Thursday, January 19, 2012

Skinceuticals Pigment regulator Vs Hydroquinone products for lightening dark spots

Ok, so this is not all natural, but def. the safest product I've used so far for lightening dark spots on the face (freckles, sun damage, hormone related spots etc.). I purchased mine when I went to my dermatologist for approx. 100$ for 30ml, so its not cheap, but it's worth it since it has lasted me a while, I'm happy with the results and the ingredients are safer compared to other products containing hydroquinone, I will definitely be purchasing this again. When I first started getting annoyed of brown spots and decided to get rid of them, I tried a laser treatment in 2009 to remove them and it worked very nicely, but I didn't take 100% care of my skin afterwards (wearing sunblock religiously) and they came back, they always do, it's usually a question of time and how well you protect your skin.

I first started using a product by Neostrata called HQ Lightening Cream with Spf 20 which contain medicinal ingredients such as Hydroquinone 4.0%, Padimate O 8.0%, Oxybenzone 4.0% and Octocrylene 4.0%, I used this product for a span of 3-4 months, it's available over the counter at about 30$ for 15ml. Now, what I didn't know about these ingredients is that first and foremost, Hydroquinone is a very controversial ingredient that happens to be banned in certain parts of Europe because apparently they tested it on mice and found that some of them developed cancerous tumours, I was pissed that I even used this product for the small amount of time that I did, and that I was recommended this ingredient from a previous dermatologist, which was even more upsetting since she never informed me of the controversy of the ingredient or even worse, she may have been oblivious to it, so like everything else, you have to research products on your own since sometimes doctors won't even warn you...Disappointing. Another reason why you'll want to avoid Hydroquinone is because its an ingredient that you should not use for longer than 3 months consecutively since it can actually end up making your brown spots worse!!!! Which it did with me! So when I was visiting my dermatologist that specialises in my beauty marks (I have them checked every 3 years since I have many of them, and I keep them monitored when one changes). I asked about some freckling that developed under my eyes. I told him I was using a product containing Hydroquinone and he told me to stop using it since the ingredient had been receiving very mixed reviews in terms of it's safety, so I was very glad to have been informed of this, and decided to ditch it.

My dermatologist then told me about a product formulated in Canada that contained safer ingredients if I insisted on using a topical cream to diminish them. I started using Skinceuticals in October and have been using it ever since, the plus side is there is no limit to how long you can use this since the ingredients are much safer, the main medicinal ingredients are Emblica 2% which is a herbal extract, and Kojic Acid which is a by-product in the fermentation process of malting rice, this is the main ingredient used to lighten the browning of skin. Kojic acid also has antibacterial and anti fungal properties. The only thing with this product, is that you need to be patient, it doesn't lighten the skin as quickly as Hydroquinone, but it is a better ingredient that is effective, safer and mild on the skin. Unfortunately you may not want to use this during pregnancy (that's when many women develop brown spots on the face due to hormone surges) since the effects are not documented, and it is a FACT that you should NOT use the Hydroquinone ingredient during pregnancy. For additional info on the product, you can check it out here. My dermatologist also told me that simultaneously using this with a topical vitamin C product to fight free radicals would be very beneficial, so I use this with one of my favorite remedies for vitamin c which I make myself (you can find the info for that post here). I'm very happy with the results, it's slow, but it works, and most importantly, doesn't contain  medicinal ingredients as questionable as Hydroquinone.

CON: Contains Propylparaben.