Episode 16: What Is Pigmentation & How Do You Treat It?

We're back for another episode of Beauty IQ Uncensored, brought to you by Adore Beauty

What’s on this episode? We’re glad you asked...

The Weird Sh*t Your Family Does:

Sitting down in the shower, plucking your chin hairs on the couch, wearing panty liners every day, farting in the laundry... Every family has their own beauty quirks! DM us on Instagram to share yours: https://www.instagram.com/adorebeauty/

Pigmentation:

Sam from Advanced Skin Technology joins us to answer all our questions about pigmentation. What causes pigmentation? How do you treat it? Can you reverse sun damage? Can you treat melasma? And many more... because we had lots of questions.

Read more about Hannah's skin age journey here >>

The Products We Didn’t Know We Needed: 

Joanna’s product: M.A.C Cosmetic Pro Longwear Paint Pot (Groundwork)

Hannah’s product: The Ordinary Glycolic Acid Toning Solution

Credits: 

Hosts: Joanna Fleming & Hannah Furst 

Guest: Sam from Advanced Skin Technology

Don't forget to subscribe & tell you friends - it helps people discover us! 

Find Out the Best Ways to Treat Face Pigmentation with guest Sam from Advanced Skin Technology - Beauty IQ Uncensored Episode 16 Transcript - 'What Is Pigmentation & How Do You Treat It?'

 

Hannah Furst:
Welcome everybody to Beauty IQ the podcast.

Joanna Fleming:
I'm your host, Joanna Fleming.

Hannah Furst:
And I am your co-host Hannah Furst.

Joanna Fleming:
So, on today's episode we have quite a funny, cringy, convo coming up, or we think it's funny, anyway. We can tell you more about that shortly.

Hannah Furst:
And then, we have a guest to talk about pigmentation? Which-

Joanna Fleming:
Yes. This is a big concern.

Hannah Furst:
Yes, including for myself. And, of course, the products we didn't know we needed.

Joanna Fleming:
Do you see [inaudible 00:00:30]?

Hannah Furst:
I feel like this is probably the best thing you've ever suggested that we do.

Joanna Fleming:
But I have to clarify. It wasn't me who suggested it, it was one of my friends who suggested that we do this segment.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah, so this segment is called The Weird Shit Your Family Does.

Joanna Fleming:
Moreso, the weird shit that your family does that you don't realize is weird until someone tells you it's weird. Which I thought it was hilarious because I knew you would have heaps.

Hannah Furst:
Oh my God. My family has so many weird things.

Joanna Fleming:
I couldn't think of that many, there's a few things.

Hannah Furst:
And by the way, they're going to be really annoyed about me doing this.

Hannah Furst:
But I want to start with one that isn't beauty related, because this really sums up my family. So, on my parents' first date, they're at a restaurant and neither of them ate mushrooms or seafood. Weirdly, they're the two things they both don't eat.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah, that's pretty random.

Hannah Furst:
And so, basically, now my whole family, the five of us, we don't eat seafood and mushrooms. So, when we go to restaurants, we literally do the whole order and then my mom stops and goes, "No mushroom, no seafood in anything."

Joanna Fleming:
Wow. Well, that's probably where you get it from. Every time I go to a restaurant with Hannah-

Hannah Furst:
Oh my god, she's so embarrassed. She's like, "I'm very..." And then, when she has to give my dietary requirements for an event, she actually says, "I'm sorry."

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah, it's embarrassing.

Hannah Furst:
Like it's, "Vegetarian, no mushrooms, no seafood."

Joanna Fleming:
But you also don't like, cucumber is it?

Hannah Furst:
Cucumber, eggplant, tofu, mushrooms.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah, it's very challenging because I don't have any dietary requirements.

Hannah Furst:
Did I tell you my mom sent me to a dietician and the dietician said to me I'm a, quote, "Selfish eater".

Joanna Fleming:
That's aggressive.

Hannah Furst:
As in I only eat the foods that I want to eat.

Joanna Fleming:
Well, that's fair enough isn't it?

Hannah Furst:
I thought so. Is everyone a selfish eater? Or are you eating foods you don't like?

Joanna Fleming:
I don't know. Am I selfish eater because I like sweets?

Hannah Furst:
No, selfish eater would be like, "I refuse to eat that because I don't like it." I don't think it's a technical medical term.

Joanna Fleming:
Let's get a dietician on later on.

Hannah Furst:
Yes.

