Skin Pigmentation – Causes, Insights & How To Combat It!

    Skin Pigmentation

   As a fashion blogger, showcasing personal street style, most often I have to shoot outdoors, under the harsh rays of the sun. Especially in a city like Mumbai with soaring temperatures and high levels of pollution, shooting outdoors makes Skin Pigmentation a major concern for me.

If you recall my post a few months ago, about me having the privilege of being apart of the Pond’s Insiders, so as a Pond’s Insider, I have access to The Pond’s Institute and their global network of over 700 skincare scientists. So I’m fortunate to have the best skincare experts at my disposal to help answer any of my pressing skincare queries and concerns.

So for today’s post, I wanted to get an in depth understanding of Skin Pigmentation – it’s causes, along with tips on how to combat the urban aggressors that can cause and even accelerate skin pigmentation.

So I consulted the experts at the The Pond’s Institute and I was super impressed with the amount of useful information, studies and facts I uncovered. So let’s have a look at interesting facts about Skin Pigmentation and how we can combat it.

Factors That Affect Your Level Of Skin Pigmentation

About 50% of one’s skin condition is genetic. While there’s not much you can do to control what’s been given to you by your parents, you can overcome external environmental and lifestyle factors that are causing your skin to face pigmentation issues.

Below is an overview of elements, identified and extensively researched by The Pond’s Institute, that lead to skin pigmentation.   The Pond’s Institute has also explored ways in which you can help prevent skin pigmentation issues.
Skin Pigmentation


Our lifestyle has a major impact on our skin and a poor lifestyle can really aggravate the problem of skin pigmentation.With regard to lifestyle,the two
main contributing factors are:

1.Stress – Living a high-stress lifestyle can increase skin pigmentation problems and result in an uneven skin tone.

Habits like smoking can affect skin further. Loss of hormone equilibrium may activate the cytokine and melanin over production, leading to skin darkening. Smokers tend to have a darker skin tone with an increased incidence of acne among chronic smokers.
So how can you combat this? Find a healthy outlet like exercise, sport. Maintain better time management on a day-to-day basis.
Personally I manage my stress by maintaining a personal diary to schedule all my work for the week, so that I can schedule it effectively and manage my time wisely. Exercising, kick-boxing and cardio really are my best stress busters. Spending time with my cats, in between working on my laptop also help relieve stress.

2.Sleep – Are you getting enough shut eye? A lack of sleep can have effects that go beyond dark circles. Lack of sleep results in the over secretion of a stress hormone known as cortisol. This results in dark circles and a lackluster complexion.
A great solution is to try to live a more active lifestyle  to help relieve stress and fall asleep faster. I make sure I lead an active lifestyle, so though I spend a lot of time sitting,working on my laptop, I make sure I exercise at least 5 times a week and enjoy my weekends out with my friends for some downtime.

UV Radiation

   By now we know that the sun can wreak havoc with your skin. Ultraviolet Radiation is one of the leading contributors to the problem of skin pigmentation, be it outdoors or indoors.
There are 2 main sources of  UV Radiation –

   1.Sun Exposure – UV ray exposure can lead to pigmentation problems.
•   UVA (primary cause)causes immediate effects, such as sunburn and hyper-pigmentation, and deeply penetrate the skin
•  UVB are more high-energy rays that cause delayed effects on skin, including spots and an uneven tone.

    Interesting Facts to note :

   • 7 minutes exposure to mid-noon sun will induce immediate    tanning

• UV rays penetrate 30 feet into water
• Pavements  can reflect up to  45% of UV rays
• Clothes can allow up to 60% of UV rays to penetrate.
I too spend a considerable amount of time outdoors,shooting for my blog and so I am quite often exposed to the harsh rays of the sun. So I make sure that I use a sunscreen or moisturizer with SPF protection in my daily routine for protection from the UV rays. I make sure I shoot around 7am and wrap up by 10am and consequently avoid direct sun exposure during and around noon as it causes the most amount of damage.
2. Indoor Radiation I was surprised myself to learn from Pond’s that visible light, indoors from our computer screens, cell phones, tablets, office lights, etc. can penetrate deep into the dermis causing skin damage similar to UV damage. Considering the amount of time I spend working on my laptop, not to mention my smartphone addiction -keeping tabs on all my social media accounts, indoor radiation is surely another cause for concern. So I make sure that I keep the brightness levels low on both my laptop and cell phone, to minimize the exposure to visible light.
   Other sources of indoor radiation to watch out for include technology gadgets, cooking fumes, chemical odors, and second-hand smoke.
Did you know that 4 days in front of your laptop = 20 minutes in the noon sun and that chronic repetitive exposure to sources of heat (i.e. stove, heated car seat, laptop) may cause skin darkening


The Pond’s Institute has studied urban populations in several countries like India and China to understand the role of pollution in skin problems like pigmentation.The two types of pollutants are:

1.Outdoor Pollutants – Environmental pollution is known to cause inflammation, pigmentation, and even hyper-pigmentation

The biggest outdoor pollutants include UV radiation, car exhausts and dust from construction. And living in a heavily polluted city like Mumbai only adds to these woes. I like to run outdoors at least 3 times a week and that exposes me to a high level of outdoor pollutants too.

It has been noted that 50% of skin damage takes place due to environmental factors. Environmental pollutants activate melanocytes to product excessive melanin, causing dark spots and uneven skin tone. Pigment spots can increase by 20% depending on the amount of soot and particles from traffic.
To cope with all these environmental stresses you need to adopt a holistic solution with multiple approaches that include Deep Cleansing,Effective Protection,Damage Correction and Natural Defense Strengthening.
So my daily routine includes  religiously using a good cleanser, moisturizer (with SPF protection) and a spot corrector for dark spots.

2.Indoor Pollutants – They involve technology gadgets (indoor radiation), cooking fumes, chemical odors, and second-hand smoke. Chronic repetitive exposure to sources of heat (i.e. stove, heated car seat, laptop) may cause the skin to darken.

  Using a daily moisturizer like the Pond’s Flawless White Day Cream can help protect the skin from external heat sources.

I hope that you have found all insights and research about Skin Pigmentation from the experts at The Pond’s Institute super useful and will implement some
of the recommended solutions to combat the issue.
I encourage you to send in any queries/concerns you may have about Skin Pigmentation to me on or list them in the comments below and I can have them answered directly by my friends at The Pond’s Institute and the answers will be included in my next month’s post.
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