Hyperpigmentation / Age Spots
There are 3 main types of Hyperpigmentation – Melasma, caused by hormonal changes, and mostly ocuring during pregnancy, Age Spots, caused by exposure to the sun, and aging, and Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation as a result of skin injury. This article will look at Age Spots – caused by exposure to the sun and aging, and how they develop as we age.
Age Spots are caused by the excess production of, or poor distribution of, melanin – the pigment that gives our hair, skin and eyes their natural colour. Age Spots appear as flat dark spots on certain parts of your body, most notably those exposed to the most sun – face, hands, arms and decolletage. Most are harmless, if a little unsightly, although if in doubt, or if they grow in size, please see your doctor to have them checked.
As we approach menopause and beyond, estrogen, which regulates melanin production in your body (ie keeps it under control) declines, and melanin synthesis increases, resulting in brown age spots appearing in areas that have been, and are, exposed to the sun. As we live in Australia, we are unfortunately especially pre-disposed to getting age spots.
Whilst we can’t do much about the decline in estrogen production (unless we resort to HRT), we can manage the appearance of these age spots, and minimise their appearance. The most important thing to do to prevent new age spots appearing and to stop existing ones getting larger is to wear sunscreen. I have mentioned some great, hard-working sunscreens in the menopausal skin post, and they can be found here. Additionally, some of the products below will leave your skin a little more sensitive to sunlight, so a sunscreen really is a must.
To treat age spots, there are some great specialised products available in Australia. I have listed quite a few below – so read through the post – it covers cleansers, spot protection and serums, moisturisers, peeling products, and hand and body products, finishing with another great sunscreen for everyday use.
PETER THOMAS ROTH Anti-Aging Cleansing Gel
Most cleansers are just that – they cleanse your skin and prepare it for the products to come afterwards, but this one is a real multi-tasker. With powerhouse ingredients like glycolic acid, and salicylic acid, and extracts of peach, lemon and lime, this cleanser actively works help to diminish age spots on your face, and, when used over time, this results in brighter, more clarified skin. An advanced cleansing and exfoliating action, helps diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and other signs of aging. The Cleansing Gel is suitable for all skin types except sensitive. 250ml RRP $55.00.
philosophy the microdelivery resurfacing peel
The award winning philosophy the microdelivery resurfacing peel is a revolutionary two-step in-home microdermabrasion peel that dramatically rejuvenates the appearance of sun-damaged, hyperpigmented and aging skin. Unlike peels in the past, which traditionally only exfoliated your skin, the microdelivery resurfacing peel delivers peptides and vitamin c to the skin as it is being rapidly exfoliated, so it resurfaces and replenishes skin at the same time, with absolutely no down time! It is so easy to use – simply mix a small amount of the vitamin c/peptide crystals and lactic/salicylic acid activation gel into a clean bowl, stir, and apply to skin. Afterwards, skin feels immediately smoother, and more radiant. We’ve tried this one at Beauty Over 40, and our skin was left super smooth and radiant after the first use! It is important to use a sunscreen for a week after using this product, as it may increase your skin’s sun sensitivity due to it containing alpha hydroxy acid (AHA). 56.7g Vitamin C/Peptide Crystals & 60ml lactic/salicylic acid RRP $99.00.
Avene D-Pigment Rich
Avène D-Pigment Rich helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots, helps prevent new ones appearing, and evens out skin tone. It has been formulated with 3 complementary ingredients – Melanyde, which helps to slow down the appearance of dark patches, Retinaldeyhyde, which works to renew the skin appearance for a fresher look and Pre-tocopheryl which has an antioxidant action to help reduce the effects of external stimulants that cause dark spots. Paraben and fragrance free, Avène D-Pigment Rich is hypoallergenic and non comedogenic. Avene D-Pigment can also be used after procedures to remove pigmentation, once skin is completely healed. The formula is for dry to very dry skin (also available in a light formula for normal/combination skin). Avene D-Pigment should be applied in the evening, and a sunscreen worn during the day. 30ml RRP $62.95.
Jurlique Purely White Skin Brightening Spot Treatment
From renowned plant-based skincare company Jurlique, comes the Purely White Skin Brightening Spot Treatment, designed to target specific areas of hyperpigmentation and age spots (as a bonus, it will also target acne scars and freckles). Containing VitaBrightXX, a natural skin-lightening complex based on Kakadu plum extract, and citrus unshiu peel, the formula delivers lightening ingredients onto the skin and helps to inhibit the future production of melanin pigment for a brighter, more even skin tone longer term. 15ml RRP $50.00.
