How to Combat Pigmentation This Summer

Summer holidays mean sun, surf and sand for most Australians. However, summer fun can take a toll on our skin’s health and increase the appearance of pigmentation in an alarmingly short amount of time.

If you’re worried about pigmentation, read on and we’ll tell you how you can protect your skin this summer.

What is pigmentation?

Pigmentation is an umbrella term that refers broadly to coloration of the skin. There are a few different types, but most varieties that people look to address are due to sun exposure.

Sunlight triggers our bodies to produce more melanin, which leads to the process known as tanning. This is a defence mechanism to mitigate the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation. In simplest terms, UV radiation breaks chemical bonds, causing damage on a cellular level that can lead to skin cancer. It is also responsible for a range of blemishes from liver spots to uneven skin tone. Melanin works to absorb UV rays to prevent them from reaching and damaging our cell nuclei.

Lighter skin types naturally produce less protective melanin than darker skin types, making them more susceptible to the effects of sun damage. However, darker skin types still require sun protection and should also take steps to safeguard their skin.

The effects of sun exposure accumulate over time, which is why pigmentation becomes more pronounced and intense as we get older.

Hormonal changes, especially in women, can also contribute to the appearance of pigmentation. If you have recently started taking the pill or become pregnant, you may notice changes to your complexion.

What are the types of pigmentation?

Specific types of pigmentation include:

Hyperpigmentation: A darkening of the skin in spots or large patches. It is caused by an excess production of melanin, usually due to sun exposure, though it can also be triggered by hormonal changes or as part of the ageing process.

Hypopigmentation: A lightening of the skin due to a decrease in melanin production. It is related to conditions like vitiligo but can also appear as white spots on sun-damaged skin.

Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH): Pigmentation that develops after the skin has received a trauma or become inflamed, such as cuts, burns, or severe acne.

Melasma: A form of hyperpigmentation appearing as large, darkened patches. Melasma is associated with hormonal changes but can also be caused or exacerbated by sun exposure.

Sunspots: Darkened areas caused by sun exposure.

Freckles: Small spots of pigmentation caused by sun exposure.


How to prevent pigmentation

Prevention is the best cure when it comes to pigmentation. In the hot summer months when you’re spending more time outdoors, it is critical that you take steps to protect yourself and your skin.

  1. Wear sunscreen: Apply a broad-spectrum SPF 50+ sunscreen like Liberty Belle’s Superstar every morning. Be sure to take Superstar with you so you can reapply regularly.
  2. Sun-smart clothing: Cover up as much as possible when you’re out and about. Remember your sunglasses and sun hat and opt for breezy garments that cover your arms and legs. If your outfit does show some skin, be sure to apply sunscreen to exposed areas. This is especially important to remember when you’re at the beach.
  3. Stay in the shade: Try to stay out of direct sunlight as much as possible. Remember that UV rays are at their strongest between 10am and 4pm, so it is better to stay indoors or in the shade at this time.
  4. Stay hydrated: Keep cool and ensure you get plenty of liquids during those long, hot summer days. Proper hydration will help your skin stay healthy and resilient.

Active skincare for pigmentation

We recommend the following products for those who are looking to address the appearance of pigmentation with active skincare.

Superstar – for essential everyday sun protection

How it works: Superstar, our broad-spectrum SPF 50+ sunscreen, uses micronised zinc to form a physical barrier against incoming UV rays. Physical sunscreens are usually gentler and more effective than chemical sunscreens, which must be absorbed into the skin before they can work. Apply Superstar as the final step in your routine every morning and pop it in your bag so you can reapply throughout the day when needed. Remember that Superstar has been specially formulated to act as a base for make-up as well; simply dispense a pump and warm the product by rubbing between your fingertips. Once it turns clear, pat onto the face and apply your make-up as normal.

