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Pigmentation, Lightening, Brightening, Melasma, Melanin and more…
Pigmentation, Lightening, Brightening, Melasma, Melanin and more…
By Jen Flanagan

We have seen people for years with Pigmentation, Hyper-Pigmentation, PIE - (Post Inflammatory Erythema), Melasma and have discovered with time, customer feedback and communication that there is so much more to the formation of this (and treatment of this) than meets the eye.

As we would talk to those with these issues, they would describe how it affected their lives, the kind of ingredients or products they already used, and often we would look at ingredient lists of what they were using.

What we found was that so many of the ingredients that our customers were using either in their skin care, or their makeup were directly affecting their skin. Harsh products, too many aggressive acids, or applying them too often. Harsh ingredients.. Exfoliation in general can also contribute. These things were irritating the skin putting it in a defensive, protective state causing melanin production to increase causing an overproduction of this pigment causing the aforementioned issues.

Another aspect that we found, that may or may not be surprising...chemical sunscreens were also affecting the skin. (A chemical sunscreen is any sunscreen that does not use Zinc Oxide or Titanium Dioxide as the SPF factor) In order for chemical sunscreens to work - they have to chemically react with the skin cells to provide “protection” in a lab setting. This is how they define the SPF factor. What we found was over time, these chemical reactions cause inflammation within the cells which then causes the skin to produce even more melanin, in order to protect itself.

Environmental factors were found to be contributing as well. Places with more pollution or environmental toxins cause further inflammation in the skin that also makes it more prone to this increased melanin production.
Another factor that is often overlooked is washing your skin with water that is chlorinated or otherwise treated for water purity. Chlorine and other ingredients can irritate and inflame your skin. This also leaves your skin open to unexpected melanin increase.

When we’re dealing with addressing these pigmentation factors, we try first to get the client off of all harsh ingredients. We suggest going as gentle as possible, and use gentle brightening/lightening ingredients.

When first using lightening/brightening products, pigmentation can get worse at first. This is because melanin forms roots deeper in the skin, so as the melanin moves to the surface it can look worse at first. Keep faith at this point. As long as you are being gentle with your skin otherwise - it should progressively improve.

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