Hormonal pigmentation, also known as melasma, is a considerable problem for South African women. It is a chronic skin condition that occurs on the face in the form of brown patches and is an active condition that needs lifelong management.
What causes hormonal pigmentation?
* UVA rays are a stimulant for melanin (brown pigmentation) to develop on the skin, and unfortunately can even penetrate through car window glass.
* Any change in hormonal status with higher levels of oestrogen is thought to trigger and aggravate the condition (i.e. birth control pills and pregnancy). Discontinuing the use of contraceptives rarely clears the pigmentation and it may last for many years after discontinuation.
* After pregnancy melasma or pigmentation usually clears within a few months of delivery, but may persist indefinitely.
* Many women without these risk factors also develop melasma.
* Any activities that cause intense heat to the face (from steam showers, hot closed environments, sitting on the beach even under cover and with full sun protection, and so on) cause inflammation which is a powerful stimulator of melanin.
* It is more prevalent in darker-complexioned individuals though persons of any race can be affected due to the intense sun exposure in South Africa.
* Melasma is seen most frequently in women, but can be seen in men.
How can one prevent melasma from forming?
* Avoid sun exposure and wear a protective hat when outdoors for extended periods.
* Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF30 + to block the UVA rays every day.
* In addition, your sunscreen should also contain an antioxidant as this stops free radicals which cause pigmentation.
* At least 5mls of sunscreen should be applied daily to the face, neck and décolleté twice a day.
* Taking an oral antioxidant supplement such as OvelleD3 or Heliocare daily is clinically proven to raise one’s level of resistance to the sun and also helps to reduce the melanin content in the skin down the line.
* As melasma is a dynamic condition and needs to be managed daily and indefinitely, one day of unintentional sunburn can set you back.
Exciting new developments in the treatment of melasma
To date, traditional cosmeceutical products as well as prescription medications try combating hyperpigmentation with disappointing results or worse – they can cause hypersensitive skin, which in turn aggravates the pigmentation.
Lamelle’s Luminesce, an advanced pigmentation programme which addresses hyperpigmentation by reducing melanin at several points in its production, as opposed to just one point as with other treatments. This wider inhibitory effect is an industry first, positioning the Luminesce range as one of the most innovative.
By adding the supplement OvelleD3 or Heliocare, the melasma will be further reduced by up to 37% within four to six weeks of use.
Skincare ingredients to use if you have melasma:
Arbutin, bearberry, cucumber extract, hydroquinone, kojic acid, licorice extract, magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, mulberry extract, niacinamide, retinol, resorcinol, beta hydroxyl acid, vitamin C.
Skincare ingredients to avoid:
Oestradiol, oestrogen, genistein, black cohosh, chasteberry, hops, red clever, soy and wild yams.
Skin Renewal tip: A perfect antidote to dull, pigmented skin in the winter months is Skin Renewal’s signature facial: the Anti-Ageing Mesoglow which is a four-in-one treatment and is exciting everyone who uses it. It’s versatile, suits everyone and leaves skin tighter, brighter, younger, fresher and more hydrated.
Got a skin or health question for our experts? You can ask them here.
Other articles you may be interested in:
Pick the right SPF based on your skin type
4 Myths about your skin and the sun
Superficial VS dermal hyperpigmentation
The truth no one wants to tell you
Dry skin remedies
I have noticed some spots on my hand, I’m going to try out some of these tips.
I never heard about this condition before. Better stock up on sunscreen!