The Best Pigmentation Busters

Fri, 4 October 2013 12:00PM

I’m officially in my late twenties, and there any ever so many things I thought I’d know by now – but don’t. Like how to cook without setting off the smoke alarm, and how to decorate an apartment so it doesn’t look like a teenager’s crash pad. And I definitely thought I’d know what to expect from my skin as I graduated from clueless youngin’ to slightly less clueless grown up – I assumed that fine lines and tired eyes would be the first telltale signs of ageing. WRONG. Wrong, wrongie, wrong.

Turns out pigmentation (or hyperpigmentation, to be more accurate) is one of the first things to crash the party when you enter your mid-to-late twenties (along with the cruel inability to consume more than three glasses of wine without experiencing a hangover). Little spots of bother have started to show up, Primpers, and I’m not talking about pimples (which I STILL get. Well played, universe). I’m talking about small patches of discolouration. Pinkish-red acne marks. And a few extra freckles here and there for good measure. My girl Lindsay knows what I’m talking about:

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So what gives?

According to Tracey Beeby, Ultraceuticals’ head of education, the key causes are the sun, hormones, some medications, and trauma to the skin (damn you, adult acne!). The number #1 cause is that loveable larrikin sun of ours. “Hyperpigmentation is definitely one of the first signs of photo-ageing,” says Tracey. “It is very dependent on the environment as to the age in which this occurs. Those who have lived in Queensland all their lives would potentially develop hyperpigmentation as a teenager. Those who have lived in Tassie all their lives would most likely develop hyperpigmentation in their mid 20s.”

To combat uneven skin tone, apply a hyperpigmentation-busting serum or treatment underneath your moisturiser every night. Tracey recommends you look for skincare containing stabilised retinol, ascorbic acid, AHA, BHA or niacinamide. At PRIMPED HQ we like: Ultraceuticals Ultra Brightening Serum, $135, from selected clinics, Lancôme DreamTone, $105, from department stores, Dermalogica ChromaWhite TRx C-12 Concentrate, $120, from salons, and Philosophy Miracle Worker Dark Spot Corrector, $80, from David Jones.

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In addition to treatments, sun protection is vital when it comes to preventing hyperpigmentation. Clinique Moisture Surge CC Cream SPF30 Hydrating Colour Corrector, $45, from department stores, is a great option for the time-poor as is combines sun protection, hydration, plus a hint of foundation for coverage. For serious protection from them pesky UV rays, you can’t go past the new Ultraceuticals SunActive SPF 50+ Face Cream, $45, from selected clinics. The formula is heavy duty, but it has a surprisingly low chemical load – plus it absorbs quickly for a touch-dry finish.

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Cop that, hyperpigmentation!

Lauren x

Do you suffer from hyperpigmentation, Primpers? And please excuse the rude question…but how old were you when it first started showing up?

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34 Comments

  • Posted by: Dana // Fri, 4 October 2013 12:51pm

    Serums only od so much though. What type of laser treatment should we be trying?

  • Posted by: Lauren Carter Enthusiast // Fri, 4 October 2013 01:30pm

    If you want to try laser treatments, IPL is often the first port of call for pigmentation – I recommend booking in to see a dermatologist who can give you a run down of the options and treatments available.

  • Posted by: Claire88 Master Fan // Fri, 4 October 2013 03:16pm

    Yes I do… Unfortunately :( mine started to show up in my lates 20′s a consequence of sun baking in my teenage years!
    It takes a while to treat and I don’t think I will ever be rid of it, particularly now in my 40′s, hormonal changes is causing changes in pigmentation too.

  • Posted by: Lauren-1339916162 Master Fan // Fri, 4 October 2013 03:18pm

    I turned 30 earlier this year and I first noticed my pigmentation about 12 months ago. I have it just below my temples, under my eyes and along the line of my top lip. I’ve been told Lancome Visionnaire and Genifique can help with this. Now I want to try the Dreamtone too. Too bad the luxury skin care products have the price tag to match

  • Posted by: Whoazarr // Fri, 4 October 2013 08:49pm

    I’m in my early 20s, but went through a period of bad breakouts (there’s a Breaking Bad pun in that). Anyway, the eruptions were of volcanic proportions (gross)! These left a scarring, and hyperpigmentation. I spent a 6-10 months using Clinique’s Even Better Dark Spot Corrector day and night, and it worked a charm. I took progress photos every month and was really impressed with the result. Definitely try, and buy, and be diligent with that stuff! P.S. I’ve been meaning to try that Ultraceuticals serum! Thanks for the recommendations Lauren!

