When it comes to fading away your hyperpigmentation, dark spots, discoloration, post inflammatory marks and melasma you have different options. So many in fact, that you may often feel overwhelmed.
So today I’ll break down the most common forms of solutions on the market to fix your dark spots.
As a reminder, the only way to be sure you’re treating your condition to the best of your ability is to either stick with a specific routine for many months to see if it yields you results or go to your board certified dermatologist.
Product hopping because you’re impatient is totally understandable, but it will only leave you frustrated with little to no results. And if you do yield some good results you won't know what's working, which will put you back at square one when it comes to maintaining it.
Melasma, often called the “pregnancy mask” is hormonally driven and often the hardest to treat. But the good news is that it can get better on its own over time. The hard part is often waiting. If you don’t want to turn to oral medications, such as Tranexamic Acid, then Hydroquinone is the topical gold standard that’s been proven to work.
If you’re not quite ready for Hydroquinone, you can talk to your dermatologist about other prescription options, such as Azelaic Acid or Tretinoin.
You may also talk to your doctor about creating custom compounds specifically to treat your needs.
It’s important to know that Hydroquinione is still available OTC in the US, however you can only get it up to 2% which may or may not be enough to treat your concern.
As a preventative method, always wear sunscreen, avoid heat (even if there's no visible sun) and make sure to include or ask about other products with ingredients that help block melanin production.
If you choose to wear a prescription, it's also important to wear a good moisturizer and/or sunscreen over it during the day and a good moisturizer over it at night.
If you have sensitive skin Lactic acid may be a good solution to help you reduce discoloration because by nature it’s more hydrating.
Proper exfoliation is also important so that your active products can penetrate your skin effectively.
I also love Kojic acid which you can find in various products online, because it helps fade the appearance of dark spots. I used it on myself inside a serum for years when I first started to visibly see spots pop up. The serum also included 2% hydroquinone and it was very effective for me. In full transparency, I've used Retinol at night for years and at the time I gave myself a light peel every month. I share this because when someone tells you what's helped them, it's important to remember that it's the sum of everything that counts.
It's also important to note that if you stop using your products that block melanin synthesis and stop wearing sunscreen your dark spots will likely surface again.
If you’re not able to go to the dermatologist or invest in an OTC line you trust, you can try Differin, which was once only available by prescription. Differin’s budget friendly topical treatment for treating dark spots includes Niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3), OR 2% Hydroquinone.
However, Differin is not a moisturizer, so I recommend applying a good moisturizer with sunscreen if you go this route.
It’s important to note that the strength will be much lower than what you can get from a prescription, so realistic expectations are important.
Another anti-aging OG I love to recommend that helps improve your skin tone and the over all quality of your skin is Retinol. It’s likely that you can still use Retinol, even if you’re using other products to aid in brightness or exfoliation.
To help maintain your results and brighter skin, I recommend using a brightening serum, like our Vitamin C + Correcting Serum under your Whipped Olive Oil Face Butter or The Good Sunscreen during the day and our Advanced Retinol Night Repair Creme at night.
Pro tip! While skin cycling has become a trendy thing to talk about recently, remember that Retinoids have a progressive effect on your skin so using it once or even twice a week won’t make as much of a difference as using it more consistently because consistency is key.
Which brings me to my next point. If you have a hard time keeping up with remembering the last time you exfoliated or fear you may exfoliate too much, using an at home peel or our Brighten & Reveal Exfoliating Pads will serve you well because physiologically you don’t think of using them every night!
This is the perfect way to make sure you don’t over love (aka over exfoliate) your skin and remain consistent for that healthy year-long glow!
Remember, the more you know the more you glow.
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