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Skin pigmentation issues can affect our appearance and confidence. While we often think about protecting our skin from UV rays, visible light from the sun and electronic screens can also contribute to pigmentation problems. By one of the most admired Dermatologist in the game, Dr. Pearl Grimes came out with a study on the effectiveness of iron oxide-containing formulations in safeguarding your skin against visible light-induced pigmentation.

The Hidden Threat: Visible Light and Skin Pigmentation

We often hear about the importance of sunscreen for UV protection, but recent research has shed light on another culprit—visible light. Sunlight, as well as artificial light sources like smartphones and computers, emit visible light that can penetrate the skin and lead to pigmentation issues. This is especially concerning for those already struggling with melasma or other hyperpigmentation problems.

High Energy Visible Light & Melanin Stimulating Hormones

Recent evidence-based research has delved into the intriguing relationship between High-Energy Visible (HEV) light filters and their influence on melanin-stimulating hormone (MSH). These studies reveal that exposure to HEV light, often emitted by devices like smartphones and computers, can impact skin biology significantly. Notably, the research indicates that HEV light may stimulate the production of MSH, a key hormone involved in melanin production. This is crucial as it contributes to our understanding of how modern technology affects skin health, particularly in relation to pigmentation issues. Such insights are invaluable for developing more effective skin care treatments and protective measures against HEV light exposure. This evolving area of research emphasizes the importance of continued exploration into how environmental factors interact with our skin at a molecular level.

AlumierMD UK on X: "Skin school is in - pigmentation physiology! Skin  colour originates in the basal layer of the epidermis where melanocytes are  and upon UV exposure these cells produce pigment

The Study: Iron Oxide's Protective Power

A study published in the Journal of Drugs in Dermatology delves into the impact of iron oxide-containing formulations in combating visible light-induced skin pigmentation. Here are some key findings:

1. Iron Oxide as a Shield

Iron oxide, a mineral often used in sunscreens and makeup, has been found to act as a shield against the harmful effects of visible light. It helps to absorb and scatter the light, reducing its penetration into the skin. Let's be real, don't think that your little 15 SPF makeup is sufficient....cause it's not!

2. Protection Against Melasma & Other Pigmentation Conditions

Melasma tends to darken and become more pronounced when exposed to sunlight or visible light. Iron oxide formulations help prevent this darkening by reducing the penetration of visible light into the skin. As a result, individuals with melasma may experience less severe pigmentation issues and enjoy a more even skin tone.

3. Daily Defense

One of the essential takeaways from this research is the importance of daily use. Just as we apply sunscreen daily to guard against UV radiation, incorporating iron oxide-containing products into your skincare routine can help protect your skin from the daily onslaught of visible light.

Impact of Iron-Oxide Containing Formulations Against Visible Light-Induced  Skin Pigmentation in Skin of Color Individuals - JDDonline - Journal of  Drugs in Dermatology

Practical Tips for Skin Protection

Incorporating iron oxide-containing products into your skincare regimen is a proactive step in defending your skin. Here are some practical tips:

  1. Choose Sunscreens with Iron Oxide: Look for sunscreens labeled "broad-spectrum" that contain iron oxide. These products can offer comprehensive protection against both UV and visible light. I love Mesoestetic Melan 130 and Sonrei Clearly Zinq Tinted Mineral Gel.

  2. Makeup with Added Benefits: Consider makeup products that include iron oxide, such as foundations and tinted moisturizers. In addition, not solely alone as your SPF for the love of God! They not only provide coverage but also offer added protection against visible light.

  3. Stay Consistent: Consistency is key. Apply these products daily, especially if you spend extended periods in front of screens or outdoors.

  4. Consult a Pro: If you have specific skin concerns or pigmentation issues, consult a professional (especially a dermatologist if you think its melasma) for personalized guidance on incorporating iron oxide-containing products into your skincare routine.

Visible light-induced skin pigmentation is a concern for many, but with the right protective measures, you can minimize its effects. The study discussed here underscores the benefits of iron oxide-containing formulations in safeguarding your skin against visible light. By taking proactive steps and being mindful of your skincare choices, you can enjoy healthier, more radiant skin.

Remember, a well-informed skincare routine is your best defense against the visible light that threatens your complexion. Embrace the power of iron oxide and shield your skin from harm.



Yardman-Frank, J. M., & Fisher, D. E. (2021). Skin pigmentation and its control: From ultraviolet radiation to stem cells. Experimental dermatology, 30(4), 560–571.

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