Suffering from marks, pigmentation or dull skin? Every bride should look her best on her wedding day. Read our dermatologist recommended tips for brighter and less pigmented skin.
How to treat dull and pigmented skin?
Take control of your own skin! Pigmentation can take months to resolve with proper treatment, so, the earlier you start the better. There are many options to help fade those dark marks. But, you need to know what will be safe and what can cause undue damage.
Read below for some treatment methods for your skin and how to avoid any possible side effects.
Sun block and sun avoidance
The number one cause of pigmentation is the sun. UV rays from the sun stimulate melanocytes, the pigment producing cells of the skin, to create melanin, or dark pigment.The sun in India is very strong, making it even more important to avoid the sun.
Choose the right sunscreen
Make sure you stay out of the sun as much as possible and cover exposed areas. Also wear sun block or sunscreen. As both UVA and UVB rays cause pigmentation problems, it is important to use a sunscreen that contains protection against both these types of sunrays. Look for SPF 30 for UVB protection and ++ for UVA protection to ensure you get the optimal effect from your sun block. Also, make sure you reapply your sunscreen every 3-4 hours as they start to lose effect over time.
Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs)
One of the most important actives against pigmentation that dermatologists use is alpha hydroxy acids. The important ones are lactic acid and glycolic acid, which are derived from milk and sugarcane respectively. These highly active natural agents are both effective and safe, especially when lactic acid and glycolic acid are combined with natural moisturizing factors.
For daily use: Use an alpha hydroxy acid based face wash to help brighten and prime your skin. Also, try and find a day lotion that has SPF 30++ and alpha hydroxy acids combined to help make your day easier. Finally, there are pigmentation masks available with 10% alpha hydroxy acids. Use this mask 1-2 times a week for 5-10 minutes for an extra brightening and lightening effect. This mask will also give your skin a quick glow if used a day or two before an event or a party!
Hydroquinone has been used throughout the world effectively for pigmentation. However, many side effects have been discovered about this active. This dangerous ingredient has now been banned in the European Union, with America likely to follow. This agent has a high risk of side effects including, irritation, redness, itching, and even darkening. This paradoxical increase in pigmentation is called ochronosis, where the skin develops a blue-black hue where the ingredient was applied. Hydroquinone based formulations can be effective; however it requires strict monitoring with a dermatologist guiding your care.
Alpha-Arbutin is a very active agent that has the same mechanism of action as hydroquinone, without the side effects. However, remember to note that Alpha-Arbutin is the effective form of arbutin, as beta-arbutin or plain arbutin has 1/100th the effectiveness. It is usually used as a spot treatment in combination with other ingredients such as bio-stabilized Vitamin C, Retinyl palmitate and alpha hydroxy acids for optimal effect.
Go to a dermatologist
To get your skin perfect, it is best if you go to a dermatologist as soon as possible. A dermatologist can prescribe the treatments and products you need to ensure you get the skin you want for your wedding.
Article by Dr. Kiran Lohia, www.cosmedic.in