Our skin contains cells called melanocytes that produce a chemical compound called Melanin. Melanin is responsible for giving human skin its distinctive colour. When everything is running as planned, these melanocytes produce melanin at a steady, consistent rate - meaning our skin tone is even. Problems can occur when these cells produce either too much or too little melanin. This presents itself in a range of harmless skin pigmentation conditions. The most common include:
Thankfully for anyone wanting to combat the effects of skin pigmentation, there are effective treatments to deal with those pesky sun spots and patches of discoloration without undergoing expensive laser treatments or hiding your skin under makeup. Keep reading for practical treatment tips from the beauty experts at The Body Shop Australia.
TREATMENT TIP #1: Identify Your Type of Skin Pigmentation
The first step is to correctly identify the type of skin pigmentation you are experiencing. Keep in mind this issue can affect all parts of the body and not just the face. The most common forms of pigmentation are:
- Freckles: Freckles are diffused pigmentation in the form of flat, small tan or light-brown coloured spots. They appear on sun-exposed areas of skin, such as the face, neck, arms and shoulders. Caused by direct exposure to sunlight, freckles are generally harmless, however with repeated sunburn there is a risk they can develop into skin cancer.
- Hyperpigmentation: Also known as ‘sun spots’, hyperpigmentation like freckles, is also caused by direct sun exposure. Hyperpigmentation presents itself as large dark brown patches. These are caused by body overproducing melanin to protect itself from excessive UV radiation.
- Melasma: Caused by hormonal changes due to pregnancy, melasma is a normal condition experienced by pregnant women. It can also be caused by underlying thyroid dysfunction. Typically appearing on the forehead, cheeks or upper lips as dark patches – this is one of the more difficult types of skin pigmentations to treat.
- Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH): Most commonly experienced in individuals with darker skin tones, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (or PIH) is caused by injury or swelling to the skin and even acne.
- Vitiligo: Vitiligo is the opposite of hyperpigmentation and is caused by the body not producing enough melanin in certain areas, leading to the loss of skin colour in individuals with a darker skin tone.
TREATMENT TIP #2: Embrace a Fresh Start with Potent Face Peels
So you’ve worked out the type of pigmentation causing you trouble. What’s the next step? You could always consider a face peel, which have been used for years by beauty therapists as an effective skin pigmentation treatment that’s low cost, and safe. Face peels, which usually contain chemicals like salicylic or glycolic acid work by gently removing the top layer of the skin (affected by pigmentation) in a peeling motion. This allows a fresh layer to grow in its place with a more even skin tone. Whilst face peels have traditionally been the domain of the beauty salon, they’re easy to use at home. Check out these purifying treatments from our own range:
TREATMENT TIP #3: Deal with Discoloration Head On with Skin Brightening Serums
A second more subtle treatment option is to apply skin whitening and lightening creams to your face and other affected areas of your skin on a daily basis (try night time application for the best results). This form of treatment works by removing existing melanin deposits from the skin (which are the primary cause of hyperpigmentation). Whilst doing this, it slows down the production of future melanin, leading to an overall more even skin tone and a younger looking appearance. The Body Shop has a range of skin brightening and whitening serums designed specifically to combat skin pigmentation.
TREATMENT TIP #4: Avoid Future Trouble Spots through Proper Sun Care
Having successfully treated your pigmentation issues through using face peels or skin brightening serums and creams, our final tip is to avoid future troubles by better protecting your skin from the causes of pigmentation. With excessive sun exposure and sunburn being the main culprits, your best weapon against future sun spots and patchy skin colour is proper sun care. Check out our range of sunscreen lotions, and remember to slip slop slap!
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