YOUR IN­HER­I­TANCE

Good Housekeeping (UK) - - Good Looks -

Ex­pert brow shap­ing gives the il­lu­sion of an op­ti­cal lift

PIG­MEN­TA­TION AND AGE SPOTS

There’s a strong ge­netic link be­tween our skin type and how ac­tive our pig­ment-pro­duc­ing cells (melanocytes) are. If your mother has passed on Asian, His­panic or African genes, your darker skin will en­joy greater nat­u­ral UV pro­tec­tion, but it may also have more re­ac­tive melanocytes, which can pro­duce clumps of pig­ment vis­i­ble as dark patches (hy­per­pig­men­ta­tion). ‘This can be trig­gered by UV ex­po­sure or other forms of in­flam­ma­tion, in­clud­ing acne, rosacea and even anti-age­ing treat­ments that work by cre­at­ing an in­flam­ma­tory re­sponse, such as IPL and laser,’ says Dr Shah-de­sai.

If you’re very fair skinned like your mother, any pig­men­ta­tion is likely to be from UV dam­age, in the form of age spots called so­lar lentig­ines.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

AT HOME Never skip your SPF, even if you have darker skin. Use top­i­cal treat­ments like bright­en­ing vi­ta­min C serums (try The Or­di­nary Vi­ta­min C Sus­pen­sion 30%, £4.90) and skin-re­new­ing vi­ta­min A de­riv­a­tives, such as retinol, found in Mu­rad Retinol Youth Re­newal Night Cream, £65. PAY A PRO Treat­ments for pig­men­ta­tion in­clude IPL, laser and gly­colic peels, though be wary if you have dark skin. Dr Shah-de­sai of­fers Tixel, a non-sur­gi­cal treat­ment that tight­ens the skin around the eyes and cheeks while in­fus­ing it with skin-bright­en­ing ar­butin and ko­jic acids. Top­i­cally, she rec­om­mends IS Clin­i­cal White Light­en­ing Com­plex, £98, which in­hibits melanin, re­duces in­flam­ma­tion and pro­vides an­tiox­i­dant pro­tec­tion.

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