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The Ultimate Guide to Pigmentation and Its Causes

The ultimate guide to pigmentation The Ultimate Guide to Pigmentation and Its Causes - 1

The Ultimate Guide to Pigmentation and Its Causes

Pigmentation is a common skin concern, especially for women as they age. There are several factors that cause it, and identifying the cause is essential to ensure effective treatment. To help, we’ve put together a guide to pigmentation concerns, from what they are and how they can occur, to how this concern can be prevented and treated with our innovative range of technologies and treatments at Ocean Cosmetics.

What Is Pigmentation?

Pigmentation, or hyperpigmentation, causes darker areas of skin. The colour of your skin comes from melanin, and when melanin production increases pigmentation concerns can appear in patches of varying size or cover the entire body. This can be due to a range of reasons, including medications, hormonal changes during pregnancy (resulting in melasma), excessive sun exposure, post-inflammatory pigmentation caused by injuries or acne, or as the result of a medical condition.

What Causes Pigmentation?

The leading causes of pigmentation are genetics, sun exposure, and some medications. The colour of your skin is influenced by 125 genes, and both genes and hormones affect the production of melanin. This means that some people have a higher chance of experiencing pigmentation purely because of the makeup of their skin.

Sun exposure is another big contributor. Sun-induced pigmentation occurs because the body produces more melanin to protect the skin from the sun. This may be seen as the skin tans; however, it can also cause uneven skin tone and pigmentation concerns as a result.

Some medications can also be responsible. Examples include oral contraceptives, antipsychotics, and antimalarials.

How Can You Prevent Pigmentation?

You might not be able to change your genes, but you can take steps to help prevent pigmentation. Taking good care of your skin also can also support the prevention of other problems, from dry skin to blemishes or premature ageing caused by sun damage.

Sun protection

Sun protection is one of the main ways you can prevent pigmentation. Using SPF products can help to avoid photo damaged skin, as well as covering up, and staying out of the sun as much as possible. Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 on all exposed skin to provide adequate protection, and aim to use a higher SPF rating when there’s a higher UV index. This prevents pigmentation concerns, alongside sunburn and skin cancer.

Covering up can also help in the form of clothing with special UV protection, or long and flowing clothing that allows you to keep cool whilst staying protected. Avoiding the sun when it’s at its strongest during the day is also an important measure to take.

Managing medications

If medications are the cause of your pigmentation concerns, it’s possible there are other options to explore, and this is something you can discuss with your doctor.

If you’re unsure of the cause and this concern is becoming more noticeable, it’s also a good idea to book an appointment. A dermatologist can diagnose the cause of pigmentation by looking at your medical history and carrying out a physical exam, and sometimes a skin biopsy can be helpful. Undergoing these tests will allow your doctor to identify the cause and find the best solution to address it so you can restore a more even skin tone.

Treating Pigmentation at Ocean Cosmetics

Pigmentation can be treated in several ways. As mentioned above, changing medications may help, however if this isn’t the cause there are other options to reduce its appearance. At Ocean Cosmetics we offer a range of treatments and Vitamin C skincare products that can target this concern, achieve a refreshed complexion, and boost your confidence.

BBL Photo Rejuvenation

This treatment uses light energy to heat the skin’s upper layers, which is absorbed by delicate, broken vessels that cause redness and brown spots or pigmented lesions caused by increased melanin production. This stimulates the cell regeneration process for visible results from the first treatment. It’s ideal to treat pigmentation concerns, fading scars, freckles, and sunspots, with optimal results seen in 2-3 weeks.

Revlite Q Switch

This laser treatment is suitable for all skin types, including dark and tanned skin. Revlite Q Switch’s selective energy only targets collagen fibres or pigment, passing through the outermost layers of the skin to target pigmentation concerns and tighten the tissue. This boosts collagen and elastin production, fades scars, freckles, and sunspots for a more even skin tone, and repairs sun-damaged skin. Additional benefits include smoother and refined skin, reduced fine lines and pore size, and hydration. For optimal results, we recommend a series of treatments.


MOXI corrects sun damage and uneven pigmentation using non-ablative fractionated laser energy. This gently resurfaces the skin, creating micro injuries that stimulate cell regeneration and renewal. This results in a brighter, refreshed complexion with little to no downtime.

Fraxel Laser

This treatment can address pigmentation concerns caused by sun damage, as well as rosacea and inflammation. The Fraxel is rolled over the skin, creating minute channels to stimulate collagen production and improve overall tone, texture, and luminosity. Results are visible within a few days, with optimal results seen over the next 2-3 months as collagen regenerates.


Tixel addresses a range of common skin concerns, including uneven pigmentation, using thermo-mechanical technology. The machine is stamped across the treatment area, creating micro channels that stimulate collagen production without puncturing the skin. Alongside treating this concern, Tixel can reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, tighten the skin, and enhance overall texture.

Cosmelan Depigmentation Peel

This treatment has been clinically proven to eliminate pigmentation concerns with an intensive corrective effect on skin discoloration and regulation of excess melanin production. It employs a two phase approach, beginning with an in-clinic treatment that deactivates a critical enzyme in the production of melanin that causes dark spots. Following this, patients apply Cosmelan products at home that use a proprietary blend of bleaching agents and botanical ingredients to eliminate excess pigment deposits and maintain results to achieve a more even skin tone. This treatment is suitable for all skin types.

Vitamin C Products

Vitamin C is another popular way to treat and fade pigmentation concerns. It inhibits melanin synthesis and is rich in antioxidants to effectively neutralise free radicals that cause sun damage. It can come in several forms, including ingestible tablets, topical creams and serums, and concentrate.

Alongside treating this concern, Vitamin C delivers additional benefits including boosting collagen production, reducing redness, brightening the skin, and providing hydration. If you’d like help finding the right Vitamin C product to fit your skincare routine, simply visit us in the clinic to browse our product range and receive guidance from our knowledgeable team.

Getting Started

Ready to refresh your complexion and achieve a more even skin tone? The first step is a personalised consult with our doctor-led and patient focused team so we can understand your unique concerns and identify the best treatment to target them. Book your consult here today to get started.

Gabby Mannella