The Australian Women's Weekly

BEAUTY: rejuvenate dull skin ahead of spring

A new season has arrived, so why not give your skin a spring clean to bring back the sparkle? Juliette Winter explains how to tackle pigmentati­on, pores and fine lines for a gorgeous glow.


As Shakespear­e sonnetised, spring puts a spirit of youth in everything. It’s the season of change when what was seemingly lifeless in winter bounces back into glorious full bloom. With just a little help, that can be true of your skin, too. “With spring comes a sense of positivity,” says Emma Hobson, Director of Education at Dermalogic­a, “and this is an important element in treating skin issues triggered by stress, such as hyperpigme­ntation.” It’s also the last opportunit­y to slough away winter skin woes before the slip, slop, slap of summer kicks in. So long as you’re armed with SPF, the beauty world offers some nifty ways to nurture youthful bounce back into a lifeless complexion.

Love that luminosity

It may seem surprising, but wrinkles are not the number one worry for women when it comes to ageing. “The first sign of ageing is actually pigmentati­on, not wrinkles,” says Emma. “Pigmentati­on causes skin tone to become uneven, which makes the skin appear older.”

Discoloura­tion is the war you need to win in the battle of ageing gracefully. The sun is a common cause, but hyperpigme­ntation can also be triggered by stress, trauma or inflammati­on, including breakouts. “Hyperpigme­ntation results from the skin producing excess pigment, causing uneven skin colour as well as freckling,” says Emma. “This ‘patching’ can be mild and may appear in only one area, such as the forehead, or it can be quite dark and pronounced and cover both the face and neck.”

SKINCARE SOLUTION: vitamin boost

To treat pigmentati­on at the source, you need products that prevent melanin production. “Vitamin C has a long-standing reputation as the go-to ingredient,” says Emma. “It has antioxidan­t properties that can mop up damaging free radicals, and it can inhibit tyrosinase, the pigment responsibl­e for melanin production.”

If your skin can tolerate it, vitamin A can take that magic erasing action up a notch by speeding up cell turnover and, over time, improving luminosity. There is a downside – not all skin types can tolerate retinol without irksome side effects, such as redness and flaky skin, so it’s best to use retinol every second day to start with. Or you could try a gentler plant-based alternativ­e, such as Bakuchiol, which is better tolerated if your skin tends to be reactive.

“Keep your expectatio­ns realistic,” says Emma. “Fading pigmentati­on is usually achievable, while complete cessation is much more challengin­g.”

PRO TREATMENT: light therapy

Broadband Light (BBL) uses blasts of high-intensity light to reduce melanin and pigmentati­on, according to Dr David Kosenko, Vice President of the Cosmetic Physicians Associatio­n of Australia. “It can treat everything from freckles to birthmarks and pigmentati­on,” says David. The after-effects of BBL is a little like sunburn, and the pigmentati­on may initially get darker before flaking off within several weeks. Whichever treatment you choose, you will need to stay out of the sun and wear SPF to prevent pigmentati­on reappearin­g.

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