Skin Deep: Everything you need to know about Pigmentation.


Skin Deep: Everything you need to know about Pigmentation.


By Emily Ruse,  Deputy Registered Manager


Triggered by age, sun damage, hormones and genetics, pigmentation is one of the most common skin complaints. Pigmentation commonly appears as a few spots but can often affect the whole body. We explore the condition skin deep…

 

Pigmentation, or hyperpigmentation, is the result of overproduction of melanin (the natural pigments produced in our cells responsible for skin and hair colour) in specific areas of the skin, resulting in darker spots compared to the overall skin tone which in turn, creates an uneven complexion.

Pigmentation can be caused by hormones, sun damage or post-inflammation from acne. Some skin types are more prone to pigment than others due to the amount of melanin within the skin and treatment options will differ depending on skin type and type of pigmentation.

If you’re suffering from pigmentation caused by UV rays and overexposure to the sun, it is important to take extra care to prevent further damage. A broad-spectrum sunblock SPF 50 covering protection from both UVA/UVA rays will help prevent the existing pigmentation from getting worse. But you should also be regularly topping up the SPF even if you suspect your pigmentation is due to hormonal factors. Melasma pigmentation often occurs during pregnancy, so it’s a good idea for expectant mothers to wear a high SPF, which will help to control the melanin production.

Brighten up and even out

Vitamin C is the ultimate non-prescription ingredient to brighten and even out skin tone. A potent antioxidant, it works best to prepare skin for any oxidative stress caused by environmental aggressors like UV rays.

 

Reach for the retinol

The best skincare ingredients to treat pigmentation are Retinol or Vitamin A, to promote cellular turnover and the production of healthy skin. Remember the whole new skin cycle takes between 12 to 14 weeks, so you need to stick to your pigmentation plan for at least eight weeks, combining chemical peels regularly and Vitamin C every morning. Depending on which Retinol you use, you may need to acclimatise your skin by applying twice a week, to begin with, and building it up as the skin gets used to it.

We usually advise to balance and stabilise your skin with the Obagi Nu-Derm System which is a unique system to treat and restore pigmented and damaged the skin while substantially improving the skin’s structure. Obagi products penetrate deeply into the skin, repairing damage to the epidermal and dermal layers. It strengthens the skin’s cellular functions which in turn, gives a younger and healthier complexion.

Rejuvenate with Laser

Q-switch Laser is great for superficial and deep pigmentation as it is designed to penetrate deep into the dermis to shatter the melanin within these lesions into very minute particles, which the body then eliminates using its natural processes. Thereby diminishing these pigmented lesions for good. IPL is great for superficial pigmentation as it helps to rejuvenate the skin.

Know the triggers

Daily SPF is non-negotiable and is an important part of minimising those brown spots. Maintain a good skincare regime with ingredients such as Vitamin C and retinol to keep skin cells turning over. If you’re not sure where to start, be advised by a professional.

 


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