Summer is the time for prevention. Winter is the time to treat your hyperpigmentation patches.
It’s usually this time of year (early summer) that people want to treat their hyperpigmentation patches. When the reality is that during the summer months, we should be looking at preventative measures. Saving the curative measures for the autumn and winter.
Why? The treatment of pigmentation happens by preventing or slowing your melanin production.
No or slow melanin production = burnt skin.
No or slow melanin protection over vulnerable areas = greater long-term damage.
REPEAT = greater long-term damage!
But before any effective treatment starts, you skin must be strengthened. This will give you the most visible results and prevent the pigmentation from returning (as long as your skin is kept strong and in its best condition and as long as it is well protected in the future).
Yes, I know this is probably contra to what anyone else is telling you. We can help you reduce your pigmentation. But now is not the time of year to do it.
There’s a lot to explain and a blog isn’t the place to do it.
If you're serious about treating hyperpigmentation patches we can help you. The process can be explained to you at our Virtual Skin Bar. This is a 1-2-1 skincare consultation with Katherine Daniels Co-founder Donna Tait. With over 40 years of skincare expertise, there’s not a lot Donna doesn’t know about skin. And she knows everything about our products.
If you're serious about hyperpigmentation, book your complimentary 20-minute consultation. All you need is a phone, tablet or computer. Book here.
In the meantime…
The Sun and Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is one of your skins self-protection mechanisms.
It is the result of your skin overproducing melanin. Melanin is the pigment which gives your skin its colour.
As your melanin production is stimulated you will start to tan.
A day at the beach, or around the pool, in your summer garden, or in an indoor tanning booth. Your skin will start to change colour.
Your melanin is produced by your skin as a self-protection mechanism.
It is produced in larger quantities to protect areas of your skin which are vulnerable and fragile (scar tissue and broken capillaries). Your skin will also self-protect areas which are fragile or sensitised.
Fragile and sensitised skin may come as a result from using too harsh or aggressive skincare products.
Or the times of your life when you have the greatest shifts in your hormone levels, puberty, pregnancy, peri menopause and menopause. Also, the use of oral contraceptive pills. Whatever the reason, you may notice some areas of your skin becoming patchy and darker than other areas.
Lets look in more depth at the main cause of Pigmentation
1. Sun exposure
As mentioned already, periods of sun exposure trigger excess melanin production. Meaning that your skin will start to darken and tan.
Over areas which are vulnerable, the cells which produce melanin ‘huddle’ together and create greater protection. Think of it like a parasol being used to shield the most vulnerable areas of your skin. When this happens small, dark patches can start to appear. Further sun exposure can make these patches even darker and may lead to more patches appearing.
2. Scar protection
A scar tissue (when it’s still red or pink) is brand new skin. It's vulnerable and lacks strength. Remember your skins way of protecting itself is by producing melanin. The more vulnerable the skin, the more melanin will be produced to give it the best protection. Unfortunately, the pigmentation may remain when the scar is healed. No matter how fair or dark, your skin will always work to self-protect the areas which are vulnerable and lack strength. The same is true for any other skin damage. Broken capillaries on our cheeks are a good example. The skin is vulnerable and by pushing melanin to the surface it protects the fragile capillary network, which is visible through the upper layers of your skin.
3. Hormonal changes
This type of hyperpigmentation is seen when the level of certain hormones in our body change. Its often seen during pregnancy and usually without the interception of the sun. Also, with the use of a certain medications such as the contraceptive pill and HRT.
How to prevent (not cure) Pigmentation
Apply sun protection daily, even on cloudy days (UV rays can still penetrate and reach your skin through a layer of cloud). Also, try to limit time spent in direct sunlight, especially during its most intense hours (11am-3pm) and when possible, wear protective clothing such as sunglasses and a hat. Our Daily DNA Defence SPF30 is your secret coat of skin armour. So light in texture you won’t know you’re wearing it.
Don’t ditch your skincare regime in the summer or on holiday
During the summer you may wear less or no make-up. You should continue your usual skincare regime. This allows our key ingredients to work hard within your skin. This will keep optimal oil and water levels within your skin. Your skin will work to its best ability and stay as strong as possible.
By layering your usual Step 2 - Skin Boost and Step 3 – Skin Defence treatment cream. You’re creating an extra layer of protection, which supports your SPF protection. We love our hydrating duo during the summer months Step 2 – Rehydrating Concentrate and our Step – 3 Rehydrating Cream, to quench a thirsty summer skin.
Try to reduce stress
When the body’s stress reaction is triggered it induces the melanocytes to produce more pigment. Why not use our Gentle Oil & Salt Exfoliator to buff away dead cells, before soaking the salt away in a warm bath. You’ll be submerged in minerals and trace elements from our sea salts. Emerge relaxed before massaging in a layer of our Nourishing Hydrating Balm. Finally unwind fully after a stressful day, use our Signature Scent Tranquilty Linen & Home Mist. Take time to relax with a good book. All of this will get you some well-deserved ‘me time.’