Pigmentation includes dark spots and patchy skin, blemishes, stubborn tanning, acne marks and dullness and is one of the most common skin concerns in India—almost 80 per cent of Indians have pigmentation-prone skin. This is mostly genetic but also due to our constant exposure to the sun and our melanin-rich skin tones. To shed more light on this, we spoke to Karan Ratti, the founder and chief scientist of Melblok, a skincare line with patented anti-pigmentation technology.
Karan who is also the founder CEO of Ratti Corporation, got his master’s degree from New York University, and followed it up with a stint at NYU’s Langone Medical Centre where he specialized in cellular and regenerative dermatology and hair biology. In 2016, after five years of R&D, he founded Melblok.
In the latest edition of ELLE’s Masterclass, Karan shared a complete guide to identifying and tackling pigmentation. The biggest takeaway from this session? There is no miracle cure for pigmentation–it takes effort and a consistent skincare routine to reduce it. Here are edited excerpts from the conversation…
Causes of pigmentation
UV damage, hormonal imbalances during menstruation or post-pregnancy, and skin inflammation caused by acne breakouts or eczema are all factors that can trigger pigmentation. In some cases, it can also be hereditary.
The Melblok complex
“Pigmentation is caused when the cells in your body think they’re under attack. As a result, they become hyperactive and produce more melanin to protect skin. My approach to solving pigmentation is to find a way to relax the hyperactive cells,” explains Karan Ratti. He embarked on a search for natural, bio-compatible ingredients to create the Melblok complex.
According to Karan, this patented tech is a combination of turmeric extracts and multivitamins that give the cells the right environment to heal and go back to their original state. He emphasises the importance of being patient with the results. “Skin’s general cycle is 28-days long, so it will take up to a month to see any visible results,” he says. The day and night cream both have the Melbok complex and can be used individually as well. “They work best together as a system, and if you need extra hydration during winters you can add a few drops of your regular moisturiser to the Melblok day cream,” he advises.
Practices to follow for pigmentation-prone skin
“Just like you feel most awake during the mornings and sleepy at night, the skin too has a pattern. This is called skin’s circadian rhythm,” explains Karan. Melblok’s Day & Night system restores skin clarity by working with this natural rhythm. It’s important to use a good skincare system, stick to a healthy diet, get enough sleep and take care of yourself, inside out.”
“Always wear at least SPF 20, especially if you go out in the sun and tan easily. Use a sunblock like Melblok’s Day Cream, that doesn’t break down easily in the sun and protects the skin for 12 hours straight.”
“Avoid in-clinic treatments like lasers and chemical peels–these can exacerbate the production of melanin in skin.”
“Make sure you don’t overload skin with products, this will just confuse it. If you’re using Melbok’s Day cream, introduce it into your routine slowly by mixing a few drops into your moisturiser and gradually replace your existing skin cream with the Day Cream, same for the Night Cream is you’re already using some night product. Do this over a week and thereafter use it consistently.”
“If someone tells you that a face wash will brighten up your skin, take their claim with a pinch of salt. A cleanser sits on your face for a very short period of time so it can’t do much, but what it can do and should ideally do is to restore the pH level of skin and balance it. That’s what Melblok’s Pure Face Wash Gel does by restoring skin’s bio-chemical balance”
“Look for products that aim to restore skin to a pH-balanced state. If the skin’s acid mantle is balanced, skincare works better. Try Melblok’s Cleansing Emulsion that removes make-up without stripping skin of its natural oils.”