Joanna Fleming:
So, I had a few funny ones but they kind of weren't beauty related. So, I called my sister-in-law last night, because when someone new comes into your family, not that she's new, she's been around for a long time, but when someone comes into your family, they see the inner workings of it and the weird shit that you do. So, the number one thing that she said was the way that we sing happy birthday. So, I don't know how this started, but we have this thing where when we start singing happy birthday, we start it off by really elongating the ha, and we do it for, I shit you not, a whole minute, and then it goes into happy birthday.

Hannah Furst:
What?

Joanna Fleming:
I don't know why, but she was like, "The first time I heard that I thought something was happening in my brain because I didn't understand what was going on." And we just did it normally, I didn't think it was weird.

Hannah Furst:
So, happy birthday.

Joanna Fleming:
Keep going.

Hannah Furst:
Oh, keep going.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah, longer than that.

Hannah Furst:
Tell me when.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah.

Hannah Furst:
Ha... I can't [crosstalk 00:03:30].

Joanna Fleming:
I'm not kidding. I should get my brother to do it.

Hannah Furst:
Who made this up?

Joanna Fleming:
I have no idea. I reckon it was my middle brother, but I don't know. It's been going on for a very long time.

Hannah Furst:
Now this is more beauty related, you call a wash cloth what?

Joanna Fleming:
A face washer, a flannel.

Hannah Furst:
What?

Joanna Fleming:
It's a UK thing. British people call a face washer a flannel, and my family call it a flannel, but nobody at school knew what a flannel was when I said that. Like, "I wash my face with the flannel." They'd be like, "What?"

Hannah Furst:
And you've got one more.

Joanna Fleming:
I actually have one more that I haven't told you about.

Hannah Furst:
Oh my God, no. Then, two more, because I love the farting one.

Joanna Fleming:
So, another rule in our family, our laundry is very close to our dining table, and so, if you had to fart, you had to go in the laundry if you were eating dinner at the dinner table.

Hannah Furst:
My family all just fart in front of each other.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah, but this was a thing when we were kids and teenagers, and I have two brothers. So, it was just a thing, we had to go into the laundry.

Hannah Furst:
And, okay, you haven't told me one. I'm really excited.

Joanna Fleming:
Okay, I thought of this one last night because I was trying to think of beauty related stuff, and I only realized this later on in life that this was really disgusting, but my family used to share bath water. So, I would have a bath and then my-

Hannah Furst:
As an adult?

Joanna Fleming:
No, more as a teen, but I'm pretty sure my parents still would do it. But, as kids we'd all be the same bath water.

Hannah Furst:
That's normal.

Joanna Fleming:
No, no, no. We'd have individual baths and then the next person would get in the bath.

Hannah Furst:
Isn't that [crosstalk 00:05:04]?

Joanna Fleming:
So even like my parents would. It defeats the purpose. I'd have a bath and then my mom would go and have a bath. It's like, "You're bathing in my filth."

Hannah Furst:
But also the bath doesn't stay hot.

Joanna Fleming:
No, so they'd warm it up. They'd just put a little bit of extra water in.

Hannah Furst:
It's like a tapered, dirty bath.

Joanna Fleming:
Yes. So, now that I think back to that, I'm like, "Why did we do that?" I get it's water saving.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah, water saving.

Hannah Furst:
So, speaking of washing habits, my family, all the girls sit down in the shower. Actually, my sister and my mom have a stool in the shower, a little plastic stool because I think-

Joanna Fleming:
When someone said you [inaudible 00:05:43] and said that yesterday in the office, someone thought she meant they shit in the shower, when she said, "Stool."

Hannah Furst:
Someone literally turned around and go, "What?" And I was like, "Yeah, a stool."

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah, they just squish it down the plug.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah, so we all sit down in the shower. I just sit on the floor. I can't have a shower unless I sit down.

Joanna Fleming:
Really?

Hannah Furst:
If I'm traveling I feel really unhappy.

Joanna Fleming:
Okay, hang on, one step back. In hostels do sit on the floor?

Hannah Furst:
No, absolutely not.

Joanna Fleming:
You're looking at me like you're lying.

Hannah Furst:
No, I do not. I absolutely do not.

Joanna Fleming:
You better not.

Hannah Furst:
I once was staying in a private room in a hostel, which is almost like a hotel. Same, same but different.

Joanna Fleming:
It's not, anyway.

Hannah Furst:
I was really hungover and I needed to sit down in the shower, so I got this bit of plastic and put it down on the floor and sat down.

