Handy tips for: Pigmentation

a woman holding a magnifying glass up to her face revealing pigmentation

Next in our ‘Handy tips’ series, we take a look at … (drum roll please) – pigmentation.

What is pigmentation?

Pigmentation – otherwise known as hyperpigmentation – is the broad name given to patches or spots that become darker than the rest of the surrounding skin. It happens when the skin produces more melanin – the pigment responsible for giving it its colour. It’s a common condition that affects every skin type.

Associate professor of dermatology at George Washington University, Adam Friedman, explains it perfectly, according to an article in Allure: Pigmentation is the result of melanocytes being stimulated to produce a surplus of pigment, “causing them to dump their pigment into lower levels of the skin, like tattoo pigment, where it doesn’t belong.”

Skin pigmentation disorders

Skin discolouration can manifest itself in a myriad of ways. They include:

  • Age spots
  • Sunspots
  • Melasma (usually occurring on the face, on women and in darker skin). “[It] typically appears as symmetric blotchy hyperpigmented patches … usually the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, chin and upper lip”, New-York based dermatologist, Sejal Shah, is reported to have said. Melasma is also common in pregnancy, known as Chloasma.
  • Post-injury and/inflammatory hyperpigmentation (most common in darker skin)

people sunbathing on beach

Image: Robin Jay

What causes pigmentation?

  • Sun exposure. The more exposed we are to the sun, the more melanin our skin produces to protect us from UV radiation. The result, of course, is sunspots.
  • Skin inflammation, such as acne, eczema, lupus and injury. Inflammation is the body’s way of fighting unwanted intruders, but it can also turn on itself and ravage the skin. Severe trauma may be harder to treat as it can disrupt the bottom layer of the epidermis, causing leakage into – and subsequent trapping – in the dermis (second layer of the skin).
  • Hormone changes – common in pregnancy and as a side effect of birth control.
  • According to DermNetNZ, side effects may be the cause of 10-20% of all cases!
  • Medical conditions, such as the hormone-disrupting Addison’s disease and Hemochromatosis.
  • Genetics – thanks mum.

How to get rid of pigmentation

To both prevent the condition or stop it getting worse, there are a number of things you should do:

rubbing cream on face

Lifestyle changes

  • Limit exposure to sun. Always wear a hat in the sun and use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 – reapplying every two hours (yes even in winter in New Zealand!). We’re delighted to sell a range of protective sunscreens here at Lovoir Beauty!
  • Choose protective makeup. New York City-based dermatologist, Shari Marchbein, recommends choosing products containing iron oxide to help block visible light. And guess what? We also sell a translucent powder with SPF 30, so no excuses!
  • Don’t pick! Yes, we know it can be tempting to play with spots on skin, but the more you do so, the higher the chance of developing skin discolouration.
  • Natural remedies. Some studies have suggested a range of natural cures, such as:
  • Aloe Vera. Aloesin – a compound present in this remarkable plant – may lighten dark spots by preventing the production of melanin in the skin.
  • Research points to the anti-inflammatory and skin-whitening effects of glabridin – an extract found in Liquorice.
  • Green tea. Is there anything it can’t do? Researchers have long studied the hot drink of the moment for its potential anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Vitamin C. Highly effective at brightening skin, this wonder vitamin also increases skin cell turnover, hinders the production of melanin and defends against UV-related damage.

dermapen 4 in use on female

Treatments

  • Topical treatments. There are lots of over-the-counter things you can try – each containing ingredients that help lighten the skin, such as corticosteroids, retinoids and Vitamin C. It may not be a bad idea to regularly use an anti-inflammatory cream, either.
  • Procedures: Lovoir Beauty to the rescue once again!
  • Exfoliants can help shed dark patches in the upper layer of skin. Check out our range of exfoliating treatments, such as Dermaplaning, Microdermabrasion and O Cosmedics Peels. Psst … A Dermapen special is on at the moment – don’t miss out!
  • Available at Lovoir Beauty from October!

Check out our wide range of treatments for pigmentation and book now!

 

Featured image: lado/Shutterstock

Handy tips for: Dryness?

the words dry written in cream on a hand

We don’t need to tell you that dry skin is bad news – what with its being both uncomfortable and unsightly. The good news, however, is that it’s often caused by external factors, meaning it’s not something you have to put up with.

