Have you ever had a day when you didn’t want to leave the house because of the spots on your face?
It’s uncomfortable to look in the mirror and see scars and marks marring your complexion.
And it’s hard to be brave and act like you don’t care.
But you’re not powerless.
You have two tried and tested tools to make that discoloration invisible.
Let’s discuss what they are.
Tool number one: lightening cream
There are many moisturizers, serums, and products that claim to fade hyperpigmentation.
How can you tell which one is appropriate for your situation?
More importantly, how do you know which ones actually work?
Well, the basic principle is the same.
To get rid of acne scars, age spots, and melasma, you need to do two things.
You need to exfoliate to get rid of dead, discolored skin.
Next, you need to prevent the dark pigmentation from coming back.
Therefore, the best hyperpigmentation lightening creams usually have a two-pronged attack.
(They may also provide sunscreen, but we’ll get to that in a moment.)
When you shop for lightening cream, you need to know a few details.
First, look for hydroquinone. It’s the gold standard for fading discoloration (1).
Unfortunately, it’s hard to find outside the United States as it can have some undesirable side effects.
Some countries have banned its sale.
In its place, you can look for ingredients like kojic acid and arbutin. These work about the same way as hydroquinone.
Scientists have discovered that licorice root, which is very soothing to the skin, works very well, too.
All of these components inhibit melanin, the skin’s natural pigment, from causing dark spots.
But please, follow the directions to the letter to avoid problems.
And wear sunscreen.
In fact, sunscreen is the key to protecting your skin from hyperpigmentation.
It doesn’t matter which kind of sunscreen, just shoot for SPF30 or 50 to make sure you get enough protection.
Moreover, if the lightening cream doesn’t have exfoliants in it, you’ll need to exfoliate before you apply it.
By exfoliants, I mean ingredients like glycolic or lactic acid. These are less aggressive than scrubs with walnut shells, but they work very well at getting rid of dead skin.
In the end, no matter which cream you buy, it’s going to take a while to make a difference.
You’re looking at weeks or months of consistent application to fade hyperpigmentation.
The only way to go faster is to visit a dermatologist for microdermabrasion or laser treatments.
That fact leads us to the next tool you can use to make those spots invisible.
Tool number two: makeup
Maybe you think you’ve heard it all before about using foundation and concealer.
Maybe you have. But if you spare another moment to keep reading, you might learn something new.
Are you aware of color-correcting concealers?
For example, if you have reddish acne scars, you’ll dab them with a green concealer to cancel out the color.
Meanwhile, peach-colored concealer eliminates brown age spots.
Then, when you apply foundation or flesh-toned concealer over the top, the marks disappear.
Furthermore, you can buy full-coverage waterproof makeup that the pros use to look flawless on screen.
This stuff is so potent it can hide tattoos.
It’s not even all that expensive or hard to use.
A little advice: use makeup sponges or a brush to apply it. They make the makeup look natural, not caked-on.
I realize that if you have craters in your skin, this trick is only going to remove the discoloration, not smooth the texture.
Please talk to an esthetician or a dermatologist about resolving that issue.
No matter whether you have oily or extra-dry skin, there is makeup made just for you.
The best foundations and concealers for hyperpigmentation address a variety of problems.
They won’t clog pores and cause acne. Plus, many have healing benefits or fight signs of premature aging.
They come in a multitude of shades as well.
To sum up, you can make discoloration disappear without spending a lot of money or time on the problem.
A couple of minutes a day to exfoliate and apply cream works on the problem behind the scenes.
Then, a few minutes in front of the mirror putting on makeup ensures that you feel comfortable in public.
After all, it matters more what we think of ourselves than what others think of us.
1. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/routine/fade-dark-spots accessed February 6, 2020