Recently I made a slight detour to Melbourne to watch my superstar cousin run her first marathon and on the return plan journey I ducked into the airport shop to grab a magazine to flick through on my return journey (slim pickings I might add). The little shop visit took me back to a time when my children were young toddlers; whenever I left their sweet souls for work, a wave of sadness always overcame me, so much so that I felt that whenever I returned through our front door, it must be with me bearing gifts….or else.
As I cast my mind even deeper down memory lane I remembered a specific time during my (first) career as an engineer where I was required to travel almost non-stop for two solid months to remote location in Australia and Malaysia with weekly trips (and thus home departures) - great for the frequent flyer kitty but sheesh not so great for the mother guilt. More than that though, I noticed the expectations or perhaps more aptly described as gift demands from my two beautiful boys moved to a whole new level. The monsters within surfaced, almost like the gizmo conversion to gremlin (for anyone who remembers the 80s hit!), especially if I dared show up with no package tucked under my arm! It was somewhere towards the end of this work segment that I made a decision – no more (unappreciated ‘gifts’) and no more waste, because that was another thing that began to weigh heavily on my conscience too, the incredible all round packaging and material waste. I realised that should I not change my approach, that I would be enabling my children to become entitled young people and I wanted nothing of that!
Anyway, this is not by any means a parenting blog however the point I recognised and previously had been above average at practising was that prevention is always better than a cure…segway skincare blog!
Much like those early mistakes I blindly made with my boys all of those years ago, around the same time I noticed a pretty solid case of hyperpigmentation appear from a previously pristine complexion. Put it down to an ad hoc skincare routine or that my skin was always hormonal and prone to breakouts….whatever the case, after making the life-changing move from the southern states to sunny Queensland, I certainly had not sufficiently learned to protect my skin from the harsh northern sun.
You see, over time our skin becomes more susceptible to pigmentation (or ‘sunspots’) as the result of natural aging but more so, increased sun exposure.
Interestingly, as skin ages, melanin production typically reduces however existing sites of pigmentation tend to increase in size and intensity. Melanin is the natural pigment that gives our skin, eyes and hair their colour and also provides the skin with a naturally mild form of sun protection from UV rays by absorbing harmful UV.
Known as a skin condition, as opposed to a skin type, pigmentation defines skin patches that are abnormally dark that which make skin appear uneven due to extra melanin present. Although harmless, pigmentation creates an undesired aesthetic appearance.
It should be note that sometimes pigmentation can also occur due to hormonal changes (known as melasma) - often during pregnancy when female sex hormones oestrogen and progesterone stimulate the over-production of melanin. It may also be left after trauma to skin usually from healed acne.
So now that you are equipped with the what and cause, and perhaps are in fact experiencing hyperpigmentation yourself, the next question is how does one treat pigmentation?
As with everything in life, there are various options, starting from the benign all the way through to quite aggressive - from lasers to dermabrasion and peels (which have the added risk of ‘rebound pigmentation’ which can be far worse than the original pigmentation you’re trying to treat).
What I would say is that as with most things, usually the best method is to start at the less drastic end of the spectrum to reduce the chance of irritation. Or perhaps even see a dermatologist if you’re really unsure.
To help, we suggest the following steps for a very effective routine that will help considerably fade your pigmented skin and help prevent pigmentation redeveloping:
Step 1: Start with regular use our highly effective Exfoliating Cream every second or third day to gently buff away the outer layer of the epidermis (known as the stratum corneum) to not only help even skin tone, but allow for a more effective penetration of carefully chosen follow in products. As an aside, noting the skin naturally slows its exfoliating abilities as we age, our Exfoliating Cream is a truly great secret weapon in helping to maintain smooth skin.
Step 2: Embed active ingredients such as vitamin C and vitamin A into your skincare routine to help fade and repair the skin. We recommend two of our own products for this purpose:
- Our Pigmentation Serum which contains a blend of active botanical ingredients that are clinically proven to reduce pigmentation by 28% over a period of 30 days. This gorgeous product is delightful to use, rich in Vitamin C from native Kakadu Plum, a base of healing aloe vera, and incorporating a carefully formulated array of varying molecular weighted hyaluronic acid that allow actives to penetrate the epidermis at varying depths, our Pigmentation Serum provides a brilliant everyday option that can bring about a noticeable improvement to help reduce skin pigmentation. We recommend this product for day use beneath your moisturiser.
- Our Repair Oil which targets the repair of damaged skin, incorporating Vitamin A from Carrot Seed Oil, or our brand new Age-Defying Oil which has 1% of a potent quality bakuchiol which is rich in Vitamin A to encourage cell renewal. We recommend these products for use at night before you sleep.
Step 3: Layer with a high-quality moisturiser to lock in your Pigmentation Serum. We have two gorgeous options of an everyday moisturiser – our Revitalising Moisturiser or a richer option with our new Renew Moisturiser.
Step 4: Possibly most importantly, avoid the sun when you can and always apply sunscreen or a concealer that has a certified SPF rating approved by the Therapeutic Goods of Australia (TGA). To block the sun is an amazing tool to prevent further damage, where the skin will regenerate and pigmentation will largely fade on its own over time given the right care. An SPF will also stop the sun triggering further pigmentation.
So that about covers it for today my lovely reader: prevention is the best cure otherwise the Indira Organics products can very effectively help to repair the damage.