Why Pigmentation Happens

We may bemoan the appearance of these sinister dark spots that seemingly spring out of nowhere, but pigmentation, or hyperpigmentation, is body's way to fight skin damage. Your body is smarter than you think - skin's self-protective mechanisms kick in when when cellular harm is perceived.

Pigmentation results from the build-up of Melanin, a substance that causes coloration in skin. It is pigment that gives human skin, hair, and eyes their colour. Dark-skinned people have more melanin in their skin than light-skinned people. As part of skin’s natural response to stimuli, melanin is summoned by your cells. Melanin is produced by Melanocytes, octopus - like in structure. They spread out over injured and vulnerable cells to offer a protective layer to prevent further harm to cells.

Skin cells are intelligent, but they are also vengeful. Just as you think the accidental sunburn or two in your 20s are mere blip in the radar - think again. You actually increase your chances of darkening by up to 50% with every occurrence of overexposure. Unfortunately your body sometimes take a rather delayed approach to this phenomena due to another pigmentation evil – Lipofuscin, the pigment in age spots.

Lipofuscin is a result from an accumulation of cellular garbage, simply defined as waste products that a cell can’t completely eliminate. Cells waste is typically broken down by enzymes into small pieces, so they can be removed easily. With age, we become less efficient at this. So cellular garbage piles up, which ultimately creates lipofuscin.

With the synergistic teamwork of pigmentation BFFs melanin and lipofuscin, it’s no wonder we experience rude awakenings near The Big THREE-O. It is probably the first time you even think of reaching out for whitening products. While it might be too late to cry over spilled melanin, with crucial knowledge, smart prevention tactics and the right treatment, you could take that one step closer to lighter, brighter skin.

The 9 Key Culprits You Should Watch Out For

1. UV Radiation
The sun is the biggest cause of hyperpigmentation. UV directly stimulates the production of melanin which is your body’s way of protecting itself from UV. Thankfully, UV-induced pigmentation is the easiest and quickest type to treat and prevent. Needless to say, UV protection in a form of sunscreen is essential before stepping out into the sun. It is ideal to top up your sunscreen every three hours – more if you engaging in sports and sweating it out. Sunblock mists provide quick and easy top-ups for the ultimate convenience – check out our house brand.

2. Scars from Acne, Eczema, Injury
Post Inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH, is the medical term given to discoloration of the skin that follows an inflammatory wound. PIH develops when a wound, rash, pimple, or other stimuli causes skin inflammation, which triggers the skin to produce too much melanin. Proper treatment of the inflammatory wound is extremely important in preventing a lesion that would darken over time. Regular exfoliation of the affected spot will also remove the dead layer of cells and stimulate cell growth, as well as increase absorption of whitening creams or serums.

3. Hormonal imbalance

Your body's hormonal balance can be tilted due to a variety of factors - medication, age, stress, pregnancy and so on. In addition to making you feel weepy, anxious, and generally more emotionally vulnerable, your skin is also more reactive and sensitive to photo chemicals (Girl Power...not).

    Spikes in these hormones can also stimulate melanin growth, causing hyperpigmentation in the form of melasma, which appears as tan or brown blotchy patches on the nose, cheeks, jawline, forehead or chin. In pregnant women it’s known as 'the mask of pregnancy'.

    Hormone-related hyperpigmentation often disappears post birthing—if it doesn’t, best try out natural whitening products that doesn’t harm your skin and cause further damage. And if you’re experiencing discoloration from the pill, try switching to another brand.

    4. Chemical Peels
    Chemical peels use a mixture of acids to exfoliate the uppermost layers of the skin, giving rise to new skin beneath. It is a popular procedure that is marketed to be a miracle worker for dark spots, melasma and discolorations from acne scarring.

    Before you go overboard with chemical peels – think again. Chemicals peels affect your skin in two ways. Firstly, peels result in thinning of skin levels, making skin more photosensitive to UV radiation and environmental stressors. Next, the rawness experienced by skin could trigger an influx of melanin to fight the perceived wound. These two factors may work in synergy to darken skin over time. 

    Best to use more natural detox remedies at home. Avoid harsh and abrasive treatment of your skin and your skin will love you back in return.

