Here comes the sun, Vancouver: the time to learn more about Spring pigmentation prevention and precautions is upon us!

Spring traditionally brings a multitude of challenges to the skin, not the least of which is increased UV exposure and the risk of both triggering new hyperpigmentation and the return of previously treated pigmentation. Here at Facial Expressions, skin hyperpigmentation is a common discussion in the studio, with a spring-time emphasis on prevention because of this very reason.

Today, we’ll be detailing Spring hyperpigmentation prevention and precautions… and what you need to know to set yourself up for a bright, even skin tone all year long.

What is Hyperpigmentation?

Rather than a condition, hyperpigmentation refers to skin that appears darker than the surrounding skin in either patches, large areas, or even across the whole body. Hyperpigmentation can be caused by numerous external and internal factors and takes three main forms:

  • Melasma: Triggered by hormonal changes (especially during pregnancy), melasma is a form of hyperpigmentation that occurs most commonly on the stomach and facial regions. 
  • Post-inflammatory pigmentation: The result of an injury or previous inflammation, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is frequently caused by acne on the face, chest, stomach, or back.
  • Sun spots: The focus of today’s blog, sun spots are the #1 most common type of hyperpigmentation and are related to excess UV ray exposure. They can appear on any part of the body that is frequently exposed to the sun.

Does Sun-Related Hyperpigmentation Only Occur in the Spring and Summer?

No. While being located here in rainy Vancouver does limit our sun exposure, hyperpigmentation-inducing UV rays can penetrate clouds and glass, meaning that you are at risk of developing sun spots year-round. 

Because of this, we’re outlining our three favourite sun-smart tips to act as your Spring hyperpigmentation prevention and precautions:

Step Up Your Sun Protection

Applying SPF daily in the AM should be made a routine: Spring weather is unpredictable here in Vancouver, British Columbia, so even a quick run to the grocer can unexpectedly leave our skin exposed to direct sunlight. Regardless of if you’re working in the office, staying in your home, or are out and about, daily SPF application is a non-negotiable for managing and preventing hyperpigmentation.

If your skin is particularly fair or sensitive, limiting exposure to the sun within the first few days of Spring can help curb hyperpigmentation, sunburn, and sun rashes. Allowing the skin to slowly become accustomed to sun exposure in small doses (alongside continual SPF application!) can reduce your skin’s long-term risk of sun-triggered irritation. 

Pro tip: If you’re on-the-go, keeping a brush-on dry sunscreen on hand (like the jane iredale Powder-Me SPF 30 Dry Sunscreen With Brush) makes it easy to top-up your pre-existing SPF application whether you’re on your lunch break, grocery run, or commute. That means having no excuse to get your neck, ears, clavicle, and backs of your hands, all of which are vulnerable to sun spots!

Apply Antioxidant Serums Beneath Your Moisturizer and Sunscreen

Antioxidants help to neutralize the oxidative stress caused by UV rays which, in turn, prevents it from contributing to hyperpigmentation and accelerated photo-aging.

As defenders of our skin cells, antioxidants sacrifice their own electrons in order to neutralize free radicals before the oxidative stress triggers long-term damage to surrounding skin cells. 

Pro tip: Vitamin A, in particular, is one of the best antioxidants to both prevent and manage hyperpigmentation and can be found as the star ingredient of Environ’s Vitamin A Step-Up System™: its AVST Moisturizers 1-5, all available on the online FX store.

Use Fragrance Cautiously

Unbeknownst to many clients who visit Facial Expressions, many colognes, perfumes, and even overly-fragranced skin care products often contain photo-reactive chemicals that have been linked to berloque dermatitis, a mottled discolouration most commonly seen on the cheeks, neck, and clavicle (read: the places where fragrances are most often applied to!)

Pro tip: When in doubt, reach out to a professional. Facial Expressions ensures that all lifestyle, genetic, and external factors are accounted for when evaluating your existing skin conditions and how to best treat them. 

Last But Not Least, One of the Most Important Tips When Discussing Spring Hyperpigmentation Prevention and Precautions: Scale Back on the Exfoliation

When it comes to dry, discoloured, or uneven skin texture, one of the first instincts may be to “exfoliate it away”. While mainstream beauty articles and influencers often perpetuate the idea of increasing exfoliation in the springtime due to the “increased sweat and oil production” that accompanies the season, the build-up and clogged-pores that they reference can be circumvented by following the advice below.

Instead of overdoing exfoliation at home, which can actually leave your skin more vulnerable to UV damage and irritation in the long-run, check in with your skin care professional regularly to determine what frequency is appropriate for your skin. They will also provide other tips to ensure that your routine is being adjusted to the seasons so you continue to see consistent long-term results (without having to turn to unreliable influencers and “beauty gurus”!)

Have Any Further Questions About Springtime Hyperpigmentation?

Contact us today for professional guidance on how to prevent or manage your hyperpigmentation.

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