Pigmentation is actually the natural colour of your skin. The outer most layer of your skin gets its natural colour from pigments called Melanin which are produced by special cells called melanocytes in the basal (deepest) layer of the skin.
In some people, an over stimulation of Melanin in the skin can lead to hyper-pigmentation. Hyper-pigmentation will usually appear on the face in the form of brown patches, brown spots, sun spots, uneven skin tone or pregnancy mask.
So, what actually causes pigmentation?
- UV exposure - The number one cause of an increase in Melanin production is UV exposure. Melanocytes stimulate the production of Melanin when the skin needs protection from damaging UV rays. Melanin is kind of like your skins own sunscreen. For some people this increase in Melanin means they just get a lovely even tan, for others, it can lead to hyper-pigmentation.
- Hormones - An increase in oestrogen and progesterone can cause an excessive production of Melanin. This is common during pregnancy with some women developing a ‘pregnancy mask’- a darker patch of skin on the forehead, cheeks and nose. Also, certain medications such as the contraceptive pill can cause hyperpigmentation. Usually, this fades when the hormones return to a normal level.
- Inflammation or injury caused by acne - Damaging the skin by picking at pimples or blemishes can lead to hyperpigmentation in the form of red or brown marks.
- Stress - In some cases dealing with high levels of stress or going through a stressful period can affect the amount of melanin produced by the cells.
So, how do you minimise hyper-pigmentation?
Avoid excessive sun exposure and never spend time in the sun unprotected. Always wear a hat, sunglasses and a natural sunscreen.
Keeping hydrated. Ensure that you are drinking enough water. When you are dehydrated skin cells tend to not turn over as quickly which can increase the appearance of dark patches.
Eat plenty of fresh fruit and green leafy vegetables to ensure you are providing your body with all the vitamins and nutrients required for healthy skin renewal.
Don’t pick at breakouts!
Ensure you are following a good skin care regime at home. Be diligent with your routine as it takes time to see improvement with hyper-pigmentation. Using an exfoliant - like Sodashi's Enzyme Face Polish - regularly is absolutely essential, as well as keeping your skin hydrated and protected from the environment with a good moisturiser. Use a targeted serum or night treatment to repair the damage.
Invest in regular facial treatments, this will ensure your skin is in good condition. Sodashi’s Marine Mineral Facial is particularly good for brightening the skin and reducing hyperpigmentation. Your therapist can also ensure you are following the best possible skin care regime for your skin type.
And, what is the best way to treat pigmentation?
There are natural ingredients derived from plants, fruits and berries which effectively treat hyperpigmentation, that don’t have the harsh side effects that some of the chemical ingredients used to lighten the skin do.
Sodashi products that are amazing for targeting pigmentation issues include:
- Samadara Ultimate Age-Defying Elixir. This is our skincare superstar; a precious synergy of 15 exceptionally nourishing plant oils and extracts that visibly transform the skin. Reducing pigmentation is just one of its superpowers - this brilliant beauty has a full repertoire of skin-saving graces.
- Rejuvenating Concentrate. You could actually use any of the Sodashi Concentrates, this one is just particularly effective for pigmentation.
- Sodashi concentrates are a liquid exfoliant containing lemon that you compress on to the skin. Lemon is the best natural ingredient to effectively lighten, brighten and clarify the skin. It will remove old dead cells and reduce pigmentation spots with regular use. The Rejuvenating Concentrate also contains lavender for healthy new cell growth and geranium to help strengthen the cells.
- The Recovery Skin Boost is brilliant for evening skin tones. It’s designed to boost dull complexions by oxygenating the cells and restoring vitality to the skin. A key ingredient is bilberry, a natural anti-inflammatory and powerful antioxidant, that has a brightening effect on the skin.
- Rejuvenating Serum and Nourishing Repair Treatment. Both these products contain a key ingredient for combating hyper-pigmentation: Carrot oil. With a high content of beta-carotene, carrot oil protects against sun damage and evens skin tone.
- For an intensive overnight brightening treatment layer these two products, Rejuvenating Serum first followed by the Nourishing Repair Treatment. It’s amazing for repairing sun damaged skin.
- Rejuvenating Plant Essence Replenish Mask. A luscious and ultra-moisturising mask that artfully combines some powerful ingredients for visibly reducing hyper-pigmentation and boosting the skin's natural renewal process. Think wild-grown horsetail (plant, not animal variety!), gotu kola, rosehip, clary sage and ginko bilboa.