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What is pigmentation?

Topic: CellDerma

Tags: better skin pigmentation skin care recommendations skin changes skin health


When high levels of melanin cause darkening of the skin.


When low levels of pigmentation cause lightening of the skin.


A total loss of pigment in the skin.

Sun Exposure

Sunshine excites ‘melanocytes’ and triggers the skin to produce more melanin, resulting in tanned skin. Sun-tanned skin is damaged skin. It is critical to remember the risks and dangers of unprotected sun exposure.


Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is an inflammation response that happens within the skin layers. This inflammation can prompt our melanocytes to activate.

Inflammation mainly occurs when the skin has endured any form of injury or irritation. Depending on the degree of inflammation and dermo-epidermal junction disruption (DEJ), the melanocytes will sit either deep (within the dermis) or high up (in the epidermis). The stability of the melanocytes, type of ethnicity and skin colour contribute to the severity of a PIH reaction.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) typically happens in darker skin tones. Fitzpatrick skin types 4 (e.g. Indian) to 6 (e.g. African) have a much higher risk of developing PIH due to the higher melanin levels within their skin.


The infamous pregnancy mask (scientifically known as ‘melasma’) is induced by a rise in hormone levels, activating our melanocytes to produce more melanin.


Some medications may induce Hypermelanosis (a high concentration of melanin in one area.) In this instance, the skin will only get more impaired if UV comes into contact with the area that has Hypermelanosis.


Mis-formed blood vessels cause red or purple birthmarks whilst darker birthmarks form due to a single cell that overproduces melanocytes.

Medical Conditions

Diabetic complications

Small blood vessels can be affected by changes caused by diabetes. These changes result in skin problems known as diabetic dermopathy. Patches may appear on the skin and may show as light brown, scaly oval or circular spots, which can be confused with age spots.

Venous disease

Venous disease is a common vascular disorder where there is high pressure buildup in the veins.

Symptoms of venous disease include: Varicose Veins: enlarged, swollen, knotted clusters of purple veins; edema (swelling in the legs); aching or a sensation of heaviness in the legs; itching skin above the affected veins; skin discolouration and ulcers on the inner aspect of the ankles (in advanced cases). (Information taken from John Hopkins Medicine)

Addison’s disease

Addison’s disease occurs due to abnormalities in the adrenal gland. The adrenal gland is located on the top of each kidney and is responsible for some of our hormone production.

This abnormality causes a change in our hormone levels, which then affects our melanin production. Due to the fluctuation in these hormones, melanin is produced in higher quantities in people with Addison’s disease than in those without.

Targeted Serum

CellDerma Pigment Correct

Pigment Correct is a must-have single serum solution for anyone wanting to achieve a brighter, more even-toned complexion. It offers a naturally-derived alternative to hydroquinone, for tackling pigmentation. A key difference between Pigment Correct and many other brightening products, is that one of the plant extracts used not only helps prevent pigmentation but also tackles pre-existing pigmentation.

From £75
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Vitamin C

Inhibits melanin synthesis, thus reducing further pigmentation.

Discover Vitamin C Complex
Our super-stable, triple-action brightening serum, with added Hyaluronic Acid for extra hydration.
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Rumex Occidentalis Extract and Kojic Acid

These ingredients are similar in that they are both tyrosinase inhibitors. Tyrosinase is an enzyme responsible for producing pigment within the skin.

These ingredients will help minimise the production of new pigment in the skin, keeping your skin brighter and more even-toned.


A biomimetic peptide which targets melanin formation via MSH (melanocyte-stimulating hormone) and tyrosinase inhibition. Nonapeptide-1 reduces the melanin content of melanocytes by 27-43%. It also interferes with melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) which increases during pregnancy, excessive sun exposure and in certain medical conditions.

Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf Extract and Alpha-Arbutin

Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi Leaf extract is nutrient-rich and includes oleanolic and ursolic acid. Both of these contribute to antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial properties. Alpha-arbutin is derived from the Uva Ursi Leaf, and is a well-known pigment fighter.

Learn more about Pigment Correct
Take control of your pigmentation with our pregnancy and breastfeeding-safe pigmentation solution. With added Hyaluronic Acid for an intense hydration boost.
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Retinoids are a form of vitamin A and a powerful antioxidant which is vital in every skincare routine. Vitamin A is proven to speed up the skin-shedding cycle, allowing new skin cells to form much quicker, resulting in a higher cell turnover, which can help to neutralise existing pigmentation. Vitamin A is also proven to help with acne and spots by reducing inflammation.

Introducing Retin-ACE: Our next-generation retinoid
The most-tolerated form of retinoid. Retin-ACE successfully targets key signs of ageing and reduces pigmentation to reveal brighter, younger-looking skin.
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Resveratrol helps to protect keratinocytes from oxidative damage and control the inflammation within them. This prevents the stimulation of our melanocytes that leads to melasma and its associated irregular pigmentation.

Collagen Restore: Brighter skin in 2 weeks
Our unique patented form of all-trans resveratrol formula down regulates all of the 5 key steps leading to melanin production, and has been proven to brighten the skin in as little as 2 weeks. Clinical studies showed a 50% reduction of melanin content.
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Dr Dev Patel’s recommendations for brighter-looking skin