All skins contain pigment (colour); some just have a little more than others. But all of us want to have the same, even tone amount of colour in our face. Nobody likes dark spots, splotches or patches of skin, which is why science has long searched for the answers to what is one of the most difficult skin conditions to treat: hyperpigmentation.
The pigment that gives our skin its colour is called melanin. In response to illness, injury or exposure to too much sunlight, the skin produces melanin in an attempt to protect the skin. Too much or uneven production of melanin and we get hyperpigmentation.
Cause 1: Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PHI)
PIH is discolouration of the skin after it’s been damaged: bad acne, burns, wounds that form scars, excessive skin irritation and some skin disorders. And it is most common or visible in darker skin types.
The injury causes inflammation, and many of the molecules the body naturally releases to the inflamed area have a tendency to “aggravate” melanocytes in the area. These start producing excess melanin and hyperpigmentation is the result. PIH in the top, epidermal layers of skin is sometimes less visible, but when the damage goes as deep as the dermis you could end up seeing a blue-grey skin discolouration.
The pigment in our skins, melanin, is actually a kind of natural built-in sunscreen. Melanin exists in skin to absorb UV rays, before they can do more serious damage like sunburn or irreparable DNA damage in skin. And the body’s natural response to sun exposure is to create more melanin to try and better protect itself.
By doing so, the body often creates uneven amounts of melanin, and you’re left with dark spots on the face. Most types of hyperpigmentation you can think of, freckles, sun spots and age spots, are all caused by the sun.
Cause 3: Melasma (Hormonal Hyperpigmatation)
Melasma is caused by hormone fluctuations, and almost 70% of pregnant women will experience it to some extent. But, while pregnancy is a big trigger for it, even birth control and the slightest change in oestrogen levels can cause melasma. Thyroid dysfunction is also a possible cause. What happens is that melanocytes (the cells that produce melanin in the skin) are very sensitive to hormone levels in the body. If there’s a hormone imbalance, melanocytes tend to overproduce melanin. And the dark spots appear.
TREATMENT: 1. PROTECT
Sun protection is a crucial part of treating any kind of pigmentation. A single episode of unprotected sun exposure can set your pigmentation treatment plan back significantly. Use a broad spectrum sun protector and look out for harmful chemicals in sun protectors that might stimulate melanin production. Try Sknlogic Protect SPF 40, a full spectrum sun protector that uses both chemical sunscreens and physical sun blocks and protects against UVA, UVB, Bluelight and Infrared light as well as free radicals. Use a hat whenever outside for long periods of time.
Stubborn hyperpigmentation should be seen as a chronic skin condition – the longer you have it, the more likely it is in the dermis, the deeper layer of your skin. This condition needs to be managed, but is not always curable. Because pigmentation might be from the deeper layers, it could also get worse before it gets better. The key is to persevere!
Look for ingredients that inhibit melanin production and block cells from overproducing pigment.
Alpha Arbutin inhibits melanin production, Vitamin C & E protects the skin from free radical causing antioxidants. Raspberry extract works as an anti-inflammatory, Cowslip extract has a lightening effect & sunscreens protects the skin.
Higher concentrations of actives.
Alpha Arbutin and Daisy extract inhibits melanin production, Vitamin C & E protects the skin from free radical causing antioxidants. Raspberry extract works as an anti-inflammatory, Cowslip extract has a lightening effect.
Multi Active Lotion High concentration of Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Pineapple extract increases cell turnover. Vitamin C & E protects the skin from free radical causing antioxidants. Vitamin B5 (Panthenol) works as an anti-inflammatory, Cowslip extract has a lightening effect.
In some instances like when hormones are to blame, or severe acne, oral therapies as prescribed by a doctor, or Sknlogic Diminish and Multi Active ranges might be necessary to help manage the root causes, but treating the hyperpigmentation itself really comes down to lightening the skin.
This is where specialist treatments such as chemical skin peels, laser exfoliation or microneedling come in: administered by a doctor or trained skincare therapist, they can be very effective in exfoliating and lightening affected areas of skin.
4. BE VIGILENT
If you are on a contraceptive pill with oestrogen, it can aggravate pigmentation and make it difficult to treat. You need to be even more cautious about he sun and a top quality antioxidant is essential. So, whatever your skin type, there’s absolutely no reason to suffer with splotches of dark or discoloured skin. Incredibly effective treatments exist that can be easily incorporated into your everyday skincare routine. Our advice is to speak to your skincare therapist; she’ll know what to do.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT
SKNLOGIC Cosmeceutical skin care aims to provide a skin care solution that works with the skin’s biological processes to achieve visible results.
021 552 6999