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Sat, 5 October 2013 07:15pm

    I to noticed pigmentation problems in my 20′s. I have been using products to help me live with it. I love the look of the pictured products, very nice. I’ve not tried any of these little beauties.

  • Posted by: Danielle // Mon, 7 October 2013 11:12am

    I’m 23 and pigmentation has become a big issue for me this summer, I’m using a serum and a physical sunscreen but its not enough. I’m going to try the John Punkettes product from the chemist warehouse.

  • Posted by: Caz // Mon, 7 October 2013 07:44pm

    I’ve got slight pigmentation…started to show at 40. Very thankful I’ve always worn make up & sunscreen & sunglasses religiously – my face is Ok. Lots of freckles on my arms & decolettage (I know that’s not spelt right) though….should have worn sunscreen on my arms on a daily basis – not from sunbaking but from normal time in the car, walking etc etc.

  • Posted by: jessica88 Master Fan // Mon, 7 October 2013 11:45pm

    Im starting to get a little hyper pigmentation in my 20s. Im hoping if I look after my skin it will go away. Thanks for the tips.

  • Posted by: J // Tue, 8 October 2013 01:27am

    My problems with pigmentation (on my forehead) started when I was about 30, brought on by hormonal changes. I’ve tried many things over the last 7 years and have recently been told to avoid laser treatment, as the heat from the laser can make hyper pigmentation worse. I was also advised to avoid washing my face with hot water, as this can aggravate pigmentation. Id suggest going see a skin specialist, they can often make up a cream that is specific to your skin type/problem and these creams can be cheaper and more effective than those you buy over a counter. A chemical peel is also an option. Unfortunately though once you have a pigmentation problem you aren’t likely to get rid of it, for good, you will only keep it away if you continue to treat it with the right products (or pigmentation specific peels), avoid the sun, hot water and always always wear sun cream.

  • Posted by: Mellie // Tue, 8 October 2013 08:13am

    I don’t have pigmentation but a friend does. She uses a Natio product and says that helps. I’ve noticed a difference, in particular around her eyes. She still has the pigmentation but it has faded. It was also suggested that she use a Body Shop product (can’t think of the name) to help. It would certainly be alot cheaper than some of the products mentioned.

  • Posted by: Mummytobe // Tue, 8 October 2013 08:19am

    I am getting it with pregnancy now. What serums can pregnant women use that are safe?

  • Posted by: kai // Tue, 8 October 2013 08:44am

    I noticed freckly spots under on my cheeks, on nose bridge and forehead from sun in mid 20′s. I had them lasered last year and they scabbed off leaving me with clear milky white skin. BUT…. a few months later I went to Sunshine coast and some came back with the UV being so high up there. Laser was great for me, but you really need to stay out of sun after doing it. Laser was also painful!

  • Posted by: chrissy // Tue, 8 October 2013 09:53am

    I notice everyones talking about the face. What about all over the body? I have it all over and its horrible.

  • Posted by: Susan Waring // Tue, 8 October 2013 11:13am

    Mine started in my early 20s although I have never spent much time in the sun. Whether it is true I don’t know but I was told my cleansing regime in my teens caused it. When I suffered acne really bad I was told to use really hot water on my face to open my pores, cleanse with a medicated wash then use really cold water to close my pores again. My neck is the worst and I was told this was caused by spraying perfume in the centre of my neck so that it burned easily due to the alcohol in the perfume. I’m not sure if all this is correct but I’m sure it played a big part. Eating spicy food magnifies it too.

  • Posted by: Sunny // Tue, 8 October 2013 11:38am

    I noticed a slight red mark pop up on my nose just below where my glasses sit. It is quite bright and I have been told it is a pigment spot! I don’t sunbake and am very fair skinned. It sticks out like a sore thumb and really bothers me now. I am 27 and it just came up very quickly about 2 years ago.

