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Discoloration a.k.a Pigmentation

Human skin has red, yellow, brown and blue tone; the skin tones result from combination of complex bio-molecules such as melanin (brown pigment), beta-carotene (yellow to orange pigment), hemoglobin (red pigment) and the condition of the skin.

The most prominent of which is melanin, produced by melanocytes under the stratum basale. Some areas of the skin simply have less melanin than other areas. As the cells containing more melanin come in contact with prolonged period of sunlight, they become darker. Other areas with less melanin or that have less exposure to the sun, remain lighter. This gives the skin an appearance of an uneven skin tone, or even pigmentation.

1. Proper skin care routine

• To prevent skin discoloration, the obvious solution lies in protecting your skin from the sun and regular exfoliation in removing all dead skin cells.

1. Deep Cleansing Always remember to use a makeup remover to thoroughly remove all makeup.Use a face wash designed for oily skin and pat dry the skin gently without vigorous rubbing. Avoid over drying cleanser with SLS (sodium laurel sulfate).
2. Serum, Moisturizer & Masque Always looks for products that help whiten or lighten skin; inhibit tyrosinase and melanogenesis; and eliminate undesirable uneven blotches of dead skin cells. Active ingredients that you might take into consideration are Licorice extract, Bearberry, Idebenone, Vitamin C, Alpha arbutin, Kojic acid, multivitamins, AHAs, BHA, retinoids, and etc. *Extra cautious on ingredients and treatment such as Hydroquinone or skin bleaching which may cause skin irritation. 
3. Exfoliation Gentle exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells and eliminate undesirable uneven blotches already present. AHAs, BHA, Retinoid all work to reveal the clear skin hidden underneath.
4. Sun Protection Choose a broad spectrum sun protection with physical blockers, such as titanium dioxide and zinc dioxide. Look for SPF level of 30 and PA+++ for optimum protection (full spectrum or board spectrum).
5. Make-up Keep makeup as light as possible and use makeup only when absolutely necessary. Always use an oil free foundation or makeup products. Though many products have a light SPF added, do not assume it will be enough to go out without daily sun protection as well.


2. Protect your skin from the sun!

• SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, which is a measure of UVB protection. It relates to how long it takes for skin to get burnt by the sun UVB radiation. SPF15 means it will take 150 minutes to produce sunburn on a person who gets sun burn in 10 minutes.
• PA (Protection Grade of UVA) is usually used in Asia. There are 3 PA grades, PA+, PA++ and PA+++, with each additional plus (+) indicating a higher protection.
• The best sun protection is achieved by application 15 to 30 minutes before exposure, followed by one reapplication 15 to 30 minutes after the sun exposure begins. Further reapplication is only necessary after activities such as swimming, sweating, and rubbing.
• The rays of the sun are strongest between 10am to 4pm – If a person’s shadow is shorter than their actual height while standing, the risk of sunburn is much higher.
• Wear a hat with a brim and anti UV sunglasses can provide almost 99% protection against ultraviolet radiation.

3. Promote healthy lifestyle
• Consume foods with antioxidants properties (green tea, grape, blueberry, carrot etc) which can help in fighting of free radicals thus protecting the skin from UVA radiation.
• Maintain a healthy lifestyle such as regular exercise, stress management, quit smoking, control alcohol intakes, and get sufficient sleep!