Truth: There is no one magic ingredient to target pigmentation
Article by Dr Des Fernandes, Environ Founder and Scientific Director
Pigmentation of the skin is caused by melanin which is a protein produced by specialised cells called melanocytes found in the basal layer of the epidermis. The amount of melanin produced determines one's skin colour. It is distributed to the epidermal keratinocytes and protects the basal cell layer of the epidermis and the deeper dermis. The more melanin you have, the darker your skin tone, and vice versa.
What causes pigmentation blemishes?
The pigment in skin is a defining feature of all humans. When too much melanin is deposited, it shows up as a pigmented mark on the skin. Genes play an important part, but sun exposure, hormones and stress appear to be the main triggers for the development of excess melanin. It seems the melanocytes are stimulated to become "rogue" and start the over-production of melanin.
Can pigmentation be effectively treated?
Pigmentary blemishes are one of the most difficult skin concerns to target successfully. In beauty therapy, just as in medical practice, abnormal pigmentation is an emotional and often difficult problem to accept. There are many important factors that need to be addressed, and for certain there is no one magic ingredient that can do it all. In fact, pigmentary blemishes are a life-long problem which cannot be "cured"- but it can be controlled to varying degrees. The most potent stimulator for the formation of melanin is exposure to light, particularly ultra-violet and blue light. They are there all the time, in sunshine, electric lights, computer screens etc., and that is why it is so difficult to treat and normalise pigment formation and distribution. It is extraordinarily difficult to avoid blue light and UV-A rays.
Protection against sun exposure should be the first and main focus of any treatment plan but the ideal treatment approach is to first normalise the cell functioning with vitamin A and antioxidants. We do not want to destroy or render melanocytes ineffective, but rather to get them to behave in a normal, healthy way. Start by soothing the irritated keratinocytes and melanocytes with:
- The use of vitamin A and antioxidant products.
- A combination of intelligent sun exposure and strict sun protection.
Once we have that under control we can attend to blemishes. I believe it is important to understand how melanin is produced and distributed so that we can have the opportunity to target specific steps that will change the appearance of pigmentation.
Breakthrough Focus Care Radiance+ Range to target Pigmentation
The Focus Care Radiance+® Range is Environ's most targeted approach to reduce the appearance of pigmented blemishes. In combination with Environ vitamin A moisturisers, the new revolutionary 3-step Mela-Smart System™ is comprised of 4 innovative products that work together to help inhibit the 6 complex steps involved in the formation of skin discoloration, dark spots, and uneven skin. It is more of a real fix that takes time and is not a quick fix.
Use the Radiance+ Range twice daily together with an Environ vitamin A enriched moisturiser and broad-spectrum sunscreen. For optimal results, include an Environ Micro-Needling instrument into your daily skincare routine to ensure more powerful ingredients are delivered to where they are needed most.
The best way to target pigmentation is to prevent it. Keep your skin rich in vitamin A because this is the most effective way to minimise your chances of getting pigmentation. Understand that pigmentation comes about as a result of a slow process; so, reversing the 'damage' will take time.