One of the biggest concerns raised by our clients is a problem for many out there – pigmentation. It would be so much easier if there was only one cause and treatment to rectify it, but there isn’t. The first step for us as skin care professionals is identifying the cause and type of pigmentation. Let’s look at exactly what pigmentation is and how it comes about:
Spending time on the beach and soaking up the UV rays is great for relaxation but plays havoc with your skin. Melanin production is stimulated by sun exposure which results in a scar, which we call a tan. A tan’s only function is to try to protect your skin from further damage. For protection, your melanosomes form a cap over the cell nucleus which stimulates melanin production. Over exposure causes an over-production of melanin which we then with time, note on the skin as brown patches or spots. It is not only the sun that can cause pigmentation. Hormonal factors such as the Pill, stress, and post-inflammatory factors like injury or infection can also affect our skins.
The most obvious means to control pigmentation would be to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF30 to control future pigmentation. By the time we turn 18 we have already determined how our skin’s will look and age when we’re older. Most of our sun damage has been done by that age!
Something that we as therapists want to do when treating pigmented skin is to regulate Tyrosinase activity – which would mean slowing down melanin formation. With the use of Lactic, glycolic and salicylic acids, we effectively accelerate desquamation. Vitamin C has been used for many years to control melanin synthesis and it also acts as a scavenger for free radicals. The newest agents to fight melanin formation are peptides. Oligopeptide-34 has been shown to decrease and inhibit Tyrosinase activity, it has been formulated by and for Dermalogica and only found in their ChromaWhite range.
The range is small yet effective and contains all necessary ingredients such as Vitamin C, Lactic and Phytic Acid to name a few. An exfoliating cleanser prepares the skin for maximum absorption of active ingredients. Twice a week this is followed by Powerfoliant which is Dermalogica’s strongest home-care exfoliant to remove dead skin cells, smooth and brighten the skin. Your day moisturiser (Pure Light) provides SPF30 sun protection and hyaluronic acid will hydrate skin tissue, and your night cream (Pure Night) brightens and protects against moisture loss while you sleep. The powerful treatments come in the form of the C-12 concentrate which is a silicone-based serum which treats cellular discoloration and is applied under your moisturiser, and the Extreme C which is a powder that emulsifies upon contact with skin to deliver a potent dose of Magnesium Ascorbyl Posphate (Vitamin C) and will strengthen your skin’s defence against future discolouration. The home care products must be combined with a series of in-clinic ChromaWhite treatments, where one of our therapists will gladly guide you in your skin care and treatment program and record your progress.