Putting the Spotlight on Pigmentation with Guest Expert Anna Field

In the quest for achieving a more youthful, even complexion, one of the biggest areas of concerns for many Aussie women is skin pigmentation.

Despite the fact that this problem is one that plagues so many of us, I find that often people are confused about what exactly the condition is, how is it caused and what treatments work best.

So getting back to basics, what are the answers to the commonly asked questions about skin pigmentation and what information do you need to know?

What is it and how is it caused?
“Pigmentation” means colouring, so skin pigmentation is a condition that relates to discolouration of the skin. Within the skin there is a series of complex systems that stimulate the melanocytes. Melanocytes are the melanin factory that produce colour that alter the skin cells appearance. The melanin covered cells then builds up and results in the colour that we see on the skin either as tan or as spots.

Pigmentation is caused when a chain of communications are over stimulated by either hormones or sun. In regards to sun-caused skin pigmentation it is important to note that this is the result of years of exposure and builds up over time. Hormone-induced pigmentation can be the result of pregnancy, breastfeeding , menopause or the use of the contraceptive pill.

The basic concept with skincare to treat pigmentation is to intercept the communication chain, inhibit the melanin production, increase cell turnover and of course prevent with SPF’s.

How can skincare be used to treat pigmentation?
Although skin pigmentation cannot be removed with skincare, through the use of the correct products, the way skin it looks on your skin can be dramatically improved.

One of the main reasons skincare is not the miracle, is meloncytes have tentacles that can reach down into the dermis making it very difficult for skincare to influence those areas. It is also a slow process to reverse this damage, which did take years to create, so it is only reasonable to expect it to take a while to diminish.

With most skincare you will see brightening and luminosity immediately however pigment reduction will slowly reduce over 3 months. Whitening skincare tends to make the pigmentation softer and less defined so it blends into the skin more and is therefore less obvious. Look for ingredients like liquorish and vitamin C, these are currently the two heroes in the skincare fight against pigmentation

How can laser be used to treat pigmentation?
Cutting-edge laser treatments can offer fantastic results in reducing pigmentation as the laser light is able to travel deeper into the skin and treat those tentacles. Although there are many ‘discounted’ pop-up laser clinics around, it is vital that people seeking this treatment be stringent about selecting a highly-trained therapist using the best quality equipment because this procedure can be harmful if performed incorrectly.

What treatment regime do you recommend?
Combining skincare treatments with laser is the optimal in results and what I recommend as the best approach for treating pigmentation. For solar pigmentation however, the best and cheapest treatment is prevention so don’t forget to slip, slop slap!


About the Author
Anna Field has been in the beauty industry now for over 21 years. Her experience includes national training manager for La Prairie and international promotions for Asia as well as working in salons with a broad range of products and experiences. Created in 2003, her salon, The Paddington Beauty Room currently has 72 years of experience under one roof. Anna is dedicated to inspire the industry one staff member at a time, one client at a time. For more of Anna’s advice visit her blog (www.thepaddingtonbeautyroom.com.au/blog)


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