The misconception that skin should only be protected by the sun when outside is unfortunately not true. Pigmentation is the one of the most common skin concerns I see from our clients and there are many different reasons why pigmentation can occur, just to name a few:
- UV exposure
- Hormonal changes
Even though we’re currently not outdoors as often, it’s still very important to protect our skin from the suns harmful rays. There are 2 different types of UV that we are exposed to, these being UVA and UVB. UVA is the longer wavelength of radiation that ages and breaks down our collagen, resulting in loss of firmness, fine lines and wrinkles. UVB is a shorter wavelength of radiation and this is what creates a burn on the skin – and long term will result in pigment (brown spots) on the skin.
WHAT SUNBLOCK SHOULD I USE?
It’s important to use pigment inhibitors to try and slow down the production of melanin (pigment in our skin). Once the cell that produces pigment (melanocyte) becomes activated it cannot be switched off and that’s why it’s so important to slow down this process as much as possible, to prevent pigment spots from worsening.
Now there is always a lot of confusion around what are the best SPF’s to use, but the best SPF is a physical sunscreen. A physical sunscreen creates an immediate block on the skin and the UV rays are reflected off the skin, bouncing off the surface of the skin. These usually contain zinc and/or titanium dioxide and I highly recommend the Elta MD UV Elements/Pure products.
With chemical sunscreens, the chemicals absorb the UV rays into the top layer of the skin and shatter the UV so that is doesn’t penetrate further into the skin. If using these, they must be applied 20 minutes prior to sun exposure to ensure the best protection.
HOW CAN PIGMENTATION BE TREATED?
There are many different treatments that can be used to treat pigmentation, namely:
- IPL Skin Rejuvenation
- Lasers - Clear and Brilliant or Fraxel
- Skin Peel (Facial Booster)
- Ultraceuticals Radiance Plus Facial
For the best treatment for you as an individual, it’s important to book in for a consultation first to ascertain which of the above treatments would be best suited to your skin concerns and also to understand what’s causing your pigmentation.
It’s crucial to note that a good skincare regime is needed with any advanced treatment, as skin that’s healthy and well prepared with good skincare will benefit a lot more from advanced skin technologies.
SIX SKIN TIPS FOR PIGMENTATION:
- Apply SPF daily – 365 days of the year – even when it’s cloudy and raining
- Use pigment inhibitors to slow the production of melanin
- Vitamin A is essential for a healthy skin
- Reapply SPF every 2-3 hours when outdoors
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses when outside
- Have regular mole checks as there are areas on the body that you cannot see.