What is pigmentation within the beauty and skincare industry?
Pigmentation means colouring. Therefore skin pigmentation disorders affect the colour of your skin. Your skin gets its colour from a pigment called melanin. Special cells called melanocytes in the skin make melanin so when these cells become damaged or unhealthy, it affects the production of melanin.
The affects are often known as hyper-pigmentation or hypo-pigmentation. Which are the two pigmentation issues of concern in the skincare industry. 'Hyper' meaning an overproduction of melanin versus 'hypo' meaning a lack of.
Why do people have it and what causes pigmentation issues?
Often times it is due to prolonged sun exposure without the application of a sunscreen OR even artificial tanning. Sometimes is can be due to natural body processes such as hormonal changes during pregnancy and menopause or while using oral contraceptives and certain medications.
Melasma is an extremely common hyperpigmentation issue seen in our industry caused by the overproduction of melanin in melanocytes. There are a few different avenues one can take in order to treat the area such as chemical peels, microdermabrasion, laser treatments, or our personal favoruite which is Microneedling with the SkinPen. These are all very regenerative and/or resurfacing procedures to help diminish the appearance of this disorder. Melasma itself can result from taking oral contraceptives(increased estrogen), fluctuating hormones during pregnancy, UV exposure, as well as stress and Thyroid problems. It appears as darkened patches of skin. It does not cause any harm but it can affect a person's appearance and therefore self-esteem.
Another hyperpigmentation issue includes PIH (post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation) and then there are actual skin disorders like vitiligo and albinism, which are incurable.
PIH is a pigmentation alteration as a result of skin damage. If you have had a skin infection, blisters, burns, or other trauma to your skin, you may have a decrease or increase of pigmentation in the affected area. Picking at acne lesions is one of the leading causes of hyperpigmentation that I've seen and that is why I'm going to take this minute to remind you to stop picking!!! This type of alteration is usually not permanent, however, it may take up to several months to fade or get better. If you are struggling with PIH it is imperative that you wear SPF and continue to reapply every couple of hours or when exposed to water. UV exposure can worsen the scarring which is the opposite of what we want. Again, procedures such as Microneedling, chemical peels, microdermabrasion, etc. will help to produce the results you want in replace of any harmful prescription or over-the-counter lightening creams that you could buy. Our Fire & Ice Facial and LED Light Therapy Facial would be extremely beneficial with commitment to a few sessions.
Disorders such an Vitiligo and Albinism aren't something Estheticians are licensed to treat or diagnose for that matter so it is recommended that you see a Dermatologist if either are of your concern.
Products that can help reduce the appearance of hyper-pigmentation:
Lait VIP O2 - oxygenating and brightening, anti-pollution
Lotion P50 PIGM400 - exfoliating and brightening lotion that is ideal for dull complexions with hyper-pigmented marks. It enhances epidermal renewal and helps regulate melanin synthesis while respecting and protecting the skin.
Serum PIGM400 - specially formulated to prevent dark spots from appearing, reduce the appearance of existing pigmentation marks, and brighten and even out the complexion. For sun damaged skin. Prevents sun damage from worsening and makes existing sun damage lighter and less visible. Developed to work in conjunction with Creme PIGM 400 for optimal results.
Creme PIGM400 - specially formulated as both a preventive and corrective treatment, helping brighten and reduce the intensity of existing pigment spots and prevent the appearance of new blemishes all while protecting the skin
ISO-Placenta Serum - helps with PIH caused by acne; will reduce redness and regenerate the skin
Super Serum Advance+ - improves appearance of scarring and pigmentation, encourages wound healing, collagen production and smoothness. It also provides protection against UV damage, environmental damage and free radical damage using potent antioxidants to prevent worsening any hyperpigmentation
Brightening Complex - diminishes the appearance of age spots and discoloration without increasing sensitivity in your skin. It's high-performance formula concentrates on not one or two but all five mechanisms that contribute to the look of uneven skin tone.
Brightening Serum - provides controlled exfoliation to help remove pigmented areas. **Clinically proven to decrease the intensity of pigmented areas by 75% in only 3 months.**
Jewel Dab - is our all natural product that does help with melasma and pigmentation. Comes in two forms, drops or balms
It is important to remember that products will not cure any hyper-pigmentation, they will only help to minimize the appearance of and prevent more melanin production from occuring.
I hope that you gained some knowledge and now know what to look out for as well as how you can be preventative when it comes to pigmentation disorders. If you were to take anything away from this post I hope its that there are preventative measures but also that sometimes melasma or other conditions appear and just have to be tackled one step or procedure at a time!
If you have any further questions regarding Microneedling, the Fire & Ice and LED Light Therapy Facial or products don't hesitate to reach out or browse our abundance of facial offerings!