Joanna Fleming:
Wow, that's another level. [Tamara 00:06:45] in our team said that her and her sister only shower with their hands in the air. So, they have their arms up in the air.

Hannah Furst:
I can't understand.

Joanna Fleming:
Me neither. I need to see a demonstration.

Hannah Furst:
I'm doing it now and my arms would get so tired.

Joanna Fleming:
I don't know why, but yeah, she said that's a thing her and her sister do.

Hannah Furst:
See, I think that's more weird than... Okay, this is another thing, do you sit down in the shower? Because I'm going to say, I reckon a lot of people do this and they just don't talk about it.

Joanna Fleming:
I don't think I've ever sat in the shower.

Hannah Furst:
I feel like you need to give it a go.

Joanna Fleming:
I think it's because I never want to wet my hair.

Hannah Furst:
Let's get you some shower bleach, let's disinfect it, and then-

Joanna Fleming:
My shower's definitely cleaned, okay?

Hannah Furst:
So, I think if it's clean you can sit. To be fair though, my shower's long, so I can lie down in the shower.

Joanna Fleming:
Can you?

Hannah Furst:
I have once.

Joanna Fleming:
When you've got migraines.

Hannah Furst:
When I've got a migraine, I lie down in the shower. I use the shampoo bottle as a pillow.

Joanna Fleming:
Wow.

Hannah Furst:
I'm not joking right now.

Joanna Fleming:
Wow, I'm so glad by sharing this information.

Joanna Fleming:
Another one of my friends, which, I don't know if you consider this weird because you're very close with your family as well, but she walks into the bathroom when her brother is in the shower. So, he's in his twenties, she's my age.

Hannah Furst:
Absolutely not.

Joanna Fleming:
That's what I said.

Hannah Furst:
No, no, no, no, no, no.

Joanna Fleming:
I was like you. I get it if it's your sister because you're the same sex, but if it's the opposite sex, would you walk into the bathroom?

Hannah Furst:
I feel like we're getting in [inaudible 00:08:06]. It's getting weird now. Okay, my family's really weird. That's really weird.

Joanna Fleming:
That's what I said. She's like, "No, it's normal for us." And I get that every family has their different quirks, but I was like, "I would never walk into the bathroom if my brother was in there." When we were little, of course, but not when we got to teenage years. Absolutely. And definitely not in our twenties.

Hannah Furst:
So, we don't do that. Ruby, my sister, and I would... Okay, this is weird, but we live next door to each other in apartments. Sometimes we'll leave our doors open if we're getting ready to go out together, and we'll just go into each other's rooms, and we're getting dressed, and we're naked or we're showering, whatever.

Joanna Fleming:
I think that's fine with sisters.

Hannah Furst:
That's fine with sisters.

Joanna Fleming:
I don't have a sister. I've got a sister-in-law but I wouldn't be naked.

Hannah Furst:
I don't think I would do that with a brother.

Joanna Fleming:
No, I've got two brothers and I would not be nude in front of my brothers. You don't have a brother.

Hannah Furst:
I'm finding this-

Joanna Fleming:
This is taking a turn as most conversations do. Really taking a turn guys.

Hannah Furst:
Another quirky beauty habit for me is the panty line, I think.

Joanna Fleming:
Yes, that's a family thing for you.

Hannah Furst:
That's me and my mom. My mom always did it so I always did it, and we both use the [inaudible 00:09:22] panty liners. We both use it every day, and I know that if I run out of panty liners, that I can always just go grab them from her.

Joanna Fleming:
That's nice.

Hannah Furst:
The other one, and I actually think this is really normal, I don't think this is abnormal, but all women in my family pluck their chin hairs on the couch.

Joanna Fleming:
I think that depends if you have chin hairs that run in your family.

Hannah Furst:
And also, no one cares, we'll do it in front of any male that's in the room.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah, I would too. I wouldn't mind. But I don't get chin hairs.

Hannah Furst:
So, we all have this thing where we go like that.

Joanna Fleming:
And you feel it?

Hannah Furst:
And then you pluck it.

Joanna Fleming:
So, can you not actually see it? Or you're doing it without a mirror.

Hannah Furst:
We don't do it with a mirror.

Joanna Fleming:
What?

Hannah Furst:
So, we just do it.

Joanna Fleming:
Well I know what I'm getting you for your birthday. What are they called? Magnifying mirror.

Hannah Furst:
Magnifying mirror. So, what you can do, because you can feel they're coarser, so you feel it, and then you pluck it.