June Jacobs Brightening Serum
June Jacobs Brightening Serum marries cutting edge science with nature. The multi-tasking serum contains a concentrated botanical extract with lemon peel, mulberry and licorice root to target hyperpigmentation, lactic acid to exfoliate and promote cell turnover, and a trade-marked brightening complex which works to combat skin discolouration and dark spots. Used over time, the result of this powerful formula – your skin is left clearer, more radiant and even-toned. Follow with a moisturiser and sunscreen for daytime. 30ml RRP $232.00.
The Body Shop Drops of Light Pure Healthy Brightening Serum
Whilst the name might be a bit of a mouthful, this fabulous serum, part of the “Drops of Light Pure” brightening range from The Body Shop, is anything but. The formula is lovely and lightweight, fast-absorbing, and best of all leaves a non-sticky feeling on your skin. Used under moisturiser, it delivers efficient brightening results to help reduce the appearance of dark spots while leaving your skin feeling supple and hydrated. After four weeks continued use, skin imperfections and dullness are reduced, pores are minimised and skin looks brighter and clearer. 15ml RRP $49.00.
Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Brightening Day Serum
Elizabeth Arden Skin Illuminating Brightening Day Serum is another concentrated yet lovely lightweight serum that helps skin appear smoother, clearer, and more even. With powerful key ingredients including Advanced MI Concentrate, a clinically proven blend of vitamin C and niacinamide which targets and helps minimise the appearance of existing dark spots, redness and uneven skin tone, and helps prevent new dark spots appearing. Diamond powder, optical diffusers and soft focus silicone work together to instantly brighten the look of skin and help even tone over time. Biomimetic peptide helps support the skin’s natural collagen and elastin, for a more youthful tone. 30ml RRP $100.00.
Estee Lauder Crescent White Full Cycle Brightening Rich Moisture Creme
This clever creme is designed to be used day and night, and works with your skins natural circadian rhythm to address existing dark spots and skin discolouration. The formula, containing naturally derived botanicals, works to help your skin become brighter and repair and prevent dark spots. The rich formula leaves your skin deeply hydrated and comforted. Day by day, with continued use, your skin looks brighter and clearer, as this rich creme helps prevent and visibly reduces the look of dark spots, discolourations and uneven skin tone. 50ml RRP $110.00.
Shiseido White Lucent MultiBright Night Cream
After years of research into skin’s nocturnal activity, Shiseido developed White Lucent MultiBright Night Cream, with MultiBright technology to help reduce the appearance of dark spots, skin dullness, acne scars and uneven skin tone. The intensive brightening ingredient 4MSK helps diminish the look of dark spots and prevent them forming, whilst SAKURAResist technology helps skin become resistant to dark spot appearance, with continued use. The formula is intensely hydrating, and your skin retains moisture throughout the night, to awaken, refreshed and radiant. 50ml RRP $140.00.
Natio Skin Brightening Face Balm
This is a fabulous all-round skin brightening product, which instantly restores radiance and brightens your skin. It is a super rich formula containing wonder ingredients green tea, which helps boost skin vitality and even out skin tone whilst counteracting free radicals, chamomile, which firms and softens skins texture, and lavender to add a radiant glow to your complexion. As well as an overall skin brightening moisturiser, Natio Skin Brightening Face Balm can be used as a flash balm, or a moisturising face mask. 50g RRP $17.95.
John Plunkett’s Superfade Cream
To fade age spots on your hands, arms, and body, this product is an absolute winner – it has been around for a long time, quite simply because it works. Formulated with 2% Hydroquinone, the formula helps to remove age spots, dark marks, freckles and hyperpigmentation from your hand and body area. Used daily, you should start to see results in 6-8 weeks, and future pigmentation is diminished. 60ml RRP $31.40.
NIVEA Sun Protect & Light Feel Daily Face Veil SPF 30
Nivea Sun Protect & Light Feel Daily Face Veil SPF 30 is a super lightweight cream/gel formula that is instantly absorbed into your skin. With UVA and UVB filters, the formula helps keep your skin protected from sunburn and premature skin aging on a daily basis. Because it is super light, it is suitable to be worn alone, or under makeup every day. Remember for maximum protection, re-apply frequently, especially after swimming or in humid weather. 50ml RRP $10.99.