Skincare Advice - Hyperpigmentation

(8 Posts)
BonitaFangita Sun 10-Jan-16 20:49:14

I've come here for your advice as you all really know your stuff smile
I'm early forties, mixed race colouring I guess Halle Berry/Thandie Newton skin tone not looks unfortunately
I'm starting to show early signs of aging, skin feels drier and pores more noticeable. Not many wrinkles yet fortunately. But I have recently noticed that I have been getting some darker patches around my chin and upper lip and am concerned about them getting darker and appearing in other places.
Can you recommend anything to even my skintone?
I usually cleanse, tone, moisturise morning and evening. I'm not loyal to any particular brand, and don't have particularly sensitive skin.
Any advice would be appreciated smile

PitPatKitKat Sun 10-Jan-16 22:15:47

I have patches of hyper pigmentation on my cheeks. A few things have made a difference. Firstly, a good spf is invaluable.

Secondly, products with lactic acid or niacinamide made a good but gradual difference (notably Good Genes by Sunday Riley or Juice Beauty Brightening pads).

Thirdly, NIOD's Copper Amino Isolate Serum has made a bigger difference to existing patches than anything else. Pigmentation has faded to virtually nothing now after about 3 weeks use. Bit of sheer blush creme hides it now, no need for concealer.

The only reason I didn't mention it first is because I still regularly use lactic acid and niacinamide products as well in my routine, so it could well be the combination of everything that is working. But if I was starting again ow, I would definitely start with NIOD CAIS. It's £38 for 15ml, which I think would be 6-8 weeks of two generous applications a day. It takes 3-5 days to notice a difference, but when you do, wow (not just on pigmentation, it generally makes a big difference).

Mrsmorton Sun 10-Jan-16 22:20:22

Sunscreen. At least factor 25 absolutely every single day. It's the only thing that helps me!

Love2dance Mon 11-Jan-16 11:17:29

Hi OP, I have the same colouring as you. The most appropriate solution and how effective the results will be will depend on the reason for your hyperpigmentation (post-inflammatory after blemishes? Melasma?). If it's melasma and linked to aging then the bad news is that over the counter products will have a limited effect. Melasma marks happen when your melanocytes (the brown pigment making cells) start to behave erratically and over produce brown pigment, leading to splodges on the skin. Over the counter products might brighten the skin but will not permanently get rid of any marks which are deeper in the dermis.

Other "miracle" treatments like lasers won't do for mixed race skin either: too risky as they can cause post inflammatory hyperpigmentation and actually make things worse - take no notice of beauty therapy clinics that claim otherwise. I have been round the houses on this one and shelled out £££ on private dermatologists to get the most appropriate advice and it boiled down to:
-Wear a high spf all year round - at least factor 30.
- Use a physical rather than a chemical sunscreen. Shop around for one that doesn't make brown skin look ashy (I have to put tinted moisturiser on top or mix with Cover FX drops).
- If it is stubborn melasma, consider treatment with hydroquinone and Retin A. This is a hardcore regime which you stay on for about 3 months. To be undertaken under dermatologist's supervision and after careful consideration only. Retin A increases cell turnover, can cause redness and irritation and makes skin more vulnerable to sun damage so spf 50 a must.
- Also consider a chemical peel. The most appropriate one for my mixed race skin (or so the derm told me) was Dermamelan. Again, you need to see a dermatologist for this.

Since my melasma emerged in 2012 I have had 2 rounds of hydroquinone and Retin A treatment using the Obagi system (see the many posts on MN for more info). My hyperpigmentation did not disappear completely but improved significantly. I had very noticeable brown patches over both cheeks, making it look as if someone had pressed their thumb into brown pigment and rubbed it on my cheeks. Now it is gone from one cheek and I have 3 little marks on the other which are not that bad (they just irritate me as I had nothing there at all before).

I am on a maintenance regime of Retin A and azelaic acid and use spf 50 each day. I sought advice on lasers and chemical peels to get rid of the last few stubborn marks on my cheeks. I was advised that the risk of it worsening with lasers was 10%. Those odds are too high for me so I won't be going down that route. I was also advised that the Dermamelan peel was much safer, but, instead of taking my money the dermo actually advised me to do nothing right now. I have taken that advice and will reconsider if the marks worsen.

This all costs, but I think it was worth it. What is important is that you get expert advice and decide what's right for you. When you add up the costs of niche brands such as Sunday Riley (gorgeous I know) or the Organic Pharmacy, which I used for a bit, and which can only take you so far, it is more cost effective to take the financial hit and get the right treatment, if you decide t get treatment at all. If the marks aren't bothering you too much you could leave them or have a look at good concealers.

Good luck!

BonitaFangita Mon 11-Jan-16 18:15:40

That's great advice, thank you for your help. At the moment I can cover with concealer, I just want to stop it before it gets more noticeable. I normally just use moisturisers with a factor 15 SPF. What would you advise as a good sunscreen considering I had quite oily combination skin too.
I was concerned I would only be able to use skin lighteners which I'm not keen on!
I think I might try the NIOD CIAS too and see how I get on with that.
Again thank you so much for your replies, it's really helpful to get experienced and unbiased advice.

Love2dance Tue 12-Jan-16 00:14:23

For Factor 30:
The Obagi sunscreen is good. I wouldn't go near the factor 50. Great for under makeup but I had a bad reaction to it with skin going red.
Jan Marini has a decent one which is water resistant and has a reasonable tint. I didn't get on with it as my skin is quite dry, but I think it would be good on combination skin.

Nars pure radiant tinted moisturiser is spf 30 and has a great range of colours for olive/mixed race/darker skins. Try St Moritz (think Sade) or Cuba (think Halle). A dermo would say you still need to layer sunscreen under makeup, including tinted moisturiser, but if you HP is not that bad you could always apply the sunscreen only to the "problem" areas then put the Nars all over.

For factor 50:
I really like Exuviance. It's a light lotion with a (still too pale) tint but goes really well under makeup or on its own.
MD Solar Sciences is also very good, BUT, is pretty white and thick, almost paste like. It softens and becomes easier to apply if you warm it by rubbing it between fingers first and for me it requires tinted moisturiser or foundation over the top so I don't look like a corpse.

Skinceuticals sheer physical defense is ok, I found it a bit gritty but people rave about it.

The Paula's Choice website has good reviews for this sort of stuff and it gives details of percentages of titanium and zinc oxide, the physical sunscreens you need. I would look for a minimum of 6% of either one, preferably more.

I also hear Epionces is good, but haven't tried it myself.

Love2dance Tue 12-Jan-16 00:17:01

Almost forgot La Roche Posay is good too, but not sure their sun creams have a high enough percentage of physical sunscreens.

BonitaFangita Wed 13-Jan-16 19:52:22

Thanks Love2Dance I'll check it out

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