Managing Melasma with RATIONALE
Characterised by its dappled patches of pigment across the forehead, cheeks and nose, Melasma is a common (and thoroughly unwelcome) skin affliction which is driven by our hormones but exacerbated by sun exposure and typically presents during the warmer months of the year.
Stubborn and unpleasant though the condition may be, the ‘mask’ of Melasma—as it is often known—is not incurable. Here, RATIONALE Regional Educator Ellie Bowley defines the condition’s most common causes, and explains how a combined effort of carefully prescribed homecare and targeted treatments is key to restoring clarity to affected complexions.
What is Melasma and what triggers the condition?
Within the base layer of the skin, cells called ‘melanocytes’—known colloquially as the ‘colour-making’ cells within the skin—are found. Melanocytes can become overstimulated by a range of hereditary and lifestyle factors, chief among them being: pregnancy and other hormonal changes, sun exposure, medication, and genetic influences. When this happens, the cells respond by producing excess pigment, resulting in the appearance of dark patches on the skin’s surface.
These brownish patches of pigment typically present symmetrically on both sides of the face, and are much more commonly occurring in women than men.
“While genetics do play a major role in the incidence of Melasma, it is often not until a person goes out in the sun that the condition manifests and becomes more aggravated.”
What does the Light Spectrum have to do with it?By far the most important factor in the prevention of Melasma is SPF protection—but UV protection alone is not enough.While UV damage remains quite superficial within the upper layers of the skin, visible light and infared are absorbed deeper into the skin—penetrating the dermis and reaching the hypodermis.
The combined damage from UV, visible light + infrared—known as the Solar Constant in RATIONALE’s vocabulary—can lead to a myriad of skin concerns, from oxidative stress to DNA damage and an impaired barrier function, all of which can give rise to Melasma.
The Final Verdict?A combined treatment effort—comprising carefully prescribed homecare and RATIONALE in-clinic treatments—work synergistically to reduce the appearance of Melasma over time and boost skin’s overall resilience and radiance. If required, specialised medical management (including specialised laser treatments) can also prove effective in breaking down pigment on the skin’s surface, in turn allowing your topical skincare actives to target pigmentation deeper within the skin.
– Ellie Bowley, RATIONALE Regional Educator