Pigmentation can occur in both men and women, and in all ages. From freckles to dark spots, and to skin discolouration and melasma later in life, pigmentation is the bane of many people’s pursuit for radiant skin.
While causes of pigmentation such as sun exposure, blue light, acne, hormonal changes and stress are commonly known, inflammation is also a big factor when it comes to this skin concern, according to dermatologist Dr Jean Ho.
Speaking at the launch event of Cetaphil’s Bright Healthy Radiance new product range in Singapore on Mar 30, Dr Ho said that inflammation often goes unnoticed and unaddressed.
“If you experience a tingling or pricking sensation on your skin, even though it looks fine on the surface, you may already have an impaired skin barrier. Sensitive skin is very closely linked to pigmentation. Without finding out whether you have sensitive skin, you may actually be missing the target.
“Sensitive skin is a form of chronic inflammation that can affect metabolism of pigmentation-causing melanin. It keeps the skin in an unhealthy and diseased state, as melanin starts to migrate downwards into deeper layers of the skin called the dermis. That’s when you start to see pigmentation darkening, sometimes even taking on a very weird colour like blue or black,” Dr Ho explained.
Furthermore, she questioned the concept of radiance by stating that it is “not just about brightening or whitening”.
“You may have some pigmentation, but you can still have radiance. I think radiance boils down to having a healthy, well-hydrated skin barrier because when you do, your skin reflects light in a way that is considered desirable and beautiful. Therefore, it is really about restoring and strengthening the skin barrier first, before clearing the pigmentation.”
Choose products wisely
Careful selection of skin care is key for people with sensitive skin to avoid causing further inflammation and irritation.
“Sensitive skin is much more common than people think. Some don’t even realise that they have sensitive skin, and that what they are doing on a day-to-day basis is, in fact, aggravating their problem. For example, experimenting with and piling on different products without considering whether they are safe and gentle enough.
“It’s become a culture that is counterproductive, and we see that happening quite a lot, particularly in the younger population, who has a tendency to be adventurous and try out new things,” Dr Ho shared.
In addition, Dr Ho highlighted that products for pigmentation should ideally tackle different stages of melanin production, including activation, synthesis and transport.
The latest products under Cetaphil’s Bright Healthy Radiance line, namely Gentle Renewing Cleanser, Perfecting Serum and Instant Radiance Mask, contain “upgraded ingredients” such as advanced peptide, sea daffodil and niacinamide.
They are formulated using the firm’s patent-pending GentleBright Technology, which claims to deliver multi-action brightening effects in as fast as 14 days.
“If you use the first iterations of this range, our promise was to reduce dark spots in four weeks. Now, we have upped the ante and are going beyond dark spot reduction to include other dimensions of brightening. For instance, sea daffodil targets melanin production and transfer, whereas advanced peptides go further upstream and inhibit tyrosinase, the key enzyme responsible for the formation of melanin.
“We uphold stringent standards and follow closely recommendations by dermatologists. During our R&D, one area of focus was to take out all nasties,” said Debbie Goh, Global Franchise Sector Lead at Cetaphil.
The Gentle Renewing Cleanser is positioned as a three-in-one product that performs “gentle exfoliation” using jojoba beads infused with vitamin E to remove impurities, brighten complexion, and improve skin texture.
Apart from lightening dark spots, the Perfecting Serum lays claims to even out skin tone, reduce fine lines, improve hydration, protect against pollution and external stressors, and give the appearance of well-rested skin.
“The Instant Radiance Mask can be used twice or thrice a week, or as a quick perk-me-up for occasions like parties. Some sheet masks may not be eco-friendly, but we made sure that our mask is biodegradable. It is also vegan and halal-certified,” Goh added.
The range is retailing at Guardian, Watsons, FairPrice, Unity and Cold Storage stores across Singapore, as well as e-commerce platforms such as Amazon, Shopee, Lazada and qoo10.
It is also available in Cetaphil’s markets around the globe, including the JAPAC and AMEA regions, and the US and Canada.