Hyperpigmentation. It’s something we all struggle with, unfortunately. There are a lot of products out there making huge promises to get rid of it for. I’m going to break it down and explain to you the best options for the skin, without damaging the skin. As you know, that is always my goal. Let’s fix the problem without causing another one.
Some people are more prone to it than others, based on genetics, but everyone is susceptible. From the fairest skin to the darkest. This is why wearing sunscreen is so important for everyone (I’ll get more into that later).
Remember, no one is born with it. Every baby is free of hyperpigmentation, including freckles, which is also a type of hyperpigmentation.
Freckles are caused by melanin. Melanin is a pigment in the skin and is what gives skin its color. When the sun hits the skin, it causes a production on melanin so that it can protect the skin layers underneath. Once melanin builds up in one place, a freckle is the result.
Here are some ways our skin develops the pigmentation.
Sun Exposure- The sun triggers the production of melanin. The skin is usually worse in the summer months. Using good skin care and regular facial treatments, you can minimize damage. It is completely normal to have your skin get darker in some spots in the summer and lighter in those same spots in the winter. I want to also say, and this is important to remember, sun damage can take up to 10 years to show. That means you can think that your skin is fine after a summer in the sun but later your skin will show the damage. I haven’t tanned my face in 10 years and I am still surprised at the damage that shows up. I had a good time in my teen years and my 20’s!
Heat- This one usually surprises people. Most think that as long as they avoid the actual sun, they will not have any pigmentation. It definitely helps but heat triggers inflammation and inflammation triggers the increase of melanin activity. So even if you go to the beach and wear sunscreen, big sunglasses, a big hat and sit under a big umbrella you can still get the damage. Sorry, folks!
Over-Exfoliation- I am super careful with my clients on how often they exfoliate. When I create a home care plan for them, I consider both the physical and chemical exfoliations. Too much can cause pigmentation. As I said above, inflammation triggers the increase of melanin activity. Even if you can’t see the inflammation, it can still be happening.
Picking at Blemishes/Acne- This is bad for many reasons but one of the biggest ones is that it can create what is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). And like sun damage, you don’t always see it until a few years later.
Hormones- Due to the increase of hormones during pregnancy, melasma is often caused. Just another form of pigmentation but harder to lighten. A lot of women will experience what is called a “pregnancy mask.” The upper lip will darken. This can also happen with birth control and even some medications. Always ask your doctor. I have seen many clients with melasma all over their face so it’s not exclusive to the upper lip. Everyone is different in how they will react but there are some worse than others. I once took a birth control pill and immediately started getting that mask above my lip and I switched that pill real fast! Luckily, no long-term damage was done.
Now I will discuss ways to help the pigmented areas.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, shown to reduce the number of sunburned cells as well as reverse age-related damage to the skin. Antioxidants help fight cell damage from free radicals, which are molecules that could injure cells and increase inflammation.
It does not replace sunscreen, but Vitamin C protects against and may repair UV damage, like discoloration. It also helps brighten the skin, which can make the overall appearance of the skin healthier. This is safe for those pregnant or lactating.
Retinol- A natural form of Vitamin A, this boosts the thickness and elasticity of the skin therefore reducing the signs of wrinkles.
There is an abundant amount of evidence to support that retinol works! Finding it in the right products is the tricky part because you need to have enough to get results. Most over-the-counter products cannot put enough retinol in them to give you the benefits you need. Retinol works by promoting cellular renewal and collagen production to improve skin texture and to diminish brown spots. Not safe for those pregnant and lactating.
This serum is a little more expensive but you only use it about twice a week so lasts longer!
Exfoliation- It’s important not to exfoliate the skin to break up the pigmented areas. As I said before, be careful not to over-exfoliate. I have a great scrub that also acts as a mask. It has glycolic acid and retinol in it with gentle jojoba beads. I love it because over time it helps to lighten and lift hyperpigmentation.
I also have these amazing Glycolic/Retinol Pads that act as a toner so it’s a leave-on. Perfect for hyperpigmentation.
Sunscreen- Wear it everyday. SPF 30 is the perfect number. Most damage is done incidentally (about 78%), which means when you are not at the beach but just running errands around town or sitting in your car or next to a window at work. And just as a reminder, sunscreen in your makeup will not help. You have to wear about 7x the amount to actually get that number on the bottle. Sunscreen is skin care and skin care is separate from makeup. Skin care first, makeup second.
Facials- Always important but getting a facial (book with me if you're local!) when dealing with a specific skin issue will definitely help. Make sure you address your concerns with your esthetician. What you see and what she (or he) sees may be different.
Chemical Peels- Oh my gosh! Anyone who knows me know these are my favorite especially when done in a series. I will only perform the chemical peel series between November and May because of the sun exposure. I am strict on this rule. No point in fixing the skin while damaging it. My series are done weekly over 8 weeks. Slow and steady. I recommend a home care plan so my clients can get the most benefits. They basically have no downtime and can resume normal activities. They might experience some flaking but nothing embarrassing or that will make you want to hide out in your house. You don’t have to peel with a peel because all the change is happening under the top layer.
Results from a Chemical Peel Series and using recommended home care products.
