07 Mar Pigmentation 101: All The Basics You Need To Know About Keeping An Even Skin Tone Using Organic Skin Care
The countdown is on. We have less than 15 days left until spring. Hallelujah!
I don’t know about you, but I’ve already started preparing my entire body for the transition. I’ve been walking 10 miles a day, doing 2 minute squats, body brushing and applying my very own house-made face and body exfoliant; malic acid, aloe vera concentrate and pure sugar cane juice. Unlike last year, this year I plan on being warm weather ready.
One of the biggest issues I faced last year was showing my discolored and pigmented legs in shorts and skirts. Ugh. Pigmentation and uneven skin tone is something we can ignore in the winter months, but come spring, we have to face the music.
Addressing pigmentation through organic and natural skin care is really simple. Let’s first look at the basic pigmentation issues that show up on our skin , what causes it and then how to prevent it or cure it.
Melasma: is a hormonal pigmentation issue. Many people develop melasma during pregnancy, from thyroid or ovarian dysfunction, taking birth control or from using medications. Melasma is usually seen in the center of the face, effecting the cheeks, chin, upper lip and forehead. Sometimes it also shows up on the forearms and neck.
Photo Damage Pigmentation: Ultra Violet Rays cause a lot of damage to our skin. The first sign of photo damage is hyper pigmentation around the outer areas of the face. The sun’s rays stimulate the melanin carrying skin cells and sets off a complex chain reaction. In simpler terms, what you and I call a “tan” is really the skin’s defensive response to all the damage the sun is inflicting. The skin is saying “Hey, I am warning you. You are getting too much ultra violet ray damage.” Consistent over exposure damages your skin cells to the point of no return i.e. wrinkles, actinic tan, damaged DNA.
Chemical Reaction Pigmentation: Medications, antibiotics, synthetic fragrances and essential oils can cause pigmentation issues too. These chemicals are called photo-sensitizers and can decrease your burn time to sun exposure. It’s good to ask your physician the side effects of each medication and always avoid the sun when exposed to these chemicals.
Now that you know the basics of pigmentation skin issues, let’s talk prevention and cures.
The number one rule is to avoid over exposure to the sun. It’s too harmful to our bodies. Staying out of the sun between the hours of 10am and 3pm, when the rays are their strongest, is a good rule of thumb.
Eating foods high in macronutrients is also very helpful. This is the method that I choose, because I am not a huge fan of sunscreen. Go over to my ORGANIC NUTRITION blog posts, and read about which foods to eat for sun protection.
So, what about addressing the pigmentation issues that has already shown up?
Alpha Hydroxy Acids otherwise known as AHAs promote the shedding of old cells and diminish pigmentation.
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) inhibits pigmentation by stopping the “color” from transferring from inner skin cells to outer skin cells.
Licorice Extract has an active compound called Galbidin and it gives this extract solid skin lightening ability. This botanical has been known to ease the pigmentation of melasma, as well as abosrb UVA and UVB rays by 50%.
So, when you are looking at your skin and wondering how to protect it, I have given you all the basics you need to know. Also, don’t forget about my organic skin care treatments. Book an appointment here