Uneven skin tone, freckles and a dull complexion are things a lot of people are constantly fighting. Unfortunately, pigmentation and discolouration are notoriously hard to treat and take a lot of consistency and a great skincare routine.
What’s probably most important in reducing your pigmentation is understanding what’s causing it and how you can make lifestyle changes to prevent it.
What causes pigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation such as brown spots, marks and splotches is often caused by excessive sun exposure, hormone imbalances, inflammation and injury to the skin. Those with lighter skin tones will be more susceptible to sun-induced pigmentation whereas those with olive skin tones can find that they’re more sensitive to post-inflammatory pigmentation. This is usually the marks left behind after a blemish or injury.
When it comes to hormones causing pigmentation, it’s generally women who are pregnant, those taking the contraceptive pill, or using hormone replacement therapies that will find themselves more likely to suffer. Hormone induced pigment is usually called melasma.
Sun damage is the number one cause and unfortunately, it can take up to 12 years for sun damage to appear on your face so those times you oiled up and sun bathed in the backyard for days on end as a teen may come back to bite you. Sun damage is also cumulative so short bursts of 5-10 minutes in the sun without protection can add up over time.
These common causes of pigmentation also mean that you can be diligent in treating your pigmentation only to have more continue to come through. And of course, if you’re going without using a high-quality SPF every single day, you’re also likely to continuously experience pigmentation, no matter how well you treat it.
So, what can you do about it? Treating pigmentation at-home is all about encouraging skin cell turnover, using products that block the formation of pigment, and ingredients that help to break up and fade the appearance of the pigment in your skin cells.
Here’s some pigment fighting products to try…
This serum is designed to inhibit the formation of pigment in your skin and help to brighten your complexion. Ingredients like lactic acid, Kakadu plum and antioxidants make it great for treating all types of pigment. It’s gentle on the skin, hydrating and fast-working. Don’t be surprised to see your skin brightening up after just a few weeks of diligent use.
Paula’s Choice 2% BHA Exfoliant and 10% Niacinamide Booster Duo
What’s better than one pigment fighting product? Two that work in tandem to fade pigment, brighten and even out your skin tone while keeping your pores clear and lines soft. Salicylic acid in the BHA toner gets into the deeper layers of your skin to clear them out. In doing so, it’s also helping to fade pigment on that deeper level. It also clears the way for the niacinamide (vitamin B3) which is a well-loved ingredient for brightening skin and reducing signs of age for an all over more youthful and even complexion. Any skin type will benefit from adding this duo to their routine.
Ole Henriksen Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner
This toner is loaded with a combination of glycolic and lactic acids to help gently resurface your skin and slowly fade away pigment and dark spots. Unlike other AHA toners, it won’t strip your skin and leave you feeling tight and dry. It actually feels really hydrating and induces an insta-worthy glow after just a few uses. It’s also going to help other serums and your moisturiser reach the deeper levels of your skin and be more effective.
Retinol is great for encouraging skin cell turnover which helps to fade pigmentation and dark spots over time. There are so many varieties of retinol available in a lot of different concentrations so choosing one for your skin isn’t as simple as a single recommendation. The formula you choose will depend on how well your skin will tolerate it. Check out our article on retinols to help you choose.
Shot exclusively for Oz Beauty Expert on location in NYC
Photo: Thom Kerr
Make Up: Bonnie G Oz Beauty Expert
Hair: Iggy Rosales
Model: Jemma Baines
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