Pigmentation issues can affect the young and old, regardless of background. The good news? It’s treatable, sometimes with just a few facials, sometimes with a laser regimen—it just depends on how your skin reacts to treatment.
We reached out to esthetician Bella Schneider, who’s based in Palo Alto (sun damage, anyone?) for a few answers to basic questions about treating pigmentation, whether with over-the-counter products or with visits to the esthetician.
1. What are the biggest pigmentation issues you see in your clients? (sun, acne, age?)
Different age groups have different issues. For the over 50 generation, it is sun damage and wrinkles due to over exposure to the sun. The reality is that the SPF’s of the past were either not used at all or not used enough.
People back then didn’t have a clear understanding of sun management and about the value of proper SPF coverage. For example, a lot of my clients used to think that as long as there was SPF 15 in their makeup, that was enough! For the younger generation of today, this is much less of an issue, as long as they are well educated and exposed to the proper information.
2. What are the best over-the-counter products for pigmentation? Any specific brands?
One has to look for particular ingredients in over-the-counter products to help reduce pigmentation properly; retinol combined with effective nontoxic botanical brighteners, Vitamin C, AHAs, BHAs, glycolic, lactic, malic, mandelic, azelaic and phytic acids are the ultimate weapons for fighting uneven, hyper-pigmented and photo-damaged skin. The BSB Lumipele Brightening Facial Kit does wonders.
3. What ingredients should you look for? Or avoid?
Look for all of the above including SPF… and avoid the sun!
4. How do you treat pigmentation issues during a facial?
This depends on the extent of the hyperpigmentation as well as the ethnicity, age and skin type of the client. My staff and I educate our clients about the source of the problem, and we also prescribe a home routine post-treatment that will help the client in achieving their goals for the best results.
During a client’s visit, we prescribe a program of treatments that will employ a variety of modalities that are relevant to their skin issue.
For instance, we’ll start with a brightening facial, adding in a combination of AHAs, enzymes, lighteners, microdermabrasion with botanical brighteners and top it off with a hydrating mask. If all that does not get us the results we need, we than introduce the proper chemical or herbal peel followed by microneedling.
Then, if there is still some scarring and pigment to combat, we offer them the Clear and Brilliant laser and increase their home program with a higher level of retin-A, hydroquonine and kojic acid for the melanin. That will definitely get them super results!
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