Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

Three products for a radiant, customizable tan — without UV rays

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Solutions face à des cicatrices hyperpigmentées.

What to Do About Hyperpigmented Scars?

Acne pimples and other skin lesions can sometimes give way to pigmented scars. While some are barely visible, others are quite noticeable. In the case of post-inflammatory or scar hyperpigmentation, there are several steps you can take on a daily basis to reduce their appearanc

What Do Hyperpigmented Scars Look Like?

Scars are more or less visible marks that appear on the surface of the skin after a wound or rash has healed. These lesions, which can be found all over the body and face, are sometimes unsightly and cause a certain amount of discomfort in the lives of the subjects concerned. Depending on the type of trauma suffered by the scarred area, scars can take on a variety of shapes and colors. You may find atrophic, hypertrophic, hypochromic, achromic, keloid or pigmented scars.

Hyperpigmented scars or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation are a type of hyperpigmentation, manifesting as persistent, flat brown or black spots, depending on skin color. They are the result of increased melanin production in response to an inflammatory reaction. In fact, the appearance of these hyper-colored areas relies on the production of inflammatory cytokines, with pro-pigmentogenic properties, by the surrounding cells. These cytokines activate melanocytes (melanin-producing cells), leading to a major release of melanosomes (pigment granules) and thus surplus melanin. Although this phenomenon can affect all skin types, it is generally more frequent in people with mixed to dark skin (phototypes IV to VI).

What Typology Skincare Products Can Help Reduce the Appearance of Pigmented Scars?

Our anti-marks serum is a formula designed to fade the appearance of acne scars and pigmentation spots. Licorice extract is combined with other lightening and repairing active ingredients, such as the PHA gluconolactone and Centella asiatica extract. Apply only in the evening, localized to the areas concerned.

The hyperpigmentation serum with arbutin acid and lemon extract also helps reduce brown spots. It can be used every morning as a complement to the anti-dark spot serum. We recommend that you use it for at least 6 weeks to see the effects.

Which Active Ingredients Can Reduce the Appearance of Hyperpigmented Scars?

To treat these marks and prevent any recurrence, a number of skin care products are available, most of which rely on key ingredients that act on melanin synthesis to slow down its production. There are also products which do not act directly on melanogenesis, but which are nonetheless interesting for treating post-inflammatory or scar hyperpigmentation. These include

  • Arbutin acid: This compound is derived from hydroquinone, but without the latter's side effects. In fact, it is better tolerated by the skin. Like hydroquinone, it inhibits the activity of tyrosinase, the enzyme responsible for melanin production in the skin. It is interesting to use it in conjunction with azelaic acid.

  • Azelaic acid: This dicarboxylic acid can help reduce hyperpigmentation by inhibiting tyrosinase activity. It also helps anti-profile abnormal melanocytes. It is generally well tolerated, but may cause redness, burning, irritation or allergic reactions. 

  • Vitamin C derivatives: These active ingredients have a direct effect on hyperpigmentation by regulating the action of melanocytes. They react with copper ions at the tyrosinase site, reducing its activity and thus blocking the melanin synthesis pathway. They are also known for their antioxidant properties.

  • Chemical exfoliants (glycolic acid, lactic acid, mandelic acid, PHA, etc.): These peeling agents destroy the links between the skin's most superficial cells, reorganizing the epidermis by accelerating desquamation and inducing the rapid dispersion of melanin grains within keratinocytes.

  • Niacinamide: Also known as vitamin B3, it acts by blocking the transfer of melanosomes (vesicles that transport melanin) from melanocytes in the deep layers of the epidermis to the most superficial layers. In general, it is very well tolerated by the skin.

  • Retinoids (retinol and its derivatives): These vitamin A derivatives can also help reduce hyperpigmentation, notably by increasing cell proliferation and differentiation (shortening the cell regeneration cycle) and decreasing tyrosinase expression. However, retinoids can induce adverse effects (redness, dryness, and irritation) and increased sensitivity to the sun.

  • Licorice extract: With the INCI name “Glycyrrhiza Glabra Root Extract”, licorice extract contains 95% glabridine, a compound involved in regulating hyperpigmentation on several levels. It considerably reduces the amount of endothelin-1 (a mediator involved in the pigmentation process) released by keratinocytes after UV exposure. In addition, it inhibits the activity of phospholipase A2 (PLA2), an enzyme released by epidermal keratinocytes after UV exposure or during inflammation that stimulates tyrosinase activity and hence melanogenesis. Other active compounds, such as glabrene, isoliquiritigenin licuraside, isoliquiritin and licochalcone A, isolated from licorice extracts, have also demonstrated tyrosinase-inhibiting activity.

What Dermatological Treatments Are Available?

To eliminate hyperpigmented scars, there are other options. These range from topical medicated solutions to lasers and peels:

  • Intense pulsed light: This non-invasive, non-ablative treatment uses high-intensity pulses of light. To eliminate brown marks, pulsed light targets melanin on the skin's surface to eliminate discoloration.

  • Chemical peeling: The principle of peeling is slightly similar to that of exfoliation. It involves applying a chemical substance (glycolic acid, salicylic acid, trichloroacetic acid, etc.) in varying concentrations to the skin to trigger controlled desquamation of the epidermis, and with it the melanocytes and marks left by pimples. In effect, blisters form and eventually peel off, giving way to smooth, hyperpigmentation-free skin. This procedure must be carried out by a dermatologist, preferably in autumn or winter.

  • Low-energy pigment laser therapy: The aim is to destroy hyper-colored skin cells using high-energy light, so that new, blemish-free skin appears. However, this treatment may cause slight damage (burning sensation, irritation…).

  • KLIGMAN Trio: Dr. KLIGMAN has developed a formula based on the combination of three uniquely synergistic ingredients: hydroquinone (tyrosinase inhibitor), hydrocortisone (anti-inflammatory action) and retinoic acid (accelerates cell renewal). Together, they have demonstrated a depigmenting effect on the various stages of the melanin cycle. Depigmentation effects appear after 3 to 5 weeks of treatment. However, this solution may cause irritation and sensitivity. What's more, it does not rule out a recurrence of brown marks.

How Can I Prevent the Appearance of Pigmented Scars?

To prevent the appearance of acne marks, it's important to avoid inflammation. To do this, we recommend that you consult a dermatologist to treat your acne as early as possible with appropriate follow-up care. You should also remember to moisturize your skin with a suitable face cream. This promotes healing. Moreover, to avoid amplifying the inflammation and spreading the infection, avoid popping or scratching your pimples. Finally, the sun reinforces the marks, lengthening the time it takes for them to fade. So make sure you protect yourself every day with a broad-spectrum SPF sunscreen, and limit your exposure to the sun.

Sources :

  • BAD-CASINTAHAN F. & al. Frequency and characteristics of acne-related post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. The  Journal of Dermatology (2016).

  • HAMZAVI I. H. & al. The role of sunscreen in melasma and postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. Indian Journal of Dermatology (2020).

  • MADAN R. Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: A review of treatment strategies. Journal of Drugs in Dermatology (2020).

  • SANGHA A. M. Managing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation in patients with acne. Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology (2021).

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