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The Best Pigmentation Fighting Treatments for Winter

The Best Pigmentation Fighting Treatments for Winter

Pigmentation concerns can be a source of frustration for many, especially during the summer months when exposure to sunlight can exacerbate the issue. However, winter provides the perfect opportunity to address and treat pigmentation problems effectively.

Why winter is the best time for pigmentation treatments

Reduced sun exposure: “During a treatment programme for hyperpigmentation, it’s critical that your skin is shielded from sunlight, so the ideal time to start treatment is after summer when there is less sun exposure that may interfere with the effectiveness,” explains Caroline Parker, head of education at Two Hundred Doors (Skintopia and distributors of Dermalogica NZ). If skin is exposed to UV rays, it can worsen pigmentation, causing scarring and undoing the treatment’s progress. However, it’s important to emphasise to clients that every season carries a risk. “In New Zealand, we are especially prone to chronic sun damage due to the impaired ozone layer, so avoiding sun exposure with clothing and barrier type sunscreens is vital for protection,” cautions Clinic42 co-founder Dr Joanna Romanowska.

Easier commitment: Cooler temperatures naturally reduce the temptation to go out. Some treatments require strict sun avoidance for months. The winter season, with its quieter social calendar and increased time indoors, makes adhering to these restrictions easier.

Skin healing: Cold weather can also help soothe and calm the skin after certain treatments, reducing discomfort and inflammation.

Understanding hyperpigmentation and treatment options

Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition characterised by darker patches caused by excess melanin production. It can result from various factors such as acne scars, sun damage, and hormonal fluctuations. Clients will experience pigment formation at various depths so it may require varied treatment options, explains The Face Place’s Lauren Harding. Skin colour also plays an important role in the treatment choice. IPL, for example, is not always suitable for darker skin types as it contains more melanin, which makes the skin vulnerable to hyperpigmentation and burns. When IPL is administered on darker skin tones, the excess melanin can absorb more energy than intended, leading to heat build-up and potential skin damage.

Below, we round-up a few of the pigmentation treatments on our radar right now. “Of course, any treatment is best supported by taking a holistic approach to the pigment. Sun protection is a must!” cautions Melissa Gladding, director of FaceTime Skin Clinic.

Melanopro (suitable for darker skin tones)

Melanopro is a clinical strength peeling system that delivers results in less than six weeks. With well-researched and effective skin brightening actives, Dermalogica delivers a transformative two-phase regimen for those experiencing hyperpigmentation concerns. “Hyperpigmentation can be stimulated by inflammation, so it can be a fine line between having a product that is active enough to get results without triggering inflammation. One of things we are proud of with Melanopro is that that we achieve results without inflammation and skin moisturisation is prioritised alongside active peeling agents to maintain the skin’s barrier during the treatment,” says Caroline Parker. Melanopro is available now at authorised Dermalogica salons and skin centres.


Developed by CMed Aesthetics in Italy, BioRePeelCl3® is an advanced 35% trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel with little to no downtime. In addition to uneven skin tone, it targets various concerns including acne, enlarged pores, and signs of ageing. What sets BioRePeel apart from other peels on the market, according to Saint Beauty skin salon owners Bex Hunt and Emma Hughes, is its unique biphasic formulation that internally reduces peeling and recovery time compared to traditional TCA peels. The lipophilic phase creates a protective barrier over the hydrophilic part when packaged, preventing oxidation and maintaining stability. Once applied, the hydrophilic phase immediately starts renewing and correcting skin cells, while the lipophilic phase swiftly restores the skin’s barrier, resulting in minimal irritation and downtime. The hero ingredient is the potent 35% TCA, which works by breaking down damaged skin cells and stimulating the growth of new, healthy cells. This leads to improved skin texture, reduced pore size, fading of pigmentation and scars, as well as diminished lines and wrinkles. The peel is further enhanced by salicylic acid—known for its effectiveness in treating acne-prone skin—GABBA, amino acids, and vitamin C. While it delivers glowing results from the first treatment, a course of four to six sessions is generally recommended at 7- to 12-day intervals for optimal outcomes. BioRePeelCl3® is available now at Saint Beauty in Saint Heliers, Auckland.


TriDerma is a non-invasive solution that combines the power of three powerful modalities—IPL, lifting and sculpting, and skin resurfacing—into one complete skin renewal treatment. Exclusive to Clinic 42’s Venus Versa™, the most versatile multi-treatment platform, the treatment repairs signs of damage on the surface of the skin, as well as remodelling collagen and elastin in the deeper levels. According to Clinic42, it can be painful although it is over very quickly. If it’s too uncomfortable, the operator can adjust the treatment accordingly. During the IPL treatment the applicator has a cooling feature built into it to make it as comfortable as possible, but mild discomfort is expected. Most patients need three treatments for optimum results. Best results are visible approximately three months after the third treatment. Dr Joanna recommends combining Triderma with Profhilo. “It’s the optimal solution with the hydration of Profhilo supporting skin repair and subduing recurrence of pigmentation, which is lifted by the Triderma procedure.” TriDerma is available now at Clinic42.

Lumenis M22 IPL

This is FaceTime’s most popular treatment for the fast removal of surface colour and sun damage pigmentation. Lumenis has established itself as long-standing global leader in the field due to its vast knowledge and expertise in the industry. “It uses IPL to heat up pigment lesions and shatter bonds anchoring them in the skin,” explains Melissa Gladding. “We get a physical lift and shift that you can see darken up and dust away. It’s brilliant for lifting those darker more scattered pigment spots. Most people will see clearance after about a week.” Lumenis M22 IPL is available now at FaceTime Skin Clinic in Mairangi Bay, Auckland.

At-home treatment for pigmentation

When it comes to treating pigmentation, taking a holistic approach is key to achieving successful results, emphasises Lauren Harding, skin team leader at The Face Place.

Protection is the first step in treating pigmentation. UV exposure can exacerbate pigmentation and cause it to darken, so wearing sunscreen is crucial. “However, not all sunscreens are created equal – even if they have the same SPF. Look for sophisticated sunscreens with antioxidants, liposomal delivery, and a variety of sunscreen ingredients.” In addition to wearing sunscreen, the frequency of application is key – reapply it every two hours while covering up as much as possible.

With regards to skincare, using antioxidant serums can also help in treating pigmentation. Harding recommends a serum with ingredients that help control pigment production, like vitamin C and niacinamide. “We call these tyrosine inhibitors and melanin transfer inhibitors,” she adds. Alongside these, a vitamin A or retinoid can help to reverse sun damage and affect the distribution of pigment in the skin.

Try: Aspect Dr Active C Serum; Environ Skin EssentiA Vita-Antioxidant AVST Moisturiser 1 

“The above ingredients are an absolute must before embarking on an ‘in-clinic’ treatment plan. It is these ingredients that are actually treating the pigmentation and preventing further production.”