Bright Star – for targeted Vitamin C brightening of pigmented skin

How it works: Bright Star is our hero product for pigmented skin. It contains a stabilised, oil-soluble form of Vitamin C called Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate. This form of Vitamin C penetrates the skin more effectively that Ascorbic Acid and helps to suppress the effects of sun-damage and inflammation, support collagen formation and prevent excessive skin pigmentation. A powerful Brightening Complex works to improve skin radiance while additional antioxidants and nourishing butters provide moisturisation and protection. Bright Star can be used as a daily face cream or as a spot treatment.

Next Level – for Vitamin C antioxidant protection and brightening

How it works: Our AM-only Next Level serum contains a triple blend of stabilised Vitamin C for antioxidant protection and brightening effects to address uneven skin tone. It is water-based and oil-free, making it a lightweight antioxidant saviour for all skin types. Vitamin C has been shown to enhance the effectiveness of SPF. For the ultimate sun smart regimen, apply Next Level as one of the first steps after cleansing and finish your regimen with Superstar sunscreen.

Glam Squad – for hydration and overall health

How it works: Glam Squad is a Vitamin B and Hyaluronic Acid serum that provides essential hydration to the skin to improve overall health and appearance. On hot summer days, this hydration will help to stop your skin from drying out. Apply daily both AM and PM to keep your skin feeling dewy.

Quiet Achiever – for exfoliation and renewal

How it works: An AHA Botanical Complex and Soy Amino Acid Complex work to provide gentle exfoliation, accelerating the process of shedding dead skin cells and encouraging new, healthy cells to take their place. This process can lead to significant improvements in the complexion. Apply Quiet Achiever maximum once per day, alternating with Bright Star and a retinol serum like Dream Team.

Dream Team – for evening rejuvenation with retinol

How it works: Dream Team Regular 0.625 and Dream Team Advanced 1.25 contain potent encapsulated retinol, an ingredient that accelerates skin cell turnover, essentially forcing your skin cells to behave as if they were younger and healthier. This rejuvenating process can provide significant improvements to skin tone and texture and will help your skin recover from damage caused by sun exposure. Apply maximum once per evening, alternating with Quiet Achiever and/or Bright Star.

Superhero – for lightweight moisturisation and antioxidant protection

How it works: Superhero contains a range of hydrating actives and oil-soluble Vitamin C to promote skin health and radiance. It is particularly rich in antioxidants to keep your skin protected from damaging free radicals and environmental pollutants. Wear it AM and PM for essential lightweight moisturisation and protection on long, hot summer days.

Star Quality – for rich moisturisation and additional brightening

How it works: Star Quality is our advanced anti-ageing moisturiser that provides deep, rich hydration while also nourishing the skin with a blend of luxurious butters and oils. It targets the signs of ageing such as lines, wrinkles and uneven skin tone by supporting the skin’s natural renewal process. A Brightening Peptide helps to target pigmentation to support radiance. Wear twice daily or only at night.

Date Night – for an intense hydrating mask

How it works: Boost your skincare routine by apply our hydrating leave-on mask, Date Night. This luxurious product strengthens the skin barrier while providing gentle exfoliation and promoting skin cell turnover. Deep hydration soaks into the skin, giving pigmented skin a much-needed boost. This is especially important during summer, when hot weather can leave your skin looking and feeling dry. Whenever you need a boost, skip your moisturiser in the evening and seal your regimen with Date Night instead.

Miracle Tan – for a tanned look without the need for sun exposure

How it works: Keep your skin safe and protected from harmful UV rays by tanning with our Miracle Tan instead. Tested and approved by dermal clinicians, this product contains a host of beneficial actives to support skin health while providing a beautiful, even colour to the skin. This can help even out the appearance of pigmented skin and, more importantly, remove the temptation to tan in the sun or a tanning bed. Miracle Tan comes in two formulations: Normal to Dry and Normal to Oily to suit a range of skin types. Apply two pumps to dry skin after cleansing. For a lighter tan, leave for 2-4 hours. For a darker tan, leave on overnight.

For more tips on how to address pigmentation, feel free to get in touch with us. Note that more serious forms of pigmentation may require you to seek clinical treatments such as chemical peels or laser therapy. Our dermal clinicians will be happy to discuss these options with you. Simply visit here to book a consult.


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