Hyperpigmentation is one of the most difficult issues to address as an esthetician. The four types of discoloration we regularly see are:
Freckles. This is the most common type of hyperpigmentation. They are an inherited trait, but darken further with exposure to the sun, as well.
Solar Lentigines. Better known as age or “liver” spots, these occur due to sun damage. The darkened patches usually form on the face, upper chest, hands, and other areas of the skin frequently exposed to the sun.
Melasma. Melasma, or chloasma, spots are larger areas of darkened skin that usually caused by hormonal changes. Pregnancy, for instance, can trigger the overproduction of melanin causing the ‘mask of pregnancy’. This condition can also be a side effect of regularly taking oral birth control.
Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Darkened and discolored area on the skin can appear where a skin injury or inflammation has healed. We see this happen as a result of acne, picking or incorrect use of chemical peels, micro needling or lasers.
Although each case requires a unique combination of in-spa and at-home treatments, lasting results are achieved through four basic processes (not necessarily in this order):
- Shut down or suppress melanin production
- Prevent the transfer of new melanin to melanocytes
- Remove existing dark spots
- Maintain progress already achieved
Essentially, every treatment plan should include: lightening and brightening treatments, regular exfoliation, and SPF protection.
Ultimately, part of being your client’s trusted skincare expert for the long term is being honest and up front. When developing a skincare plan with clients, it is important to listen to their concerns. Then voice any issues they may have overlooked and manage expectations by sharing your professional opinion on:
- what type of treatment will work best for their unique circumstances,
- how long it may take to lighten and balance their complexion,
- and the likelihood of maintaining some variance in color across the skin (freckles, for instance, may never completely disappear).
Let them know you’re with them on the journey to more radiant skin. And remember, NewMed Concepts is here for you.