The complete approach to pigmentation treatment
Pigmentation, or hyperpigmentation, is the formation of dark patches of skin, and can occur anywhere on the body. They can lead to feelings of self-consciousness and, particularly when they appear on the face, piling on makeup in an attempt to cover them.
Fortunately, there are many treatments available that can work wonders to reduce the appearance of dark spots or patches on the skin. Here, we look at the most effective types of pigmentation treatment, what causes it, and ways to prevent it.
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How to choose the best treatment for pigmentation on the face
Pigmentation is commonly caused by an excess production of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. Several things can cause an overproduction, such as changes in hormones, certain medications, and exposure to the sun. Pigmentation is not usually harmful, but can be an indicator of another medical issue.
The key to understanding the best treatment for pigmentation on the face, is knowing which type of pigmentation you are dealing with. There are several different types of skin pigmentation, and each has its own underlying causes:
Solar lentigines (age spots)
Solar lentigines, also known as age or liver spots, are small dark spots with a clearly defined edge. They often occur on the hands and face, although they may appear anywhere on the body, and are caused by exposure to the sun’s UV rays. Although lentigines are non-cancerous, it is recommended that you see a dermatologist or skin specialist for an annual check-up to monitor for the development of skin cancer or melanoma.
Melasma and Chloasma
Melasma and chloasma are larger brown patches found on the face and are the most common forms of pigmentation caused by exposure to the sun or hormonal imbalances. Occurring more frequently in women, this form of pigmentation can be either epidermal (closer to the skin’s surface), dermal (deeper in the skin, and harder to treat), or a mixture of both. Chloasma, in particular, is known as the “mask of pregnancy,” as it is triggered by the hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy.
Ephelides, or freckles as they are commonly known, are small, round spots of darker skin that occur in larger numbers typically on the face. They usually affect people with fair complexions and appear darker in the summer months when exposure to the sun is greater, typically fading in the winter. Freckles are usually hereditary and are generally benign, but can be confused with other skin issues.
The best cream for pigmentation
There are many in-clinic treatments available for pigmentation, such as Intense Pulsed Light (IPL), laser resurfacing, and chemical peels. A dermatologist or skin-care specialist will be able to diagnose your pigmentation and guide you as to the best solution.
If you prefer to use an at-home treatment, there are several great products available that can help reduce the appearance of pigmentation. The best cream for pigmentation is one that contains powerful active ingredients such as those that affect tyrosinase (the enzyme that facilitates the production of melanin), without the addition of harsh or harmful elements that may irritate the skin and make the problem worse.
In addition, if you do undertake an in-clinic treatment, be sure to use at-home products on an ongoing basis afterwards, to prevent re-pigmentation.
Skin Elegance stocks a range of products from Synergie that are perfect for fighting dark spots, correcting uneven skin tone, and preventing future damage. Best of all, all Synergie products are formulated according to Clean Science® principles, which means that questionable ingredients are excluded, but the best of nature are science are included. The Synergie products we recommend for treating pigmentation are including the following:
Enlighten is a cutting-edge skin-brightening serum that contains a powerful formulation of tyrosinase inhibitors and natural skin brighteners to reduce the activity of melanin-producing cells. In comparative trials, the lightening agent in Enlighten was as effective as hydroquinone, but without the toxicity associated with it. The serum is also effective when used before commencing IPL, laser, and chemical peel treatments, to prevent a form of pigmentation known as PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) PIH is more likely if you naturally have darker skin – and it can occur after any skin stress, such as IPL (even if done just for hair removal), laser or peels.
Ultimate A is a potent skin regulating cosmeceutical containing vitamin A as stabilized retinol. This powerhouse of an ingredient can help to reduce visible sun damage and hyperpigmentation, protect skin from future UV damage, restore dermal thickness, and reduce fine lines though stimulating collagen.
Vitamin B is another multifunctional cosmeceutical, containing high levels of the active ingredient, vitamin B3 (niacinamide). This essential serum is formulated to enhance skin clarity and luminosity, strengthen the skin, and support pigmentation treatment by preventing melanin pigment from being deposited in the outermost skin cells It can also boost skin immunity, stimulate collagen, and increase hydration.
Pure-C Crystals is an essential skin antioxidant formulated with vitamin C in its purest form, L-ascorbic powder crystals and alpha lipoic acid. Ascorbic acid (vitamin C) interferes with tyrosinase to decrease melanin synthesis, and effectively protects the skin from UV damage by neutralizing free radicals that damage DNA.
SupremaC+ serum contains a brand new alternative form of stabilized L-ascorbic acid in a Synergie-patented form that combines it with mandelic and ferulic acids for even better absorption.
In addition to using products specifically formulated to combat pigmentation, it is important to have a good skincare regimen in general, to help maintain the skin’s natural processes. The best facial cleanser is something that is gentle on the skin, as harsh chemicals can cause irritation, which may make pigmentation worse.
Cleansing should be followed by applying a good moisturizer, ideally one that provides sun protection. Überzinc is ideal, as it contains 21% zinc oxide for physical sun protection, without any chemical sunscreens (some of which have been banned in certain states).
For a complete approach to pigmentation treatment, prevention is key
Although many pigmentation treatments can be very effective in reducing dark spots and the appearance of pigmentation, you should still bear in mind that any type of pigmentation treatment does not give permanent results. Exposure to the original source of the problem will cause dark skin to reappear.
- All types of pigmentation are made worse by exposure to the sun, which means that effective sun protection is vital.
- Wear a hat and cover up where possible. On exposed skin, use a good quality high factor sunscreen. For the face, use Synergie Skin ÜberZinc and on the body use ÜberZinc Body, both of which contain 21% zinc oxide, which is a natural sun protector.
- Protect your lips with a high-SPF lip balm. Pigmentation on the lips is harder to treat, and women with a darker skin tone should be particularly careful, as they are more likely to suffer from it.
- If you know that your pigmentation is being caused by using a certain medication, you may want to avoid it or switch to an alternative if it is feasible to do so. Pigmentation that is caused by medication will not disappear as soon as you stop taking it, though; you will still need to undertake treatment, but it will help prevent it from recurring in the future.
Shop our range of Synergie products specially formulated to effectively treat and prevent pigmentation.