How The Estheticians Do It: Hyperpigmentation

Summertime is the time to protect your skin.

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Questions regarding hyperpigmentation come up in 7 out of 10 appointments and it’s safe to say that it is one of the main concerns in skin treatment rooms. In this post I would like to discuss the ways to prevent hyperpigmentation and share some of my favorite products to treat this common skin disorder.

Hyperpigmentation is caused by an overproduction of melanin (the pigment that gives our skin, hair and eyes its natural color) in the patches of the skin. It is a skin condition that affects every ethnic background and skin tone and is mostly associated with aging. Pregnancy or hormonal fluctuations, UV radiation and photo aging, chemical or UV burn, genetics and allergies are just some of the more typical factors.

Daily use of a broad spectrum sun protection is a sure way to prevent hyperpigmentation caused by exposure to the damaging sun rays. Exfoliation is essential to reduce the build of dead skin cells and to promote skin cell regeneration for brighter skin every day.

Professional treatments such as microdermabrasion, chemical peels and IPL are all effective.

Active Ingredients to look for in products are:

  • Alpha/Beta Hydroxy Acids
  • Arbutin
  • Kojic Acid
  • Azelaic Acid
  • Glabridin/Licorice Root Extract
  • Retinoids
  • Epidermal Growth Factor

Some of my personal favorite treatments to combat hyperpigmentation include:

CLEANSE

Biologique Recherche Lait VIP O2 is an “antipollution” cleanser that brightens and unifies the complexion, eliminates impurities and calms the epidermis.

TONE

Biologique Recherche P50 PIGM400 is the newest formulation of the beloved P50. It enhances epidermal renewal and helps regulate melanin synthesis while respecting and protecting the skin. Lightens the skin, reduces the size of pigmentation marks and prevents them from appearing. Inhibits melanin synthesis. Improves the strength and quality of the epidermis. Unifies and brightens the complexion. Balances pH on the skin’s surface.

TREAT-SERUM

Valmont Clarifying Infusion Brightening Serum is an ultra-concentrated treatment that decreases melanin production and fights hyperpigmentation. It increases skin brightness and complexion evenness to reveal perfectly even-toned skin.

Serum PIGM 400 is a brightening, spot-correcting serum that illuminates the complexion and fights free radicals. It is my personal favorite. Paired with Creme PIGM 400, this powerful duo fights pigmentation and reveals glowing complexion.

Clarifying Lotion and Intensive C Boost by Environ is another great combination for combating visible skin pigmentation. The Clarifying Lotion is a light, non-oily lotion that nourishes the skin with important water-soluble ingredients that inhibit the production of melanin. It maintains the skin’s natural acid mantle and can either be used on small, easily defined pigment blemishes, or as a whole face and neck solution for extensive uneven skin tone. The Intensive C-Boost contains a powerful form of vitamin C ideal for sun damage, pigmentation, fine lines and capillaries as well as for the maintenance of a healthy skin.

TREAT MASK

Valmont Clarifying Pack is a clarifying cream-mask that is rich in illuminating ingredients. Provides visible brightening effect, mattifies and tightens the pores. Just after one treatment the skin is flexible, soft, and gleams with a new radiance. Use it once a week in addition to your current masque treatment.

Environ Revival Masque is a powerful combination of Lactic, Mandelic and Asiatic acids formulated to target the effects of photo-damaged skin and the appearance of uneven skin texture.

The Beautigenix Brightening Mask is a Korean sheet mask that reduces the appearance of sun and age spots, removes signs of fatigue, gives skin a radiant and brighter look, evens skin tone and texture – also improves mild acne. All and all, a perfect on the go solution for someone who has uneven skin tone, dark spots or sun damaged skin.

MBR Beta-Enzyme is a gel-masque based on mild hydroxy acids in combination with a papain enzyme complex for smooth, clear and more radiant skin.

TREAT-INTENSIVE CURE

Cellcosmet Ultra Brightening Elasto-Collagen XT is a real anti-pigmentation face-lift that resculpts the skin injecting it with hydration. Packed full of scientifically selected ingredients, the Ultra Brightening Elasto-Collagen XT serum with its concentration of 15% active stabilized bio-integral cells and expert brightening complex, delivers a complete firming and brightening solution. Whether used as an occasional 12-day treatment or throughout the year, Cellcosmet Ultra Brightening Elasto-Collagen XT revitalizes, progressively lightens natural skin tone, redefines and intensely hydrates the face, neck and décolleté area. The skin’s firmness and ability to bounce back are visibly improved, pigmentary spots visibly attenuated while the facial contours are resculpted and the oval of the face redefined.

  • Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) is one of the more difficult types of pigmentation to get rid off. These red or brown regions of pigment are usually associated with acne, chemical burns, eczema or dermatitis. One of my favorite products to tackle it is Sebuspot by Environ – a mild gel for use on inflamed areas of the skin. It helps reduce congestion and residual redness while at the same time drying up skin blemishes.

