Hello clear skin

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Wrinkles are no longer seen as beauty’s number one enemy. The new markers of ageing skin are dullness, discolouration and age spots.

The good news is if you’ve been unlucky to suffer dark spots and pigmentation, fear not, help is at hand. Pigmentation covers a variety of skin concerns, including freckles, sunspots, malasma (dark skin discoloration), age spots and dull skin tone.

My pigmentation started appearing when I was pregnant and over the years it’s progressively got worse. For me it’s a byproduct of too much sun exposure when I was younger and now that early damage is starting to rear its ugly head. Over the years I’ve tried almost everything including IPL (Instense Pulse Light) to get rid of my pigmentation. The IPL evened out my skin tone but wasn’t particularly effective on single dark patches – I have a few prominent ones. The very best results I’ve had at getting rid of them are from Murad’s Age Spot & Pigment Lightening Gel. This doesn’t remove the dark spots completely but it does lighten them significantly. At the moment I am using my Murad product at night (just on my dark spots). The gel is a combination of skin lightening ingredients (hydroquinone) to break up and remove pigment and age spots, and glycolic acid to safely and effectively exfoliate the skin. It takes about six weeks of regular use before you really start to notice much difference but if you are diligent you will actually see some great results. It really does work.

Prevention really is the key when it comes to pigmentation. Even when you manage to fade your pigmentation you must always be super diligent when it comes to staying out of the sun and always wearing a good quality broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 every single day. As hard as I try to be sun smart there are times when I just can’t avoid a little sun exposure on my face. This means from time to time I’ll notice my spots getting darker again and I just hit them with one of my favourite products and they start to fade again.

The hardest hitting products usually contain a combination of antioxidants including idebenone and vitamin A.

To help keep your pigmentation and dark spots at bay, regular anti-ageing facials are a good idea too. I never seem to find time for facials but every time I have one I promise to myself that I won’t leave it so long next time. The facials you should be opting for use glycolic and lactic acids to gently exfoliate and lift away the dead skin cells that are making the skin appear pigmented.

Here are some of the products I’ve tried and tested and can recommend.

The newest player on the market is Garnier with its Dark Spot Corrector. The active ingredient in this product is a super-potent concentration of Vitamin C. Dark Spot Corrector is applied all over the face as a daily moisturiser and promises to fade existing spots while preventing the formation of new pigmentation. The great news about this new product is that it’s available from supermarkets and costs under $20. It’s not promising to be an overnight fix but the manufacturers say you will notice a reduction in the size of your dark spots after about 12 weeks. At this price it’s definitely worth a try.


Words by Leonie Barlow.