Uneven skin color arises from sun exposure, hormone changes and trauma to the skin. It’s as strong an indicator of skin aging as loss of firmness, lines and wrinkles. When you think of young skin, you generally imagine smooth, even, perfect tone. That is why in your quest for “complexion perfection” you might start investigating ways to even out your skin color and reduce pigmentation stains, to restore your skin to a younger, more youthful look.
The best way to deal with pigmentation is to stay out of the sun, but for most of us the damage has already been done, and now you have these annoying splotches and spots. If you’re over fifty you may find that your past has caught up with you. Even though you’ve made the intelligent decision to stay out of the sun some years ago, all of a sudden these pigmentation spots appear. That is because estrogen suppresses pigmentation in skin that was previously exposed to UV damage. When estrogen levels drop these spots appear.
Hyperpigmentation is a difficult problem to deal with. It requires diligence and patience and realistic expectations when it comes to results. It may require a combination of different modalities which include spa treatments as well as home care.
Homecare is the place to start. The problem is that one product alone will not effectively deal with hyperpigmentation. There is no silver bullet here, but by creating a regime (a hyperpigmentation program) and sticking to it, you can enjoy great results. At Elizabeth Renee Esthetics we have done extensive research to find out the best approach in dealing with pigmentation problems, and this is what we’ve discovered:
1. First you must be emphatically loyal to your sunscreen. That means if you want to reduce pigmentation you must wear it every day, year round. I recommend a 30 SPF, broad spectrum particulate (non-chemical) based sunscreen like Elizabeth Renee’s Advanced Protection SPF 30. Make sure your sunscreen does not tingle or sting when you apply it, because irritation invites pigmentation. If you are post-menopausal you should remember that heat alone can bring out pigmentation (even with sunscreen and staying in the shade) so try to keep cool. I keep toner with me in sun situations and occasionally spray it on my face to keep my skin cool.
2. Most pigmentation is located in the epidermis or surface layers of the skin. The right kind of exfoliation can be very effective in lightening this kind of pigmentation. You need to find a way to exfoliate somewhat aggressively, but just shy of irritating your skin. I’ve found Lactic Acid (from sour milk) to be a really effective exfoliant because it is mild on the skin, it’s very hydrating and has some pigment suppressing qualities (try BOOST). Add a little Glycolic Acid to the formula if your skin is not too sensitive, and you’ll increase your exfoliation for quicker results (try Getting Even). Thicker, more resilient skins may need to add the ingredient Salicylic Acid (found in Clear Skin Solution) which is even stronger. Don’t go overboard. Getting Even is the ideal choice (and starting point) for most skin types. If you’re too aggressive you will stimulate what’s known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, causing more pigmentation.
This kind of exfoliation can be done daily, in the morning, as long as you use adequate amounts of sunscreen.
3. Antioxidants help reduce and prevent some of the damaging effects from Ultraviolet light. Our C & E Antioxidant Serum is a perfect choice because the type of Vitamin C used has pigmentation suppressing and skin lightening properties and (unlike other, very acidic forms of Vitamin C) it is calming for your skin. Your antioxidant serum should be used during the day, when your skin is exposed to sun light. Apply it after your exfoliating serum, giving the exfoliating serum a chance to sink in before layering on the C & E. I brush my teeth during that time. You can immediately follow up with sunscreen.
4. At night focus on repair. I’ve found the absolute best way to do this is with the old standby derivative of Vitamin A… Retinol. I’m not talking Retin-A here. Retin-A is too aggressive, and too inflammatory for the skin. And, while it may initially reduce pigmentation there is often a backlash effect which gives the skin an unnatural waxy look and may induce post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Retinyl Palmitate in many products is just not enough to promote results, so look for real Retinol. Elizabeth Renee Esthetics’ Retinol Resurfacing Treatment has a breakthrough formula of time released Retinol plus skin calming and pigment suppressing ingredients.
5. Finally you need to discourage the pigmentation from coming back. There are some good botanical extracts that interfere with the chemical processes that lead to the creation of melanin (pigment) in your skin. Elizabeth Renee Esthetics’ Brightening Peptide Serum is an anti-aging serum that performs double duty with its inclusion of Tyrosinase inhibitors (Licorice Root, Daisy Flower Extract and Bearberry Extracts) which will slow the return of pigment in your skin.
We’ve tested this homecare program and love the results. Not only did it lighten our pigmentation we also found it to hydrate the skin, unclogged pores and reduce breakouts. Our skins now have a smoother, younger look.
Since it requires a five step program Elizabeth Renee Esthetics decided to put these products into a Collection called Un-Sun Heroes. If you decide to purchase all five at the same time we will give you a 20% discount on this super effective collection of pigmentation busting products.
Un-Sun Advanced Peel
The next step is In-Spa Treatments. At Elizabeth Renee Esthetics we’ve spent months examining all possible combinations of peels to get even quicker and more long lasting results than homecare alone can provide. What seems to work the best is a potent dose of lactic acid. Lactic acid peels, lightens and suppresses pigmentation. For many with more resistant skins lactic acid can be combined with microdermabrasion. LED Light is also helpful when used to penetrate some of the botanically based melanin inhibitors that I mentioned above.
One treatment is not going to do the trick. You need to start with the homecare for about two weeks before starting the peels and you should do a series of at least six peels for significant results. Sensitive skins may not be able to handle both microdermabrasion and lactic peels so consult your esthetician for a customized approach that will work for your unique skin type.
I personally have loved the results that this approach has obtained for me and my clients. For clearer, smoother, more even and younger looking skin consider Un-Sun Heroes & Un-Sun Advanced Peels, only by Elizabeth Renee Esthetics.