Where do pigment spots come from?
Dark spots are a sign of a skin pigmentation disorder. To understand the mechanism of their appearance, we must therefore be interested in the process of skin pigmentation.
Melanocytes, melanin, hyperpigmentation
Skin pigmentation is linked to the action of melanocytes, the epidermal cells that produce melanin, which is responsible for the coloring of the skin. There are two types of melanin: eumelanin (black or dark brown) and phaeomelanin (red), which are present in varying proportions in each person.
The spots are due to a dysfunction of the melanocytes which produce an excessive or insufficient quantity of melanin, causing clusters of pigments or on the contrary a depigmentation, as for example in the case of vitiligo, a skin condition which marks the disappearance of the melanocytes. Brown or white spots then appear on the skin. The parts of the body most affected by this problem are the face, décolleté and hands.
There are four main causes of dark spots on skin.
- Sun damage
The main factor involved is exposure to the sun. UV rays, in particular UVA rays, induce skin photoaging and disrupt the distribution of melanin which concentrates on localized areas. This phenomenon causes what are called solar lentigines or actinic lentigines, more commonly known as sunspots. The risk of pigment spots linked to the sun is more important when there is insufficient or no sun protection.
- Skin aging and free radicals
Another factor that promotes pigment spots is skin aging, caused by free radicals. We then speak of age spots or senile lentigines. Free radicals are produced by our bodies during the metabolism of oxygen. They destabilize cells and cause an oxidation reaction called “radical attack” or “oxidative stress”.
Free radicals are favored by many things: the sun, pollution, tobacco, anxiety and stress, an unbalanced diet. They cause an overload of the epidermal cells which results in premature aging, a degradation of collagen, imperfections as well as dark spots which dull the complexion. To counteract these negative effects, you can take antioxidant supplements throughout the year. For example Resveratrol or Astaxanthin, as well as Vitamin C
In many women, spots on the skin can also be linked to hormonal changes. Taking birth control pills, pregnancy and menopause are all factors that can cause dark spots to appear. Pregnant women are thus often confronted with melasma, a hyper melanosis better known under the term “pregnancy mask”. Spots then form on the cheekbones, forehead and top of the lips. This type of skin spot is particularly difficult to remove and can last for many years.
- Inflammation due to poor diet
Glycation is a kind of “spontaneous caramelization” of organic proteins. It is neither programmed nor intended by the body and occurs simply because of the presence of sugars and blood and cellular proteins.
Few people know about the phenomenon of glycation, which is nevertheless one of the fundamental mechanisms of aging and can have at least as important consequences on health. This phenomenon is natural and a healthy organism generally knows how to manage it, but it can become “out of control”, for example, if you consume too many sugars, too much grilled or charcoaled food or when we suffer from stress.
An insect bite, a burn or acne are all conditions that weaken the skin, leave scars, and make the epidermis more vulnerable to dark spots. Indeed, they induce an inflammatory process which will produce enzymes. These, together with UV rays, increase the risk of a brown spot.
In some cases, brown spots on the skin can be the consequence of the use of aggressive skincare products or frequent exfoliation which sensitizes and weakens the epidermis or of genetic factors which predispose to the development of skin spots.
What is the evolution of a pigment spot?
Dermatologists distinguish three stages in the development of a brown spot. The first is the emerging spot: the excess melanin rises to the surface of the epidermis and alters the uniformity of the skin texture without the stain being visible to the naked eye.
The second stage is the spot installed: the excess pigments spread to the upper layers of the skin and the spots become visible.
The third and final step represents the recurring spots. Even if melanin clumps are eliminated on the surface, the melanocytes remain disordered and the brown spot can reappear at any time, especially with exposure to the sun.
What can you do to prevent the appearance of dark spots on the skin?
The first thing to keep in mind is Patience. Dark spots are difficult to lighten, but it is possible.
The best way to limit the appearance of dark spots is to follow simple prevention principles every day. Skin care, sun protection and healthy lifestyle are the three elements to be favored.
Protect your skin from the sun.
To prevent the appearance of dark spots on your skin, sun protection is a must! If you want to avoid spots, use all year round, even in cloudy weather and in the city, a day cream with a high sun protection factor (at least SPF 30). We recommend using a ZINC OXIDE sunscreen, it is not irritating as other sunscreens.
At the same time, it is always best not to go out in the sun during the time of Zenith between 12 p.m. and 2 p.m.
Complete your sun protection by wearing a wide-brimmed hat or even an anti-UV hat to cover your face and protect it from pigment spots.
Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
A healthy lifestyle also plays a role in the quality of the skin and the prevention of skin spots. We recommend that you first eat a varied and balanced diet, limit the consumption of fatty and sugary foods and exercise regularly.
Stress has a significant impact on the skin because it promotes the development of free radicals that cause aging and dark spots. Several methods exist to learn to manage your stress daily. To find the one that will be the most suitable for you, consult our advice sheet: “How to manage your stress?” “.
Any anti-spot treatment aims to reduce the production of melanin and blur the contours, size, and color of pigment spots. To be effective, an anti-dark spot skincare routine must act on four distinct fronts:
- exfoliation, with fruit acids (BHA) or salicylic acid.
- inhibition of tyrosinase (enzyme controlling the production of melanin), with Resveratrol and Melanin Our Express anti dark spots is best https://www.morgannasalchemy.com/product/morgannas-express/
- anti-inflammatory action, with panthenol or vitamin B3 (niacinamide) https://www.morgannasalchemy.com/product/express-concentrated-brightening-serum/
- antioxidant action, with vitamins C and Peptides https://www.morgannasalchemy.com/product/illuminate-pea-peptides-serum/
Resveratrol derived from Grape seeds: This is a polyphenol that activates what are called sirtuins. These proteins are known to be so-called longevity proteins that allow cells to extend their lifespans. This molecule is very restorative. It is specifically found in the seed film. It is a polyphenol belonging to the class of stilbenes. It can be found in over 70 species of plants, such as blackberries, pomegranate, peanuts, lingonberries, rhubarb, cocoa, blueberries and walnuts. The molecule acts both as a prevention and as a treatment with a view to rejuvenating the skin. The question is therefore to know to what extent the various properties of this molecule contribute to the prevention, even to the cure of skin aging.