From freckles and patchiness to sunspots and age spots, pigmentation doesn’t play nice. If an uneven skin tone is standing in your way of glowing skin, don’t lose hope. There are several ways to tackle pigmentation and get on your way to a clearer complexion.
What causes pigmentation?
Pigmentation occurs when the melanin in the skin increases and creates discoloured spots or patches.
Common types of pigmentation and their causes include:
Freckles – Some call them cute, others call them a curse. Freckles are caused by repeated exposure to the sun, and they generally appear darker during the sunny months.
Sunspots and age spots – Exposure to UV rays can cause sunspots to appear on the face and body. It can take years for sunspots to show up after sun exposure, which is why they are often more common the older you get and regularly referred to as age spots.
Melasma or chloasma – Most common in pregnant women, melasma (also known as ‘the mask of pregnancy’) consists of brown patches on the face, particularly on the forehead and cheeks. This is due to the hormone changes during pregnancy, and it normally goes away after the baby has been born.
Pigmentation can also occur following facial peels, laser hair removals, and other clinical treatments. This is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) and will generally resolve over time, but you can speed up the process with topical products.