How To Choose The Right Pigmentation Serum

Pigmentation generally refers to any type of dark mark or uneven skin tone and can occur following acne, inflammation, excessive sun exposure, skin injury, or due to hormonal changes (i.e melasma). It very commonly appears on the face, neck and décolletage and unfortunately, is a really frustrating skin condition to treat.

In fact, I’d say fighting pigmentation could be a lifelong battle. (Trust me, I’m there …and continue to live through the battle now). It’s also a condition that often appears out of nowhere, as we age.

This is because our melanocytes (the cells that produce pigment) increase in size as we age. So while we’re young we may have a cute spray of freckles across our cheeks, as the year’s progress, in some skin types they can become denser, causing uneven skin tone and random areas of darkness. Fun times.

So, How Do We Treat It?

There are many ways you can work on fading pigmentation including the use of ingredients such as alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and vitamin C to help move things along. As well as consistent use of SPF (while simultaneously turning into a vampire and staying out of the sun… for the rest of your days).

HOWEVER, before you start any treatments, if your pigmentation is really bothering you then firstly it’s important to determine what type of pigmentation you have (in order to best address the root cause of the problem). Then, it’d be very wise to add a pigmentation serum to your routine – stat.

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What Are The Different Types Of Pigmentation?

Ok, so there are many different types of pigmentation and the number one way to determine yours would be via a professional skin consult with a dermatologist or dermal clinician.

However, as a general FYI: people with fair skin are more prone to sun-induced pigment, olive complexions tend to be more susceptible to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and women who are pregnant/are on hormone replacement therapy/going through IVF/or even take the oral contraceptive pill are more likely to suffer from hormone-induced pigmentation such as melasma or chloasma.

The team at Aspect helped to break it down further for us below:

Age spots are darkened patches that appear on the skin’s surface as a result of sun exposure. Colour can vary from light brown to dark brown.

Melasma is a complex type of pigmentation that may occur because of many contributing factors including hormones, medication and sun exposure. Melasma is often symmetrical on the face and commonly occurs on the top lip or during pregnancy, presenting as a mask across the nose and cheeks.

Sun damage can cause a mottled, uneven skin tone leading to a dull complexion. All pigmentation will appear darker with sun exposure.

Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) can occur in all skins but is most common in darker skin types. It may appear at any site where there has been inflammation or skin trauma. Colours may vary from a light brown to a dark brown / grey.

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What Can A Pigmentation Serum Do?

Now onto incorporating a pigmentation serum into your routine, because if pigmentation is a condition you want to target, then you need to be using a good cosmeceutical grade pigmentation fighting serum.

What the hell does that even mean? Well, these serums tend to use tyrosinase inhibiting ingredients that help prevent/stop/minimise the production of melanin spreading in your skin.

Another bonus: most pigmentation serums can easily be worked into your routine and when coupled with a good broad-spectrum SPF will provide your skin the full environmental protection it needs.

Additionally, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding and in-clinic treatments feel like a total no-go zone then, using a good pigmentation serum at home can be a super effective way to help tackle pigmentation and = healthy/glowy looking skin while you wait. Just make sure you do your research before you commit to buying to ensure the one you choose doesn’t contain any vitamin A or salicylic acid stronger than 2%.

Which Pigmentation-Fighting Products Do I Recommend?

This serum is perfect for treating age spots, melasma, sun damage and PIH. Suited to all skin types (yes, even pregnant/breastfeeding) it helps to even out and brighten your skin tone and is best layered under an SPF in the morning. Anyway, Aspect’s best-selling Pigment Punch serum was originally launched in 2007 and has recently been reformulated into this more advanced version that promises to pack a bigger punch. Add. To. Cart.

This is a serum that can safely be used twice a day. In fact, to really reap the benefits in the morning I’d apply after your vitamin C and before your SPF. Important to note that it does also contain 0.3% salicylic acid which some people might want to avoid during pregnancy.

This is legitimately a holy grail serum of mine. Also one that helped to fight my pregnancy-induced pigmentation after my son was born. Anyway, in-clinic treatments were completely out of the question and I used this religiously post birth. My skin GLOWED and eventually went back to normal. It does contain salicylic acid at a strength that Cosmedix advise to avoid while pregnant. However, it is definitely one that will help kick your pigment to the curb. Very gentle too.