7 Ways To Effectively Prevent And Treat Hyperpigmentation
Ask any Aussie woman what it means to live down under amongst the pristine beaches, flat whites and bin chickens, and you’ll most likely be met with the term hyperpigmentation.
Otherwise known as brown spots, age spots, dark spots or sunspots, this common skin condition is the byproduct of a largely outdoor lifestyle and high sun exposure.
So how do we get rid of it? Well, to answer all of your burning questions surrounding the pesky spots making themselves at home across your face and body, we caught up with Ella Baché National Training Manager, Gina Cook, to learn exactly what pigmentation and hyperpigmentation is and the ingredients and products we should be using to treat it.
What is pigmentation?
“Pigmentation is [actually the] colour produced by melanin in our skin cells, it’s when we have hyperpigmentation that causes us concern, such as discolouration and patches of irregular coloured skin,” explains Cook.
Image credit: @zotheysay
How do I prevent it from occurring?
As hyperpigmentation comes from exposure to the sun “the most effective way to avoid [it], is to wear a zinc-based sunscreen every day (bh recommends: Invisible Zinc Sheer Defence Tinted Moisturiser SPF50, $30.49 at Chemist Warehouse) and avoid sun exposure,” says Cook. “This will limit the over stimulation of melanin” and as a result hyperpigmentation..
“Be aware of incidental and intentional sun exposure though,” she explains. “For example, during the peak of summer the sun is at its strongest and 20 minutes in the sun, even if it’s just a trip to the shops...you are putting your skin at risk.”
What are the best ingredients to treat it?
While we’ve sung the praises of vitamin C in the past, it is actually the best ingredient to treat hyperpigmentation. “[It’s] a miracle ingredient. Not only does it help minimise, treat and prevent pigmentation and hyperpigmentation, it works to brighten and lighten the skin, as well as having amazing abilities as an antioxidant,” says Cook. But what does an antioxidant do, you might ask. “Antioxidants help to fight pollution, which makes the skin more susceptible to a dull, lacklustre appearance, as well as contribute to the onset of fine lines and pigmentation.”
Are there any ingredients to avoid?
“Some products with certain forms of alcohol or chemicals will stimulate pigmentation or discolouration,” says Cook, “especially when exposed to the sun. It’s important that the use of these stronger products, such as retinol, are only used in the evening and followed by sun protection the next day. Any products that are harsh on the skin will cause skin trauma and this can in turn cause the skin to become discoloured,” she says.
So, what products should I be using?
For best results, Cook recommends considering an in-salon treatment such as a microdermabrasion followed by LED or IPL Brightening Series (such as is available at Ella Baché salons). But for products you can use at home:
Ella Baché Neobright Radiance C Ampoule Set
Alpha-H Liquid Gold
SK-II Genoptics Aura Essence
Swisse Blood Orange Brightening Facial Serum
Skinceuticals C E Ferulic
Kiehl's Solutions Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution
La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Anti-Pigmentation Serum
Rodan + Fields REVERSE Targeted Dark Spot Corrector
Have you tried any of the products mentioned above?
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