Often called sun spots, sun damage, or hyper-pigmentation, dark brown spots are an all too common side effect of prolonged sun exposure. As we approach warmer weather, and the long days spent outside that represent our favorite season, we're often asked how we can heal skin that's enjoyed a few too many of the sun's warm rays. So today, we'e diving into what really causes pigmentation, and our favorite OM rituals for supporting sun damaged skin.
What Causes Pigmentation?
Did you know? Pigmentation is your skin's way of protecting itself from the sun!
When exposed to UV rays, the skin increases production of melanin, a dark brown pigment that occurs in hair, skin and the iris of eyes. Excess melanin is what gives skin that sun-tanned look we spent our teenage years lusting after. However, in some cases there's an uneven increase in pigment, resulting in irregular coloring that can leave behind dark brown spots.
How Can You Prevent Pigmentation?
The first step in an even, clear complexion is always prevention. If you're concerned about pigmentation, step up your sunscreen game with a daily application of a broad spectrum, SPF cream and reapply throughout the day. We also recommend reaching for sunglasses, wide brimmed hats, and protective clothing.
Also, don't forget that healthy, clear skin starts from within! Give your body the nutrients it needs to protect and heal including antioxidant rich fruit and vegetables and omega fatty acids.
The OM Ritual for Pigmentation
After prevention, the next step in a clear, even complexion involves encouraging the skin to heal and renew - meaning ingredients to brighten the skin and chemical exfoliants like alpha hydroxy acids are going to be key!
Naturally, the first product we love for pigmentation is our Superfruit AHA Brightening Masque. We isolate alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) from a blend of pomegranate, starfruit, passionfruit, kiwi, mangosteen, pineapple, lychee, Indian jujube, and guava extracts. These AHAs gently exfoliate, removing the outermost layer of skin cells, revealing the soft, bright skin hiding underneath! This weekly treatment helps even skin tone and texture, reducing the appearance of dark spots.
After exfoliating, we reach for products to soothe and heal, including our Pure + Calm Infusion Perfecting Elixir. We've infused this powerful, yet gentle serum with skullcap, a herbal extract that offers a healthy dose of antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and skin-brightening properties. This potent serum is also made with licorice root to soothe skin, and hyaluronic acid to hydrate - targeting multiple skin concerns at once!
For a healthy dose of Vitamin C (an essential for all skin types, but especially those looking to heal pigmentation!) we can’t recommend our Marula + Cactus Age Defying Oil enough. We've added Schisandra CO2 extract because it's chock full of antioxidants - especially important for pigmentation as it can inhibit the enzyme tyrosinase, preventing melanin production and thus preventing pigmentation in the first place.
We hope this guide answers your questions as we head into warmer, sunnier weather!