I know, I know… I can go on and on about my darned hyperpigmentation. But I am really going after it this fall. Now that I got basking in the sun out of my system (I am NOT doing that next summer), I can really go after the dark spots that have cropped up.
Let’s talk about hyperpigmentation. There are lots of different kinds: sun spots, age spots, darker freckles and a larger area of discoloration. And lots of different reasons behind it including:
- Exposure to UV rays: While melanin can be a great asset, it won’t always protect from the harmful rays of the sun.
- Heredity: Nearly 30% of African Americans, Asians and Latino Americans are prone to dark spots or hyperpigmentation.
- Hormonal Changes: A change in estrogen levels during pregnancy, menopause or birth control pills can cause dark spots on your face and body.
- Medications: Sometimes hyperpigmentation may be caused due to side effects of certain medicines, including some antibiotics.
- Diet: According to recent studies certain diets with foods like parsley and lime can cause hyperpigmentation because they contain Psolarens which can make your skin more sensitive to sun exposure.
But no matter their cause or type, all hyperpigmentation is treated basically the same. You can start with kojic acid and vitamin C. There is even a mushroom extract that is said to work well. And many lab developed ingredients that are getting rave reviews. But it is actually a 50 year old ingredient that is still the tried and true (albeit controversial) combatant against hyperpigmentation: Hydroquinone.
Hydroquinone is the star of Murad’s Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum and it promised to make a dent in these dark spots in just one week. I was a bit skeptical since I love my Rx strength 4% Hydroquinone (usually only 2% strength is available over the counter). But, I’ll tell ya, it got this process going in a jiff! I have been using Murad’s Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum morning and night and I can see clear improvement. I am starting to work my Rx version in a little more at night to see if I can speed it up even more.
Also in the formula is Hexapeptide-2, a powerful skin lightening peptide that blocks future damage by helping prohibit pigment formation. And Glycolic Acid also works to exfoliate and enabling the Hydroquinone to work even more effectively. The gel like texture works well under makeup. And even my sensitive skin isn’t irritated by the active ingredients. I am requiring a little more hydration, but that also could be due to a change in season.
Murad’s Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum is available at Sephora, Beauty.com and Murad.
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It seems there is a lot of misconception about hydroquinone. People are afraid of using it for the fear of developing cancer. Yet, the truth is that if you use it according to the instruction, it should be safe to use.