This month we explore uneven skin tones … the causes and treatments.

Q. What is hyperpigmentation?

A. Hyperpigmentation is the result of an overproduction of melanin. Melanin is what gives skin and hair its colour, and among other benefits, helps protect skin against damaging UV light and absorbs heat from the sun. However, an overproduction of melanin leads to a mottled, uneven skin tone. Overproduction of melanin is stimulated by excessive sun exposure, hormones and scarring.

Q. Why is sun protection important as an effective treatment of hyperpigmentation?

A. When a hyperpigmented area is exposed to UV light, more melanin production is triggered on a cellular level, causing further darkening. Ironically, melanin production and further darkening of skin is your skin trying to protect itself from UV light. But this can cause the strictest of brightening regimens to fail to produce results. So that’s why daily application of a minimum of SPF30 will help shield your skin from UV light and control melanin production on a cellular level.

Q. I’m treating my hyperpigmentation, but it’s not going away. Why?

A. It’s important to recognise that there is no quick-fix to hyperpigmentation. However, combining your at-home regimen with professional treatments can expedite the process. Speak with your professional skin therapist about pairing your at-home regimen with a series of professional skin brightening treatments, such as a course of skin renewal peels or microdermabrasion, which can help you see results in as little as 30 days.