Do you have uneven skin tone, brown spots or melasma on your face? Do you find them unsightly and would like the spots to vanish, returning your skin to the way it used to be?
When it comes to treating uneven skin tone and pigmentation it can be difficult to know where to start! Uneven skin tone, with or without darkened brown areas, is a skin issue that has taken time to develop and even though you may like the idea of a quick zap to remove them, there is no quick, magical solution.
There are many types of skin pigmentation issues. The three main being Age Spots, Melsama and Post-Inflammatory Hyper-Pigmentation. While Age Spots are associated with past sun damage appearing in older people, the other two can happen much earlier in life. Melasma typically occurs to women experiencing hormonal changes triggered by the pill and pregnancy, it’s also prevalent in people with darker skin tones. Lastly certain medications and inflammatory illnesses can trigger darker skin patches, such as Acne and Eczema. This typically appears on the face and neck.
Sun exposure triggers most pigmentation issues in lighter skinned people. The damage from UV radiation is more than likely to have happened years ago, with your darkening skin just starting to show up on the surface now. Whether it’s just the tone and texture of your skin, the brown areas or the hormonal markings, once the pigmentation has begun to appear on the surface, it will continue to show itself in different areas and colours. You will need to control it first, then master the art of managing your particular type of pigment in your individual skin type and its condition.
What you see today is an accumulation of your life to this point- in particular, how well you have protected your skin from the sun.
Treatments for pigmentation focus on management and control and include specific home care products, regular in-clinic treatments, caring for your inner hormone health and wearing a physical, zinc-based sunblock every single day.
There are many “miracle cures” touted, so please be wary. You don’t want to cause further damage to your skin.
A specific ingredient to avoid is… Hydroquinone
Over-the-counter skin lightening creams are topically used to lighten darker skin types or to lighter areas of pigmentation in the skin. They contain a chemical called Hydroquinone that works by partially blocking the chemical reaction that occurs to produce melanin. As we already know, melanin is what gives our skin, hair and eyes colour. The problem with Hydroquinone is that it is known to have some serious side effects, including thinning of the skin, acne and permanent skin bleaching. Many countries have banned Hydroquinone for use in over-the-counter cosmetic preparations, including Australia. However, it is still available by prescription. At The Skin Care Clinic we have specialist serums for skin lightening and fading of pigmentation that are Hydroquinone-free.
Treating Uneven Skin Tone and Pigmentation
The key is to reverse the DNA damage. This will decrease the amount of melanin produced, thus lightening the existing pigment and brightening the skin. This will be achieved by using specific pigment-treating serums (more on that below), but the following lifestyle changes will also help a great deal.
- Keep your skin well hydrated with minimal inflammation – eat a healthy diet and drink sufficient water.
- Ensure your gut health, which influences your hormones, is as healthy as possible.
- Wear a physical sunblock every single day.
- Don’t strip your skin with harsh products.
- As well as your specific pigment products, use a serum(s) containing Vitamin A and Vitamin C, plus lots of other nourishing antioxidants.
If you have sensitive or reactive skin, please see this article to help you understand why your skin might be sensitive or reactive. Specific products to help you control your pigmentation are on the downloadable PDF below. It’s important to recognise what is triggering your skin changes otherwise you’ll be fighting an uphill battle. You are best dealing with both the cause as well as result of your bodies changes.
Sun Protection Recommendations
Remember, a physical block may be labelled SPF 15, but it is really a wall between your skin and the sun, which makes it far superior to chemical-based products, whatever the SPF. Generally, the physical block is a safer choice*, even though you do need to reapply it a little more often.
SPF types for skin types and lifestyles – read more about it here.
- Oily, acne prone skins – Osmosis MD Protect, Societe Prime and Defend, Aspect Sun Envirostat Face, Sunforgettable Brush
- Dry, sensitive or mature skins – CosMedix Hydrate+, Societe Prime and Defend, Medik8 Advanced Day Total Protect,
- Normal skins wanting moisturiser and sunblock together – Aspect Dr Hydra Shield, Sunforgettable Face Shield, Medik8 Physical Sunscreen
- Hiding Pigmentation – Colorescience All Calm or Even Up, Aspect Sun CC Cream
- Sports people – Aspect Sun Envirostat On The Go or Face *note these are chemical sunscreens, thus that won’t sweat or rub off.
Best makeup to Conceal & Cover-up
We have put together an easy to follow brief list of makeup and products that are great for concealing skin tone issues while being super beneficial for your skin. Any one of these will help to ease the frustration as you take control of your skin.
Best In-Clinic Treatments for Treating Uneven Skin Tone
Any treatments that improve your hydration are great to start with, however our Cosmelan Depigmentation Treatment and Vitamin A Facial Infusions are our recommendations for uneven skin tones and pigmentation of all types. You’re targeting healing in the lower layers of your skin. Aiming to stop the problem from re-occurring, rather than just lightening the top most layer of your skin.
*Please be aware that everyone’s skin is different and results will vary from person to person.
Be kind to yourself NOW, prepare and protect your skin this lifetime – you only have one chance!
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