MOISTURIZE

Biologique Recherche Creme PIGM 400 is a concentrate of brightening, anti-age spot and protective ingredients.  Its multipolar formulation helps correct existing pigmentation imperfections and prevents new age spots from forming. The complexion becomes increasingly luminous and the skin appears more even. Best when paired with Serum PIGM 400.

Institute Esthederm Clarity System Whitening Brightening Repair Day Cream regenerates and restructures the skin, protects, prevents photo-aging, cell damage and the risk of redness and inflammation.

MBR Luminous Pearl Extreme works on delivering both multi-active anti-aging effects as well as a perfectly balanced and illuminated complexion.

PROTECT

Biologique Recherche Protection UV helps protect the epidermis from the harmful effects of UVA, UVB, and infrared rays. The formula rich in anti-aging, soothing, anti-spot and moisturizing active ingredients helps prevent skin aging and dehydration.
MBR High Protection Face Cream SPF30 protects the skin from sunburn, aging, wrinkles and pigmentation spots which can be caused by excessive exposure to the sun. It smoothes and mattifies skin appearance for an even and healthy tan.
Institute Esthederm Photo Regulator helps reduce pigmentation spots by reducing the contrast between the hyper-pigmented areas and tanned skin. This helps to ensure a consistent and harmonious tan safely.

Summer time is the prime time to protect your skin and prevent stubborn hyperpigmentation caused by excessive sun exposure. Wear a hat, polarized sunglasses and be mindful when out and about. You only have one skin, take care of it now and enjoy the compliments later!

Diana Yerkes

Au revoir sun damage

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With summer coming to an official end, many of us look in anticipation to the cool and crisp autumn air. What a refreshing change from months of relentless heat and humidity! It’s as if our skin can finally breathe and take a break from the heavy sunscreen, sweat, and harsh UV rays.

But before we know it, that gorgeous tan will start to fade and the lovely summer glow will have all but disappeared. Our skin will be left with the uneven, dull, freckled look of sun damage, a reminder of all those hours spent laying by the poolside or on the beach. So how do we remedy this situation and get our glowing, healthy skin back?

A great post-summer skin fix is the “Expert of Light” line from Valmont. This beautiful line of products is specifically created to boost radiance and even out the complexion to get your skin looking its best. As the crème de la crème of luxury skincare, Valmont prides itself on the research and ingredients that go into their products and the “Expert of Light” line is nothing short of brilliant. It will regenerate, renew and brighten the complexion, while targeting pigmentation and photo damage to give you that luminous healthy glow back in no time.

Having recently tried these products for myself and on my clients, I can honestly that this whole line is impressive and can definitely hold its own as a complete skincare regimen (in addition to professional treatments, of course.)

A quick breakdown of the products:

Illuminating Foamer:  Start your regimen with this luxurious foaming cleanser either in the AM or PM. The pearly formula is quite gentle on the skin, leaving it feeling soft and silky. Due to zinc NMF (natural moisturizing factor) and niacinamide, this cleanser gives an instant boost of radiance, while helping to target dark spots and uneven skin tone.

Illuminating Toner A gradual exfoliating lotion containing salicylic acid to speed up cell renewal and eliminate surface cells with excess pigment. Used morning and night, this toner will help to gradually fade freckles and dark-spots, while preventing further melanin transfer with the potent ingredient niacinamide. Like its cleanser counterpart, this toner also contains zinc NMF to hydrate, soothe and illuminate the skin.

Clarifying Infusion Brightening Serum and Clarifying Touch PenAn intensive skin-lightening treatment available as an all-over serum or a click- pen for targeted areas and blemish spots. This serum absorbs instantly into the skin and can be used twice a day. (Hint: it’s excellent for under-eyes.) Potent ingredients such as zinc DNA will brighten and fight wrinkles, while hexylresorcinol and niacinamide deliver a one-two punch against melanin production and transfer. In addition, glycolic acid will refine skin texture and further even out the complexion.

Clarifying SurgeA moisturizing cream for all skin types, even oily/combination skin. Armed with zinc DNA, hexylresorcinol and niacinamide, this cream also contains silk tree extract to eliminate toxins that can dull the complexion. The non-greasy formula is perfect for daytime or nighttime, leaving your skin not only ultra smooth, but intensely regenerated and brighter.

Clarifying PackThis mask, used 1-2 times a week and for only 10 minutes, acts as a mildpeel and makes the skin glow for days. It’s equally effective against clogged pores and acne. Papaya extract, glycolic acid and rice starch gently whisk away layers of sun-damaged skin, while niacinamide and hexylresorcinol once again target pigmentation.

To really get your glow on, I recommend reactivating the product with a small amount of Clarifying Toner and massaging it into the skin prior to rinsing off. Follow with Clarifying Infusion and Clarifying Surge for a complete treatment.

Before you know it, it’s “Au revoir” sun damage.

Joanna Kula, Esthetician

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