Ingredient Choice for Pigmentation
Last week I told you about how I came back from my skiing holiday with an over brown face and two white sunglasses eyes. This illustrates again how difficult it is to protect yourself properly against the sun. “Me”, I was too lazy to keep re-applying a thick layer of sun cream every two hours. And now I feel guilty…Because I can already see pigmentation spots on my forehead again. Clear evidence that my tightness with the sun cream has had unfortunate consequences on my skin…
Fortunately there is a way to fix the pigment spots (and even the damage). For all the people, just like me, who have “sinned” here is more about the treatment for pigmentation. I wrote this article for the magazine Estheticienne.
Incidentally I now vow to do better in the future. So if you happen to see a very pale person in Ibiza this summer, “that’s me”…
Protecting against pigmentation?
Depending on the size and depth of the pigmentation there are a number of ingredients which can help:
• Hydroquinone- the most widely used and tested remedy for pigmentation. This is only available on prescription and must be used carefully (see also the blog “Hydroquinone”).
• Azelaic Acid- is an alternative to hydroquinone.
• Vitamin A Acid- just like hydroquinone is only available on prescription. It is less effective against pigmentation but very good for wrinkles and acne (see also the blog “Vitamin A Acid”).
• Vitamin C- can improve melasma. In this instance the minimum concentration of ascorbic acid should be 5% and the container must be airtight in order to have any effect (see this investigation and the blog “Vitamin C”).
• Arbutin- has less side effects than Hydroquinone but is also less effective. Concentrations should be between 3 and 5%.
• Glycyrrhiza glabra-required concentrations not known. Supposedly more than 0.5%.
• Niacinamide- works on surface pigmentation in concentrations between 2 and 5% (see also the blog “Niacinamide” and this investigation).
• Kojic Acid- very unstable and there is still some discussion about the safety of this ingredient.
• Fruit acids- Glycolic Acid is particularly effective for peelings, in concentrations of above 20% (see also the blog “Glycolic acid”).
If that doesn’t help there are also laser and peeling treatments which can remove the pigment spots. Luckily there are enough possibilities. Although it is often a matter of patience….
(Dr. Jetske Ultee-Research Physician Cosmetic Dermatology)
You can also read the blogs:
‘Different Types of Pigmentation’,
‘Skin Ageing Due to Pigmentation?’,
About the ingredient ‘Hydroquinone’,
‘Angel Dusting’ (minimum concentrations)