What is dry skin?

In its most basic form, dryness is characterised by a lack of water in the epidermis – the most superficial layer of the skin.

Dermatitis is the medical term for dryness, and it can manifest itself in a number of ways:

Contact Dermatitis

As its name suggests, this develops when your skin reacts negatively to something it touches, such as bleach or nickel, causing localised inflammation.

Seborrheic Dermatitis

This happens when your skin produces too much oil, resulting in a red, scaly rash – usually on the scalp.

Atopic Dermatitis

Also known as eczema, this chronic skin condition causes dry scaly patches to appear on the skin.

a cross section diagram of good skin vs dry skin

Image: Cessna152/Shutterstock

Dry skin symptoms

If you’re a sufferer, you probably already know about it, but just to be thorough, here are the things to look out:

  • Tightness of skin – especially after being in water
  • Grey-looking skin that both looks and feels rough
  • Itchiness
  • Flaking or peeling
  • Fine lines or cracks
  • Redness
  • Bleeding

Common areas of skin dryness on the face are around the eyes, nose, mouth, lips and ears.

Causes

So, what is behind it?

  • Weather. Skin tends to be driest in winter, when temperatures and humidity levels drop.
  • Heating. Winter is a double-edged sword, as it requires you to crank up the central heating, which is another contributing factor to dry skin.
  • Water. Yup, hot baths and showers might be bliss in the moment, but immersing yourself for too long in hot water can also dry your skin. Similarly, watch out for hard water, as this contains minerals such as magnesium, lead and zinc, which can leave a film on skin that causes dryness.
  • Chemicals. Harsh soaps and detergents – especially those that are formulated to remove oil – are also guilty of stripping moisture from your skin.
  • Certain fabrics, such as wool or synthetic fibres, can irritate the skin and make it worse.
  • Vitamin A deficiency. Read about why Vitamin A is so good for your skin here.
  • Existing skin conditions. It’s not always down to environmental factors – there are several skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis and hypothyroidism that are also prone to dryness. Certain medications may also cause dryness as a side effect.
  • Genetics. Experts from Scotland found mutations in genes that control the production of the protein filaggrin, which helps form and hydrate the skin.

Risk factors

You’re more likely to suffer from dry skin if you:

  • Are aged 40 or older. This is because the older we get, the less natural oils and lubricants we have in our skin.
  • Live in dry, cold or low-humidity climates.
  • Have a job that requires you to work with water.
  • Are going through hormonal changes.

Dry skin treatment

Lifestyle changes

There’s a lot you can do yourself to reduce skin dryness and prevent it from getting worse, such as:

  • Avoiding harsh, scented soaps and choosing other, gentler, water-based cosmetics, such as moisturisers, with care. The thicker and greasier – the better! Those that contain grapeseed oil and antioxidants can also help lock water into your skin.
  • Limiting water exposure – especially hot water – and wearing rubber gloves wherever possible, for example while washing up.
  • Applying moisturisers to damp skin.
  • Avoiding excess scrubbing.
  • Covering up in cold weather.
  • Using an indoor humidifier during the winter.
  • Drinking plenty of water.
  • Trying not to scratch!

rubbing cream on face

Topical treatments

Creams and lotions can often be applied to control dry skin effectively.

As a general rule, only mild corticosteroids, like hydrocortisone, should be used on the face. Anything stronger can cause serious adverse effects, such as skin thinning and stretch marks.

Which is where we come in!

You can always rely on the trained therapists here at Lovoir Beauty to offer you the best – and safest – in-salon treatments to offset any dryness you may have.

We offer:

Janesce Facials. Choose from one of our three facials – all offering an ultra-hydrating, skin-rejuvenating boost.

O Cosmedics Peels. Both our luxurious peels in this range will provide the perfect amount of hydration and exfoliation for life-changing skin health and radiance.

Infusion Facial. Hydrates, brightens and plumps your skin.

Bestow Beauty Plus Oil & O Cosmedics EFAs Max Complete.  Two ultra-hydrating products we’re proud to sell here at Lovoir Beauty. These supplements add moisture from the inside out!

Hydration serums. Applied morning and night, these will help to combat the effect that the environment has in drying our skin out. The good news? All of our skincare ranges offer these!

Book today!

 

Featured image: ADragan/Shutterstock