Some of the most frequent questions we receive on social media or through our website have to do with pigmentation and dark spots. In honor of the renaming of our pigment product, now called Pigment Perfecting Serum, here are some answers to your most frequent questions.
Where does pigmentation come from?
Our skin’s pigmentation comes from melanin. We have special cells in our skin that are responsible for the production of melanin. When these cells are healthy and working, our pigmentation is even and bright. When these cells get damaged, or become unhealthy, our skin’s pigmentation starts to be uneven (hyperpigmentation = more pigmentation, hypopigmentation = less pigmentation).
What is the Fitzpatrick skin type system?
The Fitzpatrick skin type (also known as phototype) refers to the amount of melanin in one’s skin (hence to skin color). Here is a great link to more information on this, where we also found this very useful summary table:
What causes dark spots?
There are three main causes for an uneven pigmentation:
- The sun: UV rays cause what is typically referred as age spots (aka dark spots).
- Acne: post-acne hyperpigmentation refers to those small dark spots that mark the area where a pimple used to be. This is a form of scarring.
- Hormones: uneven pigmentation referred to as “pregnancy mask” (aka melasma) are caused by changes in various hormone levels.
Why do my dark spots keep “coming back”?
There are two answers to this. The first is that some dark spots, in particular if left untreated, get darker with UV exposure. It is thus possible that your dark spots get darker in the summer, and naturally lighter in the winter – hence the impression of “going away” and “coming back.” This is typical with hormonal brown (melasma), and wearing lots of sunscreen during the summer months is a great way to prevent this.
The second answer is that what you are seeing is not actually the same dark spot coming and going away – but rather you are seeing new dark spots make their way up to your epidermis. They are not “old” spots coming back, but “new” spots making their appearance.
Should I use the Pigment Perfecting Serum as a spot treatment?
No, you should apply the Pigment Perfecting Serum to your entire face. This is because there are brown spots in the process of forming that are not yet visible to the naked eye. The product will help delay and minimize these, even if you can’t yet see them. This is also why we recommend starting to use this product as early as possible, even before any dark spots are visible.
Is it safe to use the Pigment Perfecting Serum in the summer?
Yes absolutely! Unlike many pigmentation products, this serum contains no ingredient that is photo-sensitizing, meaning it is not “dangerous” to use in sunny weather. We highly recommend using this during the summer months, as indeed this is the exact time during which our dark spots tend to form and get darker!
Is it safe to use the Pigment Perfecting Serum during pregnancy?
Yes absolutely! This product is safe for nursing and pregnant women.