If you’ve been diligently treating your dark spots and hyperpigmentation, it’s possible that you may have experienced hitting the skin lightening plateau. In fact, it is not an uncommon occurrence. Our skin lightening treatment of choice may have been effective in achieving good results initially, but sometimes its progress may come to a halt. The reality may be that the product we are using may have done all it can for us. At this point, getting past the skin lightening plateau may involve reassessing our regimen and opting for alternatives to bring us closer to our goals.
Any successful skin lightening routine should involve a combination of products and ingredients to deliver maximum results:
1. A skin lightening product that disrupts the production of melanin
2. An exfoliant to remove existing hyperpigmentation
3. A sunscreen to prevent patches from darkening
4. A retinoid to reverse damage and help cells communicate more like young, undamaged ones
Switching up the treatments in any of these steps is a good way to jumpstart a skin lightening program.You may also want to consider adding in Vitamin C. At concentrations above 5%, it can brighten skin tone and add contribute to your efforts.
Here are a few options to consider to get beyond the plateau:
For treating dark spots, La Roche Posay’s Mela D Pigment Control is a concentrated serum that is hydroquinone- and paraben-free. This powerful formulation contains kojic acid, an effective skin lightening agent, to visibly reduce the look of dark spots and boost skin radiance. Neostrata’s Spot Lightener uses a combination of plant-derived Gigawhite (5%) and bearberry to inhibit the production of melanin and fade age spots. It’s a gentle skin-lightening alternative for highly reactive skin that is preservative free and non-comedogenic.
To remove existing hyperpigmentation, M2 Skin Refinish harnesses the power of 20% Malic and Mandelic acids to gently exfoliate and even out skin tone with minimal irritation. Neostrata’s Skin Renewal Peel Solution uses 10% glycolic acid to remove the build-up of dead skin cells on the surface of the skin in one quick treatment. Either one would also help to increase the absorption of other active ingredients in your skin lightening regimen.
Always use a good broad spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 that will effectively block UVA/UVB rays. The sun encourages the production of melanin and may lead to redevelopment of dark spots. Anthelios sunscreens offer a wide range of high protection products that are photostable, water resistant and available in many different textures to suit different skin types. Here’s a handy tip: the Anthelios XL SPF 60 Targeted Stick makes it quick and easy to ensure those dark spots are well covered for maximum protection.
If retinoids (and retinol as found in bestselling Green Cream) haven’t been part of your skin lightening routine, now is a great time to add it to the program. Retinol essentially tells the skin cells to function normally, encouraging the development of healthy skin cells that are unaffected by pigmentation. Retinol also speeds up the skin cell renewal process and helps remove pigmented skin from the surface more quickly. The result is smoother, more evenly toned skin.
Hitting the skin lightening plateau? You’re up for the challenge.