Are you part of those people who have to deal with unwanted brown pigmentation spots on the face? Then this is your lucky day, because Kris Schoeters from Skincare Boulevard explains what you can do to protect your skin better from UV rays. Read along if you want the ultimate 3 steps routine to avoid new pigment growth during summer.
Brown spots disrupt our even skin tone and make us look older.
The sun is the source of warmth and life, stimulates vitamin D hormone and acts as a super boost for our mood, but is also a trigger for pigmentation. Too much sun causes DNA damage, leads to pigment reactions, and more brown spots will appear, becoming darker with time.
There are several types of spots – freckles, sun spots (also called age spots, liver spots or solar lentiginosis), and melasma: all forms of hyperpigmentation. Although some are likely to be caused by hormonal influences or appear during healing, one thing is a given: every brown spot is stimulated under UV.
Where does pigmentation come from?
Our skin contains melanocytes: these are pigment (melanin) producing cells. They are located at the bottom of the bottom layer of the epidermis, and they will release pigment or color to other cells. When pigment distribution becomes disrupted, accumulations or clusters will form, and you will notice brown spots developing.
Anyone can suffer from pigmentation spots, even at an early age. Usually you notice these spots more on areas where there has been more sun exposure (face, décolleté, back of hands, forearms), so we definitely have to focus on UV protection in our approach.
The whole concept of melanin production and release in your body is extremely complex, and is influenced by many factors besides the sun: age, medication and hormones also play major roles, also tanning beds (UVA + UVB) and alcohol-based products like perfume.
Can pigment disappear and how can you remove pigmentation spots yourself?
Yes, there are lots of useful ingredients you can use at home (especially in winter) to even out your skin tone, refining the top layer, and – partially – reset your disturbed pigment distribution. Although improvement is certainly achievable, prevention is even better.
How to prevent pigment spots from forming?
The uneven skin tone due to overproduction of melanin can be prevented by paying attention to your daily skin care, following my 4 basic steps:
Step 1: Clean thoroughly yet very gently
Keep your skin smooth, reduce the build-up of dead skin cells and make your skin more permeable, and above all: cleanse thoroughly but gently. Many pigment irregularities are stimulated by your reactivity: the gentler you treat your skin, the better.
Avoid harsh scrubs and harsh products with alcohol. Focus on the gentle daily cleansing using the Softscrub method, and apply chemical exfoliation regularly: thanks to natural salicylic acid, you can exfoliate even the most sensitive skins – even during the summer under SPF – leaving your skin refreshed and smooth.
Tip: Salicylic acid in natural and safe form – White Willow Bark Peeling Mask
Step 2: Choose the right serum
Preventing pigmentation spots requires a specialized active: use products that penetrate deeply and not only prevent and counteract the formation of pigment, but also inhibit existing spots and their development.
Sensitive skin? Mainly focus on serums that soothe and restore: this will help against forming hyper pigment. Choose probiotics, or serums with calming ingredients to restore the skin barrier, boosting its resilience and reduce reactivity.
Tip: Skin Tone Balancer Active Serum prevents pigmentation and helps redistributing of spots
Step 3: Hydrate better
A well-hydrated skin is healthier, and will suffer less from pigment irregularities. Opt for customized hydration that boosts your cells, considering your skin type.
Tip: Synbiotic Skin Serum boost your own microbiome and restores your healthy skin
Step 4: Protect and repeat
We are all aware that daily use SPF is necessary to protect our skin. Yes, I am talking every day, winter, summer, fall and spring, without any exceptions.
Using SPF – sun protection factor – wisely on high UV days, like summer, are essential to avoiding pigmentation spots:
– Apply 30 minutes before your first sun contact
– Apply generously and repeat: every 2-3 hours
– Also use SPF if you stay indoors, in front of your PC (blue and white light)
– Choose the highest factor (50) and broad spectrum (uva, uvb, hev, pollution)
– Mineral make-up can contain up to SPF 50, don’t use this as sole protection. Use sun brushes after your SPF cream.
– Make-up on and you want to reapply SPF? Select an SPF spray, very handy.
– Always wear a hat or cap and sunglasses outside, and a white light blocker inside (PC, cell phone)
In addition to SPF, also consider your skin barrier and the quality of your bacteria. Use a probiotic Spray: in addition to billions of healthy bacteria, it keeps your skin super fresh.
Tip: to help battle all forms of skin aging – add antioxidants. There is only 1 rule with antioxidants: more is .. more. More is better! More is goooood.
What are antioxidants and why do we need them?
Free radicals (damaging processes in our body chemistry related to oxygen – compare it to exhaust emissions from a car) ‘rob’ our healthy cells causing DNA damage, leading to oxidative stress, which in turn leads to more collagen breakdown, DNA damage and cell mutation, decreased resistance etc.
Antioxidants are the counterpart of free radicals and oxidative stress.
Did you know that our skin contains a lot of antioxidants naturally? They protect us against negative external influences, especially sun damage. But mainly due to sun damage, and factors such as menopause, wrong skin care, etc., we lose our antioxidants.
Why are antioxidants important?
– Improve the cell function,
– Stimulate collagen production,
– Improve elasticity,
– Create healthier, younger skin cells
– Reduce sun damage
However, this skin improvement takes time! Time and consistent care, using strong and high quality antioxidants inside and out: the more antioxidants, the healthier and younger your skin.
Where do you find antioxidants?
– In cosmetics: under names such as glutathione, linoleic acid, beta-glucan, grape seed extract, resveratrol, ascorbic acid (vitamin C), tocopherol (vitamin E), niacinamide (vitamin B), retinol and it’s many derivatives (vitamin A), ea
– In food supplements containing vitamins, minerals and micronutrients: such as in collagen drinks, vitamins, etc
– In food: such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, goji berries, in cocoa, in spices, tomatoes, broccoli, artichokes
– In drinks such as coffee, black and green tea and in red wine (= resveratrol)
Tip: This daily collagen drink boosts your skin volume and elasticity, reducing wrinkles and adds antioxidants to reduce pigmentation.
Conclusion: you can definitely do something about pigmentation spots. Prevention in summer is key, actively peeling and regenerating the skin in winter is next. Protect yourself against harmful effects of the sun, and include a targeted skincare regime, inside & out, thus limiting reactivity and pigment formation for a fresh skin, an even skin tone and a real healthy glow, in the long term.
If you would love to know more about the right products and ways of taking care of your skin, then use this online skin analysis tool from Skincare Boulevard. It is the perfect way to start your targeted skin care journey, with excellent skincare products and expert guidance for your best result.