Tips to reduce Pigmentation
Some call it pigmentation, melasma, chloasma, hyper-pigmentation, the mask of pregnancy, call it what you will.
When you have it – it sucks, it sucks big time!! Trust me, I know as I have struggled with pigmentation on my face for years and years and years.
In my early 20s I had great skin. Really great skin, not a spot on it, naturally tanned and glowing. Looking back at photos of my fresh face it was pretty darn amazing actually but of course, I didn’t think so did I! Jump ahead just a few years, when I hit my late 20s (27 to be exact) & I notice a dark brown area on my right cheek, just suddenly appear overnight. What the hell is this?!Yes, it was that sudden. One day clear skin, next day….what on earth are these dark spots appearing on my face? There was no creeping up with just a tiny freckle or speckle of darker brown here or there, it was just bam – this weird darkened patch of skin on my face, right smack bang on my cheek. It was about the size of a 5 cent piece initially. Why couldn’t it appear on my stomach, top of my thigh, somewhere I could cover it up…oh no, it had to appear right in the middle of my face – on my cheeks. Oh the joy – not!
Gradually over the years this pigmentation spread around from my right cheek, creeping up the sides of my face, then splattering all over my forehead, back down the other side of my face and onto the other cheek and then, it stopped spreading but it didn’t go away either. I never got pigmentation my chin and never on my neck.
From being someone who hardly ever worn any type of makeup, I didn’t have too, remember I had that flawless, glowing complexion…well, my skin now had me on a constant struggle of trying to cover these marks on my face with makeup, concealer, seeking out skin specialists who could help me and then getting sucked into paying outrageously priced cure-all products and the latest treatments that would reduce my pigmentation (let me add, none of them worked, none).
I saw numerous naturopaths, changed my diet. I saw dermatologists, got prescription creams – those creams by the way are a bad, BAD move, do not use them. I got microdermabrasion, peels, IPL, blah blah blah. All in the hope that it would clear-my-skin, nothing worked, nothing. I was desperate, it wasn’t easing up, it was getting worse and I was disliking my appearance more by the day.
Remember, I am a beauty therapist so I do have a very good understanding of the skin and how it works but this pigmentation thing, this was and is baffling to me and to many out there still. I wish I had a make-up free photo to share with you of what my pigmented skin looked like when it was at it’s worse but I cannot find one. That is most likely because I detested my photo being taken, I wore far too much makeup in the hope I would cover my uneven skin colour. It seriously gave me sooooo much distress and I was very, very self conscious of it.
Anyone who struggles with pigmentation can understand what I am saying. The comments I got over the years too. There were some doozies, here’s just a couple of examples.
- Do you realise you’ve got some dirt on your face?
- Are you ok, looks like you’ve been hit, is that a bruise?
- That’s a shame you have those marks on your face, you’d be so much prettier without them.
- Or the look that isn’t simply looking at you and chatting away but the associated stare that is trying to work out what is going with that skin of yours. Yep, I got that look A LOT.
Possible reasons the well meaning naturopaths / dermatologists / skin specialists gave me for why I may have this perplexing pigmentation on my face (& which was spreading more as the months/years went on too) was the following….
- It was hormonal – fair enough, I’ll take that on board. Those hormones can do crazy shit to a woman! lol yes, yes, but how do I fix it, how do I F-I-X it?
- It was genetic – yep, I’d agree with that, my Mum had pigmentation and both my sisters have dealt with their own pigmentation concerns in varying degrees. Ok, it’s genetic, thanks for the advice but that doesn’t help me. How do I fix it?
- It was from being on the contraceptive pill – yep, that may have had an effect. I was on the pill for close to a decade, from my early 20s to around 30 so no doubt almost ten years of that crap in my system may have some adverse reaction, such as pigmentation….maybe.
- It was from spending too much time in the sun unprotected – I grew up in tropical Far North Queensland. My parents never applied sunscreen to us, not once. We were brown babies and brown kids. I LOVED playing outside and spent all of my time outdoors. Swimming training in an outdoor pool everyday after school. Riding my bike, playing at the beach. I was constantly outside…without a drop of sunscreen on. My interest in skincare started at around 14 years old and I soon realised sunscreen was important to protect the skin. I have been a stickler for sunscreen since my late teens. Did those early childhood days of tropical sun exposure contribute to my pigmentation problems I am now dealing with as an adult…? If so, why don’t I have pigmentation problems elsewhere on my body. The rest of my skin was and still is clear, the pigmentation concerns have only ever been on my face.
- It’s due to my ancestry descent – I have Aboriginal/Torres Strait Islander background. Are we female indigenous Aussies more prone to pigmentation? It’s been said that those with darker skin tone are more likely to have pigmentation but I’ve seen plenty of caucasian skins with pigmentation concerns too.
- It was from being pregnant – news flash, I hadn’t had kids yet so no, sorry doctor, it is definitely not from being pregnant.
Fast forward to my late 30s and early 40s.
During my early to mid 30s it was at it’s worse. Very darkened areas on my face, spreading rapidly. Sometimes I thought, bloody hell, my entire face is going to be covered! Most days it consumed me. It was constantly on my mind (or on my face should I say!) there were the odd days when I tried to just accept it and love myself for who I was and how I looked. The hardest thing to come to grips with was how much my skin had so drastically changed and I didn’t have a good reason why…and it hadn’t just changed a little bit, it had changed a lot.
2017 and I’m now 43.
Ironically my pigmentation has reduced considerably since having my daughter. I got pregnant at 38 and had her at 39. During my pregnancy my pigmentation really didn’t change very much at all. It certainly didn’t get any worse. It was during my daughters first year that my skin started clearing slightly and each year since it’s become less and less obvious. Maybe having a baby was the answer to balancing those crazy hormones!