Joanna Fleming:
It's like my gray eyebrow hair.

Hannah Furst:
So, that's another quirky beauty habit.

Hannah Furst:
And then, last one was when we were growing up, my mom called a vagina a [vuge 00:10:27].

Joanna Fleming:
I think everyone's mom has a word for a vagina.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah, so that's another thing you can let us know. What was your mum's vagina-

Joanna Fleming:
My friend was saying the other day, one of their moms called it a [fufu 00:10:37].

Hannah Furst:
I love that, my [fufu 00:10:41].

Joanna Fleming:
There's heaps of names for it. Anyway, we'd really like you to share your quirky family beauty habits and tag us in your stories. Whatever you do, send us a DM. We really want to know.

Hannah Furst:
What I'm actually going to do, what I'd like to do is, when this episode comes out, I'm going to do one of them question box on Insta stories. Please send in your quirky [inaudible 00:11:02] beauty habits.

Joanna Fleming:
We really want to share them.

Hannah Furst:
We're going to re-share them. The quirkier the better.

Joanna Fleming:
I just think it gets so funny. When I was talking about this with my friend who suggested we did this episode, it's funny the things you don't realize other people think about your family. She said to me, when we were little, she was really jealous that I always had made up cordial in our fridge. Because we lived across the road from each other, and she was always jealous that she didn't have cold cordial, and so she'd come over to my house to have cordial.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah, it's little things like that that makes-

Joanna Fleming:
And you don't realize that someone thought that about you, that you're cool for having cordial.

Joanna Fleming:
Cute.

Joanna Fleming:
Okay, so welcome to our next guest, Sam [Allen 00:11:42] is a dermal clinician and skincare educator from Aspect. So Hannah, Sam actually did your VISIA scan.

Hannah Furst:
She did. Didn't I scream?

Sam:
You did.

Hannah Furst:
Yes, I was so excited, and I just felt like there was not enough people around, but it was a really nice moment.

Sam:
I was going to say, screaming with joy, by the way, not with horror.

Hannah Furst:
The first time was with horror.

Sam:
Yes, absolutely. But it was, it was really, really nice to see that change after, really, not that long.

Joanna Fleming:
So, pigmentation is a major concern for our customers. We get a hell of a lot of questions about pigmentation. So, I wondered if you could actually start from the start. What is pigmentation?

Sam:
That's such a good question because I think that is so confusing for so many people, and you're right, it's very relevant for Australia.

Sam:
So, pigmentation really can mean color, if we look at it that way, but within the industry, when we're talking about pigmentation, we're moreso talking about brown discoloration on the skin, and that can really present in lots and lots of different ways.

Sam:
The thing I think to point out with pigmentation as well, for some skin types, is it can be the first sign of aging. So, it's not necessarily always the wrinkles and the fine lines that start to come through, pigmentation can be those first signs to see that your skin is aging, and so, it's really important to think about the signs that it's giving you.

Joanna Fleming:
Absolutely. So, what causes it?

Sam:
Again, the list is so long, which is what makes it so challenging when we're treating it. So, number one, I think the thing we always need to come back to, especially in Australia, is sun exposure. So, that's going to be one of the really big triggers for most people that they'll be seeing when it comes to pigmentation developing on the skin. It can also be very strongly influenced by hormones, as well, hormonal imbalance, including stress. It can also be driven from inflammation as well, so any kind of trauma or inflammation within the skin.

Joanna Fleming:
So would that be like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in that situation?

Sam:
Absolutely, yes.

Joanna Fleming:
So, those little marks that you get after a blemish.

Sam:
Yes. So, really common after some sort of blemish, can also be, for example, after a surgical scar, but it can even be trauma from friction. So, you do have some skin types that will get a browning or a discoloration in areas where they constantly have friction as well.

Joanna Fleming:
Would that include under the arms?

Sam:
Yes.

Joanna Fleming:
Because a lot of people ask us about darkening under the arms.

Sam:
And often, not always, but sometimes even darkening under the arms can be, not just friction related, but it also can be hormonal related, and very, very common in people that are diabetic.

Joanna Fleming:
Okay, that's really interesting.

Sam:
[crosstalk 00:14:21] content as well.

Hannah Furst:
In terms of the pigmentation that you can see. So, what was really interesting with the VISIA scan that I did was, I actually couldn't see any pigmentation on my face. Actually, when I was younger, when you go in the sun you get the little brown spots on your nose.

Joanna Fleming:
Freckles.

