Pigmentation Skin Care

Pigmentation Skin Care, At A Glance

  • Best Results4-10 weeks
  • Treatment RecoveryNA
  • Procedure Time1-3 min daily
  • Skin SpecialistDermal therapist, nurse
  • Duration of ResultsVariable
  • AnaestheticNA
  • Back to WorkNA
  • Cost$

Pigmentation Skin Care

Skin care forms the foundation of treating all forms of skin pigmentation including melasma, sun spots, age spots, & freckles. Start off with a good sunscreen, learn how to apply this properly (see hints below), add ascorbic acid, then specific pigment correctors based upon your skin’s sensitivity. Obaji, Murad, Aspect Dr & Medik 8 have good formulations.

FactsFacts on Pigmentation Skin Care

  • Start off by learning how to apply sunscreens properly
  • Correct amount & frequency are the key steps
  • Choose an SPF 50+, La Roche makes great formulations
  • Pigmentation takes at least 4 weeks to fade
  • The first ingredient is a good vitamin C – ascorbic acid serum
  • Consider Aspect Dr, Murad, Obaji & Medik 8
  • Other pigment correctors contain licorice root, arbutin, & botanicals
  • Skin care acids such as salicylic, citric & lactic acids can help

What is a simple & effective skin care routine for treating pigmentation?

The three most important factors when treating pigmentation are-

1. Sun Protection. This includes sunscreens & sun avoidance. See below for details.

2. Pigment correctors. See below. There are many different skin care ingredients found in pigment creams. Ingredients will vary depending on where you live. Chemicals such as hydroquinone, kojic acid & arbutin are regulated, & each country will have different regulations.

3. Time. This is the most important factor to understand as pigment requires time to shed. Your skin is like a conveyor belt, the deepest cells take 28 days (+/- 7) to make their way to the top. Hence it will take at least 4 weeks before you see pigment improvement with topicals. Exfoliation, either physical or chemical can increase the turnover of skin cells.

Simple post on understanding acne
👉The primary cause is abnormal cell shedding of the oil gland leading to blockage of the sebaceous glands, everything from this stage onwards worsens the condition
👍🏻💯Why retinoids? Retinoids address -
1️⃣Abnormal cell shedding
2️⃣Inflammation of the oil gland 3️⃣Reduces proliferation of c. acnes, the bacteria associated with acne
4️⃣Reduces sebum or oil production
🔎Sure, OTC products can work for most cases. If you are struggling with acne,
See one of my colleagues @cutis_dermatology
😎Davin Lim
Brisbane, 🇦🇺
#acne #acnetips #clearskin #acneremedies #acneroutine #acnesolutions #acnediet #dermatologistbrisbane #dermatology #skincare

Why is sunscreen so vitally important when treating pigmentation?

UV & in some cases, visible light will wosen all forms of pigmentation, regardless of the skin type & cause. Ultraviolet radiation can be attenuated by broad spectrum sunscreens.

The efficacy of sunscreens really depends on your application technique. Concentrate on correct application amount & frequency before worrying about sunscreen ingredients. Guidelines below or @101.skin Instagram.

What sunscreens do I recommend?

Seriously, the most important rate limiting factor is how often & how much sunscreen you use. Find a brand that you like to use. As a guide-

  • La Roche Posay: Anthelios range
  • Invisible Zinc: Great physical blocker
  • Ego Sunscreen: Get for outdoor activities
  • Cancer Council: Super affordable, super good
  • Neutrogena: makes great sunscreens
  • Banana Boat: for outdoor activities

In Australia (due to our regulations), just as long as you get a stand alone sunscreen with a factor of 50 or above 50+ you are protected.

If you have pigment like melasma or post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, you should view sunscreens as adjunctive, in other words your first barrier should be hats, umbrellas & shade.

How do I use sunscreen correctly?

The two most important things to focus on is application amount and frequency.

Amount: Two finger lengths of sunscreen is equal to around 2 to 3 mls. This is the recommended amount for your face, neck and chest. As Caroline Hirons says ‘ take it down to your tits.’

Frequency: Twice a day. Once in the morning, and reapply around midday. This especially applies to patients who have melasma pigmentation.

*If you are a morning walker, you should apply sunscreen before your walk, reapply again after a shower. If you are undertaking exercise-water sports, you should use a waterproof sunscreen. Ego Sunsense, Neutrogena, Cancer Council & Banana Boat make great sunscreens that stick. Invest.

Davin’s Viewpoint: Skincare for Pigmentation Problems

Anti-pigment creams and pigment correctors are the hardest topicals to get right as it depends on legislation, depending where the product is sold. Classically the three main ingredients ( coincidentally the three best ingredients),  hydroquinone, arbutin & kojic acid, have restrictions depending on country of origin. Even within Australia, the regulations with concentrations frequently change- arbutin restrictions relaxed in early 2021.

The use of sunscreens can not be over stressed. Up to 50% of pigmentation will resolve with proper use of sunscreens alone. Before you buy anything, get your SPF application down pat. The rate limiting factor is the proper use of sunscreen. If you are trying to correct pigmentation, SPF in your makeup is not enough. You must use standalone sunscreens twice a day. Each application should be 2 finger lengths or 2-3 mls to cover face, neck, chest. ‘Take it down to the tits…’ as Caroline Hirons says. Proper use of SPF means you will go through one (50ml) bottle every 2 to 3 weeks. On this basis find a solution that suits your skin, lifestyle and budget. La Roche makes good & affordable formulations.

From there, you can use specific pigment correctors. My advice? Start with a good tactile, low irritant, non gritty formulation of ascorbic acid. Not Deciem The Ordinary range of vitamin C. They make good wash off products like squalene cleanser, skin acid washes, but their A, B, C formulations in the context of what is out there, is not that great. Suggested brands include Medik 8, Obaji, Aspect Dr & Murad. The latter is good if you have sensitive skin.

If you do not have any skin irritation & you have optimised your sunscreen & vitamin C application, you can add azelaic acid- 10-20% & or Niacinamide. 

The other pigment inhibitors, namely arbutin, licorice root, kojic acid, botanicals can be considered down the line. Remember the diagnosis is the most important factor in treating pigment, you may consider seeing a dermatologist for management.

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