Sun is shining, weather is sweet… After a long winter of having our rugrats cooped up indoors, there is nothing we welcome more than the glorious sunshine and warmer temperatures . But here’s what’s not so sweet: the brown hyperpigmentation spots that rear their ugly head come sunnier days.
As moms we’re always super diligent about making sure to cover every square inch of our babes in sunscreen to protect their precious and perfect skin. Unfortunately we don’t always exercise the same care when it comes to slathering SPF on ourselves (and lord knows we baked in the sun during our careless youth). So combine some sunshine with our sun sins of the past and throw in some post baby hormones (hello pregnancy mask?) and you have a recipe for hyperpigmentation.
So what is pigmentation anyway and how the eff do I get rid of it?
Hyperpigmentation is brown patches or spots on the face, hands, décolleté, and really anywhere on the body. They happen when UV light hits the skin and causes it to produce melanin – this is how we tan. Unfortunately, over time the melanocytes that produce melanin get damaged and produce too much melanin resulting in the darker brown spots.
When hormones come into play, things get worse, which is why many women get pregnancy mask (brown pigmentation on the forehead cheeks or upper lip) and these areas tend to flare up in the sun even after you’ve had the baby.
Luckily we’re not doomed with looking like we’re sporting Movember-worthy ‘staches from May-September as long as we practice safe sunning and use products that treat and prevent the smattering of brown spots.
To treat and fight hyperpigmentation you need what I like to call the holy trinity of pigmentation defence:
- a good retinol cream
- a healthy dose of Vitamin C to the skin
- and a serious SPF.
Retinol is the magic ingredient that stimulates collagen production and fades brown spots on skin like nothing else. It also smooths fine lines and wrinkles giving your skin a youthful glow. This is the first line of defense against pigmentation. My favourite is Overnight Retinol Repair by Dermalogica because it lets you ease into using a retinol and doesn’t cause peeling or redness like a lot of retinol creams tend to do.
Next just like we need vitamins for our insides, we need a good Vitamin C product for the skin. Vitamin C provides potent antioxidant protection, shielding skin from damaging free radicals—those pesky rogue molecules that promote premature aging and brown spots. It also acts as amazing brightener for the skin. I really the C Infusion Serum by Dermaquest because it has a nice light consistency and it smells like freshly squeezed O.J. thanks to the orange stem cells it’s packed with.
Finally the most important thing is SPF. For one, to prevent old sun damage from resurfacing and secondly to prevent further damage. But not just any old SPF is gonna work. You need to find one that offers physical versus chemical protection so that rays are deflected off skin and you’re better protected. The best one I’ve used is by Coola; it’s organic and it’s mineral based, using zinc and titanium dioxide to shield your skin. Just think of it as a superhero shielding you against the evil UV rays.
Happy safe sunning mamas!!!!
(All products mentioned in this post are available for purchase at Ritual Toronto!)
FEATURED IMAGE by TIM SWALLOW