As we head into the Winter months, it could be the perfect time to treat any dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Discolorations in the form of freckles, dark spots, or scars may be more visible post-Summer and the earlier you seek treatment, the better, as less intervention will be generally be required.
Here Dr Maryam Zamani shares her tried-and-tested strategies for how to get rid of dark spots, from the best at-home topical treatments to the most effective in-office lasers.
Wear sunscreen, daily
UVA exposure happens regardless of the weather and is responsible for premature ageing. UVB is what causes burning. Even on cloudy days, 80% of the dangerous rays penetrate through the clouds.
In addition, all skin should be protected from UV exposure. It is true that darker skin does not burn as easily as pale skin due to the higher levels of melanin, but dark skin might not be as protected as you think. The sun’s UV rays are still ageing, can exacerbate pigmentation issues and increase the risk for skin cancer. It’s still wise to opt for products with an SPF 30 for daily use and there is now a wide range on the market so you can choose something clear that doesn’t look thick when applied.
Using a daily moisturiser such as MZ Skin Hydrate & Nourish Age Defence Retinol SPF 30 Day Moisturiser will provide a one-step solution in protecting the skin. It combines encapsulated (non-irritant) Retinol and SPF 30 to simultaneously refine the complexion and protect the skin. Retinol boosts collagen production and smooths fine lines and wrinkles, while the addition of SPF 30 protects from UVA/B rays and free radical damage.
Ensure Retinol is in your regime
The sooner you start using a Retinol, the better. Anyone in their 20s could introduce it twice a week, 30s three times, 40s four and so on. In addition to increasing cell turnover to reduce minor discolorations, the derm-approved ingredient also helps to prevent future dark spots through a photoprotective antioxidant. MZ Skin Retinol Skin Booster also contains Malic Acid to provide extra exfoliation. Apply it at night, since it may induce heightened sun sensitivity. Not suitable during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Chemical Peels including Dermamelan™ can be used to treat wrinkles, skin pigmentation and scars on the face. Results have continued improvement with repeated treatments. Deeper chemical peels offer more dramatic results but also have a longer recovery time. To determine which peel is best, a thorough consultation is needed.
Have you considered laser?
There are many laser skin resurfacing technologies and we understand it is easy to get overwhelmed. At The Clinic in Chelsea, Dr. Zamani offers only the best, proven laser technologies including the Sciton BBL / HALO treatment.
BBL / HALO is a customizable combined treatment to help achieve radiant, clear, youthful skin on the face, neck and body.
BBL is BroadBand Light therapy that targets and treats sun damaged skin, hyperpigmentation and tiny blood vessels on the face, neck and decolletage.
The Halo Laser is an innovative fractional hybrid laser used to improve skin texture and tone, and to treat deeper hyperpigmentation and acne scarring.
The treatment starts with BBL to deliver pulses of photothermal energy which penetrates into the superficial dermal layer of the skin. This energy is absorbed by surface pigmentation and destroys this pigmentation and blood vessels. Simultaneously, BBL promotes collagen and elastin production within the dermis.
The Halo Laser further improves skin tone and texture by targeting the deeper subdermal layers of the skin. It uses both non ablative and ablative wavelengths to target areas for gorgeous, glowing results with minimal downtime and discomfort.
Maintain results with Vitamin C Serum
The fight against pigmentation just got a little easier with the recent launch of the MZ Skin Pigmentation Correcting Ampoules.
These offer an intensely brightening and restorative 7-day treatment regime. Scientifically formulated to be used morning and night to help improve pigmentation, discolouration and uneven skin tone.
The regime contains 14 serum-filled ampoules which feature vitamin C, Tranexamic acid, alpha arbutin and antioxidant vitamins to protect, brighten and plump the complexion.
After this 7 day regime an improvement of skin evenness complexion has been clinically recorded in 73% of users.
Protect with antioxidants
“Topical antioxidants protect skin against oxidative stress,” Dr Zamani says. In addition to vitamin C, topical antioxidants include vitamin E, niacinamide, ubiquinol and glutathione.
There are 3 different formulas for your skin across this 7-day regime. These are:
GLUTATHIONE BOOSTER for days 1, 3, 5 & 7- AM
Glutathione, a naturally occurring tripeptide that is made up of three amino acids; Cysteine, Glutamic acid and Glycine. It visibly reduces hyperpigmentation by inhibiting melanogenesis. It works by suppressing the activity of tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for melanin production.
The concoction also contains powerhouse antioxidants that fight against damaging free radicals to brighten and help reduce signs of ageing:
Halidrys Siliguosa Extract, a marine agent derived from Algae
Folic Acid, also known as vitamin B9
Superoxide Dimutase, a naturally occurring enzyme that works as an antioxidant
ALPHA ARBUTIN BOOSTER for days 2, 4 & 6 – AM
This booster is a gentle yet impressive blend of Alpha Arbutin, Vitamin C and Liquorice Extract which all work together to brighten and even the complexion while also soothing and calming the skin.
Alpha Arbutin is a gentle skin brightening agent that works by inhibiting tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for melanin production, to help improve, brighten and fade away dark spots.
Ascorbyl Glucoside, a stable form of Vitamin C, is a powerful antioxidant that gives skin a youthful glow by defending against free radicals, promoting cell turnover and stimulating collagen production.
Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Liquorice) Root Extract is a potent antioxidant with an excellent ability to fade away dark spots. It also has anti-inflammatory properties which inhibits inflammation triggers to calm and soothe the skin.
TRANEXAMIC ACID BOOSTER for days 1-7 – PM
Tranexamic acid provides a powerful and specific anti-inflammatory action to calm and help restore the skin barrier. It helps with hyperpigmentation, melasma and age spots by inhibiting tyrosinase and blocking the transfer of pigment from melanocytes to keratinocytes in the epidermis.