On the basics of hyperpigmentation: “Hyperpigmentation is caused by many things such as birth control, sun exposure and any abrasion trauma to the skin and that can be from tweezing, scratching, pimples. The abrading trauma to the skin causes inflammation then the inflammation to darken. This is called post inflammation hyperpigmentatiom and extra melanin to be produced. A lot of people think elbows and knees are darker because they’re suppose to be. But because they’re rubbing against things like other areas of the skin –table tops, clothing fabric, etc– they’re darker from that abrading trauma.”
On myths that don’t really help the skin: “The biggest myth people have abut dealing with dark scars is treating them with a scrub. But it is making much worse. Scrubbing in fact re-traumatizes and abrades the skin. If you’re gonna scrub, do it gently and and longer. I’d rather you scrub gently for three minutes than scrub hard for 30 seconds. Another is toothpaste. It’s is one of those urban legend remedies I hear all the time. But if you use toothpaste do not use a whiting toothpaste. The whitening formulas have hydrogen peroxide and will cause hyperpigmentation. We put a ton of toothpaste, benzoyl peroxide and retinol to zap pimples –but they inflame skin creating dark marks if too much is applied. Use in small amounts. People think microdermabrasision is a solution for hyperprigmentation but again you’re taking something abrasive and re-traumatizing the skin.”
On the solution to prevent hyperpigmentation: “There are three things I recommend to deal with hyperpigmentation: glycolic creams, glycolic peels and SPF. A glycolic peal can be made out of different chemicals– and they come in different strengths. Spas use a low strength, but physicians use a medium to deep strength. Glycolic peels are composed of a natural chemical that attaches to every dead skin cell and dissolves them. It’s not a facial. And for those with sensitive skin, there’s a lactic acid peel that’s similar. Another way to combat hyperpigmentation is layering your SPF.” The peels from Physician are stronger are not the same as spa peels or facials.
On if CC and/or BB creams are helpful: “Using a CC or BB cream is a waste of time. Cosmetic companies are trying to get you to use a cream with seven things in one , spa, moisturizer foundation, but you’re not getting enough of what you need. If you’re a makeup girl, you can use a primer with SPF 30 in it. Honestly, SPF in the foundation or primer isn’t enough. This is because you’re putting your makeup on so lightly then blending [read: not red carpet levels of heavy makeup] But if you think this is enough to wear SPF in makeup, you’re absolutely fooling yourself.”
On over-the-counter SPFs and glycolic creams she recommends: “La Roche-Posay Anthelios 60 Body Milk Sunscreen is the best SPF and moisturizer I’ve worked with. SPF and moisturisers don’t need to be separate. And never get less than 30 SPF. I recommend 50 SPF and up because the more hyperpigmentation you have, the higher SPF you should have. If you’re going the glycolic cream route use a 2-5 percent solution and I recommend three days a week, alternate your days, rest in between. I like AmLactin Lotion and MirSkin glycolic cream
On what to do when a pimple initially emerges: “For big red pimples, the type you feel coming up under the surface, ice those for the inflammation. And then head to a dermatologist for a cortisone shot. With regular pimples where there’s a white head, use a warm compress it should come off easily. You can treat these with salicylic acid cream but don’t over do it.”
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