it being fairly new compared to treatments like IPL Skin Rejuvenation, chemical peels, and microdermabrasion, it delivers results like a well-seasoned pro! Unfortunately, many fail to experience its impressive benefits due to unfounded fear. We don’t blame you, the mere sound of needles can make anyone feel queasy! In that regard, you can refer to it as collagen induction therapy, another (less intimidating) term for microneedling – and perhaps, a more appropriate one. It perfectly explains the technology behind this revolutionary treatment:
Our skin therapists use an advanced Dermapen™ device loaded with tiny needles to create safe and relatively painless punctures on the skin’s surface. This process is meant to carefully trigger the skin’s wound healing response, which is to stimulate collagen production and heal the surrounding skin. In doing so, the skin naturally gets rid of old skin cells, and replaces them with new, healthy skin cells. For treating dark spots and hyperpigmentation, in particular, the treatment will trigger the breakdown of melanin clumps in the skin. The wound-healing response creates better quality skin that is lighter in complexion and more evenly matched to our original skin tone. The simple translation: Smoother, plumper, more flawless, younger-looking skin!
The best part is, micro needling treatments are low risk, have minimal side effects, and require very little downtime. Apart from slight redness, itching, and flaking after the procedure, there is nothing that will keep you from carrying on with your day as normally as possible. Just make sure to following our microneedling aftercare instructions, and the healing process should be painless and hassle-free!
For a deep dive into the step-by-step procedure of our microneedling treatment, feel free to read up on the basics of microneedling here! You’ll see how our Dermapen™ technology can offer an assortment of other skin benefits not limited to treating hyperpigmentation. We also have a dedicated article on microneedling for scars. So if you’re dealing with any of the following skin problems, we’ve got you covered!
At this point, allow us to address a few concerns that our salon customers often ask us. Perhaps, these questions are on your mind too!
Can microneedling make hyperpigmentation worse?
Microneedling is a safe, non-invasive, and effective treatment, and as long as the treatment is done by a professional, there should be no reason for botched results! We have heard stories of people experiencing worse hyperpigmentation or scarring, and the only possible reason we could think of is the use of wrong techniques or a lack of assessment of the customer’s skin. That said, people who scar or inflame easily may react better to other treatments, which is why it is important to consult a skin therapist beforehand.
Will microneedling remove freckles?
We can’t answer this question without first saying this: Similar to topical treatments and skincare products, everyone reacts differently to cosmetic treatments, and that includes microneedling. It is essentially effective against all forms of hyperpigmentation, significantly reducing dark spots and lightening discolouration. But because freckles are mostly a case of genetic predisposition, microneedling shouldn’t be seen as a one-and-done type of solution. Depending on how prone you are to freckles, you may need regular treatments to maintain results.
How long does it take for dark spots to fade away after microneedling?
Your skin will start responding to microneedling immediately as it produces new healthy tissue. In about one week, old layers of skin will start to dry and shed as fresh new cells take their place. Over the course of 10 to 14 days, you’ll notice a significant improvement on your overall skin tone and complexion. Six sessions are ideal for best results, spaced between two and six weeks apart. By the end of your treatment plan, you’ll enjoy clearer, more even toned skin!
Are microneedling results permanent?
With the right skincare routine and personal care practices, you should be able to enjoy the amazing results from microneedling for a long time, but unfortunately, not forever! As with all living things, our skin will continue to evolve overtime, especially with the amount of exposure we have to external factors on a daily basis. In that case, it is easy to book follow-up sessions with us to maintain that youthful glow. And trust us – once you experience the benefits, you’ll have absolutely no problem coming back for more!
Book Your Microneedling Treatment
When you’re ready to start your journey to spot-less, flawless skin, our skin therapists are Lovoir Skin Body & Beauty are just a call away! If safety remains to be your concern, you’ll be happy to know that we are a certified Dermapen4™ Authorized Treatment Provider – that means, we’re equipped with the best technology and training to safely treat your hyperpigmentation issues. Book a Dermapen microneedling treatment with us, and experience the great benefit first hand!
If you want to learn more before committing to any treatment, you can book a consultation with our certified skin therapists first. We’ll properly assess your skin condition and recommend the best solution for you, whether it be microneedling or one of our other beauty treatments.