7 Skincare products to help fade and prevent pigmentation

Whether you’re concerned about sun spots or post-acne marks, we round up high-performance products that claim to fade and even prevent pigmentation...

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What is hyperpigmentation you may ask? Pigmentation, or the darkening of a particular area in the skin, is caused when there is an overproduction of a the pigment melanin. Although a great deal of people who suffer with pigmentation may inherit the condition, it can also be triggered by hormonal changes, such as melisma, otherwise known as the ‘pregnancy mask’.  There are a number of factors such as overexposure to the sun or inflamed, post-breakout skin that can promote hyperactive melanocytes, which in turn leads to pigmentation.

When trying to tackle pigmentation, there are two main things you can do for your skin to help the natural fading process on its way; treat and prevent.

Treat

Exfoliating the skin, whether it be with a physical or chemical exfoliator, is key to helping the skin cells turnover. However, if you are suffering from active breakouts that are obviously irritated, try to avoid facial scrubs which can be too abrasive and worsen the condition.

Chemical acids that contain alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), such as lactic and glycolic, eat away at dead skin cells and stimulate better collagen production, revealing fresh layers of (unmarked) skin. These acids can also help reduce inflammation, speed up a blemish's recovery and plump wrinkles and fine lines. Win, win!

This two-step face peel uses a blend of alpha and beta hydroxy acids to tackle fine lines, wrinkles, enlarged pores and uneven skin texture. The gentle yet effective formula can be used daily and boasts a cocktail of high-performing ingredients such as retinol, chamomile and lactic salicylic acids that speed up the skin cell renewal process, stimulate collagen production and unblock pores.

Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Peel Original, 30 treatments £70; Available at Fenwick Bond Street

This unique formula allows you to experience the benefits of exfoliation on a daily basis without the risk of aggravating the skin. The powder formula activates upon contact with water, releasing papain, salicylic acid, colloidal oatmeal and rice actives to smooth the skin, calm inflammation and accelerate cell renewal. A unique skin brightening complex of bearberry, grapefruit and liquorice helps to balance uneven skin pigmentation, while melanin production is regulated by active agents derived from rice bran.

Dermalogica Daily Microfoliant, £41.75; Available at Fenwick Brent Cross, Kingston, Newcastle

Clinique’s treatment serum tackles pigmentation in all its forms – from age spots and discolouration due to sun damage to post-blemish scarring. The plant-derived formula includes Glucosamine, Salicylic Acid and Vitamin C to reduce and prevent the appearance of uneven skin, accelerate cell turnover and visibly brighten the complexion.

Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spots Corrector, £42; Available at Fenwick stores nationwide 

This silicone, paraben and fragrance-free formula diminishes dark spots and evens skin tone using a potent blend of Vitamin C, White Birch and Peony extracts. Apply to cleansed, dry skin morning and/or night for a brighter, more hydrated and unified complexion.

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution, £36; Available at Fenwick Kingston, Newcastle, Tunbridge Wells

 

Prevent 

Avoiding intense sun exposure and wearing sunscreen of at least SPF 15 daily is crucial to preventing further hyperpigmentation. And it goes without saying, but as tempting as it may be if your marks are a result of a spot-picking attack - leave them alone!

Incorporating proper cleansing and exfoliating steps into your routine will not only help treat pigmentation, it'll keep skin healthy and spots at bay to avoid future disasters. Products containing buzz words like 'antioxidants' and 'vitamin C' are your new best friend, thanks to their advanced skin-protecting properties, so be on the lookout for these.

Murad’s powerful sunscreen repairs and shields the skin from the ageing effects of UVA/UVB rays while also conditioning for optimal hydration throughout the day thanks to its antioxidant-rich blend of Vitamin C and Phospholipids. Massage the lightweight lotion into cleansed, toned skin (preferably after a serum) for a healthy dose of daily protection.

Murad Environmental Shield Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30, £55; Available at Fenwick Bond Street & Brent Cross

Don’t let this multi-purpose balm's 97% natural formula fool you. It not only deeply nourishes dry, damaged skin, but it can also soothe and relieve a multitude of skincare injuries, such as bruises, burns, cuts and insect bites. Plus, the fragrance, silicone and mineral oil-free formula contains a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory ingredients that help reduce the likelihood of scarring.

Pommade Divine Nature’s Remedy Balm, £20; Available at Fenwick Canterbury

The clever folk over at Estée Lauder have combined a high-protection SPF30 sunscreen packed full of antioxidants with a sheer, healthy tint (that comes in three shades) to minimise the appearance of dark spots, redness and pores. The natural, healthy glow it gives is perfect for weekend makeup, or you can layer under foundation for a full-coverage finish.

Estée Lauder Enlighten Even Effect Skintone Corrector SPF30, £34; Available at Fenwick stores nationwide

By Grace Gargini