Uncovering pigmentation.

Firstly, what is pigmentation?

When we talk about skin pigmentation, in most cases, we are referring to a condition called melasma, which is the patchy over-production of melanin produced by the skin’s pigment cells. Melanin dictates our overall skin colour, those who are fair have less, those who are dark have more.

What causes pigmentation?

Pigmentation happens in the most part to women. The sun is a huge trigger, perfume can be too, most of us can blame our genetics and it tends to be triggered by hormones, and therefore affected by:

  • Pregnancy
  • Menopause
  • Oral contraceptive pill
  • Hormone Replacement Therapy

How can I prevent pigmentation?

Sun exposure can be both a trigger for the appearance of pigmentation and also responsible for the severity of it, so sunscreen will be the most important weapon in your skincare artillery.

Choose a sunscreen with a high skin protection factor (SPF) and a broad spectrum of protection against both UV-A and UV-B rays. Where possible you should try to limit your time outdoors when the sun is at its peak (in Australia, from 10am to 3pm). Weather Apps will tell you when UV is peaking.

Pigmentation may be visible on the surface of your skin, or hidden deeper in the layers, only to appear years later. Here pigmentation under the surface is being shown on the VISIA® Complexion Analysis System at the Script Skincare store in South Yarra.

Be wary of meds, treatments and some active skincare ingredients

Some medication, skin treatments and products increase pigmentation. If you are planning to undergo a treatment, our Script practitioners can discuss potential risks with you.

If taking a prescription medication and you normally spend time outdoors, ask your health care professional whether you should take precautions.

Be aware that certain non-prescription skin care products containing Alpha-Hydroxy Acids or vitamin A, make your skin vulnerable to damage from sunlight, so when using them, sunscreen every day is a must.

How to decrease or block pigmentation from occurring

What are the best skincare ingredients to look for in order to reduce or stop pigmentation?

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)





Niacinamide (B3)

Tranexamic acid

Vitamin A (Retinol)

Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)

Vitamin C

About the author

Our founder, dermatologist Assoc Professor Greg Goodman is Chief of Surgery at the Skin and Cancer Foundation (now Skin Health Institute) and Adjunct Associate Professor with Monash University. He is a go-to dermatology industry-insider for Vogue, Elle and Cleo — amongst others, and consults on pores, skin pigmentation, ageing and acne. Greg has over 30 years of experience both academically and professionally. He harnessed this knowledge and experience to create Script and take the confusion out of choosing skincare products. To learn more about Greg click here.

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