If you’re bothered by dark spots and discolouration on your face, the good news is that there’s tons of different treatment options available – you just need to figure out what’s right for you.
That’s why we’ve pulled together a helpful guide on everything you need to know about how to get rid of pigmentation.
Pigmentation, or hyperpigmentation, is a common skin concern where patches of skin appear darker than the surrounding skin.
These patches are caused by excess melanin production in the skin, which can be the result of many different factors – such as UV exposure, ageing, or hormonal changes.
As such, there are several different types of pigmentation (for example, melasma, sunspots and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation), so it’s worth narrowing down the cause so you can treat it in the most effective way possible.
First off, let’s talk prevention. The best way to avoid pigmentation is to obviously wear sun protection every day (yep, even when it’s dull and cloudy outside!).
In order to avoid developing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or marks and scarring from breakouts, it’s also best to try and treat inflammatory skin concerns (such as acne) sooner rather than later.
As for the best way to tackle existing hyperpigmentation, incorporating brightening and lightening ingredients into your skincare routine will help to reduce melanin production.
One of our favourite brightening ingredients? Diacetyl boldine. This specific ingredient basically works on inhibiting and stabilising tyrosinase activity (the key enzyme involved in the production of melanin) and is therefore extremely effective in reducing and controlling pigmentation.
Touted as one of the best ingredients when it comes to maintaining a smooth and glowing complexion, vitamin C is another powerhouse antioxidant when it comes to fighting pigmentation.
Not only does it effectively prevent melanin production, but it also works to lighten existing hyperpigmentation and redness, for brighter, more even-toned skin.
What a champ!
Together with vitamin C, niacinamide is another true all-rounder for improving the tone and texture of your skin. It basically works by stopping melanocytes from sending new pigment to the skin’s surface, minimising pigmentation, improving redness and brightening the skin.
What’s more, niacinamide also helps to reduce breakouts, meaning it will help reduce the chance of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (acne scarring).
Lastly, are the exfoliators. These are the guys that can help remove pigment in your skin - such as glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids. Surface exfoliation assists with cell renewal and turnover, resulting in a brightening effect on the skin.
If you’re looking for options, try Skin Virtue Pure Radiance Glow Serum – it’s an AHA gel exfoliator that gently removes dead surface cells, encouraging cell renewal.
More often than not, you’ll use these ingredients in combination with one another to tackle dark spots effectively. Just be aware that it takes time – so don’t expect results overnight. If you want to accurately track your skin’s progress, taking a set of before and after photos is an easy way for you to compare changes in your skin and see what kind of products are working for you.
Depending on your budget and the intensity of your pigmentation, there are many different in-clinic options available.
Intense Pulse Light (IPL) treatments are one of the best (and most gentle) options for reducing the appearance of pigmentation and brown spots on the face, neck and chest. There is minimal to no downtime, and unlike some other treatment options for pigmentation, it won’t disrupt your skin’s barrier function.
Micro-needling is another effective treatment for dark spots due to its ability to cause skin regeneration. It basically involves a skincare professional piercing your skin with tiny needles (on a dermaroller) to create microscopic wounds. This triggers your skin’s wound-healing response, promoting new, healthy skin.
If you’re looking for other options, gentle chemical peels are a great when it comes to treating photodamage, dark spots and scarring. They use a combination of active ingredients (such as lactic acid, vitamin C and retinoids) to help gradually break down pigment and smooth the skin. Just be prepared to make a long-term commitment to get the best results for your skin.
Do you have pigmentation? What’s your go-to treatments? Share your views and ideas with us at firstname.lastname@example.org
By Gary Williams, Bio