Okay. So, now you’re over it because you’ve bought just about every product from the drugstore that claims it can lighten your hyperpigmentation and still, no improvement! The reason is probably because the low percentage of 2% hydroquinone (HQ) doesn’t always show significant changes in deeper skin tones. However, when “hydroquinones [are used] in stronger strengths varying between 4- 10% for a specified period of time,” changes are much more noticeable according to New York-based, Board Certified Dermatologist and friend to HKI, Dr. Elena Jones. And what do you know, there just so happens to be skin lightening products available for purchase without a prescription with higher HQ percentages, but I’ll save that secret for later.
As Dr. Jones explains, because “Our skin tends to produce more inflammatory cells which produce more persistent and difficult-to-treat hyperpigmentation,” you should consider other types of hyperpigmentation treatments that deliver good results when done under the supervision of a doctor such as…
- Glycolic Peels: Also treats acne. This peel is an Alpha hydroxy acid and derived from sugar cane. It keeps pores unblocked and stimulates cell renewal.
- Microdermabrasion: This is a mechanical exfoliation treatment that sprays microcrystals onto the skin through a stainless steel pressurized wand.
- Retin A: This is a topical Vitamin A which is primarily used to treat sun damaged skin, but also speeds up the growth of new skin cells thereby reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation.
- Non-ablative Fraxel Laser: a non-invasive laser-resurfacing therapy treatment of acne scars.
And now for the secret – Clinicians Complex 6% Skin Bleaching Cream ($53, lovelyskin.com) is designed with 6% HQ, bearberry extract, an ingredient that lightens hyperpigmentation, age spots, brown spots, melasma and other skin discolorations, but also inhibits melanin formation which causes the darkening of the skin. But if you think 6% HQ is too strong for you, then try SkinTx Sunbalance 4% Hydroquinone SPF 15 ($65, lovelyskin.com) which contains sunscreen so you’ll never forget to apply it as you go through the treatment process.
Above all, Dr. Jones stresses the importance of having “patience and persistence [when] treating the conditions that first caused the hyperpigmentation.”
NOTE: Seek the advice of a dermatologist before starting any new skin care regimen, but if you don’t have health insurance, try a hospital dermatology clinic where you pay for the visit on a sliding scale, i.e. income-sensitive – thanks for this tidbit Dr. Jones!
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