    5. Laser treatment
    Another popular and commonly used treatment to fight pigmentation, laser treatment may result in the affected to become darker than the surrounding skin. Lasers work by delivering an intense beam of light that specifically targets melanin. This light is then absorbed and converted into heat, which either disperses the group of melanin cells or destroys the skin cells carrying the pigment molecules. As a rather intervening treatment, lasers may deeply would affected areas, resulting in greater skin vulnerability to UV, which will result in pigmentation. Not exactly a proverbial bang for your buck.

    6. Alcohol

    The dehydrating effect of alcohol and depletion of antioxidants makes the skin susceptible to free radical-induced damage resulting in dull skin, hyperpigmentation, dark circles, coarse texture, and development of wrinkles. So drinking too much alcohol can age your skin prematurely. In short, alcohol = bad for skin. Moderate your intake, or try to stay away!

    7. Smoking
    Smoking exposes your body and skin to several toxic chemicals which directly causes collagen and elastin to break down unnaturally, resulting in yellow pigment stains in skin. In addition, it also reduces antioxidants which are responsible for renewing and keeping your skin healthy. 

    8. Artificial Colouring and Fragrances
    Your favourite red lipstick or could very well be a key culprit to lip pigmentation. The higher the intensity of red, the higher the concentration of dye, the more sensitive lips will be to photo chemicals. A single lipstick contains several hundred different chemical compounds, some of which are natural. These chemicals can trigger a melanocyte to produce melanin. Thankfully, there several natural remedies to rectify lip pigmentation. You can find that here

    9. Stress
    Stress is possibility the biggest culprit that affects all our bodily functions. Simply put, stress inhibits your skin’s ability to heal itself. Stress also aggravates inflammation. When stress takes over, the hormone cortisol rises, which causes an increase in oil production—a precursor to clogged pores, oily skin, acne and problems like dermatitis. Even if you're usually Acne-Free, it is easy to fall into Acne Zone when stressed out. In addition, stress increases free radicals in your body, resulting in the build-up of cell garbage, which we know will result in age spots. 
    When you find yourself in a stressed-induced mini-seizure - palpitating heart, fitful breathing, clammy hands, racing thoughts- take a slow, DEEP, breath (keep the tummy out while inhaling). Here are some of other stress-eliminating strategies to keep you chilled out and healthy.

    In Short

    Just remember – your skin is an intelligent ecosystem that is also vengeful in nature. What intervenes may cause further damage down the line, and what goes around, will indeed come around. Make smart choices. Keep it natural to keep it safe.

    Enavose Recommends

    Enavose improves, not intervenes. We provide remedies that are all-natural and high-performing. Our natural preservation system of micro-bacterial herbs and spices empowers us to completely void the use of harmful chemicals. Since 70% of what you put into your body is absorbed into your bloodstream, we pledge to be free from Mineral Oils, SLES, Mineral Oil, Allergenic Fragrances. 

    Invisible Sunbrella UV Mist SPF 45 (30ml) – Top up your sun protection with ultra-portable sunblock in a fast-drying mist with DNA protection and skin repair support. Can be used over make-up. Shop Here

    Probiotics Exfoliance Gommage (80ml) - Gentle resurfacing action unclogs pores and nourishes skin with good bacteria. Shop Here

    Organic HydraCalm Essence (30ml) – Organic alpine herb blend provide optimal comfort and hydration to soothe irritated, inflamed, and stressed skin. Lessens wound scarring. Shop Here

    Bitter Almond Decongestant Serum (30ml) – Treat that acne with the respect it deserves with potent bitter almond extracts that does not strip your skin of its natural moisture barriers. Bacteria-fighting powers fight acne and recurring breakouts for optimal inflammation relief. Shop Here

    Limited-time Swiss Skin Whitening Bundle ($78) – This limited-edition face-and-body dynamic duo harnesses the power of all-natural Swiss Alpine Actives to stimulate whitening in skin. Shop Here

    Urban D-tox Tea Mask (50ml) - Avoid harsh chemical treatment and soothe your stresses away with this potent detox gel. Green tea neutralizes toxins and deep cleanses skin for optimal renewal. Apply and leave for 40 min maximum. Shop Here

    UltraVital Youth Capsules – The strongest antioxidant supplement in the market - manage your skin health from the inside out with these potent vitamins to combat fatigue, stress, and premature aging. Shop Here

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