Hannah Furst:
Well, they weren't freckles. They were bigger than a freckle. It was more brown pigmentation on my nose. I was like, "So cute. How cute are my freckles coming out?" I don't think that they were freckles. I think that was pigmentation coming out. Or is that the same thing? Freckles and pigmentation?

Sam:
It is all made by the same cell within the skin that's driving that pigmentation, but it could be a little bit of a different type, or it could present differently within your skin. So, if it's a little bit larger, technically we might call that a macule. But essentially, it is still that overproduction of pigment from sun exposure.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah, and so, I guess for me, I have talked about this in the podcast before, I worshiped the sun without sunscreen and I regret it solely, but I've been working really hard at getting my skin into good shape. And so, when I did the VISIA scan, I couldn't actually see anything on the surface, but it came up on the scan as brown, it was bad.

Sam:
That's the thing. Sometimes pigment almost simmers underneath and it's not necessarily that you see that straightaway. Pigment's really tricky because it can sit in different layers of the skin. So, ideally, the whole reason why it's made, particularly from sun exposure, is to protect our skin cells, and what it does is it gets made and almost injected into the upper layers of the skin. And if that happens, it's really easy to see by looking at yourself in the mirror. But what can also happen, particularly if there's damage that's occurred with that, so, for example, really common for UV damage from the sun, is that that pigment can start to get deposited in the lower layers of the skin, and that's much more difficult to see with the naked eye. And the way to almost think about that pigmentation and the way that we look at treating that type of pigmentation, it's almost deposited into those lower layers of the skin like a tattoo.

Hannah Furst:
That's scary.

Sam:
Yeah, and because it is in those deeper layers, it's not necessarily that easy to see on the surface, but put yourself in front of a VISIA scan, and you can definitely see all of that that's underneath.

Joanna Fleming:
And if people are seeing that stuff underneath, can they expect that to surface at some point?

Sam:
It can, especially as you get older and the skin naturally thins, it can become more obvious, absolutely. But sometimes, it also depends, I think, on how compliant you are moving forward in the future with your sun exposure, and with the products that you're really using to treat and keep a lot of that pigmentation under control as well.

Joanna Fleming:
So on that note, what ingredients in skincare do you recommend that people with pigmentation use?

Sam:
The list is so long, which is really exciting. I think, with pigmentation it is, we still don't understand a lot of it, we still don't really understand exactly that mechanism of what is happening within the skin. But what's so exciting at the moment, is that there's so much technology out there. And the best thing to always think about when you're addressing pigmentation with a product, is to look at products that have multiple active ingredients, because there's lots of different steps, I suppose, you could think of when pigment's being made. And so, if we can really target lots of those steps along the way, you tend to get a much, much better result. So, that may be things like L-ascorbic acid is fantastic.

Joanna Fleming:
So, your vitamin C.

Sam:
Yeah, which is your vitamin C. Coupling that with botanical extracts like Rumex Occidentalis list is, again, is amazing. You could even look at things like nonapeptides that are helping with blocking that communication that's happening to sort of trigger pigmentation formation in the first place. [Nicinemi 00:18:11] is amazing. Retinol or vitamin A. The list is so long. The best advice I can say is to really look at something that is going to be multifaceted to give you the best results.

Joanna Fleming:
And in terms of professional treatments, what kind of professional treatments should people look at if they're experiencing pigmentation?

Sam:
The thing I would probably say when it comes to professional treatments is that thorough assessment is the most crucial thing, because it really does depend on what's driving that pigmentation, and where it's sitting within the skin. Because sometimes, as we were talking about before, that lower pigmentation, that deeper pigmentation, sometimes we need to address that almost treating it like a tattoo. So, there are some laser devices, for example.

Hannah Furst:
That makes sense. That it's like a tattoo and you need a laser to remove it.

Sam:
Yeah, and that's not necessarily always the case, and this is where it's very difficult to say that there's one treatment, but breaking up that pigment that's deeper down and allowing the immune system to then take away those smaller particles can be one aspect, and laser does that very, very well. Chemical pills, fantastic, again, at helping to, if we're talking about pigment in the upper layers of the skin, where we're really wanting to shift and move those heavily pigmented cells off the surface to brighten. So, again, that's really a great modality to offer as well. Micro needling, or Collagen Induction Therapy, can also assist in some types of pigmentation, especially when we're seeing that coupled with a breakdown of the natural skin structure and integrity. So, for example, someone that's particularly sun damaged, or a lot of that pigment's from sun.

