Y’all, if you’re looking for esthetician-approved ways to lighten pigmentation and soothe inflammation, you’re in the right place.
We here at Clear Skin Solutions are drawing a line in the sand when it comes to our treatment approach. So often, we have lovely clients come in who want their pigmentation tackled immediately: they want the works, the IPL laser, the facials, the aggressive at-home skincare… but what they don’t realize is that, to solve their surface-level concerns long-term, we first need to tackle what the eye can’t see.
In today’s blog, we walk you through our steps for lightening pigmentation, how we recommend soothing inflammation at-home, and how to continue your progress once you’ve started seeing results.
Let’s jump right in.
The Best Approach to Lightening Pigmentation: Slow and Steady Wins the Race
Before jumping into any in-spa or at-home treatments, we first start with a round of blue light analysis to expose underlying skin damage that the naked eye can’t see. (And even if you’re a virtual client, our years of expertise ensure that we still have a pretty good idea of what’s showing up under your skin!)
This technology allows our team of skincare experts to see what we usually already suspect: inflammation, clogged pores, and, often, chronic dryness.
Meaning? That if we dove head-first into chemical peels, IPL or other targeted treatments, we would have further damaged the skin’s natural moisture barrier and inadvertently triggered more damage/inflammation rather than reversing it! Instead, we roll out our starter hydration protocol to repair and replenish the skin’s moisture barrier… which, in turn, fixes a whole host of pigmentation-related problems like discoloration or dryness before even having to resort to further treatment!
The Importance of Fixing Your Skin’s Moisture Barrier First
“Nyki,” you may be thinking, “I’m not worried about my skin’s moisture barrier; I’m worried about pigmentation. Why can’t I just focus on that?”
Because your pigmentation is a result of your skin barrier being out of whack, that’s why. We must first treat the cause before we can treat the effect.
Your skin’s barrier is made up of multiple layers, all of which are non-negotiable for healthy skin function.
The outermost layer of the barrier is the first and toughest line of defense. Made of thick skin cells that are bound by thick lipids, which are the building blocks for the structure and function of living cells, the outermost layer is where you will first see signs of compromise (like rough texture and/or irritation.)
Within the skin cells of this outermost layer is the second layer, where essential natural moisturizers, cholesterol, fatty acids, and ceramides are stored. These natural moisturizes shield your body from harmful environmental toxins and viruses while simultaneously keeping hydration levels in tip-top shape.
The list of both internal and external conditions that can negatively impact your skin’s barrier is long. Some include:
- Harsh skincare (which results in over-stripping the skin of its natural oils and, in turn, causing further pigmentation concerns)
- Steroid usage
- Excess dryness or humidity
- A diet high in insulin-spiking foods, which causes higher levels of inflammation in the skin
- Lifestyle choices like fragrance or wax-filled laundry soaps and fabric softeners, both of which are irritating and harmful to the skin’s natural barrier functionality
As for signs of a compromised skin barrier? Well, those can look like:
- Itching or tight irritated skin
- Makeup that doesn’t sit right, no matter how well (you think) you exfoliate
- Dehydration, which often comes in the form of fine lines and visible premature aging
- Acne (and PIE, the red “trauma spots” leftover even when the acne itself has been cleared)
- …And, of course, pigmentation
What is Pigmentation, Exactly?
Pigmentation (also referred to as “hyperpigmentation”) of the skin is a term used to describe darkened or discolored skin.
Pigmentation typically crops up in one of the following three forms:
- Small patches of darkened or discolored skin
- Large patches of darkened or discolored skin
- The entirety of the body being darkened or discolored
These discolorations can include red, brown, and/or blackish skin pigmentation.
Our expert Skin Therapists frequently see each of the three types of pigmentation, which are: melasma (mostly triggered by hormonal imbalances), sun spots (oftentimes triggered by sun exposure), and post-inflammatory erythema (usually triggered by acne or other skin-related trauma).
When you come to Clear Skin Solutions hoping to target pigmentation, what you need is a sit-down with us to review your current skincare and lifestyle choices for inflammation triggers, a blue light session to expose what skin barrier inflammation is triggering your pigmentation woes, and, of course, a customized plan of attack that includes both at-home and in-person treatments to whip your skin back into shape. We call this The Full Pan Facial Approach, since it targets your skin from all angles!
The Plan of Attack for Pigmentation
Now, what you tuned in for: esthetician-approved ways to lighten pigmentation.
Once we have treated the root cause of your pigmentation by calling and hydrating the skin with our Hydration Starter Kit, we’ll go to work clearing up the residual effects of it.
Treatment-wise, this often encompasses the treatments featured in our Pro-Aging Program: namely microdermabrasion or dermaplaning to resurface the skin; chemical or enzyme peels to nourish your skin cells and prompt collagen production; and microcurrent to diminish surface-level pigmentation and scarring (as well as smoothing fine lines to boot!)
For at-home use, one of our Skin Therapists will get you started on our coveted Brightening Skin Pads alongside your customized treatment protocol. These utilize highly stable vitamin C, lactic and mandelic acid, brightening niacinamide, and antioxidant resveratrol to brighten your complexion from the comfort of your own home.
As one of our beloved clients, Zac, said about our pigmentation-fighting process: “??I’ve been struggling with it since I was at least 12 or 13. Clear Skin Solutions was different because it’s not like you guys just took a look at my face and then prescribed me some random face wash or gel: it was an in-depth examination and cleaning followed by a step-by-step guide for the following weeks. It was way more in-depth than anything I’d done before.”
Say Goodbye to Pigmentation This Spring
Contact us today to get started on your journey to clearer, brighter skin for life.