Pigmentation is my biggest beauty bugbear. But while those dark spots that pop up on your face, hands and décolletage may be stubborn, the good news is that they can be faded.
Not so long ago the only way to budge them was with lasers. While lasers are still a good option for some, they do have a few drawbacks. They're expensive, can cause downtime and are only really recommended for people with light skin.
The usual culprits that cause pigmentation are trauma to the skin, acne, sun damage and hormones - all of
which cause increased levels of melanin, the pigment in the skin that produces colour. The problem is that some pigmentation is deeper than others and the deeper the pigment, the harder it is to remove.
One of the best products I've ever used to remove pigmentation was a Murad product, which was recently taken off the market because of its high levels of hydroquinone - a skin-lightening agent often found in prescription-only products. Fortunately, the brand has replaced this star serum with an equally impressive cream.
Murad's Essential-C Daily Renewal Complex, $188, has a slightly gritty texture and is applied after toner and before moisturiser twice daily. It's ananti-aging product which makes your skin tingle a little, but delivers a powerful dose of vitamin C to protect, repair and fade pigmentation.
It's an absolute must-have for reformed sun worshippers like me.
Shiseido's White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting Serum+, $185, is designed to not only diminish
stubborn dark spots but prevent future pigmentation appearing.
Clinique's Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, $120, is a new treatment serum which also packs a potent punch of vitamin C to break down clusters of pigment.
Estee Lauder's Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator, $129, is an intensive oil-free serum containing
powerful antioxidants and anti-spot ingredients. I've yet to try Garnier's Dark Spot Corrector Daily Illuminating Moisturizer, $17.49, but the fact that it's the number one selling anti-ageing moisturiser in the US sure says a lot.
While really stubborn pigmentation will most probably require a combination of salon treatments
teamed with a hard-hitting spot-removing product, the reality is, unless you keep on top
of pigmentation, it will most likely return.
Arming yourself with a good product, wearing a UVA/UVB sunblock every day and avoiding unnecessary
sun exposure is your best plan.
SUNDAY LOVES: NAIL OIL
Dr Hauschka Neem Nail Oil Pen, $36
This handy pen makes light work of this somewhat fiddly job. The applicator tip dispenses just the right amount of oil and is handy enough to carry in your handbag for a quick beauty blitz on the run.
The Body Shop Almond Nail & Cuticle Oil, $19.50
This sweet almond oil treatment softens cuticles, strengthens weak and brittle nails and helps to whiten
nail tips. It also leaves hands delicately fragranced.
Revitanail Nourishing Oil, $16.90
Containing a blend of nourishing oils, herbal extracts and multi-vitamins, this oil conditions and softens cuticles. It also helps to repair damaged cuticles, which in turn creates healthy, strong nails.
REPORT: NOT SORRY
Are you a habitual over-apologiser? The folk over at Pantene have twigged to the female empowerment marketing buzz and created a video campaign to help women stop saying sorry all the time.
They’ve put their money where their mouth is by establishing a global ‘Shine Strong’ fund, which will provide women from all walks of life grants and access to influential leaders.
“Pantene is committed to helping women across the globe be strong and shine both inside and out,” explains Colleen Jay, president of P&G Global Retail Hair Care & Colour, adding that the release of its new Not Sorry video is one way the company is planning to promote the message. Not Sorry illustrates how we all minimise our strength with “the subtle, yet powerful behaviour of unnecessarily saying ‘sorry’, when there is no reason to apologise”.
Says Jay: “The message of the Not Sorry video will resonate with women, encouraging them to be more aware of this diminishing behaviour and, in turn, prevent any bias they may be unconsciously creating.”
After viewing the video and seeing how all that apologising appears, I know that I, for one, am ready to make a change. Constant apologising is diminishing, and if there’s one thing women don’t need it’s to diminish themselves. Here’s to using that five-letter word only when absolutely necessary.
- Sunday Star Times