Skin expert reveals Kiwi women's biggest skin concern

And it can worsen over summer.

By Bronte Chaperon
Now To Love spoke to Founder and Managing Director of Haven Skin Spa, Renay Robertson, about the most common skin concern Kiwi women are visiting her skin clinics for and what she wishes you'd stop doing.
Surprising no one, Kiwi women say they are suffering from sun damage and pigmentation (specifically, hyperpigmentation).
Unsure if you've got hyperpigmentation? Take a look at your skin in the mirror: do you have darkened patches of skin that differ to your usual skin colour? Any dark spots or brown marks?
Then yes, you do. Relax though, Robertson says this is quite common - and while not dangerous, it does makes you look a little aged.
"As we all know, our New Zealand sun is so harsh that pretty much all of us have pigmentation. Unless you live in a bunker, it is impossible to avoid the sun, even women who are very careful to avoid the sun will have some pigmentation.
"Pigmentation causes our skin tone to look uneven, blotchy and dull. The combination of these things can actually make our complexion appear more aged than, well, …. ageing itself," says Robertson.
These brown blotches can be caused by sun exposure, Addison's disease, ageing (think: brown spots on hands) and pregnancy (hormonal changes can cause melasma or 'pregnancy mask').
According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, hyperpigmentation occurs when we produce an excess amount of melanin (the brown pigment that gives us normal skin colour) which forms deposits in the skin.
These darkened skin patches can look more pronounced after sun exposure; wear a broad spectrum sunscreen to avoid this because once the damage is done it's hard to get rid of.
"Pigmentation can be difficult to address because it is the result of the skin cells being permanently damaged, however, at Haven Skin Spa we do offer professional treatments that will significantly reduce the pigmentation to give a much healthier complexion and brighter, more even skin tone without having to resort to harsh laser treatment.
"And a bonus bi-product of addressing pigmentation is that your skin cells start to work more effectively meaning you also get anti-ageing benefits," says Robertson.

Skin-protecting products to try:

Skin can be temperamental and finding the right products can be a bit of a task, so Now To Love has listed the products we've tried that feel great and provide protection.
Remember, you need to apply a sunscreen that is at least SPF30 and protects against UVA and UVB rays.
Apply sunscreen all over your body 20 minutes before heading outdoors:
  • Ultraceuticals' Ultra UV Protective Daily Moisturiser SPF 50+ ($75)
  • Murad's City Skin Age Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50 ($105)
  • SunSense's Daily Face SPF 50+ (from $18)
Cancer Society's SPF50+ Invisible Protect Sunscreen Gel ($20)