26 Jun 2024

Hyperpigmentation and SPF Choices

UV radiation damages the skin and while it can happen all year long, it is particularly important to protect skin during the summer months.


Sunlight predominantly consists of UVA and UVB rays which both damage DNA in the skin cells and can lead to skin cancer.  They can accelerate the formation of cataracts, prematurely age the skin and cause photodamage. Signs include wrinkles, uneven skin texture, redness, pigmentation, and loss of skin elasticity.  Disorders of increased skin pigmentation, such as melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, are also common concerns.

UVA penetrates the skin more deeply than UVB and maintains the same level of strength throughout the year, penetrating windows and clouds.  This is also the radiation found in tanning beds.  UVA accounts for approximately 95% of the radiation reaching the earth and leads to premature ageing and skin cancer.

UVB damages the outermost layers of skin and overexposure causes a tan or sunburn.  The UVB intensity fluctuates with the time of day.  The sun’s rays are strongest in the late morning to mid-afternoon in the summer months.  UVB rays can be filtered and do not penetrate glass.

UV radiation is one of the main factors in the development of both basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas and often appear on the sun exposed areas of the skin.  UV radiation can also play a role in the development of melanoma.


Sunscreen should be worn every single day.  SPF indicates the amount of protection against the UVB rays only.  Look for an SPF that offers broad spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays with an SPF of 30 or higher.  Studies show that sunscreen containing iron oxide is significantly more effective in the treatment and prevention of relapses of melasma, for example, than standard sunscreens.  Reapply sunscreen every 2-3 hours while outdoors, and after swimming or sport.

My favourite sunscreens include:

MZ SKIN Expert UV Protector SPF 50

Ultraviolet skincare



Despite all efforts, photoaging can still creep up.  In office treatments can be done in conjunction with a strong skincare regimen to help reduce signs of photodamage.  Treatments include:

BBL – Broad Band Light is a customisable treatment using different wavelengths of light to target redness and pigmentation within skin.  It will also boost collagen and elastin production and helps to diminish fine lines and wrinkles.

MOXI – 1927 nm laser safe on all skin types to combat superficial pigmentation.

Fractional CO2 or Erbium laser to treat moderate to severe photoaging.

Treatments to Consider:

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As a leading Oculoplastic Surgeon with special interest in Facial Aesthetics, Dr. Maryam Zamani has garnered a global reputation - both in the US and UK - for her meticulous attention to detail and sought-after techniques for eyes and facial aesthetics.

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