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HYPERPIGMENTATION: What is it, and how can we treat it?

February 08, 2019
Home > What's happening at Vivo! > HYPERPIGMENTATION: What is it, and how can we treat it?

Living in New Zealand, high levels of sun exposure, and consequently, skin damage are almost inevitable. While we can slip, slop and slap, years of living and playing under our Southern Hemisphere rays means that as we age, skin pigmentation disorders are very common. Pigmentation means colour, and our skin gets its colour from a pigment found in our cells called melanin.

Skin Therapist Steviann Doyle from Vivo Remuera says, “UVA rays from the sun activates the development of pigmentation, which is great when we are wanting that all over golden tan! However unwanted darker patches, or hyperpigmentation, can also occur when the cells are damaged by too much UVA. This damage often appears on the face shoulders, chest and hands”.

Why do those sunny days on the beach as a child cause uneven skin tone as an adult? Due to the deep penetration of UVA into the skin layers, it can often take decades for these darker spots to become visible.

It wasn’t so long ago that the only way to treat uneven skin tone was laser treatment, both costly and with downtime prohibitive to our modern, busy lives. Now, products like Simply Brilliant by Cosmedix provide at-home treatment for pigmentation. Steviann says, “Every one of my clients uses this product. It really helps to lighten the pigment, and then prevents any further darkening in the skin.”

Putting creams and serums on our skin can seem a bit like a David and Goliath battle when your opponent is the sun itself! But a little science lesson can help to see that a few minutes applying the right products each day can make a big difference. Using vitamin serums, like Aspect Extreme C Serum will feed the skin with antioxidants, helping to neutralise the free radicals that aid in the development of hyperpigmentation. What is so powerful about an antioxidant? These renegade toxins we call ‘free radicals’ cause damage to lots of different cells in our body through a process called oxidation. So, antioxidants are like a shield, protecting our faces from these bad boys in the first place.

Antioxidants are like a shield, protecting our faces from toxins in the first place.

If you have more serious skin damage, Steviann recommends a series of peels that can be specifically tailored to your skin’s needs. “A normal treatment outline would often include a series of dermal needling in combination with IPL (Intense Pulsed Light Therapy). These treatments are so effective not only because they work, but also because there is no down time - my clients often come in their lunch break!”. Pigmentation might feel permanent, but fear not, our Vivo Skin Therapists are here to help turn back the clock and give you back your beautiful, even, glowing complexion.

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