Pigmentation is an issue skincare therapists often encounter. The good news is that most pigmentation can be prevented, and there are ways to lessen an existing problem.

You get two kinds of pigmentation: hyperpigmentation (too much melanin) and hypopigmentation (too little melanin).

Hyperpigmentation is the most prevalent, visible as darker spots (or age spots). It generally occurs on mature skin, noticeably on the forehead, cheeks, back of hands and, in men specifically, the scalp and beard area.

The number one cause of hyperpigmentation is exposure to ultraviolet rays that damage the skin. This is why wearing sunscreen is vitally important. If your skin is unprotected, your body’s natural response is to produce more melanin in an attempt to block damage. This darkens small patches of skin.

Hormones, medication and any inflammation of the skin (such as acne, ingrown hairs (often caused by shaving) and dermatitis) are also factors that influence pigmentation.

Pigmentation treatment

The best way to understand pigmentation treatment is to understand the layers of the skin.

Melanocytes create melanin in the lowermost levels of the epidermis. These melanin cells occur naturally in every skin type, regardless of race, gender and age. The darker skin cells are released into the epidermis cells and move slowly up through the layers before being sloughed off by the skin’s natural exfoliation method, called desquamation.

Pigmentation treatments focus on inhibiting the hormones that cause the melanocytes to overproduce and prevent the transfer of melanocytes into the top layers of the skin. They also speed up cell turnover and renewal. As the dark cells move to the surface faster, the condition appears to worsen before it improves, as the closer to the skin surface the cells are, the more visible they become.

Pigmentation products usually have high levels of antioxidants to protect the skin, as most pigmentation is the body’s response to perceived damage.

The Hines & Harley way

At Hines and Harley, we use Theravine South Africa’s specialised melanovine range. Made specifically for our harsh climate, this range consists of seven different products that diminish dark spots, lighten and brighten the overall complexion, and protect the skin from further hyperpigmentation. As a bonus, they also minimise fine lines and wrinkles.

The melanovine range is very safe: it contains no harmful chemicals, alcohols, oils, parabens or sulphates.

There are many kinds of hyper and hypopigmentation. Your skin care therapist will determine which type you have, explain it to you and show you how to improve it. We treat each skin individually with a custom treatment.

For men, our favourite treatment is the mini facial add-on for shaves and beard shapes. We perform a deep exfoliation with brightening serum to reduce irritation and ingrowns on the beard area and lighten skin during the process. The skin’s general health and defence are also boosted.

Our favourite product to use at home is the Brightening C+ daily mattifier. This cream moisturises and protects as it has a sunscreen added in, but won’t leave you feeling greasy or looking shiny after applying it.

Ask your skin care therapist for a custom skin analysis, and lighten up with Theravine South Africa and Hines and Harley Men’s Grooming Lounge.

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