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3 types of pigmentation concerns, and how to treat them

October 25, 2014


Dark pigmentation is a result of extra melanin in the body. Too much sun exposure can trigger the problem, but so can other common causes, such as pregnancy. When treated properly, pigmentation can be minimized, and a more even skin tone achieved. 



    Prevent Pigmentation During Your Morning Routine


    Your morning skincare routine is crucial to protecting your skin against pigmentation. Many people with pigmentation suffer from discolouration as a result of years of not effectively protecting their skin against environmental and sun damage. Wearing a daily antioxidant (Vitamin C serum), as well as a physical sunscreen, is key to preventing and protecting against premature aging caused by environmental damage.



      Correct Pigmentation During Your Evening Regimen


      At night is when our skin regenerates, making it a perfect time to use effective treatments to combat our skincare concerns. Whether you are treating your pigmentation with hydroquinone, a retinol, a deep peel, or an active serum, make sure to apply your results-based products during your evening routine. 

      Since different discolouration concerns call for unique treatments, we have put together a list of the three most common pigmentation concerns, with a guide to the product pairings that work best for each. As with any skin routine, you should always see a skincare expert for a regimen tailored to your specific needs. 



      Malasma (Pregnancy Mask)


      • Color: Light to medium brown
      • What It Is: Melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation of sun-exposed areas of the skin, primarily on the face and dorsal forearms. Melasma often appears for the first time in pregnancy. In some women it fades after birth, in rare cases it persists in a lighter form. It is usually associated with pregnancy, oral contraceptives, or anticonvulsants.
      • Where It Occurs: Both sides of the face are usually affected. The most common sites of involvement are the cheeks, bridge of nose, forehead, and upper lip.
      • What It Looks Like: The symptoms of melasma are dark brown, irregular patches commonly found on the upper cheek, nose, lips, upper lip, and forehead. These patches often develop gradually over time.
      • Caused By: A surge in hormones usually from pregnancy or birth control coupled with sun exposure.



      Malasma Treatment - Example of a Morning Routine


      • Cleanse and Tone with your favourite cleansing system. We love Swissline's Cell Shock White Cleanser and Toner since they are specifically formulated to work with Swissline's Cell Shock White Range of whitening products.
      • Protect with an Antioxidant like Skin Management System Intensive C + AHA Concentrate. Not only does this product contain antioxidant rich L-Ascorbic Acid which will protect against environmental damage, but its blend of hydroxy acids sloughs away dead, dull skin cells revealing smoother, brighter skin.
      • Moisturize and Hydrate with iS Clinical Moisturizing Complex, a rich, yet easily absorbed, botanical complex creates an antioxidant-rich barrier that seals in moisture and insulates the skin from harmful external oxidative damage.
      • Protect Against Further Pigmentation with an SPF. This step is the most crucial part of your skincare routine. We recommend a physical (non-chemical) sunscreen made up of zinc and titanium dioxide such as TIZO Solar Protection Formula.



      Malasma Treatment - Example of an Evening Routine


      • Cleanse and Tone with Swissline's Cell Shock White Cleanser and Toner system
      • Treat skin with an active serum such as Skin Management System by Dr Strauss Pigmentation Defense, a brightening formula that works to inhibit the production of excess melanin, prevent excess melanin from travelling to the skin's surface, and break up melanin clusters on the skin's surface to diminish existing discolouration.
      • Moisturize and Brighten the skin with Babor's Skin Brightening Cream a complexion-lightening cream for more even pigmentation and skin tone.



      Sunspots (Age Spots)


      • Color: Light to dark brown
      • What It Is: Age spots, sometimes called liver spots, are a form of pigmentation. They usually occur as a result of damage to the skin, from the suns rays. The small, dark spots are found generally on the hands, face and décolleté, but any area exposed to the sun, can be affected.
      • Where It Occurs: The face, hands, forearms, chest, décolleté, back and shins are the most common locations, erupting after acute or chronic UV exposure.
      • What It Looks Like: Small, flat, dark spots
      • Caused By: Age spots appear as we age because our body’s ability to protect against UV rays deteriorates, and produces melanin in patches as a result. Exposure to the sun’s rays and a daily onslaught of environmental elements such as pollution and the toxins in our food, all wreak havoc on our skin, damaging cell walls and connective tissue. The way our skin responds to UVA and UVB damage, is partly due to our genetic make-up but is also greatly influenced by the way we have treated our skin over the years. Excessive sunbathing or sun-bed use can have a dramatic effect on the way we age.