  • Posted by: p3charmed Master Fan // Tue, 8 October 2013 11:57am

    No, not yet but I’m expecting it very soon as I’ve had a lot of naughty sun exposure and I’m close to turning 24 so I’m sure it will show up very soon. I’m already using loreal luminosity code serum twice a day, which is simply beautiful and will hopefully give me a head start. Love the look of the Lancôme dream tone and the ultraceuticals SPF 50+ too :)

  • Posted by: Kristie // Thu, 10 October 2013 01:28am

    Absolutely love Ultraceuticals…
    Best cosmeceutical skin care range available that is suitable for Australian skin types & UV rays.
    Highly recommended for anyone wanting to combat signs of ageing, hyperpigmentation & acne. SPF is vital for preventing ageing & pigmentation of the skin :)

  • Posted by: DebstarDesigns Master Fan // Thu, 10 October 2013 02:46pm

    I don’t really have much problems with pigmentation, but my Mum is always complaining about hers so will pass this advice on to her! thanks Lauren :)

  • Posted by: lpilz Enthusiast // Thu, 10 October 2013 03:20pm

    I got pigmentation in my 20’s- post inflammatory pigmentation from acne and sun damage.

    The ONLY thing that has worked (I have tried soooo many- dreamtone, ultraceuticals.. you name it, i tried it, with no result) is John Plunkett Superfade. Seriously, the most amazing stuff I have used, and totally advise you to give a go.

    I bought my Superfade from the Pharmacy.

  • Posted by: MonteCat Newbie // Thu, 10 October 2013 03:36pm

    Kligmans formula contains a higher % of hydroquinone, which is the active ingredient in Superfade. It is a prescription medication. If you are really concerned about pigmentation, go see a reputable clinic where a doctor will assess your skin and tailor a treatment plan for you. Don’t waste your money on cosmetic products, they don’t work. I’ve been treating my pigmentation for nearly 20 years now and I’ve tried everything. Laser and prescription medication will work best. And STAY OUT OF THE SUN FOREVER!!

  • Posted by: Britty1 Master Fan // Fri, 11 October 2013 11:43am

    i am freckly on my face only, so yeah, i guess I do :) that’s ok though, i like my freckles – even if they are a sign of damage!

  • Posted by: Beautybabe1 Master Fan // Fri, 11 October 2013 10:26pm

    I’m also in my late 20′s so I can totally relate to this article. Yes, I have noticed these changes in my skin. I just wish I had been more sun smart in my teens and early 20′s.

  • Posted by: lovefashionangel Master Fan // Sat, 12 October 2013 11:20pm

    is that streak of lilo’s face a reflection of some sort or blusher? I hope its not blusher, what makeup artist would let that be seen in public?
    Im loving the cc cream by Clinique, it is awesome!

  • Posted by: jo77 Master Fan // Thu, 17 October 2013 06:22pm

    Ooh yes, I started to experience this in my late twenties early thirties :( A fantastic round up of products to try!

  • Posted by: Jensta Master Fan // Mon, 21 October 2013 04:45pm

    Yes I most definately did suffer from pigmentation and the best thing that I ever did for myself was get IPL. No cream had ever worked for me and if I had worked out how much I had spent on creams, it would have been up to triple the price of IPL. One session, $250.00 = pigmentation gone=happy me.

  • Posted by: Daria // Tue, 22 October 2013 02:20pm

    A great article, I would love to try the Lancôme Dreamtone product (but a too costly for me at the moment)

  • Posted by: lovetoplay Master Fan // Tue, 22 October 2013 02:27pm

    Oooh exciting products for us Aussie gals!

  • Posted by: Jessielyn Master Fan // Sun, 10 November 2013 10:28pm

    Quite interested in the Clinique! x

  • Posted by: Sparkles17 Master Fan // Wed, 4 December 2013 11:03am

    I so need to start using one of these products! Mine started showing in my early 30′s and I HATE it!

  • Posted by: brookieliz Master Fan // Mon, 9 December 2013 05:25pm

    I’m hearing so many good things about the Clinique CC cream, I didn’t realise it would be so good for pigmentation. Definitely going to have to try it now :)

  • Posted by: Lauren-1339916162 Master Fan // Wed, 11 December 2013 06:34pm

    I’ve been trying the dream tone and I must say I’m not very impressed. I’ve seen differences with other products but nothing seems to be helping as far as my pigmentation

  • Posted by: Bantam Master Fan // Mon, 10 March 2014 02:56am

    I love Dr Dennis Gross Alpha Beta peel pads!

  • Posted by: talkalot Master Fan // Wed, 23 July 2014 06:22pm

    I am liking all these products. A brightening serum is just what I need.

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