June 15, 2018 ^^
Hyperpigmentation isn’t fun. I typically can’t escape a breakout without it leaving a dark hyper-pigmented mark from the inflammation. An article on TOTALBEAUTY.COM outlines that:
There is a wide range of factors that cause hyperpigmentation, including processes embedded in your skin cells, genetics, environmental factors and hormones. Darker skin tones naturally have more melanin, so hyperpigmentation is more pronounced.
Ugh it’s frustrating. I always said I’d get around to aggressively working on my skin SOMEDAY and that day finally rolled around this year. I got tired of it all, FED UP really! After having my first child last year, my skin hit an all time low! I’ve always wanted to get professional help, but was always scared that the Ottawa market of skincare clinics wouldn’t know how to treat my skin – being dark skinned. I guess the fear of it all along with the COST of it all – has got me taking matters into my own hands. I also had past trauma from a product that burned my face in the past. I’ve seen so much traction with what I have been doing lately and want to share what I’ve been doing with you.
I shared a photo on my Instagram and there were people who were inspired. I know I had to write this post! SEE BELOW – The top right photo is the BEFORE and the bottom photo is the AFTER.
FIRST PICTURE: January 15, 2018
SECOND PICTURE: Aug 21, 2018
Let’s jump right in. Here are the products I currently USE and why. I will share exactly how I am using them and the frequency following this. I will also recommend product alternatives(for the pricey products) at a more affordable price point – since most of these were sent to me in PR mail outs. I have been using most of these products, unless otherwise stated for 4 months – which is just as long as Ive been focusing on my skin and taking the steps to clear it.
PRODUCTS IN MY REGIMEN
SOAPS AND CLEANSERS
It is a lightening agent that inhibits melanin production
ALTERNATIVE – Kiehl’s Since 1851
This is a gentle cleanser with an optimal acid pH (pH 4.5) to make my other products more effective by balancing my skin. I like that this is gentle since other products in my regimen are harsher.
June 2018 ^^
This is a gentle exfoliant that improves skin texture and health. Contains magnesium and silica, which are all beneficial for the skin. This clay is also good at preventing acne, which is important for me being someone who suffers from Hyper-pigmentation from acne scars. Prevention is important.
ALTERNATIVE – PAULAS CHOICE CLINICAL 1% Retinol Treatment
Helps to even skin tone with pharmaceutical grade vitamin C. The vitamin C and peptides help to boost collagen, which help with tone and texture – revealing new skin. Peptides are fractions of proteins that help with skin’s texture and appearance.
SkinCeuticals Discolouration Defence Serum *NEW – Only been using for 1 month*
ALTERNATIVE – The Ordinary Niacimide and Zinc
This serum contains key ingredients to help lighten dark spots
According to the SkinCeuticals website, these are the ingredients that do the heavy lifting:
- 3% Tranexamic Acid: This synthetically derived ingredient minimizes the reoccurrence of skin discoloration and stubborn brown patches with continued use.
- 1% Kojic Acid: Naturally produced by certain fungi, kojic acid helps improve skin brightness.
- 5% Niacinamide: Also known as vitamin B3, this water-soluble vitamin is found naturally in yeast, meat, fish, milk, eggs, green vegetables, beans, and cereal grains. It has been shown to help reduce the appearance of skin discoloration.
- 5% HEPES: This synthetically-derived acid activates natural enzymes in skin to help break the bonds that bind dead skin cells to the surface for even exfoliation.
ALTERNATIVE – Avene Emulsion
Some emulsions will emulsify and soften the skin without creating a moisture barrier so that serums, etc. can be absorbed more easily. Other emulsions are formulated to be applied after the serums, etc. to create a moisture barrier and seal in all the skincare goodies that you just pampered yourself with Source: (peachandily.com). This one is to be used after the serum, but I’m sure I use it before. OOPS.
ALTERNATIVE – Neutrogena Hydra Boost
This moisturizer contains Hyaluronic Acid, which replenishes the skin’s moisture barrier. Our body produces Hyaluronic Acid allowing the skin to be healthy and to hold moisture. It is important to include a product like this because I am using a lot of things that exfoliate which can leave the skin dry and stripped.
ALTERNATIVE – Garnier Toner with Green Tea
This toner contains vitamin E, Green tea and witch hazel, which help to control impurities. It has acne-preventing ingredients to help with inflammation that causes the hyper-pigmentation.
SkinCeuticals Blemish + Age Solution Toner *NEW – Only been using for 1 month*
ALTERNATIVE – VICHY Purifying Toner
This serves as gentle exfoliant to scrub away dead skin cells and reveal new skin. It contains salicylic and glycolic acids that exfoliate.
Lactic acid helps to speed up cell turnover and rids the skin surface of damaged skin.
A product with hydroquinone
Inexpensive spin brush to help with exfoliation
May 2018 ^^
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN THE SKINCARE PRODUCTS YOU BUY
According to totalbeauty.com this is a winning combination:
- A tyrosinase inhibitor
Examples include hydroquinone, bearberry, liquorice root, ascorbic acid and Kojic acid) that suppresses the enzyme tyrosinase and keeps it from turning tyrosine into melanin.
According to GOOGLE | Tyrosine is an amino acid. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. The body makes tyrosine from another amino acid called phenylalanine. Tyrosine can also be found in dairy products, meats, fish, eggs, nuts, beans, oats, and wheat.
2. An exfoliator that increases cell turnover to reveal newer, and thus more lightly pigmented, skin.
Examples include retinol, glycolic acid and salicylic acid, lactic acid, Enzymes such as bromelin, papain, pineapple or papaya.
- A melanogenesis inhibitor that stops melanosomes from transferring newly produced melanin to other skin cells in the body. |
An example of this is Cardamonin, which is responsible for the yellow pigment in plants.
DISCLAIMER ** Before I share my detailed routine, I want to say that the NUMBER ONE key in ALL OF THIS is EXFOLIATION. People used to tell me this ALL the time when it came to Hyper-pigmentation and I’m not too sure why I was such a skeptic. I think it was a combination of not wanting to do the work and NOT ACTUALLY believing it would be that simple. SCRUB, SCRUB, SCRUB and look for products with the things I listed above.
DEC 3, 2017 ^ AT MY WORST ^
- Each day that I remember LOL – I cleanse my skin with one of my cleansers listed above. Kojic soap or the pro-derm cleanser. I use my spin brush as much as possible. Sometimes my skin feels a bit irritated so I just use my hands.
- Then I TONE
- Then I use the Faces Shop Emulsion
- Then (SERUM)
- Then (MOISTURIZE)
- Then I spot treat with my product with hydroquinone
- REFRESH 10% Lactic Acid Peel, then my daily routine
- Mask, then my daily routine
I pat all my skincare products in for better absorption and do this routine twice a day and have been using this regimen for about 4 months now. Please take a look at my before and after pictures to see where I came from.
Thank you so much for reading if you got this far. I hope this helped you and has inspired you to FIGHT for the skin you want. I still have such a long way to go. I have marks all over my chest, back and arms that I don’t treat as aggressively. My approach is to take care of my face first and then focus on the other areas. I found this works for me because I get overwhelmed easily 😀