The day we were born our skin was the purest it would ever be. Day two began the lifelong accumulation of external assaults. In adulthood, our (skin) life flashes before our very eyes (every time we look in the mirror). What we see are brown spots, blotchiness, or patches of pigment most noticeable on areas frequently exposed to sunlight…face, neck, chest, arms, hands. The GOOD news is that hyperpigmentation of any degree can be cleared or dramatically reduced with the right products and a permanent commitment to avoid tanning or unprotected exposure to the sun.
Briefly, the pigmentation appears in the skin because UV rays triggered melanocytes in the skin cells to produce melanin. Melanin spreads to other nearby cells and rises to the surface where it is visible as patches, spots, or clusters. The more sun exposure and factors such as ethnicity and genetics increase the likelihood of deeper and more widespread pigmentation.
NOW…to get rid of it!
Obviously #1 is to use a high SPF every day, a must all year round, no kidding, and commit to no intentional or unprotected sun exposure. The first line of offense in treating hyperpigmentation and melasma is to apply topical products with ingredients that interrupt, stop the chain of cellular events that produce melanin in the first place. These Preventers, along with Exfoliators, help fade and “lift” the pigment where it can be sloughed off. Meanwhile you have been Preventing so the amount of melanin made is much less. The absolute SECRET to getting even skin tone is to prevent the formation of melanin and let SPF block the culprit! On the right skin care plan, EVERYONE can get improvement.
Preventers are Hydroquinone, kojic acid, azalaeic acid, Vitamin C, mandelic acid
Exfoliators are Vitamin A, retinoic acid, mandelic and other AHAs, salicylic acid
Second to topicals are chemical peels which accelerate cell turnover and that “lifting” of the pigment from several surface layers. Then, there are several effective lasers that can tackle the stubborn areas or help maintain results.
Clear healthy skin is at the basis of anything else we may choose to do for aging. It can make or break the optimum outcome of other anti-aging procedure or injectable. Skin is the biggest organ in the body and needs as much daily attention as we give other things, like brushing our teeth, filing our nails, shaving. Good skin care isn’t an indulgence or vanity, it is doing the right thing for yourself.