Acne scars and dark spots. Just reading those words make you see red, don't they? On our quest to erase scars and hyperpigmentation, we ventured to Dr. Howard Murad's Southern California spa to get pro tips on how to banish them for good. See what the doctor had to say about what types of ingredients and treatments work best, shop Dr. Murad's acne scar and dark spot products below, and view our other product recommendations, too. On Kirbie: Aryn K dress, Club Monaco blazer.
Dark spots: at some point or another, just about everybody gets them. And while diffusing their appearance takes a little patience and a devoted skin care regimen, your spots can fade over time. Get the science behind hyperpigmentation, along with some product solutions, when you continue reading.
Dark spots, also known as hyperpigmentation, can happen to us all. And if you're looking to mask their appearance, there are a few things you can do at home to even out your skin tone. This four-part regimen, which includes sloughing off dead skin and protecting it, can help get you the bright, clear complexion you've always dreamed of. On Kirbie: H&M.
Marie Veronique Nadeau is the kind of woman you want to chat up for hours. Not only is the former chemistry teacher practically (and naturally) wrinkle-free in her early 60s, but she's also a licensed esthetician and founder of Marie Veronique Organics, an eco-friendly line free of toxins, nanoparticles, and petroleum-based ingredients. And when I asked Marie for a few quick, easy, and natural masks to do at home, she delivered. Find out two great recipes when you read more.
Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of patches of skin or nails due to ramped-up melanin production, resulting in blotchy looking skin, "raccoon" under-eye circles, and uneven skin tone. Although hyperpigmentation is common across the board, it's especially prevalent in women of South Asian, East Asian, Mediterranean, or African heritage — so almost everyone.
It's a natural part of aging, and although hydroquinine or other dangerous lightening products might be tempting, resist the urge. Instead, use a spot brightening serum like DDF's convenient little Discoloration Reversal-PODs ($72), moisturizer, a wide-spectrum sunblock, and your favorite foundation. You'll get similar results without harming your health.
There are loads of acne creams, wrinkle treatments, but do they really work? A new website called SkinOfMine.com hopes to help you discover the answer by allowing you to evaluate their effectiveness. All you have to do is take a "before" photo of yourself, upload it, and follow the cropping and analyzing instructions. Later, upload an "after" photo for comparison. Software scans the photos to note changes in things like texture, tone, and appearance.
The least sexy, but most helpful, tool on the website is the mole analyzer. While it can't replace the expert advice of a doctor, it does allow you to track changes over time. You can even email your snapshots to the derm through the website. So if you're tracking the shape of your moles — which could truly be a life-saver — this makes doing so a lot easier.
In the Renaissance and onward well into the 19th century, women used lead-based makeup to keep their skin fair and youthful looking. Sadly, lead poisoning was common. While most of us assume our beauty products have evolved since then, that's not always the case. There've been plenty of studies showing evidence of lead still present in lipstick, and now a Chicago Tribune investigation found mercury in six of the 50 lightening creams it tested. The levels were high enough, in fact, to cause kidney damage, even though using mercury in cosmetics has long been illegal in the US. On top of that, mercury is easily absorbed through the skin, making it particularly dangerous when used in cosmetics. I'm not a big fan of lightening creams in general, because I think the skin you were born with is beautiful as it is. I do understand, though, that some people use creams to even skin tone or get rid of hyperpigmentation, age spots, and sometimes freckles. However, there are also plenty of other options available — like kojic acid and alpha hydroxy acid, for example. According to the article, lightening product sales are projected to reach $76 million annually by 2015, so it's obvious they're here to stay. What are your thoughts? Do you use lightening products, and if so, how closely do you check the label?
I'm pretty suspicious of skin-tone-evening agents, especially since they tend to be nothing more than traditional skin bleachers like hydroquinone that may have harmful side effects. Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting SPF 20 Moisturizer ($42), however, substitutes acids, caffeine, and yeast extract for the usual suspects. Huzzah!
This product is definitely a tone evener, not a lightener, so I haven't gotten any of the blotchiness that can sometimes occur with skin bleach. I can also say that after using it on my arms and hands every day for the past five weeks, the skin is genuinely more even-toned, with my freckles and other pigmentation faded, though certainly not invisible. It's also lightweight and absorbs nicely, and I do appreciate the wide-spectrum SPF — although I think it needs to be higher than 20 to provide long-term protection.
I was afraid to use this on my face since it has sensitizing (but effective) hyaluronic and salicylic acids in it, so I'd suggest you patch-test before you give it a go. Overall, though, a nice product for the money if you have issues with light hyperpigmentation or patchiness and don't want to go under the laser.