Summer time is officially here in Texas. That means long days floating cold rivers, sundresses, and blenders rendering up frozen concoctions to enjoy during poolside grilling. It also means that my treatment room is filled with questions about, “These annoying little dark spots that keep popping up on my face.” Those little brown spots are what’s known as hype-pigmentation.
Hyper-pigmentation. Uneven, discolored patches of skin that plague your face like a miscellany mask of aging. It is the most dreaded sign of aging skin, far more than fine lines or wrinkles, it can creep up on you overnight, and it can be extremely stubborn to treat. It is the enemy and must be destroyed with an Antioxidant fueled Army.
Truly treating this skin condition comes with having a true understanding of where it comes from. Any discoloration of the skin falls under the umbrella scope of Hyper-pigmentation. Sun Damage, Scarring and Inflammatory response and Hormones are the main culprits behind this condition. Any injury that occurs to the skin has the potential to stimulate Melanocytes, these are the pigment making cells in your basal layer of the epidermis. Once the process is stimulated, there is a massive surplus of pigment that is dumped into the lower levels of skin. Very similar to how tattoo ink is deposited in the skin. Interestingly, these age spots do not usually appear at the same time the skin is afflicted, easily taking 10-20 years to surface. These pockets of age spots are just as regrettable as that tattoo -you may- have gotten on spring break years ago. #yolo #whatevermom
As a skin care specialist, I can’t stress enough the importance of a daily SPF to help prevent Hyper-pigmentation. Every morning routine should be finished with a Broad Spectrum Mineral Sunscreen with an SPF of 30-50. Chemical Sunscreens still absorb UVA, it just makes it less damaging. Whereas Broad Spectrum will have those devasting UVA rays bouncing off like a mirror. Now once those brown patches are present, treatment has to be done with a low and slow approach, overly aggressive services can worsen this condition through injury. Setting up a six month treatment plan of dermaplaning and proper chemical peels will gently work that pigment out, creating a glowing, even complexion.
Setting up a home care routine is just as crucial to treatment as your days visiting the spa. My general formula is going to be a twice daily Cleanse, Antioxidant Serum, Hydrating Moisturizer and finally your SPF. A gentle exfoliation twice a week is going to keep those skin cells moving as well. Visiting a licensed skin care professional will give you the best products recommendations for your skin’s individual needs.
Happy sweet summer Texas! And keep that SPF in your bag.