For what it’s worth here are the reasons I believe my pigmentation has eased up over the years.
- I’ve dealt with emotional stuff in my life – I didn’t realise it at the time but I was carrying a lot of underlying stress. There were a lot of unresolved issues that quite simply, needed to be resolved. I worked on myself. I forgave and this freed and cleared my mind, body and soul of negative stuff that has been weighing me down over the years. This has taken a lot of work, like a few years worth of self therapy and healing. It has been incredibly cleansing and I feel much more in tune and happier than I have even been and I am sure this shines through. I had to work stuff out, it was painful, it was confronting and it wasn’t easy but at the end of it all….it cleansed me on some many levels and I am sure my pigmentation was some level of crap trying to escape my body. Might sound all woo woo I know, but looking back it makes sense to me now.
- I only use natural and organic skincare products – probably an obvious statement coming from someone who has a natural skincare business hey! But seriously, natural and organic products on your skin is always the first choice. Adopt a regular skincare regime. Cleanse, tone, moisturise…..exfoliate 2-3 times a week, look after your skin, have a routine and love yourself and the skin you’re in. Natural and organic are the only way to go when it comes to skincare. I personally attribute a lot to the improvement of my pigmentation to using this facial oil. Yes, a blatant plug on my behalf but I created the Skin Brightening Facial Oil to be of help to those with concerns of ageing, fine lines and especially those with uneven skin tone and skin discolouration worries. I am very happy to say, since using it I have noticed a big improvement in the appearance of my skin.
- I discovered Yoga – I have my husband to thank for introducing me to Yoga. I always loved to stretch, had been stretching regularly since I was a teenager. But, Yoga, that was a whole other level of stretch! I love Yoga so much and while I feel I have only dipped the surface of this beautiful practice, what it has given me is a sense of peace, inner strength and love. It’s a beautiful thing and whenever I am practicing regularly I am at my best both emotionally, physically and spiritually. If you don’t already, get your Yogi on – it’ll change your life!
- I found an amazing Naturopath – I mentioned Naturopaths before, it took me a few experiences until I came across a great lady who I connected with, loved her methods and philosophy. I’ve been seeing her for almost 10 years now. Together we’ve uncovered many blockages and each session is so therapeutic and I move forward to a better space after each visit with her. When you find a therapist you resonate with, hang onto them. See them regularly and follow their guidance.
- I eat less Inflammatory Foods – A big one for me was that I eliminated dairy quite a few years ago and since doing that I have noticed a big improvement in my skin. No cheese, no milk, no ice-cream – it’s gone forever and I don’t miss it one bit. Zero animal milks or cheeses for me.
- I drink Lemon Juice in water every morning upon rising – I find this such an energising way to start the day. Helps get things moving and is incredibly cleansing. I love it and do it religiously.
- I use specific Oils/Essential Oils for pigmentation – I have been wanting to create a specific Facial Oil blend for those with pigmentation concerns for a long time. I’ve now done it. The Skin Brightening Facial Oil. You can read about it and if you like, purchase it here. I go into detail about the oils and essential oils and why I chose them for this blend. This facial oil has helped clear and balance my skin immensely I believe.
- Wear sunscreen – if you are out in the sun, wear sunscreen, end of story.
- Beauty Therapy – Do you have a skincare regime? Cleanse, tone, moisturise daily. Always get rid of makeup at the end of the day. Exfoliate 2-3 a week. Apply a mask every 2-3 weeks. Invest in natural and organic skincare. Introduce a serum or facial oil to nourish and rejuvenate your skin. Beauty therapy treatments such as Microdermabrasion are wonderful for all skin types. I find micro treatment really does help to keep the skin toned and fresh. While it won’t cure your pigmentation it will certainly balance your skin and help keep it healthy and at its best, so a microdermabrasion treatment – I most definitely recommend.
- I stopped focusing on it – this one is the hardest of all. It is very difficult to not think about it when it’s literally in-your-face every time you look in the mirror. You know what, the funny this is, not long after I made the decision to start to let go of worrying about it and to start accepting myself for who I was, what I looked like, pigmentation spots or not!…that is when my amazing husband walked into my life. I was always so self conscious and the thought of not wearing makeup around guys was not an option, ridiculous I know but I’d rather wear the makeup than get the comments I spoke about earlier on. My hubby, he was different. He didn’t care about the superficial stuff and I was in a space of healing and I think he saw the real me shining through…..nearly 10 years down the track we are happy as we have ever been. Pigmentation fragments and all! 🙂
As with most things in life the best results don’t happen from just making one change. It’s a combined effort, it’s consistency and it’s patience that will eventually stamp out the dreaded pigmentation. It would be foolish and down right wrong of me to say that there is some product, some treatment that will magically clear your skin. What I will recommend though is that you a adopt a regular, healthy, natural skincare regime, eat wholesome and nutritious food, get yourself a great naturopath & a positive mindset to boot….then you’ll be on track to a cleansed mind, body and soul, inside an out – and that my friend is a liberating and beautiful thing!
I have spent a long time perfecting this oil blend. I created it to help fight the pesky pigmentation and to help keep your skin clear. Each of the ingredients are included for their own unique reason. It’s not just a combination of oils that feel nice on the skin. They are there to clear, rejuvenate, balance, tone, hydrate, even and nourish the skin. The essential oils I’ve chosen for their powerful skin rejuvenating properties.
Our Facial Oil is a powerful blend and one that anyone with pigmentation should give a go. Of course, do not expect results overnight but with prolonged use I am confident you’ll see an improvement in your skins tone, texture and appearance.
Do you have pigmentation concerns? Or maybe you did you have pigmentation and got rid of it!? Whatever the case I’d love to hear from you. What worked for you, what didn’t. Share your thoughts, love to chat.
Until next time,
Michelle x x