If you pay meticulous attention to your skin, it's likely you'll have noticed small areas of discolouration and darkening. Yes, freckles are cute, but we're not talking freckles, these are larger, uneven dark patches that seem to persist on your face, neck and hands.

Pigmentation or brown spots as they're more commonly known - are caused by your skin's arch nemesis, aka the sun.

Also known as hyper-pigmentation, a very common skin condition. Melanin is made by cells in the skin and is the pigment responsible for your skin's color. Pigmentation occurs when there is an increase in the number of melanin cells in the skin. 

Melasma is usually brought on by hormonal factors. Sometimes referred to as the mask of pregnancy because it is sometimes triggered by an increase in hormones in pregnant women. It can also be triggered by hormonal medication e.g. the contraceptive pill. Melasma patches tend to be larger in comparison to brown spots/age spots.  

Post-inflammatory pigmentation can be brought on by inflammation or injury of the skin, e.g. following a flare-up of acne or eczema, burns, bug bites. Picking or popping pimple or spots can increase the change of developing post-inflammatory pigmentation so STAY AWAY!!! 

What about freckles, are they any different? Freckles are more common in fair-skins and are thought to be an inherited characteristic. They get darker in the sun and fade again during winter months, unlike brown spots or dark spots, which arise in middle age due to sun damage and persist in the absence of ongoing UV stimulation. 

The most effective way to prevent pigmentation from occurring in the first place, or to stop it from getting worse is to wear a high SPF daily. Preferably a SPF50 like Image Skincare Protection+SPF50 daily moisturiser. 

Products containing ingredients with Vitamin A (Retinol) found in the Image Ageless range (Total Retinol A Creme),  Kojic Acid which is a natural skin brightener found in Image Iluma Serum, Vitamin C found in Image Vital C range and AHA’s e.g. Glycolic Acid found in Image Ageless Glycolic Cleanser. 

Peels, Microdermabrasion and IPL are the treatments to help get rid of pigmentation. 

Image Skincare’s “I Peel Lightening Lift Peel” contains Lactic Acid blended with Kojic Acid and also a cocktail of brightening agents to reduce all forms of pigmentation.

Microdermabrasion is also another treatment great for pigmentation. Regular treatments of microdermabrasion reaches deeper into the skin to lift the pigmentation, smoothing out the skin. 

And finally IPL, in our opinion is the best way to treat skin pigmentation, especially combined with an Image Peel. IPL stands for Intense Pulse Light and it releases precisely controlled pulses of filtered light in to the pigment problem of the skin, heating it up causing it to collapse so it can be naturally flushed out of the body.