Pigmentation is a condition that causes areas of the skin to appear darker, or in some cases lighter, than normal. As Dr Perricone explains, it’s ‘is the effect of an increase in melanin, the substance in the body that is responsible for colour.’
It’s the melanin, the pigment in the skin, that produces the discoloration of pigmentation and there are several ways we can develop these patches, which cause the complexion to look uneven. Dr Perricone explains, ‘Melanin absorbs the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays in order to protect the skin from overexposure, but in doing so, it can cause freckles, age spots, and other darkened skin patches to become even darker and more pronounced.’
Larger patches of pigmentation are known as melasma and can be brought on by hormone fluctuations, specifically changes in oestrogen, that we may experience during the menopause, pregnancy or while on the pill. Then there’s ‘post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation’. These are commonly caused by some sort of injury to the skin, such as a burn ot scratch, that then darkens when exposed to the sun.
It’s important to take a two-prong approach to dealing with pigmentation – first is protection, and second is treatment. By protecting your skin, you can try to avoid pigmentation appearing in the first place, explains Dr Perricone, ‘take precautions such as limiting your exposure to the sun,’ while topical skincare can help you treat any pigmentation that has already occurred.
Opt for a product that treats both new and existing pigmentation. Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, £42, is a dermatologist-developed cream that can be used daily and works to treat pigmentation while helping to even out your skin tone. Bioderma White Objective Serum, £15.33, is a targeted treatment for pigmentation and it also contains Vitamin C, which is well known for encouraging skin brightening.
Containing a clever combination of ingredients to tones, brighten and treat pigmentation and imperfections, Fresh Peony Spot-Correcting Brightening Essence, £52, is a great go-to product, while Skinceuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector, £89, is a preservative, paraben-free formula that offers UV protection to help future pigmentation forming and salicylic acid to aid cell turnover and heal patches of pigmentation, as well as leave the complexion brightened and refreshed overall.
If your hands are the problem area, Elemental Herbology Hand Nutrition, £16, can be used all over to even out and refine the skin or as a targeted treatment on patches of pigmentation and La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Eyes, £24.50, is as gentle as it is effective to treat any marks you have forming under your eyes.