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Age Spots - Minimizing them and brightening skin
Scientifically referred to as Hyperpigmentation, age spots (or brown spots) are deposits on skin caused by an overproduction of melanin. Melanin is what gives colour to our hair and skin. Those with less pigment have lighter skin and hair, and those with more pigment have darker skin and hair.

While melanin is genetically determined, it can be heavily influenced by UV light or hormones. In the past decade, there has been an enormous surge in the desire to lesson the appearance of age spots, as research reveals they contribute as much to the visible signs of ageing as a wrinkle.

Three main causes of hyperpigmentation

UV exposure
By the time we are sixty, 90% of us will have age spots induced by repeated exposure to UV light. UV rays accelerate the production of menalin in skin. While melanin is produced to absorb harmful UV light (resulting in a tan), abnormally high concentrations of menalin cause damage to melanocyte cells, causing them to "clump" together. They then begin the journey to the outer layer of skin and are deposited as surface spots.

Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)
PIH stems from a melanocyte cell's exagerated responce to injury, resulting in an increased or abnormal distribution of melanin in the tissues, causing scarring.

Melasma
Also known as "the mask of pregnancy", melasma is triggered by an increase in hormones from being pregnant or taking oral contraceptives. Melasma can be worsened by UV exposure, can dissapear post-pregnancy or after the ceasing of oral contraceptives, can persisit for up to 5 years afterward, or even come back if pregnancy occurs or contraceptives are taken again.


Brighter skin - But at what cost

For years, Hydroquinone has been used in concentrations of up to 2% within products designed to lighten skin. While Hydroquinone may be a popular pigment lightener, there are many concerns regarding it's safety.

It has been estimated that one third of the population is allergic to Hydroquinone.

Serious contact dermatitis has been noted and skin may be photosensitized with prolonged use.

In some cases, a condition known as onchcronosis can result, leading to hyperpigmentation and acne-like lesions.

Others report hypopigmentation (extreme lightening of the skin) when used on an olive skin colour.


Safe alternatives for brightening skin

Many professionals choose botanicals and extracts over Hydroquinone to treat hyperpigmentation. The tyrosinase enzyme is the chemical catalyst for the triggers that lead to hyperpigmentation - meaning it is the best place to start when working to control this skin condition. Ingredients include Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid, Magnesium Ascorbyl, Phosphate), antioxidant white Tea extract, Gluconic Acid, antioxidant Licorice Root extract, lactic acid, Niacinamide, Oligopeptide-34, Phytic acid (Rice extract) and Zinc Glycinate. All can help slow down Tyrosinase, or help control it, while brightening skin.


Proper treatment for results

Because the production of pigment in the skin is a multi-step process, a multi-step treatment regime must be followed to help minimize hyperpigmentation. For this reason, your professional skin therapist will prescribe a home care regime and a series of professional treatments for the greatest skin brightening results.

When undergoing skin brightening treatments and a home care regime, it is important to:

Have realistic goals about how quickly you will see results. You must consistently use your prescribed brightening regime morning and night for up to eight weeks before attempting to detect improvement. This is because it takes about 45 days for existing melanin to slough off.

Following a strict brightening regime will fail to provide results if an SPF of at least 30 is not worn on skin whenever it is exposed to daylight.

The depth of your pigmentation will dictate the degree of effectiveness. Sun-induced pigmentation is the easiest to treat, while hormonally-induced and deeper post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are more challenging.

The links below take you to Dermalogica products that would be suggested for hyperpigmentation: 
Tri Active CleanseExtreme C
PowefoliantPure Light SPF30
C-12 ConcentratePure Night
Use the links above read about/buy the products or for more information feel free to contact us via the Contact Page.
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