Hyperpimentation. How to Fix It!

Hyperpigmentation. It’s something we all struggle with, unfortunately. There are a lot of products out there making huge promises to get rid of it for. I’m going to break it down and explain to you the best options for the skin, without damaging the skin. As you know, that is always my goal. Let’s fix the problem without causing another one.

Some people are more prone to it than others, based on genetics, but everyone is susceptible. From the fairest skin to the darkest. This is why wearing sunscreen is so important for everyone (I’ll get more into that later).

Remember, no one is born with it. Every baby is free of hyperpigmentation, including freckles, which is also a type of hyperpigmentation.

Freckles are caused by melanin. Melanin is a pigment in the skin and is what gives skin its color. When the sun hits the skin, it causes a production on melanin so that it can protect the skin layers underneath. Once melanin builds up in one place, a freckle is the result.

Here are some ways our skin develops the pigmentation.

Sun Exposure– The sun triggers the production of melanin. The skin is usually worse in the summer months. Using good skin care and regular facial treatments, you can minimize damage. It is completely normal to have your skin get darker in some spots in the summer and lighter in those same spots in the winter. I want to also say, and this is important to remember, sun damage can take up to 10 years to show. That means you can think that your skin is fine after a summer in the sun but later your skin will show the damage. I haven’t tanned my face in 10 years and I am still surprised at the damage that shows up. I had a good time in my teen years and my 20’s!

Heat– This one usually surprises people. Most think that as long as they avoid the actual sun, they will not have any pigmentation. It definitely helps but heat triggers inflammation and inflammation triggers the increase of melanin activity. So even if you go to the beach and wear sunscreen, big sunglasses, a big hat and sit under a big umbrella you can still get the damage. Sorry, folks!

Over-Exfoliation– I am super careful with my clients on how often they exfoliate. When I create a home care plan for them, I consider both the physical and chemical exfoliations. Too much can cause pigmentation. As I said above, inflammation triggers the increase of melanin activity. Even if you can’t see the inflammation, it can still be happening.

Picking at Blemishes/Acne– This is bad for many reasons but one of the biggest ones is that it can create what is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). And like sun damage, you don’t always see it until a few years later.

Hormones– Due to the increase of hormones during pregnancy, melasma is often caused. Just another form of pigmentation but harder to lighten. A lot of women will experience what is called a “pregnancy mask.” The upper lip will darken. This can also happen with birth control and even some medications. Always ask your doctor. I have seen many clients with melasma all over their face so it’s not exclusive to the upper lip. Everyone is different in how they will react but there are some worse than others. I once took a birth control pill and immediately started getting that mask above my lip and I switched that pill real fast! Luckily, no long-term damage was done.

Now I will discuss ways to help the pigmented areas.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, shown to reduce the number of sunburned cells as well as reverse age-related damage to the skin. Antioxidants help fight cell damage from free radicals, which are molecules that could injure cells and increase inflammation.

It does not replace sunscreen, but Vitamin C protects against and may repair UV damage, like discoloration. It also helps brighten the skin, which can make the overall appearance of the skin healthier. This is safe for those pregnant or lactating.

Retinol- A natural form of Vitamin A, this boosts the thickness and elasticity of the skin therefore reducing the signs of wrinkles.

There is an abundant amount of evidence to support that retinol works! Finding it in the right products is the tricky part because you need to have enough to get results. Most over-the-counter products cannot put enough retinol in them to give you the benefits you need. Retinol works by promoting cellular renewal and collagen production to improve skin texture and to diminish brown spots. Not safe for those pregnant and lactating.

This serum is a little more expensive but you only use it about twice a week so lasts longer!

Exfoliation- It’s important not to exfoliate the skin to break up the pigmented areas. As I said before, be careful not to over-exfoliate. I have a great scrub that also acts as a mask. It has glycolic acid and retinol in it with gentle jojoba beads. I love it because over time it helps to lighten and lift hyperpigmentation. I also have these amazing glycolic/retinol pads that act as a toner so it’s a leave-on. Perfect for hyperpigmentation. Book a product consultation with me if you are interested in having me look over your routine using your products.

Great for lightening the skin!

