Expert's Opinion

Handling Hyperpigmentation

By Shannon Gallogly, DECLu00c9OR | January 31, 2011

Treat this serious skin condition in a variety of ways.

As we all know, beauty companies are always creating new treatments and skin care products to combat various skin concerns. One major skin condition that is coming to the forefront in the beauty industry is hyperpigmentation. This serious condition affects all skin types, ethnicities, and genders. In fact, women may begin to notice signs of hyperpigmentation in their early 40’s while men may see signs in their 60’s and 70’s. Using the latest innovation and technology, companies such as DECLÉOR have been able to create potent treatment regimens like the new Aroma White C+ Collection that specifically target the negative affects of hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation is the uneven or over production of melanin which causes visible dark spots to appear on the skin. Factors that can increase the levels of Melanin are hormones, genetics and damaging sun exposure. Hormones cause the hyperactivity of tyrosinase, the enzyme found in melanin, which leads to the appearance of these dark spots. This is especially true for ethnic skin and women who are pregnant.

In fact, approximately 70% of pregnant women will develop the “pregnancy mask” of dark spots apparent around the lip, jaw line, nose, chin and forehead.More than likely these spots will fade after pregnancy but this is not always the case. Additionally some ethnicities such as African Americans and Indians are more predisposed to hyperpigmentation than others; however, all skin types and tones may be affected by this condition. Excessive or repeated sun exposure increases the levels of melanin, thereby stimulating hyperpigmentation. The consistent use of adequate SPF of 15 or higher is key to slow down this process and protect skin from the harmful effects of UV rays.

We can combat this serious condition on all fronts by consistently using an effective skincare program that addresses hyperpigmentation. Consumers should seek out products that contain key ingredients to effectively target hyperpigmentation and dark spots. The right ingredients will ensure that users do not end up with negative side effects such as, white spots, irritation or redness. For example, DECLÉOR recommends a 6 week program that includes a consistent ritual of in-spa treatments in conjunction with an at-home skincare program. The in-spa facials use DECLÉOR’s White Bright Extrême treatment mask while the at-home skincare program incorporates the comprehensive Aroma White C+ Collection, including a treatment serum to boost the effectiveness of the collection and designed for daily use.

The collection also demonstrates that superior ingredients are important to achieving optimum results of even skin tone and complexion. At the heart of the collection is DECLÉOR’s Aromessence White Brightening Serum which highlights powerful ingredients such as essential oils of parsley, lemon and chamomile. The serum promotes skin’s luminosity resulting in a flawless complexion that is protected and nourished without irritating the skin.The radiance enhancing essential oils found in Aromessence White Brightening Serum also reinforce the White-Focus Complex which is combined with a highly stabilized vitamin C. The White-Focus Complex also has effective ingredients including three unique Asian plant extracts of peony, tamarix and saxifrage that have brightening benefits as well as properties that regulate the levels of melanin.The exclusive formulation is effective, yet gentle for use by all skin types, skin tones and is a safe skincare treatment to use daily and during pregnancy.

In addition to beauty regimens there are alternate treatments that may help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation; however, consumers should look at the ingredients in these products as some may contain Retin A, hydroquinone or a high percentage of glycolic acid. Although these treatments may be beneficial to some, they can also cause an opposite effect for others, called hypopigmentation which will actually bleach skin with darker pigmentation. This is a major concern for consumers with ethnic skin seeking results from a safe treatment that will target these dark spots without compromising their complexion and skin tone.

Once the best treatment course is established I would also recommend that estheticians look into timing of the treatment course. Since hyperpigmentation treatments are adversely affected by the sun, I recommend starting a course of action during the fall and winter months. It’s easier to commit to a skincare program that addresses hyperpigmentation during these months because there is less sun exposure as compared to other seasons.

As companies and brands continue to develop treatments and products that target hyperpigmentation, experts need to stay educated. Estheticians need to focus on the consistency of product programs as well as the unique ingredients within these treatments to ensure that we are safely treating hyperpigmentation without harsh medications and damaging side effects.

About the Author
With more than 12 years of experience in beauty and wellness, Shannon Gallogly has become one of the most in demand estheticians and educational training managers in the industry. Currently, she is the national education and training manager for premiere Parisian skin and body care brands, DECLÉOR and CARITA, where she travels the country and the world educating retailers, estheticians and spas about products and treatment protocols for both brands. Gallogly’s extensive experience and education has landed her positions with some of the biggest names in the beauty industry including Yonka, Elémis, La thérapie, Sothys, Murad, and SkinCeuticals and Estée Lauder.

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