Sam:
We need to be really mindful when we're choosing treatments that the consultation is really taking everything into consideration. So, if we know that somebody, for example, hyper pigments or has excess color in the skin from trauma, and that happens very easily, that we need to be very mindful of what we're doing in a treatment and how much trauma we're creating. Again, if there's that hormone influence, we need to factor that in.

Joanna Fleming:
That's really good advice.

Hannah Furst:
And what about pregnant women? Because obviously that's a time where a lot of women experience pigmentation who may have never experienced pigmentation before. So what do you recommend for them? Because obviously they've got to be careful about a few ingredients. So what's safe for them to use if they're pregnant or breastfeeding?

Sam:
Yeah, great question. And it is challenging, again, when we're looking at people that experience pigmentation when they're pregnant, it is about keeping it under control. So number one, absolutely with any type of pigmentation, diligence and compliance with sunscreens and SPF. So, that would be one of the first points of call, I think, particularly for pregnant women, and then really looking at ingredients, like your [Nicinemi 00:20:55], daisy extract is fantastic as well, Nonapeptide that I mentioned before, your L-ascorbic acid. You would just stay away from things like your vitamin A's or retinols. Stay away, sometimes, some pigment ingredients might include things like salicylic acid that you might need to be mindful of. Some people that are pregnant would also like to stay away from alpha hydroxy acids, or any kind of a chemical exfoliant.

Joanna Fleming:
I know my friend, I had dinner with her the other night, she has melasma and she actually was like, "I don't even know what to do anymore." She said it's so challenging to treat. Could you tell us a bit more about that?

Sam:
And she's absolutely right. I would say working clinically, and I won't give away how many years I've been working clinically for because it's a little scary, but I would say pigmentation is one of the most challenging things to treat. And melasma, I think, is especially challenging.

Sam:
The thing to think about with melasma, is that it is definitely hormonally driven, and so if there's any kind of hormonal imbalance that may need to be addressed. I've also had experience where it's not just hormonal imbalance but stress. I'll never forget having a client that I was treating, and at the time we were doing a treatment series every fortnight, and she could literally come back one week and her melasma would look three shades darker than two weeks before, and it was literally all stress related. So, her melasma would change in tone according to what was going on in her lifestyle.

Sam:
The other thing with melasma, why it makes it really difficult to treat, and again, what some people will notice, you have great success in treating the brown or the pigment, but often with melasma there's an underlying vascularity or redness in the skin, and that does tend to really drive a lot of that excess pigment production. And so, it's very, very important with melasma to factor in that you need to look at what that redness is like and what may be contributing to that, as well as looking at a lot of your products that are going to be addressing the pigmentation.

Sam:
And the other thing with melasma, is that it's often very easily influenced by heat. And so, lifestyle and management is just as important as your treatment and your home care.

Joanna Fleming:
So, in that case, would it not be advised to use a laser treatment on someone with melasma because they're designed to heat up the skin?

Sam:
You're very, very careful with what the laser treatment would be that you would choose. So, you can have some lasers, for example, like your Q-Switch lasers that have a shorter pulse, or what they do is they have a quicker delivery of light, and they're not relying as much on that thermal or heat reaction to cause a change within the skin. And so, there's some evidence to suggest that they're a better option with melasma. But again, it's very much operator dependent, and feeling confident that who you go to really understands the nature of the concern and can really treat it in the right way.

Hannah Furst:
In terms of sun damage, I think, I obviously know now that the best thing I could've done for my skin in my twenties was wear sunscreen every day. And we talk about this a lot on this podcast, but it is too late for me now, I've done it, and I'm just trying to move on from that. Can you reverse the signs of sun damage?

Sam:
Yes and no. So, a lot of that sun damage and, I can sympathize with you Hannah, because when I grew up, unless you and your friends sat at the end of summer and peeled all the skin off you're burning back, you hadn't had a great summer.

Hannah Furst:
Oh my god.

Sam:
As you can tell, I'm probably a little bit older, for those of you that are listening. So, sun protection was just nonexistent when I was a kid, and so, I completely understand where you're coming from.

Sam:
You can reverse to a certain degree. Once the damage is there, the damage is there, but you can definitely attempt. You can limit the damage ongoing and you can certainly reverse in some ways, but some of that damage will always remain, and it's important that, exactly what you're doing, you're doing all the right things in making sure that you're limiting that damage moving forwards and that you're really providing the skin with what it needs to be able to function as best as it can.

