Everything you need to know about pigmentation & sun damage

Pigmentation and sun damage is one of the biggest skincare concerns among clients in Australia, it can be one of the trickiest things to treat and with the thousands of products and many treatments on the market it can be hard to choose a solution.

Did you know that the targeted age group of our Germaine De Capuccini skincare products have to be decreased by 5 years because that’s how fast our skins are ageing compared to other countries! It’s rather shocking what our harsh climate is doing to our skin. If you’re worried about sun damage and premature ageing then read on!

Pigmentation is a complex skin condition but basically it occurs because of inflammation. Sun, stress, hormones and any trauma to the skin cause inflammation. Our skin is made up of many cells, 1 in 10 are called melanocytes and they are responsible for the pigment or “colour” of our skin. Surprisingly those cells are actually clear! But when our skin is exposed to the sun for long periods it attacks our cells and they release an enzyme called tyrosinase, which makes those clear cells coloured. When cells replicate and travel up to the surface of the skin about every 30 days those melanocytes that are coloured appear as pigmentation! Phew that was a mouthful.

So what do I do?

Prevention is the best cure! Slather on a good quality broad spectrum sunscreen on your face and chest every day yes even when it’s overcast! Many of us only worry about sunscreen when we are outside or at the beach, but I see many clients who do use sunscreen when at the beach and try to stay out of the sun, but it’s actually when they are driving to and from work or walking the dog that their pigmentation is formed. We’ve all forgotten to wear it, I’m certainly guilty of that and suffered through a quite a few cases of sunburn! It’s just about being mindful of how long you will be out in the sun for.

Most of the skins sun damage is done in our teens and early 20’s and doesn’t show up until later when it seems its too late. As we are exposed to the sun nearly everyday, new pigmentation is constantly forming so it is never too late to start using sunscreen. New formulas mean that they are lighter and more comfortable to wear then ever before. If you are using AHA’s or Vitamin A and have had microdermabrasion, peels or laser you are even more prone to pigmentation so sunscreen daily is even more crucial.

Antioxidants – Especially Vitamin C in our skin products are fantastic at helping to prevent pigmentation, they act like an umbrella protecting our skin cells from the sun and free radicals while helping to even out the pigment In the skin and increasing collagen production!.

Vitamin A – also known as Retinol or Retin A is fantastic at reversing some of the visible sun damage on the skin, as it works like an exfoliant helping to resurface the skin and speed up cell renewal. All while increasing collagen in the skin and reducing the appearance of wrinkles.

Pigmentation/Whitening skincare – the key here is to look for products with both antioxidants but good quality Tyrosinase inhibitors that not only stop the enzymes from forming in our cells but repair the already damaged ones. I love our Germaine Time Expert Range as its super effective yet not harsh on the skin.

Patience! – Sun damage has taken years to form so its going to take a while to not only see results but make a difference. Depending on the severity you may never be able to completely remove it but we can certainly reverse a lot of the damage.