You may be wondering how to get rid of dark spots on the skin due to sun damage. Despite anyone’s best efforts to mind their SPF, any time spent under the sun can take a toll on skin. We’re talking pesky sunspots, dark patches, and uneven tone. Here’s your pigmentation playbook for “brightening up”, straight from the pros.
It’s important to know the cause of pigmentation, as an uneven complexion has a few culprits that will determine the right plan of attack, explains Dr Eloise. “Hyperpigmentation is caused by over activity of melanocytes, the pigment producing cells in the skin,” she says. “While UV light is the most common cause of hyperpigmentation—it prompts melanocytes to rev up melanin production—it can also be worsened by hormonal fluctuations (often seen in melasma), infrared heat exposure, high energy visible light like from your phone or computer, and even air pollution or medications.” Even last week’s blemish can leave behind a mark, too. With various triggers, it’s no wonder then, that millions of women experience pigmentation issues at some point.
THE PRO APPROACH
“The earlier you address hyperpigmentation, the better results you will get,” says Dr Eloise. Laser is a very effective option for distinct round sun spots. “The laser is attracted to the pigment without damaging any of the surrounding tissue,” explains Dr Eloise. “It heats up and shatters the pigment, which is subsequently drawn to the surface, before drying and flaking off the skin.” Not all skin types are necessarily suited for lasers. “Often darker skin tones may darken as a result of the laser treatment,” she says. “It is very important to have a consultation to ensure laser treatments will be effective for you. It is also important to remember that these treatments do not prevent future spots from forming, so lasers should always be paired with a protective at-home skincare regime.”
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Treatment is “a marathon, not a sprint,” says Dr Eloise, so the only way to keep it at bay in the long run is to prevent and protect at home. Dr Eloise praises the brightening powers of vitamin C. “It’s a potent antioxidant that calms inflammation in the skin and blocks production of abnormal pigmentation.”
Dr Eloise recommends daily morning use of Vitamin C, so use a few drops of SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF which is an award-winning vitamin C antioxidant serum. Loved by many of our clients here at Eighth & Eden and suitable for normal, pigment prone skin.
In the evening, exfoliation and cell renewal are key, says Dr Eloise. She’s partial to Advanced Pigment Corrector by SkinCeuticals to “purify, exfoliate and brighten skin in one step.” It combines a combination of acids to improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation and boost the appearance of skin tone, improving skin’s natural luminosity.
GO FOR A POWER PEEL
Chemical peels, superficially injure the skin to provoke a wound-healing response that expels dark pigment. For newish sun spots on very pale complexions, we can eliminate the whole problem after just 3 treatments.
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THE GOLDEN RULE OF LUMINOSITY
“There’s no point treating pigment if you’re not going to apply a broad spectrum sunscreen with a high SPF each and every day,” says Dr Eloise. “UV protection and avoiding excess sun exposure is imperative to any anti-pigment regime.” Better yet, she says, find an SPF with added moisturiser and “kill two birds with one stone.” A favourite is SkinCeuticals® Advanced Brightening SPF 50, which protects, refines and hydrates the complexion. Bonus: It’s also incredible for giving skin an instantaneous glow. And for extra defence, consider an anti-inflammatory diet “filled with fresh produce, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids,” says Dr Eloise.