….The Low Down
Is common and usually harmless. Patches of skin become darker in colour due to an excess of the brown pigment ‘melanin’. Usually occurs from:-
- Sun damage over the years
- Post acne or other skin trauma (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation). An example is dark marks that appear after a pimple.
Note:- every time unprotected skin is exposed to UVA rays, a signal is sent to your pigment producing skin cells (melanocytes), to produce more melanin.
Melasma is a very common skin complaint. The condition causes brown, discoloured patches on the face. Usually on the cheeks, forehead and upper lip. It’s also called chloasma OR the ‘mask of pregnancy’ (when it occurs in pregnant women). Melasma is much more common in women than men.
It is primarily related to a rise in women’s estrogenic hormones (such as progesterone), combined with sun exposure. These increased hormones trigger an overproduction of melanin in the skin. It is commonly triggered by birth control pills, hormonal changes in pregnancy or Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT). Some women can however have a genetic predisposition. Most women with melasma have a history of sun exposure.
Melasma is most common among pregnant women, especially those of Latin and Asian descents. People with olive or darker skin, like Hispanic, Asian, and Middle Eastern individuals, have higher incidences of melasma
Frustratingly, Melasma does not always disappear straight away after giving birth. During pregnancy the best defense in preventing melasma is sun protection.
Treatment for Melasma / Hyperpigmentation
- Sun protection +++
- Exfoliation – Removes dead skin cells and accelerates skin cell turnover.
- Chemical Peels – eg glycolic
- Topical products containing Hydroquinone -helps lighten melasma by inhibiting tyrosinase, which is the enzyme responsible for the production of melanin. Hydroquinone is a naturally occurring substance that is present in blueberries, broccoli and meats.
- Topical Retinol (derived from Vitamin A) – which also great for aging Skin (wrinkles) and acne –not recommended whilst pregnant.
- Topical products containing Vitamin C – help with lightening and brightening.
- Professional Microdermabrasions
- laser pigmentation removal – using specialised medical-grade Lasers.
- Skin needling (Dermal rolling) – stimulates the production of collagen to create smoother, healthier skin. It reduces pigmentation, acne scarring, stretch marks, fine lines, enlarged pores, and scarring in general.
- See the Beauty Booster treatment
- REVERSE – line of products (from Rodan + Fields) – have been clinically tested to help visibly even skin tone, to reveal your most radiant and natural complexion. Please visit
https://visherwood.myrandf.com/au and try the Solution Tool for a personalised recommendation.
Note- Unless you want to end up right back where you started, there’s no use trying to tackle pigmentation / melasma unless your prepared to keep your face out of the sun. Diligent sun protection is vital.
Other skincare ingredients to look for-
Alpha hydroxy acids, Kojic acid, antioxidants, salicylic acid, licorice, Vitamin E, green tea, mulberry.