Joanna Fleming:
So, if you're in your 20s and you're listening to this, wear your SPF.

Sam:
And even for younger. So, a lot of that sun damage happens before the age of 18. So, I know you've talked about before with the sunscreen, as a child having your mum slapping everything on for you, and the teenage years where it's really hard to be noncompliant. My 13 year old will kill me right now, but I'm facing that battle myself. And so, I think anything that we can do from those early ages makes a huge difference.

Joanna Fleming:
Well thank you Sam for that chat.

Sam:
My pleasure.

Joanna Fleming:
I feel like anyone that pigmentation is just going to be wrapped [inaudible 00:25:46] that conversation.

Sam:
The one thing that I probably would also point out, because I actually love talking about pigmentation, [crosstalk 00:25:52] a lot about it in clinic. The one thing as well that I think is really important to remember when treating pigmentation, is that it is something that we get great results in minimizing the appearance, but once you've caused that cell that makes pigment to be overactive, we can't necessarily shut that off and have it go completely back to normal again. And so, pigmentation is very much a maintenance issue, it's not something that you can say, "Okay, I've treated it now with a great laser treatment, or a fantastic peel, for example, and then it's done and dusted." It's always being compliant. It is longterm maintenance as well. The other thing as well is that it can be very longterm to get results depending on the type of pigmentation and how it's [crosstalk 00:26:41]

Hannah Furst:
Someone did say that to me. They were like, "Don't expect this is going to happen in a month, or two months, or three months. This is a longterm game for you." I'm in it for the long haul. I'll get there.

Sam:
That's what we're here for, to help you through it, but I think that that's very important. Consistency, number one, and yes, realistic expectations, because it's a challenging thing, but again, you can get great results with commitment.

Joanna Fleming:
Awesome, thanks Sam.

Sam:
My pleasure. Great to be here.

Joanna Fleming:
So Hannah, I really am looking forward to you sharing this with our listeners, because you came into work and you were so proud of yourself for this innovation.

Hannah Furst:
I'm an innovator.

Joanna Fleming:
So, please tell us what the product is that you didn't know you needed.

Hannah Furst:
I'd like to revisit a cringy convo that we talked about really early on, which was about [backne 00:27:28].

Joanna Fleming:
It wasn't that long ago was it? Time flies.

Hannah Furst:
Feels like it's been a long time. And, basically, the other day I came into the office. I don't want to tell this story.

Joanna Fleming:
You have to tell it. You were like, "It's my product I didn't know I needed."

Hannah Furst:
I came into the office, I didn't look at my back, and I was wearing a boob tube top, and it was a hot day and Joanna sat down, she goes, "Oh, can I squeeze that pimple on your back?" And I was like-

Joanna Fleming:
That's what a good friend does, by the way.

Hannah Furst:
It's pretty weird.

Joanna Fleming:
I squeezed out ingrown hairs from my friend's under-arm the other day. That's how good of a friend I am.

Hannah Furst:
That you are a really good friend. I thought that was only that thing that couples did. Because I know couples squeeze back pimples.

Joanna Fleming:
I'm pretty close with all my friends.

Hannah Furst:
Anyway, I was just like, "I think I'm just going to put my jacket on." So, I ended up wearing my jacket for the whole day and it was really embarrassing.

Joanna Fleming:
No, you actually went and got a spot treatment.

Hannah Furst:
I did.

Joanna Fleming:
And you were rubbing the sport treatment on it, and then I had to move your arm so that you could get it.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah, but it wasn't just that one pimple. I actually had a very bumpy back. It wasn't pimples, it was like all bumps. What would you call that?

Joanna Fleming:
Congestion probably.

Hannah Furst:
Congestion. So, basically, I think one of the main reasons that that's been happening is because, I know that we chose that glycolic scrub because probably most people can get to their back some way, I cannot get to my back. I can't get my arm that far. So, I have a little solution for all you girls that aren't as flexible as Joanna.

Hannah Furst:
So, it is the ordinary glycolic acid 7% toning solution. Now, it comes in a really big bottle. It is $14.50. This will last you a lifetime. And basically, you screw off the lid and then, what I did, was I had this old alpha-H moisture boosting facial mist, a spray bottle from alpha-H, and I unscrewed the spray nozzle off the facial mist and I popped it onto the glycolic acid bottle. And basically, every night now, before I go to bed, I just spray my back with this glycolic acid solution. And you were like, when I came in the next day.

Joanna Fleming:
I couldn't believe it.

