WOW | Beauty

Secret to Perfect Skin

Is there any way to prevent spots and discolouration from forming in the first place?

Use a sunblock with an SPF of 30 or higher on your face, neck, and the backs of your hands every single day — it’s imperative to keep discolouration at bay. Also, when you get skin infections like acne or a bug bite, be sure not to pick, pop, or scratch the sores because that will leave marks and add to discolouration.

secret-to-perfect-skinWhat areas of the skin are more likely to develop uneven pigmentation and

There are two areas that most commonly develop discolouration. The first includes elbows, knees, and under the arms, areas where there’s a lot of movement because there’s a lot of pressure from rubbing and friction, which can disturb the skin tone. The second area comprises the face, neck, chest, and the backs of the hands; these are much more prone to discolouration because they experience the most exposure to the sun and sun damage — which causes sun spots and discoloured skin.

Are there any treatments or ingredients in skin products that can cause discolouration to become worse?

Any topical treatments that irritate your skin or cause an allergic reaction can cause discolouration to become worse. For example, some people have an allergy to retinoids and hydroquinone (you’ll know your skin is allergic because it will feel tight or become red and itchy). In some cases, putting something as simple as lemon juice on the skin can cause aggravation and make discolouration worse. Also, avoid scrubbing your skin with a loofah or pouf because you’re basically sandpapering the area and then exposing it to the sun, inviting more damage to that vulnerable area.

Why are some women prone to discolouration in their armpits? What can be done to correct it?

Women with olive and dark skin tones can get discoloration in their armpits, and usually it’s because of friction and rubbing — the chafing motion can cause irritation. Also, shaving cream and dull blades can make you more prone to cuts and scrapes, which can leave the skin discoloured.

To correct the problem, make sure to change your shaving blade every other day, or frequently (depending on the thickness of your hair), use a good quality shaving gel to create some slip for the razor, and stretch your skin when shaving to make for a more even surface. For a more permanent option, try laser hair removal in the area.

Can discolouration be reversed completely?

Women who undergo consistent laser treatments or chemical peels, or who consistently use topical lightening agents and sunscreen, can see up to 80 percent of the discolouration reversed.

What ingredients even out skin tone and diminish discolouration?

Look for over-the-counter treatment with 2 percent hydroquinone. Also products with licorice, kojic acid and soy, which all help even out discoloration.

How do you make sure a treatment is restoring your skin to its natural colour and not completely bleaching the skin?

It seems simple, but check in with your doctor after each treatment you do. After each treatment, see your doctor a month afterward and have him or her check the progress, because if you get too light, that would be another problem to deal with!