There are some great new home care treatments available that will boost the effects of your facial and carry on reducing pigmentation and discolouration – all from the comfort of your own bathroom. In this post, we’ll explain the science behind three of our favourite skin health star products, each of which is designed to help you maintain that flawless look at home.
What Types of Skin Pigment Discolouration Are There?
Genetics, hormones and the overall condition of your skin all play a vital role in how your complexion reacts to UV damage, and to stress or trauma caused by skin conditions such as acne or abrasions.
Some skin types react by creating pigmentation or hyperpigmentation. This effect occurs when melanin (pigment) is distributed in a small, acute area rather than evenly over the skin, giving the appearance of discolouration. You may also see it where scarring is present (known as post-inflammatory pigmentation), with dark – almost purple – pigment visible wherever the trauma has occurred.
In other skin types, pigmentation can be seen as dark spots, patches, freckles or moles wherever there is an uneven distribution of pigment. Remember to get any new moles (or moles that have changed in appearance) checked by your doctor or dermatologist – particularly if they are raised or oddly shaped.
We discuss the causes of pigmentation in a separate blog post which you can read here – Pigmentation Busting blog post.
What Home Care Products Can I Use To Reduce Pigmentation?
At Paul Edmonds London theHOUSE, you’ll find highly effective home care products to include in your daily skin programme. Most of these are available without a prescription, but we also offer medically prescribed options. Ask your Paul Edmonds London skin expert for further information and direction on these.
The following are all available without a prescription:
SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense
This is a daily use, high potency serum that can be applied in layers and is proven to reduce and correct the appearance of pigmentation in the skin. It is formulated to tackle three specific causes of pigmentation, using powerful ingredients like tranexamic acid, niacinamide and HEPES:
– At an optimal concentration of 1.5%, tranexamic acid inhibits tyrosinase conversion to create melanin at a basal level of the epidermis.
– Niacinamide (at a concentration of 5%) is a vitamin derived from B3 that helps to restore, renew and rebalance the mid-layers of the skin, thereby smoothing out and blending the clusters of melanin that cause pigmentation. At the same time, it supports the skin’s normal function to improve the quality of skin cells. You might recognise this ingredient from another SkinCeuticals favourite, Metacell.
– Finally, HEPES (Hydroxy Ethyl Piperzine Ethane Sulfonic acid) at 5% concentration is an exfoliating ingredient that helps to buff away dead skin cells and encourage cellular turnover, resulting in a polished finish without inflammation or irritation.
In clinical trials, this potent combination of ingredients has been proven to reduce the visible signs of pigmentation. See for yourself under the skin scope at Paul Edmonds London, where your clinician will show you underlying pigmentation that is not yet visible to the naked eye – but would be if left untreated.
SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense can be used daily as part of your skincare programme, and SkinCeuticals Phloretin CF is ideal to use alongside it. This powerful antioxidant reinforces your skin’s own protection mechanisms and prevents further oxidative stress caused by UV damage. And don’t forget to finish with SPF – we like SkinCeuticals Mineral Radiance UV Defense.
ZO Skin Health Brightalive Skin Brightener Cream & Retinol Skin Brightener
ZO Skin Health Brightalive Skin Brightener is a daily use serum that incorporates anti-inflammatory ingredients to reduce pigmentation and brighten skin. It works in a similar way to the SkinCeuticals product above but contains a completely different set of ingredients.
The main draw of this amazing product is that it addresses the causes of inflammation. In cases of pigmentation, the skin’s inflammatory response to UV kick-starts the activation of tyrosinase, which in turn produces melanin. Brightalive works to break up any existing pigmentation and even out skin tone, using ingredients such as diglucosyl gallic acid to reduce inflammation, oligopeptides to inhibit the pathways that transport melanin, and glucosamine to control melanin production and inhibit the activation of tyrosinase.
Brightalive also contains a time-releasing antioxidant complex to help prevent skin oxidation whilst restoring hydration and balancing your skin’s moisture levels. It can be incorporated into your existing ZO Skin Health Getting Skin Ready programme, but it’s also a great partner to ZO Skin Health Retinol Skin Brightener.
As the name suggests, the latter contains retinol and is available in various strengths. It works by breaking up existing pigmentation and providing on-going protection, but is not ideal for daily use, as your skin needs time to adjust.
How Long Will It Be Before I See a Visible Difference?
The type and age of your skin will determine the speed at which these products start to take effect. Your commitment to the home care routine and regularity of in-salon treatments will also play a part. Remember that pigmentation occurs when you expose your skin to sunlight; so wearing a good quality SPF is the key to getting the maximum benefit.
Generally speaking, you should notice a change in your skin tone within around four weeks. After 12 weeks you should see reduced pigmentation, a more even tone and a brighter complexion.
I Have Melasma – Will These Products Work For Me?
Melasma is a condition whereby pigmentation is chronic. Often, discolouration caused by melasma is deeper and clustered around the edges of the face, forehead and cheeks. Hormonal changes (such as pregnancy) or medication can cause melasma to be particularly pronounced and visible when the skin is exposed to UV.
Preventing sun damage and protecting your skin daily using regular cleansers and a high SPF is key to tackling this condition. Shifting or breaking up pigmentation that is deeper in the skin requires a combination of peel (exfoliation) treatments alongside either the SkinCeuticals or ZO Skin Health regime outlined above.
If you suffer from melasma, talk to your Paul Edmonds London skin expert who will create a bespoke, in-clinic treatment plan that specifically addresses any problem areas. If they don’t believe that the regimes described here are sufficient to improve the appearance of your melasma, they may recommend seeing our medical practitioner to discuss a course of prescribed topical skin treatments.
Where Can I Find Out More information on SkinCeuticals and ZO Skin Health Systems?
For more information on SkinCeuticals and ZO Skin Health systems, please speak to a skin expert at Paul Edmonds London.
For optimum results, we recommend combining these products with a professional treatment at theHOUSE. Our carefully designed facials can deliver a dose of active ingredients that is up to 30 times more intensive than the home care equivalents, to brighten and even out skin tone with visible results.
The Skin Bright Facial at Paul Edmonds London takes around 60 minutes; add LED light therapy for a 90-minute treatment. Prices start at £210.