5 Common Pigmentation Myths… Busted

Heard from a friend that facial scrubs could help with that stubborn pigmentation spot? While your friend probably means well, that old wives’ tale can actually end up harming – instead of helping – your skin.

To clear up the confusion surrounding pigmentation, we debunk 5 common myths that we’ve heard over the years:

Myth 1: Using a facial scrub or exfoliant can remove my stubborn pigmentation.
Exfoliating can seem like an intuitive way to get rid of unwanted blemishes on your face, but you’ll realise the flaw in that logic once you know more about how pigmentation is caused.

Pigmentation is caused by melanocytes or pigment-producing skin cells – this gives our skin its colour. Melanocytes are generally triggered to produce more melanin (i.e. giving rise to darker spots on our skin such as melasma, freckles, or age spots) by excessive exposure to UV rays or hormonal changes in our bodies. Given that they are cells located deep within our skin, they can’t be removed simply by exfoliating the top layers of our skin!

In fact, over-vigorous exfoliation can end up disrupting the protective layer of our skin, making our skin more sensitive. Instead, consult a doctor for a mode of treatment suitable for your skin condition, be it prescription lightening creams or laser treatments.

Myth 2: If I avoid the sun at all costs, I will be pigmentation-free!
Oh how we wish that were true… but unfortunately pigmentation can also be caused by aging, irritation from cosmetics, or hormonal changes from pregnancy or birth control pills.

Nevertheless, it’s still important to avoid unnecessary UV exposure. Make sure you apply a good broad spectrum sunscreen that’s at least SPF 30 and protects against UVA/UVB rays.

Myth 3: If I’m indoors, I won’t be directly under the sun, so I won’t get pigmentation and I won’t have to apply sunscreen.
That’s definitely not true! UV rays can still penetrate through windows, causing your skin to develop wrinkles and pigmentation over time.

This holds especially true if you’re catching a flight: UV rays are way more intense when you’re thousands of feet above ground, since you’re much closer to the sun. Whether or not you’ve got the coveted window seat, don’t forget to bring along sunscreen during your next getaway!

Myth 4: Once it’s gone, it won’t come back.
This is a myth we wished were true. Unfortunately, given the fact that UV exposure, the aging process, and hormonal changes are all dynamic processes, pigmentation will keep developing.

What current pigmentation treatments, such as chemical peels, lightening creams, or laser treatments, can do is to reduce the appearance of existing pigmentation, preventing it from getting darker and delay any re-emergence of previous pigmentation.

Myth 5: Hydroquinone, a popular depigmentation agent, will peel off my skin.
As mentioned in our 10 Skincare Ingredients You Should Know blog post, hydroquinone is a compound commonly used to lighten dark patches of skin, such as melasma, freckles, or age spots. It does so by disrupting the pigmentation formation process and increasing the breakdown of melanin pigment granules in the skin’s pigment cells, thereby causing your skin to appear fairer.

Therefore, rest assured! Hydroquinone doesn’t peel off your skin in order to reveal lighter-looking skin. Hydroquinone should also be prescribed by doctors as it is a controlled drug, and in controlled amounts according to your skin condition, ensuring that the concentration level is just right for you.

For more information on our pigmentation treatments, call us at +65 6738 4700, email us at enquire@lsaestheticclinic.com, or visit us at Wisma Atria Office Tower, #10-04, along Orchard Road.

We provide honest advice, quality care, and affordable prices.