A woman avoiding the sun to prevent hyperpigmentation in Summer

Summer time is to have fun and enjoy the outside world, but that arduous heat from the sun makes it a hard season to treat hyperpigmentation.

Regardless of what type of hyperpigmentation you experience, either solar damage, melasma (hormonal), or post- inflammatory (after acne or injury), it can get more accentuated when exposed to the sun. This is because pigment cells called melanocytes get excited with the heat which causes inflammation.

Melanocytes get active and respond by producing more melanin. The pigment that protects and shields your skin from harmful sun rays.

That is why most people suffering from hyperpigmentation complain about those areas getting darker during summer months.

And even though the sun and hyperpigmentation don’t like each other, there are certain things you can do to help prevent the pigmented areas from getting darker or to lighten up the dyschromias (discolorations).


  • Use a good sunscreen and reapply often every 90 minutes or every time after swimming or excessive sweating. Apply 20 minutes before sun exposure.
  • Avoid extreme heat and direct sun exposure. Use a sun umbrella or look for a shade.

Be aware that just the reflection of the sand or concrete is enough to cause a reaction on the pigment production. This is one of the reasons why many people see a worsening of the pigmented areas and they complain that they have not been directly exposed to the sun.

  • Use a wide brim hat of at least 3″ to protect the face.
  • Avoid exfoliating skin treatments like chemical peels, micro needling or microdermabrasion etc. and products containing exfoliating acids or scrubs or/and retinoids before sun exposure.

This is a BIG ONE!! Exfoliated skin is more vulnerable to sun damage and your skin will be more prone to sun damage and the hyperpigmented areas will be triggered to get darker.

  • Avoid exposure to heat from hot whirlpools, warm pools or saunas. Hot steam also over excites the melanocytes.
  • Consume foods rich in antioxidants.

Antioxidants raise your natural defenses to protect your skin from harmful sun rays. Specially those rich in vitamin C and A. Some of the best known to support your skin from within are:

blueberries, watermelon, greens like spinach and kale, tomatoes, walnuts, carrots and green tea among many others.



If you already have hyperpigmentation and are looking to brighten and lighten up the pigmented areas, look for skincare ingredients that help to moderate the production of melanin creating a lighter more even skin tone.

To name the most popular skincare ingredients, I must start by mentioning the most prevalent; “hydroquinone”. I personally don’t care for it at all. Not only it is a very controversial skincare ingredient but has significant levels of toxicity, so much so that it has been banned from many countries in Europe and Asia.

In the U.S. it is approved to be sold over the counter at 2% and prescription strength 4%.

My personal experience after working with many dermatologists for years that prescribed hydroquinone in higher percentages like 6 or 8% was that it had a great start and showed a quick lightening effect but after it reached its peak, no more improvement was perceived and a rebound effect was often observed after long term use or the ingredient use was suspended.

I prefer more natural alternatives known as tyrosinase inhibitors. Tyrosinase is an enzyme directly involved in the production of melanin. Therefore, suppressing the production of this enzyme helps to reduce melanin production resulting in a brighter, more even skin tone.

Powerful tyrosinase inhibitors are:  Ascorbic acid, Kojic Acid, Azelaic Acid. Arbutin. licorice, mulberry to name a few.

The combination of vitamin C and ferulic acid has had great success at giving the skin a brighter more uniform tone.

I wish you a healthy and happy Summer!

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician

Founder of Zkin Fix Skincare

Acclaimed by celebrities and beauty professionals,

Microneedling is all the rage in skincare treatments at the moment and for a good reason. It can literally transform your skin and even erase some years from your face.

But how can tiny needles help you defeat the effects of time?

One of the main causes of aging is the loss of collagen and elastin which becomes more palpable year after year, especially as the level of estrogen starts to drop more dramatically. These tiny needles create micro-channels in the skin that signal the presence of a minute injury and despite the minuscule nature of the wound it is enough to induce the production of new collagen also working as a vehicle to facilitate deeper absorption of active ingredients.

Professional in office treatments are more powerful but at home treatments are gaining popularity, even some skincare companies offer the roller as part of their daily routine. For the purpose of this article I will refer to the use of the handheld roller used at home which can also provide great results when used properly.

Either you are already a big fan of the needling or are eager to put the big hype to the test,  here are some tips that will help you take your treatment to the next level:


Removing dead skin cells before the first treatment will help you achieve more even results allowing the roller to run smoothly and avoiding tugging or pulling of the skin and also improving absorption of the nutrients. It is not necessary to do it all the time but I have found to really make a difference in the results, on the first treatment.


Keeping your keep moist with the serum while performing the rolling prevents causing more irritation and in addition, you take advantage of the momentum when the skin is more readily able to absorb the product.


There are thousands of ingredients out there that promise to improve the skin. However, the only ones that will make a difference to your skin are those that can help your personal needs.  Either you suffer from acne scars, hyperpigmentation or want to improve lines and wrinkles…the serum you select is as important as the procedure so choose a product that contains ingredients to help improve your skin concerns that way you will see faster results.


Controlled inflammation is expected in this treatment but don’t get too carried away wanting to over treat the skin. Too much inflammation increases free radical activity and guess what… it translates into… “oxidation” which in fact ages you, so as you can see.. more is not always better.

Although some manufacturer’s recommend the daily use of the roller, as a professional I prefer to  treat the skin two times maximum three times a week. Also you must consider the needles size in the roller you are using. It is not same to use a 0.25mm than a 0.50mm or a 1mm. The higher the number the more aggressive the treatment so the recovery time should be accordingly.  That way you allow the skin to replenish its protective barrier and restore its integrity avoiding negative side effects.

Also avoid other type of exfoliants  or irritating ingredients after the treatment, it will only causes excessive inflammation and sensitivity.


The following day is normal to feel the skin a little sensitive and it might even tingle a little if you exercise.  Because a natural micro-exfoliation (desquamation) occurs the skin can feel a little dry or rough. It happens in a microscopic level so you might not see the peeling but you can feel the difference in the skin texture. Stay away from heat, internal or external like direct sun, hot showers or saunas to avoid getting post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It is crucial to maintain the skin well-hydrated at all times and to use a sunblock daily.


Although in a minute scale, this is a treatment where the skin is being pricked which makes it more vulnerable to bacteria. Make sure you wash your hands before you do the treatment (using gloves is best) and sanitize the roller every time you use it. Follow the manufacture’s cleaning instructions.  Denture cleaning tablets are recommended by many Companies. Once clean, the roller should be stored in a closed case to protect it from getting contaminated.

Like the old say says:  “no pain, no gain”… well… when it comes to beauty and anti-aging treatments most people will be willing to ignore the pain if they see the gain! So what do you think my friend?

Are you ready for a prick?

Thank you for being here.

Until next time,

Dora Salazar

Medical Aesthetician