Let’s talk about… Pigmentation

Woman with no pigmentation

Summer is here at last. And with it comes the joys of (fingers crossed!) long, sun-soaked days and warm, balmy nights. Yet one of the downsides for some women is that increased UV exposure can cause an acceleration in the skin’s production of melanin – the natural pigment that causes age spots and melasma. Unfortunately – perhaps even more so than fine lines and other skin issues – pigmentation is notoriously hard to tackle. The journey to reducing and reversing it can be long – but there are ways and means to prevent it occurring in the first place. So here are my top tips for keeping those telltale brown patches at bay this summer...

  1. SPF, SPF, SPF...Sunscreen should be your middle name – all year round. Mixing make up with sun cream can get messy when you’re topping up throughout the day. So I use DermaQuest’s Zinclear SPF 30 tinted moisturiser, which contains UVA and UVB protection – plus comes in a variety of shades to add coverage throughout the day.
  2. The protective wardrobe: I hate to bang on about sun protection, but it really is the number one thing you can do to prevent pigmentation – other than staying inside or in the shade. I like to have a selection of SPF products to suit different needs. A protective tinted moisturiser for the face, a spray for the body and a mineral product for when breakouts occur.
  3. Look down: All that said, it’s easy to forget you neck and décolletage when it comes to applying sunscreen. But don’t - a patchy, crinkly turkey neck and chest do not a pretty sight make!
  4. Repair: Antioxidants both build the skin’s own protection against UV rays – and repairs existing damage. Vitamin C is one of the skin’s champions – so try Skinceuticals’ CE Ferulic serum.Pigmentation treatment
  5. Pre-plan your wax: Remember that any areas that have been waxed can be more vulnerable to sunburn and pigmentation. So make sure you book it at least a week before your departure – or better still, have a course of permanent laser hair removal during winter.
  6. Be mindful of perfume: One thing people rarely realise is that spraying perfume onto the skin can also make it more receptive to UV light. So spray scent on clothing during sunlight hours – then save it for your skin during long, hot nights.
  7. Book an autumn SOS: Most people want to hang onto their holiday glow for as long as possible. So wait until autumn, when there’s naturally less sunlight and risk of pigmentation forming – then book in for a peel to remove dead skin cells and brighten the complexion overall. Never, ever book a microdermabrasion treatment as this can make pigmentation worse.

Happy, pigment-free holidays!

 

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