Hannah Furst:
It cleared up in one day. One day.

Joanna Fleming:
It might've been two days.

Hannah Furst:
I saw a significant difference the next day.

Joanna Fleming:
It was significantly better.

Hannah Furst:
So, basically, all of the bumps disappeared. However, the only issue was, the other day, you were taking your photo of me at the nail salon, and you were like, "Your back is so white."

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah, she had her head turned around, and so her face was really Brown and then her back was so white.

Hannah Furst:
I still can't tan my back, or I just can't be bothered to.

Joanna Fleming:
Got to get you on to speed dating.

Hannah Furst:
I know.

Joanna Fleming:
Fix that.

Hannah Furst:
You got to get me onto what?

Joanna Fleming:
Speed dating.

Hannah Furst:
Why?

Joanna Fleming:
So someone can tan your back.

Hannah Furst:
Wow, I was slow on the uptake there. Anyway, that's my product I didn't know I needed and it's-

Joanna Fleming:
Ground breaking.

Hannah Furst:
It's just really cheap but really effective. What's your product you didn't you know you needed?

Joanna Fleming:
So, this is something I only discovered this year, which is kind of disturbing to me because I've worked in beauty for a long time, but it is the Mac long-wearing paint pot in the shade groundwork. Now, this is probably a mix between a eye shadow and an eye base, or primer, and I didn't realize how much this would impact the way I do my makeup. I can't describe to you how much longer my eyeshadow lasts on my eyes when I wear this product, and I also use it on its own.

Hannah Furst:
I didn't even know you had to prime your eyes.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah, I'm not surprised.

Hannah Furst:
Why do you have to prime your eyes?

Joanna Fleming:
Because all the oils and things on your eyelids impact the powder that you put onto them.

Hannah Furst:
Is that why after a couple of hours I have stripes?

Joanna Fleming:
Creasing? Through the-

Hannah Furst:
It's called creasing.

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah, but also, I've noticed yours doesn't last very long, and it's probably because you are an oilier skin type. So, I just found that my eyeshadow would go really dull after a couple of hours, and then I started using the paint pot, which comes in multiple shades, but I use groundwork, it's like a taupy-brown. So, I can use that on its own, but then I also layer it underneath shadows, so that they are more pigmented and they last longer, and it has been an absolute game changer for my eyeshadow. I can't stress enough the importance of using an eye primer.

Hannah Furst:
Since we've discussed eyes, and eyeshadow, and primer, I've been using concealer. Is that okay?

Joanna Fleming:
Yeah, that's fine.

Hannah Furst:
Yeah, okay. I just dab-

Joanna Fleming:
Just putting a base down and it gives the powder something to adhere to.

Hannah Furst:
Okay, so I did see this meme last night, and I just feel like people love our t... So, every single week we do Tell Us Tuesday on our Instagram stories, and people really like to get an insight into the Adore Beauty office, and I thought this summed it up really well. So basically, it's this graph that says, "Having a job, expectations versus reality." So, expectations, wearing a suit every day except for casual Fridays, working nonstop at my desk, constantly meeting lots of attractive businessmen, fun after work plans my friends. This is so the reality. The only day I dress nice is Fridays because that's when I actually have evening plans, snacking nonstop at my desk, there is one mildly attractive guy and he's married, and-

Joanna Fleming:
We all know if we have that at our office. No offense.

Hannah Furst:
And we all cancel on each other to go home and sleep.

Joanna Fleming:
Oh my god, that's so true.

Hannah Furst:
How much is that ador?

Joanna Fleming:
Yes.

Hannah Furst:
Literally, when I was at uni I was like, "I can't wait. There's going to be so many hot businessmen and it's going to be... I'm going to be wearing suits." I honestly thought that's what it would be like.

Joanna Fleming:
I only hang out with women, so, it's a bit problematic.

Hannah Furst:
My sister said to me last night, and she's like, "I don't know where you're going to make someone because all you do is hang out with beauty obsessed women all day."

Joanna Fleming:
It's fun though.

Hannah Furst:
I love it. I love it. I love hanging out with you, Jo.

Joanna Fleming:
Same here.

Hannah Furst:
Okay, well, that's it guys. Hope you enjoyed.

Joanna Fleming:
See you.

Hannah Furst:
Thanks everyone for joining us today.

Joanna Fleming:
Don't forget to subscribe and tell your friends. It helps other people to discover us, and also we really want to know what you thought about this podcast, so if you can leave us a review, that would be much appreciated.