There comes a time when acne becomes the least of your concerns, sure you still break out from time to time, but there is a new main player on the block, meet, pigmentation.
There are two main types of pigmentation, there is the sun/age induced pigmentation that comes in brown patchy areas. Freckles, sun and age spots also fall into this area. This type of patchy pigmentation can also appear during pregnancy, just to add to the list of things women have to deal with while creating a human being inside of them, because there isn’t enough already.
Then there is post inflammatory hyper pigmentation that can commonly be mistaken for acne scars post breakout. They’re more pink and red in colour, but the good news is that they fade slowly (sometimes very slowly) over time.
So, how do we speed up the recovery process of hyper pigmentation and also work on removing the blotchy and sun induced pigmentation?
Here are 5 Ways To Improve Pigmentation, from prevention, low cost options, to more scientific and cosmetic treatments.
Prevention is always better than cure. Wearing SPF everyday is going to significantly reduce the appearance of pigmentation. Look for an SPF with UVA protection. This is VERY important. UVA is what causes the darkening on the skin from the sun and is prevalent all year round, it’s a major factor in causing skin cancer and can penetrate even through glass.
2. Rose Hip Oil
Rose Hip Oil is a low cost skincare product that can be used daily to repair pigmentation and scaring. Its full of fatty acids as well as Vitamin C, lycopene and provitamin A, all of which diminish discolouration.
3. Active Ingredients
What you’re looking for are Glycolic Acids (AHA’s) and Retinol, a form of vitamin A. Glycol Acid acid an an exfoliator, assisting to bring new skin to the surface while also lightening discolouration. Retinol increases collagen production and also helps to fade discolouration from sun damage.
4. Pigment blockers
We’re getting more serious now. Pigment blockers help with blocking the production of melanin, i.e. the darkening of the skin. Liquorice root extract is apparently a popular ingredient in pigment blockers as the extract blocks an enzyme called tyrosinase which is vital in the creation of melanin. However, melanin production is also a good thing as it shields the skin from UV rays, this is why those with fair skin burn easier than those with darker skin. This is why, if you do use a pigment blocker then you must use an SPF as you’ll become more susceptible to sun burn.
5. Laser Facials.
I’ve had a couple of laser facials from the Melanie Grant clinic in Sydney, and without a doubt they have incredible results. Brace yourself for your skin does get worse before it gets better, as the dark spots come to the surface before falling away, and I also find the procedure at the upper level of my pain threshold. However, the good part is that it’s quick, it’s literally over in a minute, 2 max. And after about day 4 or 5 you wake up with bright glowing skin with pigment issues visibly lighter, or some may have completely disappeared.
You may have to have a few sessions to eliminate your pigmentation concerns which is important to know before starting as they may have to be done in a set timeframe for the best results. You also need to take care of your skin after to keep your bright, clear skin. If you get a sunburn then you’ll be right back at the beginning again!
I found this topic really interesting, hence the super long post! It’s a skin concern that definitely creeping up on my list as I get older, so if you have any feedback on the about, especially if you’ve tried any treatments or products that have worked, I would love to hear about them. x
Pictured left to right: Alpha H Beauty Sleep Power Peel, SkinMedica Lytera brightening complex, Erno Lazlo White Marble sheet mask, Dermalogica Pure Light SPF, Mecca Cosmetic To Save Face SPF, Kosmea Rose Hip Oil