Pigmentation is the bane of many a woman’s life. It can crop up seemingly out of nowhere and once you get a handle on it and may come right back. Still, if you know what’s causing it as well as how to treat it, you can enjoy a beautiful, even-toned complexion.
First, let’s chat about pigmentation in general. While your skin is full of melanin (the pigment that gives it it’s colour), an uneven skin tone will have darker-looking areas or spots caused by its overproduction.
The struggle is real
One of the main causes of pigmentation is unprotected exposure to the sun. This stimulates your skin to produce more melanin which travels up to the surface of your skin over time where it eventually becomes visible. This can take a few weeks and you’ll notice it shortly after a beach break or can manifest more slowly. Much of the sun damage we see today is caused by unprotected exposure we garnered as children.
Pigmentation can also be caused by your hormones. Going onto a new contraception or any medication that has an effect on your hormones as well as natural shifts like pregnancy or menopause can results in your melanin going into overdrive.
So, what can you do to prevent this? For one, never set foot in the sun without using a good sunscreen. You can spend a fortune on products and treatments that will help lighten up existing pigmentation, but all your progress can be undone with just one day of unprotected sun exposure.
Lighten up at home
There are also lots of topical treatments you can use that contain proven skin lightening ingredients. When together with a great sunscreen, they can help slow down the production of melanin and prevent it from travelling from the deeper layers of your skin to the surface where it’ll become visible. Just a few melanin-inhibiting actives include hydroquinone, retinol, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and potent antioxidants with UV-shielding abilities like vitamin C.
You’ll find a great selection of pigmentation-inhibiting solutions at Skin Renewal and our highly trained therapists can help you find one to suit. Just a few of our favourites include Lamelle’s Luminesce collection, a lineup that includes products to cleanse, hydrate and target, that contain a powerful mix of AHAs, retinol and niacinimide. (Also known as vitamin B3, niacinimide is a wonderful antioxidant with proven pigmentation-busting abilities.)
Another option that’s served up excellent results is Neostrata’s Enlighten range . Much like Lamelle’s collection, it includes everything from a cleanser to a night cream as well as a very targeted treatment – Pigment Lightening Gel (R489). It contains AHAs and kojic acid to help speed up cellular turnover and fade existing pigmentation while gluconalactone, lactobionic acid, liquorice extract and vitamin C prevent new pigmentation from reaching the surface.
Break out the big guns
A good home care routine is essential but if you feel you want a little more help, consider making an appointment with any of our Skin Renewal branches for an in-office treatment. There are lots of ways our doctors and therapist can assist in you in your quest for a more evenly-toned complexion and, after an initial consultation, they can recommend the best course of action, be it a peel or laser treatment, to help you bright up.