Treating pigmentation: nutrition & skincare
Pigmentation is ultimately dermal and epidermal discolouration due to high melanin production. Melanin gives the complexion a naturally lighter or darker colouring depending on hereditary factors but its presence also depends on photo-induced melanogenesis.
The differences in tones and pigmented spots are generated by faulty regulation of melanin secretion and uneven melanin distribution. This natural phenomenon which is progressive over time is, in over 60% of cases, due to UV exposure. Other causes of dermal pigmentation or hyperpigmentation are genetic predisposition, hormonal imbalance, pregnancy and endocrine (thyroid) or hepatic (liver) dysfunctions. Moreover, several factors can influence the general appearance of skin and complexion: lifestyle, skin type, smoking, etc.
At the same time, melanocytes become fewer and fewer thereby aggravating the locally-abnormal accumulation of melanin. With age, proteasome activity – the body’s natural system for smart recycling and for repairing the damaging effects of oxidative stress – slows down. Lipofuscin, the yellow-brown pigment of oxidised proteins and lipids that ends up in the cells, manifests this deficiency, marking the skin with time-related scars commonly known as “age spots”.
When the pigmentation process malfunctions, the colour is no longer uniform and unsightly brown spots appear where there is an accumulation of melanin and lipofuscin.
Nutritional tips against pigmentation
Kamilla Schaffner, our partner nutritionist, talks about nutritional ways of avoiding pigmentation.
Reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation through nutritional strategy requires a highly-personalised approach where a fundamental cause of elevated melanin production can be identified through a careful medical and nutritional analysis.
Most frequently the quickest way to target causes of hyperpigmentation in women is to address hormonal imbalance and most importantly liver function. Both are critically dependant on one another and require a very intricate nutritional support.
Hormonal imbalance is almost always regulated through low Glycaemic Index diet where the focus is to maintain a steady release of glucose versus flooding the system with excess sugar, that in turn can have damaging effects of hormonal profile. Low GI carbohydrates include sweet potatoes, oats, quinoa, amaranth, brown or black rice, spelt, buckwheat and teff. Generally keeping low carbohydrate profile as well as dramatically reducing commercially produced sweet goods most always have a positive effect of hormonal balancing, and in turn on melanin production.
The next crucial step in hyperpigmentation nutritional strategy is to maintain very high levels of hepatic (liver) health: liver has a unique ability to process and methylate excess hormones and toxins in the system. One of the reasons pigmentation spots are called liver spots is because of liver’s inability to detoxify the whole system, including dermal and epidermal tissues from a build-up of lipofuscin which is a bi-product of wastes from free radical damage in the skin cells. Lipofuscin accumulation is a sign that the cells are full of accumulated wastes that slowly destroy the cell’s structure. In other words, they are visible signs of free radical intoxication of the body. ‘Clean’ and toxin-free liver will always mean brighter clearer skin, purer blood and lower secondary hormones circulation, excess oestrogen in particular. Poor diet which leads to poor liver function, particularly excessive alcohol consumption and oxidised fats (oils that are rancid) most always cause development of free radicals that contribute to formation of lipofuscin. Liver loving foods have one crucial nutrient in common: Sulphur. High Sulphur foods to include for liver and ultimately skin health are eggs, onions, garlic, all brassicas (white and purple cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, rocket, pak choi, napa cabbage, savoy cabbage, kale), beans and fish. Dramatic reduction of alcohol and coffee consumption also has a beneficial effect on reducing lipofuscin formation.
Specific skin care products
Biologique Recherche has a range of products for pigmented and dull Skin Instants®: PIGM400.
Lotion P50 PIGM400 is a multifunctional lotion that provides a chemical exfoliation, regulates excess of sebum, purifies, moisturises and maintains the pH of the skin. This formulation has added brightening active ingredients and antioxidants to unify the complexion, purify and hydrate it at the same time but also lighten the skin, reduce the size of pigmentation marks and prevent them from appearing. It was specifically formulated for dull, pigmented Skin Instants®.
Thanks to a concentrate of 6 lightening and protective active ingredients, Sérum PIGM400 brightens the complexion as well as prevents and reduces the appearance of existing brown spots. Last but not least, as a protective treatment, its photo-protective and anti-free radical agents slow skin ageing. Its formula, boosted with lightening agents twice as concentrated as those in Crème PIGM 400, provides a super effective response to inhibited melanin synthesis.
Crème PIGM400 is a brightening, unifying and spot-correcting cream that supports the action of the Sérum PIGM400. It prevents the appearance of further pigmentary spots, reduces the intensity of existing brown spots, and brightens the complexion and renders it more uniform. This Biologique Recherche brightening treatment acts on the melanogenesis process at all levels, from pigment creation to their surface migration, and it also stimulates lipofuscin breakdown. To be used in combination with Crème PIGM 400.
Émulsion Mains PIGM400 is a multipolar cream that is rich in active ingredients, preventing and limiting the appearance of pigmented spots while creating a protective barrier on the skin against external aggressions. It reduces the pigmentation of brown spots in a targeted way, prevents photo-induced ageing and evens out skin colour. Along with considerably reducing Insensible Water Loss, it participates in driving the skin’s natural lipid-replenishment system. Émulsion Mains PIGM 400 is thus a complete treatment that will leave the epidermis of your hands lightened, even and protected.
Start a consultation with us to find out what products are suitable for your Skin Instant®.