How I Got My Pigmentation Under Control With the Help of a Non-Invasive Machine
I’ve been into hard-core sun protection (think: a full face of white zinc-style SPF) and hats with brims so wide they could have their own post code since I was in my early teens. Pigmentation? Pff! No way was the sun getting through those layers of protection to mess up my skin.
Fast forward a few years to my early 20s and I’ve upgraded to a sunscreen that provides the full 50 without the white out effect (thank you beauty gods at SkinCeuticals for the Sheer Physical UV Defense Sunscreen SPF 50 ($43)) and thanks to my sun smart strategy my childhood freckles have pretty much faded. And then… I got hit with a hurricane of pigmentation. Wait, what? Um… What about all that zinc and staying out of the sun? No dice.
Read on to discover exactly what pigmentation is, and how I fixed it.
What Is Pigmentation?
According to dermatology oracle DermNet New Zealand, between the ages of 20 and 40 is the prime time to expect blotchy brownish facial hormonal pigmentation (technical term: melasma) to announce itself on your previously clear visage and which can be caused by anything from sun damage to pregnancy to hormone treatments (aka the contraceptive pill). The worst part? Melasma is really difficult to budge. In fact, some types of brightening treatments like laser can actually make it go darker.
Since the pigmentation arrived I’ve tried everything and talked to everyone—from GPs to dermatologists to expert facialists. I’ve used regular over the cosmetics counter brightening creams, brightening facials, an LED light mask, dermatologist prescribed fading creams, and chemist grade retinols. Some have worked to a degree, like the fading cream and retinol—but it always came back.
How I Treated It
Last year my regular facialist, who ably keeps the age crone at bay, bluntly told me my pigmentation was bad. Whatever I was doing at the time (fading cream) wasn't working. I needed something that went deeper. Enter the OxyGeneo® facial at Karapati Medispa. This next-gen facial is delivered by a machine (don’t worry there’s a human operator, the robots aren’t taking over just yet) called the geneO +, and it gets in much deeper than a facialist’s hands can. It has three settings (exfoliate, infuse, oxygenate) but because my main concern was pigmentation the aesthetician kept the machine on exfoliate so it could break down the pigmentation and slough of the dark, patchy skin. Results? Visibly less pigmentation. Machine 1: Pigmentation 0.
I’ve been going monthly since my initial visit and it’s the first time my pigmentation is actually under control. In terms of pain factor and down time, there’s zero ouch—it feels like a brush—but your skin may look red afterwards, which is coverable by a good foundation like MAC Mineralize Moisture Foundation SPF 15 ($52). It’s also recommend you double down on the SPF because the skin is more sensitive to the sun.
Opening image: Imaxtree