To be honest, we’ve spent many, many hours scrolling through Instagram this year. Usually, it’s a pointless habit to pass the time while we’re waiting for our morning cappuccino. But every now and again, we stumble across a post that disrupts our mindless scrolling.
Sydney-based facialist Melanie Grant is a wealth of skincare knowledge. A skincare expert to the stars, Grant has treated everyone from Zoe Foster Blake to Lara Worthington. And, fortunately for us, she often uses Instagram as a medium for sharing skincare-related advice.
Grant’s latest Instagram lesson? How to get rid of pigmentation.
WHAT IS PIGMENTATION?
In her first post, Grant gives an in depth explanation of what pigmentation is:
“Hyperpigmentation—brown patches, marks, splotches—can be caused by excessive sun exposure, hormone imbalances, inflammation and injury to the skin. It most commonly appears on the face, neck and décolletage. It’s also notoriously difficult to treat.”
“Before you can treat your pigmentation, you need to know what type you have. Those with fair skin are more prone to sun-induced pigment and people with olive complexions can be more susceptible to post-inflammatory pigment. Women who are pregnant, who take the oral contraceptive pill, or who are on hormone replacement therapy or IVF are more likely to suffer from hormone induced pigmentation, aka melasma or chloasma.”
“Hyperpigmentation will often appear as we become older as our melanocytes (the cells that produce pigment) increase in size as we age. Younger skin can be at risk of pigment from sun damage—that cute spray of freckles across the nose and cheeks can become more dense, causing uneven tone and darkness to the face, and melasma caused by the pill is very common in younger women.”
THE BEST IN-SALON TREATMENTS FOR PIGMENTATION
As one of Australia’s most well regarded skin experts, Grant knows a thing or two about in-salon treatments:
“For hormonal pigment there’s no cure as such, however it can be managed with a good skincare regime and in-clinic treatments such as laser or depigmentation peels, I find Cosmelan and Dermamelan are super effective.”
“For early onset or minimal pigment, I like to combine low level, gentle peels with light therapy to gradually break down the pigment, brighten the complexion and unify skin tone.”
“Unless you want to end up right back where you started, there’s no use booking in for clinical treatments if you continue to skip the SPF. Diligent sun protection is vital in managing all types of hyperpigmentation, this is where it starts! Some women even choose to stop taking the pill to ease the side effects of melasma.”
The Dermamelan Peel is a rapid medical treatment for all types of pigmentation. Dermamelan provides extremely effective results for this problem that will return the skin to its natural even colour and complexion and involves very little downtime. It is an express depigmentation treatment that is effective in all types of pigmentation problems, even in resistant cases that have failed all other types of treatment.
It can be applied in any season and is compatible with all types and shades of skin. It is completely safe and the pigmented patches will usually disappear in a short period of time.
Results you can expect
There are minimal side effects (only slight redness and flaking) and there is a stabilisation of sebaceous secretion resulting in a reduction of any excessive oiliness and improvement of any acne problems. The skin becomes bright, rejuvenated and abnormal pigmentation starts to fade, with results starting to show in just 10 to 14 days.
From the first day after treatment, make-up can be worn, if required, without any problems. Suitable for all skin types this Dermamelan treatment can help reduce pigmentation marks by up to 95%.
Before and After
THE BEST PRODUCTS FOR PIGMENTATION
As Grant explains, there are plenty of pigmentation fighting products that you can add to your everyday routine.
“Look for brightening serums that feature ingredients such as vitamin C, niacinamide, bearberry or liquorice extracts, and azelaic acid,” she says.
Dr Joseph Hkeik, from All Saints Skin Clinics in Sydney, agrees that vitamin C is one of the most effective ingredients for treating pigmentation, along with other signs of ageing. (Win, win.) “Vitamin C is great because it brightens the skin and it’s also good for exfoliation,” Dr Hkeik told ELLE.
“People that have pigmentation, people that have sun damage—these are the things that we use vitamin C for. It’s a wonderful brightener and I think this is probably the reason why it’s been thrown into a lot of products.”
SKYN PRODUCTS FOR PIGMENTATION
1. Tyrosinase Inhibitors
are amazing at addressing unwanted pigmentation in the skin. They act by blocking or sedating the enzyme responsible for the overproduction of melanin which causes your skin to have dark spots. This is a great prepping ingredient if you are considering undergoing laser treatments, IPL, chemical peels or invasive skin treatments as it reduces the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Cosmedix Simply Brilliant
ZO Brightalive Skin Brightener
SPF is also an absolute MUST for pigmentation prevention.
3. Retinol / Vitamin A
Retinol / Vitamin A is also good for pigmentation caused by sun damage as it increases cell turnover which has an exfoliating effect, so dull, damaged cells are brought to the surface to make way for brighter more even-toned skin.
Cosmedix Serum 16
Great for people who find they “react” to retinol.
Cosmedix Define & Cosmedix Refine are also great!