“Bad skin really made me want to hide. I’d wear makeup to bed or stay in if I had a bad breakout,” Katy Perry once narrated. Adolescent skin can spell the most self-conscious, most confidence crushing moments in any person’s life, most especially when acne and the dark marks that follow are particularly bad skin issues for you.
Dealing With Darkened Skin
That’s why a proper skin care for acne involves two phases. First, the inflammation is treated. Second, acne marks are lightened. Just when you thought your skin was about to get better, signs of aging, including age spots and dark under eyes become prevalent, worse, even permanent.
When black spots are an issue, here are the treatment options you should consider:
1. Use a hydroquinone cream. This is the easiest, most hassle-free treatment option that you can take. You have two choices, that is, either you pick up an over-the-counter product or, get a prescription cream that contains upwards of 2.0 per cent hydroquinone.
Other countries, including countries in Europe, have banned hydroquinone in personal care products for being a suspected carcinogen. In the US, the Food and Drug Administration maintains its status quo distribution.
2. Use a cream with another active skin lightening ingredient. Retinol, proven many times to correct wrinkles but also inhibit melanin production, is one of these ingredients. You can get this OTC or, at higher doses by prescrption only. You must know that the drawback with using retinol is that long term use makes your skin more photosensitive.
Natural active ingredients such as plant-derived arbutin, licorice extract, and kojic acid have become more common. There’s a robust body of research backing up claims that these ingredients have skin lightening properties, and lower risk at the same time.
Using these products, however, might take longer before you notice any visible improvements on your black marks.
3. Use a product that uses antioxidants as natural whitening ingredients. More commercially distributed products, like Active White Skin Whitening, use L-glutathione and Vitamin C as active ingredients. Based on studies, however, the most effective skin protecting and skin whitening complex made of antioxidants is a formula that combines Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Niacinamide — the three most powerful antioxidants — in a single formula.
Having antioxidants as active whitening ingredients provides your skin with more added benefits, including romped up protection against cell-damaging free radicals, improved microcirculation, and enhanced cellular level energy for your skin cells.
This trio combination is capable of multiple functions, all contributing to a brighter and lighter skin complexion. These ingredients act to protect skin from the formation of dark spots by neutralizing free radicals, power up cells for a faster skin cell turnover, and improves microcirculation. Active White Skin Whitening folds in Vitamin C to deliver whiter skin.
4. Sign up for a chemical peel. This treatment uses chemicals of varying strengths. Your skincare specialist will help determine the most appropriate strength to correct your skincare imperfections based on the severity of your black marks, your skin type, and the results you expect.
5. Book a laser peel treatment. These days, laser treatments may be used singly or, in combination with other treatments to facilitate faster skin cell renewal and turnover which lightens your dark marks. The advantage of laser treatment over a chemical peel is that these treatments are highly targeted and will treat only damaged skin, leaving surrounding healthy skin untouched and undamaged.
6. Check out other clinic-based skin lightening procedures. Cosmelan, a procedure that uses kojic acid, and which combined clinic-based and home-based treatment procedures to lighten skin, is a viable option. This procedure is administered as a facial mask, with the rest of the treatment sessions performed by you at home.
7. Consider taking oral antioxidant supplements. Significantly higher doses of Vitamin C, Glutathione and Metathione or, a combination thereof, has been found to noticeably whiten skin at a relatively short period of time. Glutathione and Metathione became popular skin whitening treatments when liver disease patients were observed to have lighter skin during treatment.
Recently, however, the FDA warned against the possibility of antioxidant overdose. It also specifically discouraged the use of IV-injected glutathione which, it said, has not been approved for use as a skin whitening ingredient.
Where black spots are your major skin issues, these 7 procedures can help. Time to step out into the light.