How To Take Charge Of Skin Pigmentation This Summer

The best accessory you can have during summer is a glowing and flawless complexion. Unfortunately for many of us, when the sun heats up during summer is also when we can become as patchy as the bananas in our fruit bowl. Prefer the peachy look instead? …Read on!

Pigmentation occurs when your melanin (the skin cells responsible for whether you’re a J Lo or an Emma Stone), deposit pigment in the visible layer of skin, usually in uneven blotches. The condition can be triggered by many causes including a gift from your parents (genetic predisposition), hormones, stress and damage to the skin, but one of the largest and most preventable factors is the sun.

It’s like a naughty summer fling.  It makes us feel oh so good at the time, but a little down the track may leave a nasty reminder why we should always stay protected.  Apart from ageing and preventing the luminosity of a glowing complexion, pigmentation can be difficult to treat so always remember prevent, prevent, prevent!

While there are internal causes to the condition that are best to seek the advice of a GP or dermatologist, follow these tips as a good basis for your defence against this summer’s heartbreaker.

#1 – Sun block

I don’t like the smell.  I hate the greasy feel.  It puts stains on my kaftan.  No, this is a non-negotiable! There is no excuse for not keeping your skin protected with a good quality sunscreen that can stop pigmentation from forming in the first place.  Even if you tan easily, most of us are not engineered for constant exposure to the harsh Australian climate without experiencing ageing effects such as wrinkles and pigmentation, as well as life threatening skin cancers.

With countless information available on what the best sunscreen method is for protecting your skin whilst getting enough Vitamin D, the options can be overwhelming.  As a guide, if you work outside during the middle of the day or have recently undergone a treatment that has left your skin vulnerable, use a sun block that contains zinc oxide.  It is a physical blocker of UV rays and is great for healing and calming the skin. A sun block containing zinc will also generally need to use less chemical agents that act as UV absorbers but can be irritating to sensitive skin.

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Another tip: make sure the product is broad spectrum, which means it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.  What’s the difference?  Think A for Ageing (deep penetrating rays which destroy collagen and cause cancer) and B for Burning (shallow penetrating rays that stimulate melanin and increase your risk of pigmentation).

#2 – Skin Brightening and Exfoliation

A combination of skin brightening serums and exfoliation can dramatically reduce pigmentation and prevent it from reoccurring. Popular skin brightening ingredients such as vitamin C, niacinamide, licorice extracts and azelaic acid, can help block the process of melanin from producing pigment and enhance the generation of new cells.

By combining this with an exfoliation serum such as an alpha hydroxy acid, you can gently and gradually remove the pigmentation of the top layer and replace it with new and fresh skin cells to even out your skin tone. If you’ve never used these products before, see a dermal therapist. A good skincare regime could be the end of your pigmentation woes.

#3 – Avoid Inflammation

Post inflammatory pigmentation is a slap in the face when you are supposed to be enjoying the effects of your beauty treatment. If you are undertaking treatments that can cause inflammation in the skin such as waxing or lasers, it is vital to keep the treated areas out of the sun and cool, for up to 2 weeks after the treatment.

While the skin is recovering, further damage or irritation can cause the melanocytes to stimulate further and cause pigmentation in the treated areas. Have you ever wondered why you end up with a darkened spot when you give in to the urge to squeeze that pesky pimple?

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If your pigmentation is noticeably darkened and found on the forehead, cheeks and upper lip, you could be suffering from hormone related melasma, often called ‘the pregnancy mask’. As much as you try, this may only be improved in the hands of a professional who can prescribe hormone-altering medications, laser or strong exfoliation therapies and skin care with a high concentrations of ingredients that will block melanin from producing pigment. If you are in Australia, Melbourne Laser & Aesthetic Centre can be the best option for you.

In addition to this, always remember that prevention of worsening the condition with excess sun exposure is vital. Unfortunately if you’ve suffered pigmentation once, it’s most likely going to follow you around forever.

#4 – Stock up on Stylish Hats and Shades

Last but not least, if you’re prone to pigmentation, use it as an excuse to spend a little extra on a killer summer protection wardrobe. Cue vintage hats, leather baseball caps and oversized shades!

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16 Comments

  • Reply Alexandria Martinez Tuesday 3rd April, 2018 at 11:10 am

    A good friend of mine brought up their interest in a skin pigmentation treatment the other day. I wanted to learn a little more about it to better understand it. I will bring up a hormone-altering disease that you mentioned in case this is what she has.

  • Reply yslyenom Saturday 7th February, 2015 at 11:59 pm

    Reading this I feel like I have pigmentation problem. Going to find out more about this.

  • Reply candicelee22 Tuesday 20th January, 2015 at 1:19 pm

    Great tips

  • Reply romvar Wednesday 14th January, 2015 at 1:03 pm

    Thanks for this article. My biggest beauty problem is pigmentation.

  • Reply xlilda Tuesday 6th January, 2015 at 8:10 pm

    Definitely hate the greasiness of sunscreen but never avoid it.

  • Reply BellaB Sunday 4th January, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    Yeah, hate sunscreen but must use it!

  • ivysaurus
    Reply ivysaurus Saturday 27th December, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    got to remember to do this. Always forget to reapply sunscreen!

  • Reply shclifton24 Sunday 21st December, 2014 at 10:18 am

    Definitely worth taking note for younger players – my face now looks dirty in summer with a tan so I avoid it completely.

  • Reply jenniqua Friday 19th December, 2014 at 6:57 am

    This is a major skin concern of mine,, so this is a great article for me.

  • Reply lovelyloves Friday 19th December, 2014 at 6:50 am

    I really got to stop squeezing my pimples then

  • Reply dj23249 Friday 19th December, 2014 at 3:17 am

    I’m a huge fan of Tuscan Tan products

  • Reply Miffny Friday 19th December, 2014 at 1:52 am

    Fantastic advice thanks so much .I will get a hat now!

  • Reply RachKap Friday 19th December, 2014 at 1:52 am

    Thanks for these useful tips and advice!

  • Reply anitae Thursday 18th December, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    I love that this is all so simple and we know what we do .. Just sometimes forget x

  • Reply Whatthe Thursday 18th December, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    I love my hat!

  • Reply Sparkles17 Tuesday 16th December, 2014 at 1:27 pm

    Need to purchase a skin brighteneing serum this summer.

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