Pigmentation- A Comprehensive Guide

Pigmentation: A Comprehensive Guide

Kavita Joshi Rai

WHAT IS PIGMENTATION

Pigmentation (also called hyper-pigmentation) is the name given to brown spots that form on the surface of the skin. Pigmentation can cover small areas of the skin in the form of spots or freckles. It can also occur in larger patches.

WHAT CAUSES PIGMENTATION

Pigmentation can be caused by exposure to the sun and/ or heat.

Certain hormonal changes like those triggered by pregnancy can also cause splotches of pigmentation referred to as melasma.

Injury or inflammation on the skin can also cause pigmentation. A classic example of this is the spot left on your skin after a bout of acne.

UNDERSTANDING MELANIN

Melanin is a pigment present in the skin. It is responsible for the color of our skin. Skin cells called melanocytes produce this pigment.

Different factors such as hormonal changes, inflammation, sun exposure etc can cause the melanocytes to produce excess melanin which gets deposited on the surface of the skin. This is what causes pigmentation / hyperpigmentation to become visible.

NOTE: Your skin’s tendency to produce excessive melanin is unique to you. Sun exposure may cause you to freckle, while your bestie may be immune to it. Your acne may clear up without leaving any post inflammatory hyperpigmentation, while I may struggle with these marks for months after my acne has said goodbye.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO TACKLE PIGMENTATION

Needless to say, prevention is always the best way to keep your skin healthy and even toned. However there are things you can do after your skin starts to show signs of pigmentation.

Protect your skin from heat and UV rays

Protect your skin from heat and UV rays

This can be done by limiting sun exposure during peak UV hours (10 am - 4 pm), wearing sunscreen, using a hat and/or umbrella etc. If you are prone to hyperpigmentation triggered by heat and sun exposure, your skin will be especially sensitive to the long hot days of summer.

Be gentle with your skin

An aggressive approach to pigmentation will worsen the issue instead of resolving it. Picking at blemishes and acne is an absolute no. Other overly aggressive treatments such as excessive chemical peels as well as harsh abrasive scrubs will make your skin more prone to pigmentation.

Consult a medical specialist

In case certain medications or life changes are causing your skin to show signs of pigmentation. Hormonal changes related to aging can also trigger pigmentation.

Gently exfoliate your skin with minimal physical scrubbing

Exfoliation helps remove dead pigmented cells from the surface of the skin. Physical exfoliants can be used but be careful to not get overly aggressive or harsh with your skin. Chemical exfoliants such as glycolic acid, lactic acid etc. dissolve the bonds that bind dead cells together and are therefore gentler than physical exfoliants. Here is a guide to help you better understand the world of exfoliation

Vya Naturals AHA BHA Toner

Add Vitamin C to your skincare routine

Vitamin C serums are the most effective way to get your skin its daily dose of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps suppress melanin and keeps your skin bright and even toned. Here are some things you need to know if you are a newbie to Vitamin C- skin's super hero.

Vya Naturals Vitamin C Serum

Introduce your skin to Alpha Arbutin

Alpha Arbutin is an effective slow release ingredient which is effective in inhibiting the formation of sunspots and pigmentation. Here's a complete guide to Alpha Arbutin.

Vya Naturals Alpha Arbutin Serum

THE BOTTOM LINE - be patient with your skin while dealing with pigmentation. Gentle treatments and the right skincare products are more effective than harsh peels and aggressive exfoliation.

DISCLAIMER:

Content of this website is not a substitution for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. We do NOT replace any relationship that exists, or should exist, between you and a medical doctor or other healthcare professional. Results given in testimonials/reviews are from real people who have used Vya Naturals products, but identical or similar results are not guaranteed. Individual results may vary depending on skin type, sensitivity, lifestyle, age, skincare products combinations, skincare history, as well as how the products are applied and stored.

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