How To Treat Pigmentation With Korean SkincarePosted on 23/07/2020
Pigmentation is one of the most, if not the most, challenging skin conditions to deal with. It’s stubborn, leaves you feeling self-conscious and is hard to cover up at times, even with makeup. Some signs of pigmentation you may experience include dark patches, red spots, discolouration or even blotchy skin. In this blog, we’re sharing some of the main causes of pigmentation, the ideal ingredients to counteract it and the best Korean skincare products to treat pigmentation.
What is the root cause of pigmentation?
The excessive production of melanin by the melanocyte cells in your body is the primary cause of hyperpigmentation.
However, a wide range of factors can also cause pigmentation. These include overexposure to the sun, acne, medications, hormonal changes, hereditary conditions, eczema, allergic reactions and other forms of skin damage. We’ll go more into detail about some of the main causes below.
Acne is a common cause of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), some also refer to this as acne scars. Once the skin is damaged, it might not be able to reproduce the original skin pigments. Typically, darker pigments form over this damaged area. Post-acne, the skin immediately appears as flat scars that take a while to fade away. It can range in colour, from pink-red to brown, purple and even white. However, the deeper the acne scar, the more the chances of it remaining permanently on the skin. Eczema and atopic dermatitis can also cause PIH.
(Over)exposure to the Sun
Prolonged exposure to the sun increases melanin production as your skin tries to protect itself from the ultraviolet rays, causing your skin cells to tan or become ‘brown’. However, this does not guarantee that the tan will be even or uniform. Excessive overexposure to the sun leads to more pigmentation and over time, contributes to the development of sun spots and age spots.
A huge variety of medications such as contraceptive pills, antibiotics, anti-topical retinoids, anti-seizure medications or antimalarials can also contribute towards pigmentation. In some cases, pigmentation remains even after the course of medication has been terminated or completed.
Hormonal changes are another leading cause of pigmentation, especially melasma, particularly in pregnant women. These changes often leave the skin with large dark, blotchy patches and are usually on the forehead, upper lips, face as well as the stomach.
The best ingredients to help treat pigmentation
There are several practical ways of preventing pigmentation, the most important being to use a physical sunscreen with at least SPF30 to SPF50.
If you already experience some type of pigmentation (and most of us have), there are also several wonder ingredients that help improve and treat pigmentation. Typically, you will find these ingredients in many Korean skincare products.
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid), as well as its derivatives, are effective in treating pigmentation mainly because they prevent the skin from producing melanin, which causes the discolouration. It’s also an antioxidant, thus neutralises oxidative stress from the sun’s rays that cause premature signs of ageing. It leaves your skin more radiant, youthful and supple.
One of the most loved ingredients in Korean beauty is snail mucin. Famous for its ability to firm or tighten the skin, regenerate skin cells as well as heal acne breakouts and acne scars. It is hydrating, aides in repairing skin damage and also contains antioxidants. Definitely advantageous on skin afflicted by acne scarring and acne, ageing and sun damages.
Niacinamide is vitamin B3. Using this ingredient results in visible reduction of pigmentation in addition to correcting uneven skin tone. It also has several anti-ageing benefits such as boosting collagen production, enhancing barrier function and accelerating skin cell turnover.
AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids)
Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, Citric Acid and Mandelic Acid are all types of AHAs. You can find these naturally in foods, milk products and fruits. They not only dissolve dead skin cells on the surface layer of your skin but also promote collagen production, accelerate skin cell turnover and treat pigmentation.
Rice assists with discolouration of skin cells by gently removing dead skin cells and brightening dull skin. Additionally, it calms inflammation, alleviates redness and helps minimise the appearance of pores!
Fermented yeast that is a skin friendly, anti-ageing ingredient. This miracle beauty ingredient is a by-product of the sake brewing process, produced when fermentation breaks down the yeast into smaller components. This allows it to deliver antioxidants to the skin directly, protecting your skin from environmental and UV damage; which is a primary cause of premature ageing. Furthermore, it lightens dull spots and gives you a brighter, radiant complexion.
Our best-loved Korean beauty product that features galactomyces is the COSRX Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence.
This extract has skin-soothing properties and is said to be effective in improving the appearance of uneven skin tone. It is also highly recommended for people experiencing redness in their complexion.
Fading pigmentation takes consistency, patience as well as some trial and error. You may find that some ingredients perform better on your skin in treating pigmentation than others. The best thing to do is take preventative measures (such as wearing sunscreen daily) while you treat pigmentation. The Korean skincare products recommended above are not only affordable but also effective for treating pigmentation – worth checking out!
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