      Treatment of Age Spots - Example of a Morning Routine


      • Cleanse and Tone with your favourite cleansing system such as Swissline's Cell Shock White Cleanser and Toner.
      • Protect with an Antioxidant such as iS Clinical's Super Serum Advance+. This antioxidant product combines a 15 percent concentration of vitamin C (L ascorbic acid) with safe skin lighteners that effectively treat hyperpigmentation.
      • Moisturize with iS Clinical's Lightening Complex, which works to lighten and brighten the skin while keeping it moisturized throughout the day. This multi-faceted product works to treat pigmentation in five ways as it: provides antioxidant protection, reduces inflammation, interrupts communication between melanocyte, and keratinocyte, inhibits the production of melanin, exfoliates without excess peeling or irritation.
      • Protect Against Further Pigmentation with an SPF. We recommend a physical (non-chemical) sunscreen made up of zinc and titanium dioxide such as TIZO Solar Protection Formula.



      Treatment of Age Spots - Example of an Evening Routine


      • Cleanse and Tone with Swissline's Cell Shock White Cleanser and Toner system
      • Try an active resurfacing treatment such as a Retinol. Rejudicare's SRX range has three different strengths of retinol treatments, all of which help stimulate cell regeneration and build collagen to diminish the appearance age spots from both photo- and intrinsic aging. This intensive treatment delivers optimum reuslts, making it a great option for photo-damaged skin.
      • Follow with iS Clincal's White Lightening serum, a powerful formula that safely and rapidly lightens hyperpigmentated areas by inhibiting the enzymes that product melanin.
      • For a spot treatment that will target only specific problem areas, try Doctor Babor Derma Cellular Spot Reducer Serum. This serum functions as an intensive treatment for pigmentation marks by reducing the formation of tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for skin pigmentation.



      Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation


      • Color:  Pink, red or brown
      • Where It Occurs: Anywhere on the face
      • What It Looks Like: Present as irregular, darkly pigmented patches at sites of previous injury or inflammation.
      • Caused By:  This type of pigmentation usually occurs after some type of injury to the skin. It can commonly occur after acne spots or other skin lesions, after traumatic skin treatments, such as inappropriate or overly aggressive laser or after over use of some skin products.



      Treatment of Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation - Example of a Morning Routine


      • Cleanse and Tone with the cleansing system of your choice. We recommend Swissline's Cell Shock White Cleanser and Toner.
      • Protect with an Antioxidant.We recommend Rejudicare 2CRM Sal. This antioxidant combines salicylic acid and vitamin C to gently exfoliate dead skin cells and unclog pores while refining skin tone and texture and protecting skin against environmental damage.
      • Moisturize with Babor Brightening Cellular Skin Brightening Cream. This blend of melanoxyl complex, Vitamin E, and meadowfoam seed oil, reduces formation of lipofuscin and inhibits mealnin synthesis to reduce hyperpigmentation, allowing for a more evenly pigmented skin tone
      • Protect Against Further Pigmentation. As with any other pigmentation condition, it is vital to protect skin daily with a physical (non-chemical) sunscreen made up of zinc and titanium dioxide such as TIZO SolarProtection Formula



      Treatment of Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation - Example of an Evening Routine


      • Cleanse and Tone with Swissline's Cell Shock White Cleanser and Toner system
      • Follow with a resurfacing peel. We recommend Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel; the only peel on the market to combine 5 Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids PLUS Retinol, Ubiquinone, Resveratrol and a host of antioxidants, vitamins and soothing botanicals. Evens skin tone by using Microexfoliation to stimulate cell turnover in order to help treat dark spots to reveal and smoother, more even-looking complexion. Added bonus: This peel is appropriate for even the most sensitive skin.
      • For an active serum to follow try Swissline Cell Shock Whitening Cure Ampoules. This four-week intensive formula is comprised of a synergistic combination of active ingredients that target pigmentation at its core and help to fade spots and lighten overall skin colour.
      • For an active night cream that you can follow with after your serum, repeat use of Babor Brightening Cellular Skin Brightening Cream as you did in the morning.





      Remember: Protecting your skin with a physical SPF is the most vital protection against pigmentation. One day of sun exposure can reverse the results of days, weeks, or even months of intensive treatments.

      To get started on pigmentation protection and treatment, shop our collection.

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