What is Pigmentation & who gets it?
Irrespective of your ethnic background and skin colour, eventually most of us will struggle with some dark, brown or ashen pigmentation problem throughout the course of our lives. Skin can either appear darker or lighter than normal in concentrated areas, or you may see blotchy, uneven patches of brown spots to grey discoloration or freckling. Skin pigmentation disorders occur because the body produces either too much or too little melanin.
Melanin is the pigment produced by specific cells (melanocytes). It is triggered by an enzyme called tyrosinase, which creates the colour of our skin, eyes, and hair. (Melanin has two major forms that combine to create varying skin tones. Eumelanin produces a range of brown skin and hair colour, while pheomelanin imparts a yellow to reddish hue.)
As far as skin is concerned, depending on how much is present, melanin does provide some amount of sun protection by absorbing the sun’s ultraviolet light. This explains why darker skin colours are less susceptible to sunburn and the overall effects of sun damage. But less susceptible doesn’t mean that darker skin is immune from problems.
Increased melanin production —also known as hyperpigmentation —is often referred to as melasma or chloasma. Melasma is a general term describing darkening of the skin. Chloasma is generally used to describe skin discolorations caused by hormones. These hormonal changes are usually the result of pregnancy, birth control pills or estrogen replacement therapy.
As well as damage from sun exposure and hormones, pigmentation can be caused by skin damage, such as remnants of blemishes, wounds or rashes (Source: Cutis, August 2005, pages 19-23). This is particularly true for those with darker skin tones.
For all skin colours the most common cause of darkened areas of skin, brown spots or areas of discoloration is unprotected sun exposure. These discolorations most like don’t appear if your skin has been persistently protected from the sun over the years.
What can cause Pigmentation & what can make it worse?
Pigmentation can be a genetic factor, freckles for example. Hormonal changes in women can cause pigmentation to flare up, Menopause & pregnancy. Medications may affect the skin by making it sensitive to UV light and therefore cause the melanin to become darker. Skin disorders such as albinism, vitiligo and hyperpigmentation. Sometimes the incorrect use of highly potent products (Vitamin A) laser and peel treatments can make pigmentation worse.
Myths about Pigmentation
It doesn’t appear overnight. It takes years for pigmentation to develop and make its way the surface.
Scrubbing your face with get rid of it – no, inflammation will actually make it worse. Use gentle forms of exfoliants and products.
Once it is treated it is gone for good - no, if you’re susceptible to it may come back in other areas. Always protect your skin.
Using lemon juice or turmeric to get rid of it - not necessarily. Lemon is high in acidic acid and that may cause the skin to become sensitive. Turmeric will just turn the skin a different colour, sometimes causing a stained look.
Solutions for Pigmentation effected Skin
Photorejuvenation performed with IPL, VPL or Lasers is a very effective way of treating pigmentation caused by sun damage or pigmented scarring and are the easiest to treat often achieve the most effective results. Pigmentation is almost certain to disappear completely or to significantly fade.
Hormonal pigmentation is a lot more difficult to treat. Clients will sometimes notice the pigmentation becoming lighter but it is not always as effective. Unfortunately age spots do not tend to lighten at all.
Photorejuvenation treatments work by tricking the collagen into thinking it has been damaged so therefore starts working to repair itself. Immediately after a treatment the pigmentation may appear darker or you may experience micro-scabbing (which may look a bit like cocoa pops). This is normal, as it is usually an indication that the treatment has worked well. Although this does not always happen. In some cases the fading of pigmentation is more gradual.
Darker skins of 4 and 5 on the Fitzpatrick Scale are not suitable to have photorejuvenation treatments. However, a combination of Microdermabrasion and Oxygen Vitamin C infusions can work very.
Photorejuvenation should always be performed by a reputable practitioner and a patch test for 48 hours is an absolute must.
- Gentle hydrating cleanser that is rich in antioxidants
The Moisturising Cleanser is a gentle hydrating cleanser which removes the dirt and grime build up that has accumulated. This is important in any skincare routine as it allows for a greater penetration of ingredients to follow in the moisturisers and serums.
The Moisturising Cleanser also contains ingredients rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents which aid in the hyperpigmented skin concerns. These ingredients include Kakadu Plum (Vitamin C), Vitamin E, Jojoba Oil and Macadamia Oil.
- Stimulates cellular renewal and even’s out skin tone
The Bamboo Pearl Exfoliator aids in hyperpigmented skin types as it increases the cell turnover, which can break up and allow the body’s natural process of desquamation to replace the old hyper pigmented cells with new revitalised cells.
The Bamboo Pearl also is designed to be a gentle exfoliator that encourages desquamation without over irritating the skin, this is because the Bamboo Pearl contains soothing and nourishing ingredients of Jojoba Oil, Glycerine and Aloe Vera. These ingredients provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and hydration properties for the skin.
- Hydrates skin to look plump and refreshed
The Refreshing Toner is a hydrating mist containing Witch Hazel which helps control oil on the surface of the skin, and helps to refine pores. The Jojoba Oil controls sebum production, Chamomile to calm as well as heal and Hyaluronic Acid to hydrate.
- Reduces puffiness and dark circles around the eye area
Bright Eyes was formulated to aid in reducing pigmentation with the Soya and Rice Peptides which have been shown to have great potential in the disappearance of dark circles and puffiness around the eyes.
Bright Eyes also contains Sea Buckthorn and Coffee Fruit Extract which aid in reducing hyperpigmentation and contains nourishing ingredients for the delicate areas around the eyes.
- Antioxidants to minimise pigmentation and lighten age spots
The Brightening Mask contains Glycolic Acid which has been shown in many cases to aid in hyper pigmented skin concerns. The Glycolic Acid aids in the hyperpigmentation as it increases the cell turnover on the outer most layers of your skin, which allows for old cells with excess melanin to be shed off and then be replaced with younger revitalised cells. This is a natural process called desquamation which can slow down mainly due to age and Glycolic Acid has shown to increase the desquamation process.
The Brightening Mask also contains ingredients with natural brightening properties of Sea Buckthorn, Vitamin C and Bilberry Extract. These ingredients all contain potent antioxidants, and these antioxidants have shown to be natural depigmenting agents on the skin.
- Promotes skin healing and inhibits Melanin production
The Soul 20% Vitamin C contains only the purest and most active part of Vitamin C called Ascorbic Acid. The Ascorbic Acid in its natural water state is the best way and most stable way to deliver Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) and all its benefits to your skin.
The Ascorbic Acid has shown to aid in hyperpigmentation, which is the overproduction of melanin (skins colour) in concentrated clusters. The Ascorbic Acid disrupts the production of melanin by interfering with the enzyme responsible for melanin production, tyrosine. This is why Ascorbic Acid is referred to as a natural depigmenting agent which aids hyper pigmented skin concerns.
- Reduces appearance of scars and helps to lighten pigmentation
The Clear and Brightening Moisturiser aids in hyper pigmented skin concerns because of the high concentration of Sea Buckthorn oil. Sea Buckthorn contains numerus bioactive compounds which its healing factors are credited to, these include flavonoids, organic acids, Vitamins A,K,E,C,B1,B2, fatty acids, amino acids, tocopherols ,phenols, terpenes, tannins and lipids. The Sea Buckthorn is an astonishing skin healing ingredient and can aid in depigmenting due to its antioxidants of both the hydrophilic and hydrophobic states. Antioxidants have shown to be a natural depigmenting agent on the skin as well as a protective agent.
The Clear and Brightening moisturiser also contains Coffee Fruit Extract and Vitamin which are both natural ingredients that can aid in reducing the hyperpigmentation.