 

Sunscreen- Wear it everyday. SPF 30 is the perfect number. Most damage is done incidentally (about 78%), which means when you are not at the beach but just running errands around town or sitting in your car or next to a window at work. And just as a reminder, sunscreen in your makeup will not help. You have to wear about 7x the amount to actually get that number on the bottle. Sunscreen is skin care and skin care is separate from makeup. Skin care first, makeup second.

Facials- Always important but getting a facial (book with me if you’re local!) when dealing with a specific skin issue will definitely help. Make sure you address your concerns with your esthetician. What you see and what she (or he) sees may be different.

Chemical Peels- Oh my gosh! Anyone who knows me know these are my favorite especially when done in a series. I will only perform the chemical peel series between November and May because of the sun exposure. I am strict on this rule. No point in fixing the skin while damaging it. My series are done weekly over 8 weeks. Slow and steady. I recommend a home care plan so my clients can get the most benefits. They basically have no downtime and can resume normal activities. They might experience some flaking but nothing embarrassing or that will make you want to hide out in your house. You don’t have to peel with a peel because all the change is happening under the top layer.

Results from a Chemical Peel Series and using recommended home care products.

 

www.PSBLounge.com

Listen to the podcast, Pure Skin Talk. 

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Beware of DIY Treatments

I have blogged about DIY masks and scrubs and warned about the damage they can do to the skin. Now, my amazing skin care line, Skin Script, has written something about it too. I love that they support Estheticians as much as they do! There really is a difference in what you can do at home vs what we can do in the treatment room. Although I do recommend home masks and scrubs from time to time, they in now way replace a good facial or a professional product.

Here is what Skin Script had to say…

The DIY (do-it-yourself) craze has taken the internet by storm, thanks to popular blogs and websites such as Pinterest. With many at homemade concoctions for everything from nail polish remover to peel-away face masks, we decided to compare these at home treatments to professional treatments:

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1) Quality Ingredients: DIY home recipes call for easily accessible ingredients that can be found around your home or at a grocery store. For example, fruit acids (such those found in lemons) can actually burn your skin if used incorrectly. Table sugar, salt and even oatmeal can scratch the skin due to sharp edges, causing skin irritation and redness. Professional ingredients are pH balanced and modified so your skin cells will accept the ingredients. Skin Script products are “chirally correct” meaning they are accepted by the skin without irritation and will penetrate further than a DIY avocado/mayonnaise mask would.

2) Tools: Extractions with straight pins, “steaming” your face with a pot of boiling water, or using kitty litter as an at-home microdermabrasion treatment (yikes!) can cause serious harm to your skin. Your Esthetician is trained to use tools (such as extractors, steamers and modalities) in a safe, sanitary and effective way.

3) Experience: Attempting to correct skin issues such as acne, pigmentation, rosacea or wrinkles with at home “kitchen ingredients” is not as effective as the combination of an appropriate homecare regimen and regular treatments with a licensed Esthetician. Your Esthetician is trained to properly recommend treatments and homecare to help you achieve your skin care goals.

www.PSBLounge.com

Pomegranate Antioxidant Creamy Cleanser

This creamy pomegranate cleanser nourishes and hydrates the skin with aloe vera as the pomegranate antioxidant brings the skin to life giving it a healthy, radiant glow.

Pomegranate Cleanser Benefits:

  • Soothes Skin Irritation
  • Reduces Inflammation and Redness
  • Clarifies and Heals Breakouts
  • Assists and Heals Hydration Levels
  • Limits Pigmentation and Scarring
  • Enhances Cellular Turnover

Pomegranate-Antioxidant-Cleanser

Pomegranate was recently included in the elite group of superfruits because of its amazing health benefits. It carries excellent skin care properties including moisturizing, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. In promoting more rapid cell regeneration and rejuvenation, it delivers a powerful anti-aging effect as it helps the skin retain moisture and maintain proper circulation and hydration. It contains a host of powerful antioxidant components, which are responsible brightening or lightening the skin tone. In extending the life of fibroblasts, it promotes the production of collagen and elastin, which give strength and support to the skin. This way, it effectively slows the formation of wrinkles and marks related to aging. In aiding tissue repair, pomegranate has shown properties to expedite the wound healing process. With all the said benefits, it also minimizes the risk of developing skin cancer.

To Purchase Online:

www.PSBLounge.com