Kate Ferdinand has bravely bared her makeup-free skin to give fans an unfiltered look at her facial pigmentation patches.
“Me without makeup. For the last few years, even with SPF50 and a hat, as soon as the sun comes out my face looks like a patch work,” she captions the barefaced selfie.
“I always feel so insecure about it and it really does get me down, I try to cover it at all costs.”
The star, who gave birth to her first child Cree late last year, goes on to explain that she’s felt the need to be “perfect” for most of her life, but is now fed up of having “crazy, unrealistic expectations.”
Kate’s celeb pals and Instagram followers were quick to show their support, and to thank the new mum for sharing her imperfections so openly.
Love Island’s Megan Barton-Hanson said: “Babe you’re unreal and always have been, ever since I first saw you on TV. I love how open you’re being, so brave.”
Fellow new mum Dani Dyer praised Kate as well, saying: “I’m so going through this right now. So glad you’ve shared this.”
“I get trolled all the time for my pigmentation. It gets worse with pregnancy. Thank you for sharing and showing it’s normal,” mum-of-three Danielle Lloyd commented.
Other followers had similar stories about struggling with pigmentation throughout their lives, with many noting pregnancy worsened the look of the patches.
“I’m so happy you shared this! This happens to me and everyone always asks,” one fan shares.
“So refreshing to come across someone being normal,” another praised.
So what is skin pigmentation and how is it caused?
“Hyperpigmentation is a generic term referring to areas where skin is darker than surrounding skin,” explains consultant dermatologist Dr Justine Hextall, who explains that the three most common causes are UV exposure, inflammation (eg. following a flare-up of acne or eczema), and hormones.
Is it related to pregnancy?
It can be, explains Dr Justine. “It is thought a combination of hormones and UV exposure mainly cause the specific type of pigmentation referred to as melasma,” she says. “Melasma is commonly associated with pregnancy and exposure to hormones such as with the oral contraceptive pill, HRT etc.”
“Removing the hormonal trigger will help, but clearing the melasma once established can be difficult, particularly if it is deeper in the skin.”
To treat the problem, Dr Justine suggests using topical products that contain ingredients such as hydroquinone, retinoids or vitamin C, before trying any clinic treatments such as peels, microneedling or laser.
“Ongoing treatments to reduce recurrence would also include a high factor sun cream, preferably with a physical block such as zinc oxide,” Dr Justine says.
The best pigmentation-busting products
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Age Correct SPF50+, £18.75 here
“This has a combination of physical and chemical sun filters plus antioxidants to protect against visible light,” says Dr Justine. “This will give maximum protection against pigmentation.”
SkinCeuticals CE Ferulic, £109.99 here
A good daily topical vitamin C serum, this also contains tranexamic acid and niacinamide.
Nivea Cellular Luminous360 Anti-Dark Spot Serum, £19.99 here
Abbey Clancy has revealed how she noticed a “significant difference” in her pregnancy pigmentation since using this serum and its matching day cream.
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