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4 ways to protect skin with hyperpigmentation from sun

Hyperpigmentation from sun exposure is a fancy way of saying sun spots. Since they are a product of the skin's overproduction of melanin, these spots can take time to treat. Spend that time protecting your skin from further photodamage.

What is skin hyperpigmentation from the sun?

Hyperpigmentation can range from harmless freckles to dangerous skin cancers. The two most common types that respond to treatment are solar lentigines and melasma.

Solar Lentigines

Also known as "liver spots" or "age spots," solar lentigines are a type of hyperpigmentation from sun exposure.

The spots usually appear on the hands and face because those delicate skin areas are most often exposed to the sun. These are harmless and treatable under the care of a dermatologist.


Melasma, also known as "chloasma spots," tends to cover a larger area than solar lentigines.

It is darkened skin that appears on the face and abdomen. This overproduction of melanin occurs because of hormone changes, which can happen in pregnancy, or when taking birth control pills.

How can you protect skin from hyperpigmentation from the sun?

If your skin has hyperpigmentation from sun exposure, you'll need to be mindful about protecting it from photodamage.

Shielding your delicate skin from the sun can potentially diminish the visibility of some hyperpigmented areas.

1. Sunscreen

No matter what natural skin tone you have, you can benefit from the protection of sunscreen. Wear SPF 30 or higher on your face, neck, and hands every day to prevent UV rays from increasing the melanin production in your skin.

Look for sunscreens that include beneficial ingredients, such as vitamin C or niacinamide, which can help to increase your cell turnover and bring back a healthy, even skin tone. 

2. Hats

Hats are so important in preventing sun damage; the wider-brimmed the better!

Extra-wide brims can even shield the vulnerable parts of your upper chest. Used in concert with sunscreen, hats can dramatically minimize the potential for additional hyperpigmentation from sun exposure on your face.

3. Sunglasses and scarves

Often overlooked as sun protection, sunglasses and scarves can be a key part of your skin-shielding repertoire.

Hyperpigmentation can show up as under-eye circles that are difficult to treat, so defend that delicate skin with large-framed sunglasses. Along the same lines, protect yourself by covering your shoulders and collarbones with scarves.

4. Clothing 

Look for sun protective apparel that are rated UPF 40 and above (Ultraviolet Protective Factor, the equivalent of SPF for clothing).

These treated materials are tested in a lab, and can certifiably protect your skin. They usually come in lightweight, breathable materials that make them easy to layer, no matter the weather.

Finding a Blend of Beauty and Safety

Keeping your skin healthy and glowing is possible, and you don't need to sacrifice your fashion sense to do it.