Updated: Apr 25, 2019
by Duncan Pape
When dealing with hyper-pigmentation, my approach is from the inside out. Therefore, starting with a home care range 30 days before treatment will create better results than working from outside in. Let me explain why:
Hyper-pigmentation is a long term relationship, there is no quick fix. Make sure you're working with the right products and Skin Architect as you are looking at 6 months to a year of regular visits; possibly weekly.
Let me give you little crash course on hyper-pigmentation aka Excess pigmentation which causes darker-than-usual skin.
Melanocytes are pigment producing cells located in the epidermis, which create melanin, the colour of your skin. When a large amount of melanin is produced, the skin will darken as a defence mechanism to offer effective protection against against many chemical and physical toxins. This is known as hyper-pigmentation. Human pigment cells produce two types of melanin: Eumelanin (black and brown) and Phaeomelanin (Red). I hope that gives you a better understanding of basic hyper-pigmentation.
We have few layers of skin; the Epidermis ( which has 5 layers ) and Dermis ( it has 2 layers). It is important that your Skin Architect works with all those layers at the same time to achieve effective results in treating your hyper-pigmentation.
As mentioned, the melanin we see is produced in the 5th layer of the Epidermis. Therefore we need to get right “down there” and fix the production process happening in the lower levels, before even working on the visible hyper-pigmentation. The first stop in my plan of action is to understand a client’s lifestyle. This will determine what kind of in-salon and home care treatments we need to proceed with.
I look for two things before examining a person’s skin; (1) hydration levels and (2) inflammation. If this is not under control from the start, it will affect results achieved.
Once hydration & inflammation is under control, you will need to start with a skin regime that will target the Melanocyte to bring it back to normal function to stop over producing melanin. There are loads of these products on the market.
Bio-Therapeutic has a two-way approach to target hyper-pigmentation. I have listed below our bt-ceuticals and the ingredients they contain which will be necessary to treat hyper-pigmentation in salon and at home. Add LED light therapy to achieve even better results for your clients.
Accelerate Brightening®: Five of the ingredients that stand out to me are:
Niacinamide, Vitamin B3 that smooths the appearance of enlarged pores & uneven skin tone
Ergothioneine a powerful anti-oxidant, developed specifically to protect the mitochondria and also has lightening effects.
Ascorbyl glucoside a time-released version of vitamin-C that has lightening capabilities and therefore anti-hyper-pigmentation properties
Lichochalcone LR-15 ( licorice root) anti-irritant
Whitonyl (palmaria palmata) Lightening, brightening and tyrosinase inhibitor, aids in reducing the appearance of photo-induced pigmentation.
Platinum Brightening Cream®:
Alpha-Arbutin (this is a biggie for me, I love this ingredient!) it blocks epidermal melanin biosynthesis by inhibiting enzymatic oxidation of Tyrosine and Dopa. Function: Promotes lightening and an even skin tone on all skin types, minimizes liver spots, can reduce the degree of ski tanning after UV exposure.
Vitamins E and C
Sodium hyaluronate, a humectant to reduce trans-epidermal water loss and improve barrier function
Lactic & Ascorbic Acids which are hydrating and brightening.
Ascorbyl glucoside a time released vitamin C for lightening and brightening
Aloe for soothing and hydrating
Niacinamide, barrier improvements and stimulation.
bt-infusion® brightening masque: sheet mask infused with hydrators, lightning & brightening.
Liquorice root extract reduces flaking and restores suppleness, and acts as an anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory.
Elastin nourishes and moisturizes
Oat Peptide protects, anti-inflammatory.
LED lights green 540 nm: Triggering a photo-biochemical cellular response, regulates melanin production, reduces pigmentation, reduces redness, detoxifies skin by reducing irritation and sensitivity.
Prep your skin 30 days before starting invasive treatments such as peels, laser, micro needling etc. For new healthy skin to be created, hyper-pigmented cells in the epidermis layers have to be removed, thereby focusing on the pigment producing Melanocyte.
Questions for your Skin Architect and Tips to monitor progress. Equip yourself with these questions to ensure you're getting the right service from a qualified Skin Architect. (Use Google if you have to as knowledge is power)
Which ingredients in the in-salon and home care regime will work on my melanocytes.
What approach will you take to fix my hyper-pigmentation; Peels, LED, Laser or any other?
How often would I need to be treated, weekly, bi-monthly or monthly?
What package deal can you create for me for a 6 or 12 month treatment programme?
Ask your Skin Architect for Before and During photos to track your skin's progress.
Ask for hydration levels to be measured with every service. Moisture is a strong indicator that your skin is improving.