Uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation are common skin concerns, especially in the UAE. With temperature extremes, excessively humid or dry air, and the sun beating down all year round, the Middle Eastern climate poses unique challenges for our skin.
In these conditions, skin inflammation is common, frequently leading to discolouration and patches of uneven skin. So, how can you reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation without resorting to harsh treatments and chemicals? Here we get to the root of this issue so you can treat your skin the natural way.
The impact of the environment on dark spots
It’s probably unsurprising that acne is one of the top skin concerns reported for Arab skin. The UAE sees an average of 23 rainy days per year and, for the rest of the year, cloud cover is scarce.
Outside, the sun is unforgiving. Inside, air conditioning can be drying. There’s barely a moment’s rest for our skin, which is either exposed to UV rays, smothered in sun cream, or experiencing an artificially cool environment.
Adult acne can have a variety of causes. Excessive sun exposure and damage can be a big factor, as well as extreme temperatures, stress, an unhealthy diet and hormonal changes. Recent research has also exposed the impact that pollution and the changing environment is having on our skin.
There are many potential causes, but the same issue is at the root of acne, dark circles and pigmentation issues: inflammation.
Inflammation and hyperpigmentation
Inflammation triggers dark spots. When our skin gets stressed by our lifestyle or environment, it releases inflammatory cells that can cause melanocytes (pigment cells) to produce more pigment in the skin.
Severe inflammation can disturb the bottom layer of the epidermis (the first layer of our skin) and cause the pigment to leak. When this happens, the pigment becomes trapped in the dermis (the second layer of our skin), resulting in darker and deeper skin pigmentation.
There are three common types of hyperpigmentation. These are:
- Melasma. Often triggered by hormonal changes, melasma causes dark, discoloured patches on the skin. Areas of the body that are regularly exposed to sun can develop melasma, and it can also develop during pregnancy. This hyperpigmentation can appear on any area of the body, but most commonly on the face, where symmetrical patches appear on both sides.
- Sunspots. Also known as solar lentigines or liver spots, sunspots are caused by sun exposure. Generally appearing on areas exposed to the elements, like the hands and face, sunspots are pale-to-dark-brown patches that are usually flat and oval in shape.
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. This condition features dark and uneven patches of skin resulting from inflammation or injury to the skin, the most common of which is acne.
Treating dark spots
So, how do you treat dark spots? It would be ideal if there was a fix-all cure to remove them entirely (we wish!). But with prevention and natural treatment there is a way to lighten their appearance and even out your skin tone.
Defence is the best form of attack
Prevention is key. With both melasma and sunspots caused by sun exposure, it’s important to protect your skin from UV rays with a high SPF sun cream. It’s also a good idea to look at lifestyle factors – steps to improve your diet and reduce stress will really help your mental health and skin health.
Support your skin’s immune system
Reduced inflammation equals reduced dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
Our skin has its own immune system, which the endocannabinoid system in the skin supports by promoting natural oil balance and maintaining the function of our skin cells. CBD, short for cannabidiol, can be found in a variety of topical creams and balms, and is able to directly interact with our endocannabinoid system.
Our skin is covered in cannabinoid receptors. When you use a product containing CBD, the cannabinoid receptors recognise it and respond in the same way as they do with the body’s natural endocannabinoids; by setting them to work to heal the skin.
Juana’s potent, farm-fresh CBD products reduce inflammation and regulate your skin’s oil glands, making it a powerful natural treatment for dark spots.
Proceed with caution
Some people with dark spots and hyperpigmentation use topical steroid creams. It’s always important to get a doctor’s opinion when considering steroid use for your skin, as they will assess the severity of your condition and your compatibility with steroids. However, there are some side effects to these strong medicinal creams to consider.
Steroid medications work by suppressing the skin’s immune cells to reduce the inflammation. This doesn’t come without its knock-on effects, as decreased skin immunity can lead to disturbance of your skin’s protective barrier (resulting in infection), thinning of the skin and enlarged, more prominent blood vessels.
The flip side? CBD products have beneficial anti-inflammatory properties without the harm, balancing your skin the natural way. This means that you can take the natural approach to improving dark spots, with none of the nasty side effects.
At Juana Skin, we know CBD works best on dark circles when it’s combined with ingredients from nature. That’s why our formulations include therapeutic-grade botanical extracts.