Human skin comes in a variety of colours. On one end of the spectrum is the darkest of brown and on the other is the skin colour that is almost white. Nestled between these two points is a wide range of other skin tones. While genetics and lifestyle habits (such as sun exposure frequency) play a part in influencing our skin tone, the most important factor is melanin, the pigment in our skin. This is also the same pigment that determines our eye and hair colour.

The cells responsible for pigment production are referred to as melanocytes. When they are stimulated by sun exposure or become damaged and unhealthy, they can produce an excess of melanin which will lead to hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation can range from small discrete freckles or larger solar lentigo to large areas of patchy pigmentation.

In cases where the melanocytes are no longer active or capable of melanin production, a condition called hypopigmentation ensues. This is a condition in which patches of your skin appear lighter than your overall skin tone.

Makeup can be an effective way to conceal small areas of pigmentation. However, it can be a tedious process as you would first need to use products that perform colour correction on these areas before you can cover them up with foundation or concealer.

While topical creams may help to a certain extent in addressing pigmentation issues, they are usually only effective in very mild cases. If you have concerns about pigmentation, your best option would be to consider laser treatments that can literally get to the root of the problem where the pigments reside.

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