Skin pigmentation affects at least a third of women, especially as they get older. So is there any way to stop this unsightly skin affliction? Read on to find out.
While sunny days can give us a much-needed mood boost, too much exposure to the sun’s UVA and UVB rays can play havoc with your skin, causing a myriad of sun-induced ageing factors including unsightly hyperpigmentation, the term used when skin discolours leaving patches of darker brown skin. In fact over ⅓ of women, mainly over the age of 30, will experience pigmentation on the skin caused by exposure to UVA and UVB rays from the sun with the upper lip area, cheeks and forehead are particularly affected.
Why does your skin pigment?
Pigmentation irregularities in your skin usually start developing in women from the age of 30. This can be due to a myriad of factors of which genetics, skin ageing and the sun are the principle culprits. However exposure to the sun can speed up the pigmentation process whatever the reason. See below for the different types of pigmentation and how sun exacerbates the problem:
- Lentigo. These spots are also known as ‘age spots’ and can occur due to the natural ageing process. This type of ageing can be considerably accelerated if the skin is exposed to regular and considerable sun exposure, when it becomes solar lentigo.
- Melasma. This is generally caused because of hormone imbalances either because you’re taking certain medicines or because of sun exposure during pregnancy, especially when no protection is worn. This type of hyperpigmentation is called pregnancy mask.
- Liver spots, also called ephelids.
- Post-inflammatory pigmentation. Sometimes excess melanin is produced by the inflammation, following an acne spot for example, which can leave darker marks on the skin. Again this is greatly exacerbated by exposure to the sun.
All these factors contribute to causing disruption to the production and distribution of melanin, the pigment that is responsible for the skin's colouring. This means that melanin gets unevenly distributed in the skin and accumulates at the surface of the epidermis. The result? The skin starts to become unevenly pigmented leaving darker ‘stains’ and spots on the surface of the skin. While these marks are completely harmless, they can be unsightly.
How you can combat hyperpigmentation from the sun?
Hyperpigmentation is an on-going process that requires daily treatment. If yours is particularly prominent it’s worth seeing a dermatologist for advice, as there are various cosmetic treatments such as lasers and chemical peels that can help. However it is possible to prevent hyperpigmentaion and dark spots from compromising your complexion and to regain radiant, even-looking skin but it takes commitment to a rigorous daily skin care routine, morning and evening.
In the morning, after cleansing and before moisturising apply an anti-dark spot treatment to the face and neck such as Pigmentclar Visible Dark Spot Reducer serum, which is formulated with a potent combination of phe-resorcinol, ferulic acid and micro-exfoliating lipo-hydroxy acid and works to visibly reduce the appearance of dark spots and uneven skin tone.
Before stepping outside, make sure you protect your skin from further damage by using a high protection sun cream, especially if you’re likely to be exposed to a lot of sun. The sun is the major factor in the appearance and intensification of pigmentation so it’s key that you choose a specialist sun cream that fully protects you such as Anthelios Pigmentation SPF50. This gently tinted sun cream is specially formulated for people with skin prone to hyperpigmentation from the sun. It delivers antioxidants and XL protect technology protection that covers broad spectrum UV rays SPF50+/PPD39 and is enriched with procerad as well as coloured pigments to protect against visible light damage and instantly correct uneven pigmentation.
Take these simple steps every day and your skin will thank you for it with a radiant, even complexion to be proud of.