Be your own kind of beautiful – A guide to skin pigmentation

Are you concerned about skin pigmentation or wondering why you are dealing with it in the first place? We have put together this informative guide that will outline everything you need to know about skin pigmentation!

What is skin pigmentation?

If you pay close attention to your skin, it is likely you have noticed small areas of discoloration or darkening. Yes, freckles are cute, but we are not talking about freckles, these are larger, uneven dark patches that seem to persist on your face, neck, shoulders, and hands.

Also known as hyperpigmentation, pigmentation – more commonly known as brown spots – is the colour of your skin due to a certain amount of melanin (a natural pigment that gives your skin, hair, and eyes their unique colour). Hyperpigmentation causes patches of skin to become darker than the surrounding skin due to an abnormally high amount of melanin or other pigments in the skin.

Hyperpigmentation can be caused by:

* Birthmarks
* Acne scarring
* Age Spots
* Sun exposure
* Cryotherapy, laser therapy, or light therapy
* Pregnancy – causing the melasma, or tan, brown, or gray patches to appear on the face
* Addison’s disease – a rare disorder that causes decreased functioning of the adrenal gland
and dark patches of skin

There are several different types of pigmentation:

Age spots are the most common type and are often a result of your skin’s arch-nemesis, better known as the sun. Most people are familiar with the damaging effects sun exposure can cause and how UVA rays can damage your skin. Age spots are often found in areas frequently exposed to the sun.

Melasma is the most common form of facial pigmentation, likely to occur between the ages of 20 and 40. Although it can affect anyone it is more common in women and is thought to be triggered by pregnancy, the birth control pill or other hormonal medication, skin irritation, sun exposure, and genetic predisposition. Melasma presents similar to age spots but covers a larger area on the skin.

Post-inflammatory pigmentation follows injury or inflammation of the skin. Often this is a temporary phenomenon commonly caused by an acne or eczema flare-up.

How can you prevent pigmentation from forming:

You have heard it many times before but yes, SPF is the most effective way to prevent pigmentation from occurring in the first place or stop it from getting worse. Wearing sunscreen daily is highly recommended, remember to reapply throughout the day especially if you are outdoors, and be sure to wear a hat with a wide brim for extra protection.

Those seeking treatment for hyperpigmentation are advised to wear at least a broad spectum SPF50 sunscreen 365 days a year before leaving the house. There are other benefits associated with the daily use of sunscreen such as the evening of skin tone and slowing aging of the skin. Try Aloe Unique SPF 50 Sun Lotion to protect your skin from harmful rays of the sun, this Aloe Ferox-based formula with two levels of sunscreen plus moisturizing glycerin nourishes and helps keep skin optimally hydrated.

Let’s talk about freckles, are they different?

Freckles commonly occur in fair-skinned individuals and are thought to be inherited characteristics. Freckles do tend to be darker in the summer months from sun exposure, unlike brown or dark spots which arise in middle age due to sun damage and persist in the absence of ongoing UV stimulation.

What is the best way to treat hyperpigmentation?

The most effective way to manage hyperpigmentation is to combine avoidance of known triggers with active treatment. Try active treatments such as Brighten Ampoules which protect the skin from the photodamage and pollutants that cause dark spots and premature aging and reduces the appearance of existing hyperpigmentation. Age-Defying Serum a potent, highly-concentrated serum that kickstarts skin’s age-defying powers to help prevent and reverse the appearance of lines, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation.

How long does it take to treat hyperpigmentation?

Fading of hyperpigmentation depends on the skin area and the type of spots being treated (sun spots, brown spots, dark spots or age spots). There are 8 different treatment options available so depending on which option you choose it could take anywhere from a few days to a few months to start to see progress.

The 8 options to choose from are lightening creams, face acids, chemical peel, laser peel, retinoids, IPL therapy, dermabrasion, and microdermabrasion. What option works best depends on different skin tones, it is best to speak to your dermatologist to help you identify the cause of your hyperpigmentation and work with you to develop an appropriate treatment plan.

Why do dark spots get darker before they get lighter?

You might be wondering why you have been faithfully sticking to your brightening regimen, and yet, the excess pigment you’re targeting seems to be getting darker. What is going on? Don’t panic, this is a natural phenomenon of the brightening process.

There are more triggers for pigment production than there are pathways for its elimination, leading to the accumulation of melanin in the skin. Pigment production begins in the deeper layers of the skin and rises to the surface where it gathers until being removed when the dead skin cells shed. Active treatment accelerates the cell turnover, increasing the concentration of melanin in the epidermis which will create a temporary darkening of the spots. So, in short, the darkening is what you want to see. It means the pigment is coming up and is ready to be shed away!

We recommend:

The below Aloe Unique products contain Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E) Anti-oxidant which fights free radicals to reduce excessive pigmentation:

Clarifying Toner with witch hazel, helps diminish the look of redness and dry patches.

Exfoliating Facial Scrub with natural crushed walnut polishing particles gently buffs away dull, dry, dead cells to uncover fresh, smooth, even-toned skin below.

Aloe & Honey Gel Mask with a super-hydrating blend of anti-oxidants this mask instantly energizes and smooths dull tired skin.

2 in 1 Light Everyday Facial Lotion absorbs quickly to deliver critical hydration and is ideal for oily and combination skin.

Essential Day Cream provides all-day hydration and protection to leave skin soft, smooth and supple. Packed with skin-plumping peptides and anti-oxidant-rich Vitamin E.

Age-Defying Day Cream delivers a blast of moisture and protection to leave skin hydrated, plump and even-toned. With a unique delivery system and packed with antioxidants and Vitamins E and C.

Light Body Lotion a daily essential hydrating and smooth day and night moisturizing cream. Ultra-light and quickly absorbed, non-greasy, and skin-quenching.

Hand and Nail Cream This triple-action cream hydrates hands while strengthening nails and conditioning cuticles. With a nourishing blend of Vitamins A, C, and E.

Shea Body Butter Ultra-nourishing body moisturizer corrects and protects dehydrated skin, rich in Shea Butter & Anti-oxidants.

Waterless Hand Cleansing Gel with Aloe Ferox A quick-drying concentrated alcohol-based sanitizer for the removal of everyday germs.

Click here to view the full range of Aloe Unique products.

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