Skin discolouration, hyperpigmentation. Three words that make us want to run and hide. Yes, we’re talking about those pesky skin imperfections, usually found on our faces, caused by excessive melanin production. Or more precisely, by the activity of erratic melanocytes that deposit pigment where they’re not supposed to or in a haphazard fashion.
Known as a skin concern which brings with it a double-whammy (both hypo- and hyper-pigmentation, generating white or dark spots, respectively), skin discolouration has multiple causes: hormonal chloasmas and melasma; post-inflammatory (after acne, lesions, eczema); or age-related (those that arise from the normal ageing cycle as cell turnover becomes ever slower, causing the melanin formation process to change. Instead of pigment being deposited in the epidermis, it’s left in the dermis, making that very difficult to remove.
In the quest for a naturally brighter skin tone with little or no pigmentation issues, there are three key factors to remember:
Inflammation – A self-defence mechanism that activates melanin production to protect skin cell nuclei, where our DNA is found.
Depth of pigment deposit – The deeper the deposit, the more difficult it is to treat.
Time – The most recent deposits are easier to correct.
“Atmospheric pollution poses a real problem for skin prone to discolouration and hyperpigmentation as it can cause inflammation.” Dr. Pedro Catalá, pharmacist, cosmetologist, and founder of Twelve Beauty
Beauty products for skin discolouration and hyperpigmentation; Just hype or do they work?
With the vast array of marketing and hype in the beauty industry, you wouldn’t be the first to doubt whether this particular type of skincare works. However, products formulated for skin discolouration and hyperpigmentation can be a great help in preventing, fading (and even removing) melanin deposits. Just remember that recently formed dark spots of post-inflammatory origin and located in the epidermis, are the ones which will respond best to a skin brightening product.
“Skincare products have come on leaps and bounds where the treatment of pigmentation issues is concerned. Formulas are now more skin-friendly and plant-based. They use flower extracts, plant distillates, and seed oils which work in synergy to brighten and correct uneven skin tone.” Pedro Catalá
Experts agree that following this four-step protocol is a must if your skin is prone to hyperpigmentation:
- Protect skin with physical sunscreens such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (non-nano/micronized minerals capable of absorbing and dispersing UVA/UVB rays).
- Remove the melanin from the surface of the skin with gentle exfoliation.
- Block the enzyme responsible for melanin production, tyrosinase.
- Eliminate the oxygen that melanin production needs with the help of antioxidants.
Protection, the first step to healthy-looking skin
Countless medical and scientific studies conclude that protecting skin from ultraviolet radiation (including blue light emitted by electronic devices) is the key to healthier-looking skin for longer. Preventing all forms of radiation from penetrating the skin and also protecting it from environmental stressors goes a long way to limiting oxidative stress, cell damage, and irregular pigmentation issues.
It’s no surprise that creating a skincare product capable of meeting all these needs is quite a test for formulators. One product that has accepted this challenge and won is Artemisia Power Protection Moisturiser SPF 50+, an anti-pollution day emulsion which leaves skin with a matte finish. One of its main actives is Buddleja extract, known to repair skin discolouration and hyperpigmentation caused by radiation-induced cell damage. This extract works very well against UVB rays, which are either passed through the ozone layer or generated by blue and infrared light.
What’s more, it also contains Artemisia extract, one of the most potent natural antioxidants known to neutralise the free radicals caused by sun exposure and atmospheric pollution. Plus 100% natural and non-nano mineral protection (meaning the particles aren’t small enough to penetrate the skin, so they sit on top acting as a physical sunblock). All meticulously handcrafted together with heat-resistant vegetable emollients, such as Prairie Grass oil.
Targeted treatment: Ideal Brightening Corrective Serum, Twelve Beauty’s most reviewed product
Why is this serum the product with the most feedback? Because it works! “I developed Ideal Brightening Corrective Serum not only to provide skin with the most effective nutrients at counteracting melanin production and deposits but to also improve healthy radiance.” Dr. Pedro Catalá.
With Ideal Brightening Corrective Serum visible results can be seen quickly as a pose to having to wait approximately three months with other products of the same category. From the first few applications, you will see that much-coveted improvement in overall skin tone and radiance.
How does it work? The magic of this serum lies not in one key active but in the botanical synergy of its complete formula. Its unique blend of carefully selected plant extracts (peppermint, yarrow, mallow, artemisia, masterwort, epilobium, lady’s mantle, lemon balm) works together to block the enzyme responsible for melanin synthesis, improve tone, reduce inflammation and enhance skin luminosity. It’s no wonder this product is a firm fan favourite.
Twelve Beauty Tip: Apply a thicker layer the night before a big event so that your skin is extra radiant on the day.