Pigmentation uncovered

08:06 06 July in Pigmentatioin

Know your type

We have a love-hate relationship with pigmentation. Some of us love our freckles, and those who do not have them, want them. But if pigmentation is in any other shape or form than freckles, it is not desired by any of us, as it creates uneven skin tone and can be very tricky to treat. Luckily, with all the high-tech treatments and highly effective products available to us, treating pigmentation and keeping it at bay has become much easier.

What is hyperpigmentation?

It is a very common and usually harmless condition where patches of skin progressively become darker than the surrounding skin. This happens when melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin colour, forms excess deposits in the skin. It can be seen in people from all races and ages. Hyperpigmentation can be caused by various factors, including years of over exposure to the sun, hormonal imbalances, stress, medications, pregnancy and menopause.

3 most common types of hyperpigmentation

1) Sun-induced pigmentation


Our skin’s response to UVA and UVB damage is influenced by our genetic make-up, but the way we have treated our skin over the years also has a great impact. Excessive sunbathing or sunbed-use can have a dramatic effect on the way we age. This is called extrinsic ageing.

Age spots or liver spots are a form of hyperpigmentation. They usually occur as a result of damage to the skin from the sun’s rays. An increased number of pigment-producing cells develop, together with excess pigment in a specific area. The dark spots are generally found on the hands and face, however they may occur on any area exposed to the sun.


IPL/OPL (laser) treatments, such as our Max G or YS treatments are effective in treating this type of pigmentation. Peels may also assist in lightening the pigment spots and in some cases a combination of peels and laser may be suggested. Products generally contain ingredients such as vitamin A and tyrosinase inhibitors or pigment blockers. Daily sun care is essential.


Heliocare’s Neoretin range
Lamelle’s Luminesce range or Brighter Concentrate serum
SkinCeuticals pigment corrector
Phloretin CF serum

2) Melasma


Melasma is a skin condition that looks like solid, sometimes symmetrical brown patches on the face of adults. It is most commonly found on the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead and upper lip. Melasma predominantly occurs in women. Your chances may increase if you take birth control pills or suffer from hormonal changes such as during pregnancy or menopause.

Treatment can be complicated and unfortunately, this stubborn condition tends to reoccur. However, it can be gradually improved with regular treatments and a home care routine. The gold standard of treatment worldwide leans towards the use of non-ablative laser in combination with hydroquinone.


Our melasma sufferers have benefitted from our 1540 laser handpiece with slow, but good results. TCA peels (full epidermal peels) may also assist to lift the melanin load in the epidermis and can further improve the appearance of this pigment. As with freckled epidermal pigmentation, we recommend the use of a pigment-blocking range and stringent sun protection. Lamelle’s Ovelle D3 supplements have also proven very useful to reduce melasma by up to 33% over a period of three months.


Lamelle Ovelle D3 supplements 

3) Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation


This type of pigmentation usually appears after some type of injury to the skin. It commonly occurs after acne spots or other skin lesions. On darker skin types, it often appears after traumatic skin treatments, such as inappropriate or overly aggressive laser. It can even occur after overuse of certain skin products.


Although this type of pigmentation can slowly improve on its own, the use of regular light superficial chemical peels – such as Lamelle’s Beta peels or Skintech’s Easy Phytic peel – can help to further improve its appearance. Product recommendations include a good sunscreen and products that are non-inflammatory with the ability to slow down pigment production within the skin.


My MASC loyalty programme

To sucessfully treat pigmentation, you need a dedicated maintenance plan. And that is one of the reasons we started our MY MASC loyalty programme. When you join MY MASC, you will start your journey to better skin with a Visia scan. This will scientifically determine your skin condition or problem areas. You will then receive a 12-month skin regimen tailor-made for you, PLUS many more benefits.