New: A treatment designed for rosacea-prone skin

New: A treatment designed for rosacea-prone skin

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Accentuation des taches brunes avec un autobronzant ?

Do Self-Tanners Intensify Brown Spots?

Do you have brown spots and think you can cover them with self-tanner to even out your complexion? Is this a good idea or a bad one? In this article you will find an answer.

Pigmentation Spots: A Matter of Melanin

Hyperpigmentation, also called hyperchromia or hypermelanosis, refers to uneven-appearing pigmentation of the skin in the form of darkened spots. This phenomenon affects certain areas more than others, such as the face, décolleté, neck, arms or hands, parts of the body that are regularly exposed to the sun. The dark spots are caused by an excess of pigments in the skin layer, melanin being the most common responsible.

Melanin hyperpigmentation can be extensive or localized and can take on different forms: Sun spots, melasma or hyperpigmented marks after inflammation. Melanosis can develop due to various reasons: Heredity, excessive unprotected sun exposure, hormonal changes, medication use, skin aging, inflammation, etc. Usually, their formation is due to a protective mechanism that the skin develops against UV rays: melanogenesis. More precisely, these dark spots can be caused either by a defective melanocyte proliferation or by an excessive production of melanin pigments.

Self-Tanner: Can It Be Used To Hide Brown Spots?

If your skin is prone to brown spots on your face, the first thing you should do is avoid prolonged sunbathing, otherwise you will have to deal with a lot of brown spots later on. UV rays and the resulting free radicals are one of the main causes of pigmentation spots. Therefore, to get a tanned complexion without exposing yourself to the sun all year round, you are better off turning to self-tanning products. However, this can aggravate the problem of pigmentation. The self-tanner will intensify already existing tans and further increase the contrast between the spots and the skin.

Self-tanners contain active ingredients (dihydroxyacetone (DHA) and erythrulose) that react with proteins in the top layer of the epidermis, causing a chemical reaction that tans the surface and produces brown pigments (called melanoidins) that give the epidermis a tanned complexion. This coloration disappears when the stratum corneum is removed. The problem is therefore that these pigments also act on the pigment spots, increasing their coloration and thus contrast. In order not to aggravate this already visible pigment disorder and to achieve an even tan with self-tanning products, the appearance of the existing spots must be alleviated first and foremost.

How to mitigate pigment-related irregularities on the face?

Daily application of a unifying serum with depigmenting ingredients will help alleviate or prevent brown spots on your facial skin, such as during pregnancy or a medical treatment that is photosensitizing. These formulas slow down the increase of melanin and soften the appearance of spots. They will "reverse" the skin's pigment system so that the appearance of spots gradually disappears. The results will not be visible immediately: It takes 6 to 8 weeks for the effects to appear. This will depend on how long the spots have been present.

There are several strategies to limit or prevent the appearance and spread of pigment spots:

  1. Increase prevention: during the day, it is important to always use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 throughout the year. UVA and UVB rays, in fact, contribute to an increase in the activity of melanocytes;

  2. Promote exfoliation: it facilitates the removal of dead, melanin-pigmented cells from the skin surface to prevent spots from worsening and settling in the long term. This is one of the main modes of action of fruit acids (glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, tartaric acid), PHAs (gluconolactone...) and retinoids with exfoliating effect. In addition, they will also increase the skin absorption of molecules with depigmenting properties to act at the level of melanosomes;

  3. Limit oxidative stress: oxidation can also trigger pigmentation phenomena. Therefore, these free radicals induced by tobacco, UV rays, pollution, etc. should be combated with the help of anti-free radical substances, including vitamin C, ferulic acid, etc. ;

Inhibition of melanogenesis: there are several types of mechanisms to stop the pigment increase: either by blocking the melanin synthesis pathway by inhibiting the expression of tyrosinase through enzymatic competition, blocking its active sites, suppressing its synthesis or maturation (e.g. e.g. azelaic acid, alpha-arbutin, certain plant extracts such as Japanese mulberry extract, licorice root extract, retinoids. ..), or by blocking the transfer of melanosomes to keratinocytes (e.g. niacinamide...).


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