Pigmentation explained: Everything you need to know

You may not have deep frown lines or crow’s feet, but if you feel like you’re ageing, chances are it’s thanks to uneven skin tone. Now, we’re not talking a sweet smattering of freckles, but bigger, uneven brown patches on not only the face but hands, décolletage and shoulder areas. It’s these ageing dark spots of bother that is known as pigmentation, caused by sun exposure and specifically the UVA rays which penetrate deep into your skin and cause ageing.

Skincare industry legend Dr Nick Lowe explains: “UVA stimulates your pigment cells called Melanocytes to manufacture the pigment called Melanin. This is responsible for your tan and also your unwanted dark patches”. These sun spots may take up to 10-20 years to develop, so if you notice some showing now it could have been caused when you were a child.


Dr Solish, the Cosmetic Dermatologist for Indeed Laboratories, explained that triggers of pigmentation in young women also include the contraceptive pill and pregnancy which alter hormone levels. This coupled with sun exposure can result in patchy dark spots, often on the upper lip and forehead.

Until recent years one of the only ways to really treat pigmentation was with lasers, which are a good option for some but come with many drawbacks. Dr Solish says: “Lasers are expensive, can cause a lot of down-time and the problem can come back. Plus you can only laser people with light skin.”

Another option is with prescription strength bleaching creams containing steroids but Dr Solish says these can be “irritant and toxic, and some contain mercury which is illegal”. NOT a pretty solution. In response, he helped develop Pepta-bright, a product which works deep within the skin’s cellular level.

BUY NOW Indeed Labs Pepta-Bright Even Tone Skin Enhancer, Boots, £29.99

The £29.99 creamy serum formula fights the ageing appearance of pigmentation by brightening the skin, stimulating cell turnover, diminishing dark spots and restoring radiance. In just a month we’ve seen impressive before and after results which get better with longer use.

Prevent future pigmentation and sun damage by wearing a UVA and UVB shielding sunscreen, feeding your face with antioxidants (primarily fruits and veggies) and avoiding prolonged periods of sun exposure. Adding a brightening product designed to tackle pigmentation to your skincare regime, making it the first product you use after cleansing and toning day and night, can help turn back time.

More pigmentation products that work:

Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector

BUY NOW Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, Amazon, £46.38

An award winning serum that promises “prescription level results” and many users agree.

Shiseido Anti Spot Serum

BUY NOW Shiseido Intensive Anti-Spot Serum, Feel Unique, £75

Works on the genetic source of dark spots and targets areas with laser precision. Having developed their first brightening product in 1971 this super skincare brand always trouble-shoots and succeeds.

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