the new wrinkles

by bellab

Amongst the plethora of beauty woes I like to regale regular readers with *sighs*, I have melasma. Sounds scary right? In fact that’s just the beauty industry term for good old fashioned sun spots. Brown patches caused by (in the main) UV light triggering overactive melanin-producing cells.  Clustered around my eyes, the worst one looks like a small bruise, measures about 1.5 cm across and has recently attracted comments like ‘I think you’ve splodged your eye make-up’ and ‘did you fall out of bed?’ (thanks dad). Of course the six months in the southern hemisphere obviously hasn’t helped even though I spent most of the time swathed in Invisible Zinc. The thing is, I’m not sure I even really cared that much until a slew of pigment-regulating products started hitting my desk inflating my sun spot paranoia. Melasma, it appears, are the new wrinkles and there’s not a brand out there who isn’t cashing in.

Influenced heavily by the Asian market where skin-brightening products are HUGE business, we Brits are now being inundated with pigment regulators and skin lightening products from the likes of Crème de la Mer, Origins, No7, Avene (D Pigment launches 18th June) and La Roche Posay to name but a few. For the cash-rich and time-poor, peels and lasers offer faster results but can incur downtime-related inflammation. Besides, they don’t even guarantee said spots won’t reappear after your next sunny soujourn.

With ALL of the above pigment regulators you might as well stuff twenty pound notes down the plug hole UNLESS you are doubling up with an SPF 50 during the daytime, come rain or shine. Yes. I said 50. It really is a two-pronged approach. For now I’m trialing a combo of Skinceuticals Pigment Regulator at night, their new Phloretin CF gel (the green-apple derived mother of all antioxidants) in the morning post-cleanse, all topped-off with a generous dose of the Ultra Facial Defense SPF 50 before I step out the door.  And if that doesn’t work, I’m going to have to go all-out Eddie Redmayne on you.

*Photo courtesy of Elle Australia via