Pigmentation can be hard to avoid – but that doesn’t mean they cannot be prevented, especially if you’re on a budget.
The best way to afford pigmentation treatment and skip the microneedling is to prevent the need for such treatment in the first place. This means taking the necessary precautions and showing your skin some love, such as going for pigmentation-specific facials.
In this article, we’ll share how to manage and prevent pigmentation on a budget.
Sun protection & limiting sun exposure
Protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful rays doesn’t necessarily require expensive products or treatments. One effective way to limit sun exposure is to seek shade during peak hours when the sun’s rays are the strongest, typically between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Wearing protective clothing like wide-brimmed hats, long-sleeved shirts, and long trousers can also shield you from direct sunlight. You can also consider using tightly-woven fabrics that offer better protection.
Sunscreen is also non-negotiable, even on cloudy days. Ideally, you’ll want something with a high SPF and hydrates as much as it protects.
Skincare ingredients that protect
If you’re on a budget and looking to protect your skin against pigmentation, there are several active ingredients you can look out for:
- Niacinamide: A form of vitamin B3 and known for its skin-lightening properties and can help reduce dark spots. You can find it in various over-the-counter serums and creams.
- Zinc oxide: Commonly found in sunscreens, provides broad-spectrum protection against UV rays, preventing new pigmentation from forming.
- Azelaic acid: Treats a variety of skin issues, including pigmentation.
- Licorice root extract: A natural option for skin lightening and is often included in affordable skincare products designed to treat hyperpigmentation.
Avoid picking and squeezing
When you squeeze or pick your pimples, your skin responds by producing melanin as part of its natural healing process.
Overproduction of melanin can lead to dark spots or patches, and can result in a condition called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The risk is especially higher in individuals with darker skin tones or those prone to scarring. The act of picking or squeezing can also introduce bacteria into the skin, leading to potential infections. This infected area is likely to take longer to heal and may exacerbate pigmentation issues further.
Squeezing pimples or other blemishes can also push the bacteria and pus deeper into the skin, increasing inflammation and the likelihood of scarring. Even if you manage to extract the blemish successfully, you’re still at risk of damaging surrounding tissue, leading to more prolonged healing and a greater chance of hyperpigmentation. Avoiding this vicious cycle is easy: keep your hands away from your face, and be sure you seek treatment from a qualified professional .
Avoid excessive exfoliation
Excessive exfoliation strips the skin of natural oils and weakens its protective barrier, making it more susceptible to environmental damage from elements like ultraviolet rays. As a result, the skin becomes more prone to sun damage, which is a leading cause of hyperpigmentation.
Over-exfoliation can also trigger an inflammatory response in the skin. This inflammation can stimulate the melanocytes, and may lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. For individuals who are already prone to pigmentation, this risk is heightened.
For some people, exfoliating agents like alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) can make the skin more photosensitive, thereby increasing the risk of pigmentation if adequate sun protection is not used. As with all things, moderation in exfoliation and proper aftercare, including the use of sunscreen, is crucial for preventing pigmentation issues.
Irritants like harsh soaps, alcohol-based products, and excessive use of strong active ingredients can cause inflammation and disrupt the skin’s natural barrier.
Such irritation can also exacerbate existing pigmentation problems, making it harder for them to fade over time. It’s advisable to opt for gentle, fragrance-free skincare products and to perform patch tests before incorporating new products into your routine. By taking such precautions, you can reduce the risk of irritating your skin and subsequently prevent pigmentation problems.
Managing inflammation is a pivotal step in preventing pigmentation problems, as inflamed skin can result in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. One of the first things you can do is identify and eliminate triggers. This could mean:
- Avoiding harsh skincare ingredients, allergens, or irritants that may cause your skin to react adversely
- Opting for gentle, hypoallergenic products that contain anti-inflammatory ingredients like chamomile, aloe vera, or calendula
- Incorporating active ingredients like niacinamide or zinc into your skincare routine
- Consuming a diet rich in anti-inflammatory foods like omega-3 fatty acids –found in fish and flaxseeds– to support overall skin health
- Staying hydrated
Melasma Peel Facial
Since hyperpigmentation problems come from a range of possible conditions, we designed our Melasma Peel Facial to address melasma, freckles, sun spots and post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Using a proprietary blend of medical grade AHAs and active ingredients, as well as natural aloe and cucumber extracts, this facial evens out your complexion and moisturises at the same time.
But a good facial is more than just ingredients and results. It’s also a restful moment in the midst of our often chaotic city life. The facial comes with a relaxing head massage, double cleansing, and a lymphatic drainage massage to help you come out feeling better than before.
Pigmentation removal treatment
With the right treatment, pigmentation can be a thing of the past. Our experienced, well-trained professionals will bring the joy of pigmentation-free skin to you through the Melasma Peel Facial.
At SkinLab, Singapore’s largest medical spa chain, our highly trained therapists endeavour to give you the best care and treatment, so you can walk out of the door looking and feeling your best.