You've spent the most of the year being diligent with your facial treatments and self care to work for hyper pigmentation, but then summer arrives. Summer fun might distract us from our routine, but there are still some things we can and should do to help prevent new or worsening spots, blotchiness and sun damage.
Sun and heat increase the risk of hyperpigmentation, but so do certain types of exfoliation and hair removal. Even things you ingest like medications or alcohol interact poorly with heat and sun.
There are simple things you can do both day and night to continue your work on your skin until you can begin your regular professional treatments again.
There are some facial treatments for hyperpigmented conditions (like spots, acne scars, uneven tone) that can be done safely during the summer, and they revolve around building up skin strength, calming inflammation, boosting antioxidants, brightening overall tone, targeting dark spots, and disarming the triggers of hyperpigmentation.
DO use SPF: While spf is a basic that everyone knows by now, most people use it incorrectly. Here's an easy way to remember - use spf each morning, and reapply after swimming, sweating and every 2 hours no matter if the sun is “out” or not. SPF wears off so it must be reapplied.
Another common misunderstanding is that higher spf numbers mean you can stay out longer without reapplying. This is simply not true. There is no number, no matter how high or what the bottle says, that is waterproof and lasts all day. In terms of spf numbers, look for a minimum of 25, and remember that numbers over 35 generally mean there are chemical agents in the sun screen. If you prefer natural sunscreens, look for zinc and titanium dioxide only.
DO use Mask Treatments: Nourishing facial masks counteract sun damage and replace lost moisture, which will strengthen the barrier. Ingredients like bearberry, licorice and Vitamin C brighten skin, provide antioxidant protection against harmful free radicals and calm inflammation.
DON’T spend time in the sun after peels, waxing/hair removal: These procedures remove dead skin layers (yes, including all types of hair removal except tweezing) meaning they are exfoliants. Freshly exfoliated skin is more prone to hyperpigmentation. For getting from place to place after such services or home procedures, be sure to use an spf, preferably a mineral one so that the skin also stays cooler. Minerals have a cooling, calming effect on the skin and will not clog pores.
DON’T use retinols, acids, lighteners: These are sun sensitizers and can cause burns, inflammation or post-inflammatory hyper pigmentation (discoloration that doesn’t show up immediately but appears in the days and weeks after sun exposure).
DO avoid sun after taking allergy/cold medicines, antibiotics, or drinking alcohol: These increase the risk of hyperpigmentation. Consuming alcoholic drinks while in the sun is a recipe for darkening of the upper lip or corners, and is very difficult to correct.
Summer Facial Treatments for Hyperpigmentation
Summer is not the time to do a series of strong peels or laser therapy because there may be heating of the skin, inflammation, dryness or other barrier disruption. Skin can be more sun sensitive and prone to hyperpigmentation.
Here’s a rundown of the best summertime hyper pigmentation treatments. Since the Illuminate and Revitalize Facials are customized, the treatments below can be included at no extra charge.
Oxygen Mist - Calms and cools skin to reduce inflammatory responses while plumping fine lines and detoxifying pores from the buildup of sweat and makeup. Medical researchers found that it can encourage cell renewal, fade acne scars and sun damage.
Vitamin C Infusion - Terrific treatment because Vitamin C provides antioxidants to fight aging and pigmenting free radicals from such conditions as acne or sun damage; brightens tone and works to fade spots and scars. Certain forms of Vitamin C can go deeper to repair cellular damage. I can infuse Vitamin C using either the Korean AquaPeeling Machine or the RevitaPen. Both are summer safe, as well as easy on sensitive skins.
Choose Revitalize if you want treatment to be extended to your décolleté or if you need extended extractions.