Every product you apply to your skin is important but I think serums do most of the work. Serums are more advanced formulations with smaller molecules that are able to penetrate the skin deeper. Serums treat the skin in a more specific way to address your skin needs.
There are many out there and they all do different things. I do believe that some are better than others. If you’re looking for effectiveness, professional is always the way to go. I say this with every product but since you want serums to make a change for your skin, this is the most important investment. In my opinion. I did some research and I was shocked to see how expensive some serums are at Nordstrom. If you’re going to pay that much, it might as well be products that will actually have enough active ingredients to make a difference.
Some people aren’t sure when to start using a serum. I think everyone at age 18 should be using vitamin c. After that, it depends on your skin and its needs. At age 30 you start losing about 1% of collagen a year so then I start my clients on an additional serum. Sometimes people need something extra earlier. Everyone is different. I don’t agree that a 25 year old should be using what a 40 year old person is using. It’s almost wasteful. There is such a thing as preventing but I think we are starting to get carried away. Botox and fillers are being injected in people at a much younger age than necessary. Please listen to my podcast (Pure Skin Talk) about how I feel about those. I’ve had too many young clients come to me using some random product that someone at Nordstrom told her she should use. Most of the time, it wasn’t needed.
I’ve had people ask me about whether they should change up their routine every once in awhile. Yes, you can but you don’t have to. Just as your body never gets used to healthy food, your skin doesn’t get used to healthy products.
Not all serums are for all skin types. Most of the ones I retail are but if you don’t consult with me, make sure it’s compatible.
I basically carry two professional lines, Skin Script and Le Mieux. While I love both, I favor some products in each. I am obsessed with Le Mieux serums. They are incredibly inexpensive for their benefits (but don’t tell them because I don’t want them to raise the prices!).
Ageless Skin Hyaluronic Serum- This is actually a good serum and for it’s price at only $30, it’s definitely worth it. It will hydrate your skin. I sell this one for those that want something beneficial but not a lot of money. It’s like the intro Hyaluronic serum.
Reduces Visible Wrinkles
Plumps the Skin
Assists in Healing and Rejuvenating
SS Beta-Carotene/Papain Renewal Serum- With aloe and olive. A mild exfoliation serum for sensitive skin. Beta carotene is a precursor to Vitamin A; papain is an enzyme derived from papayas. I like this one because it can be used on pregnant or lactating women. They are so limited during this time and this is a good serum to exfoliate and brighten the skin.
Improves Skin Barrier Integrity by Balancing Surface Lipids
Exfoliates to Reduce Visible Wrinkles
So before I get started on all the Le Mieux serums, I want to talk about Hyaluronic Acid. This is a hugely popular ingredient right now and it should be. It’s one of the best you can use on your skin and since we make it naturally (although it slows down in our late teens), everyone can use it.
Hyaluronic acid is a humectant, which means that it draws moisture from its surroundings. It can hold 10x times its weight in water. This ingredient can replenish a lot of moisture. As we get older our skin loses the ability to retain water and that’s where hyaluronic acid helps. Hydration makes our skin plump and that makes us look younger.
All of LM serums that I retail, except for one, uses hyaluronic acid as its base. So whatever issue you’re treating, hydration will always be addressed.
LM Vita-C Serum- My #1 seller! Like I said before, everyone 18 and over should use it so this is the first serum I start my clients on. If you want to see a difference, start wearing it. Fight prematurely aging skin with this concentrated serum from the most stable, pure quality and maximum strength Vitamin C (Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate). Stimulates collagen production to illuminate a dull complexion, brightens the skin and delays the loss of healthy skin tone. All skin types can wear this one especially those with acne. Helps in healing scars.
LM TGF-Β Booster- My 2nd best seller! This is always the second serum I recommend to clients and usually starting at about 30. Diminishes the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for a luminous, healthy, youthful glow. The anti-aging serum.
LM Rx Complex Serum- I love this serum for men! It’s kind of all in one. Great for hydrating, also has vitamin c and it helps with fine lines and wrinkles. Men generally aren’t interested in applying a bunch of different serums. Although I prefer to separate and use multiple serums because it’s more effective, this one gets the job done. My male clients love it!
LM Derma Relief- Oh my gosh. I discovered this serum a few years after I got started with LM products. I don’t know why it took me so lone because it’s actually perfect for my skin. This makes my skin feel silky. This lipid replacement serum provides instant relief for very dry, stressed skin. Features powerful ceramides, a superior form of Vitamin E, and 13 exotic oils including argan oil and kukui nut oil to soothe skin, minimize inflammation, and restore suppleness and resiliency. Helps repair skin damage caused by environmental aggressors. I use this year round but some clients only use in the winter.
LM Collagen Peptide Serum- This serum is more pricey than the others which is why I don’t think I talk about it much. I’m always concerned about price for my clients. But here’s the thing, I love it. I use this serum every night. It’s a little creamier than the others and it feels great on my skin. This concentrated, creamy serum features 4 peptides and marine algae extracts to dramatically lift and tighten sagging facial contours while smoothing out expression lines and wrinkles. Nourishing ceramides help hydrate, extend moisture, and restore skin resiliency.
LM Retinol Serum- This is also a pricier serum but you only use it once or twice a week so it lasts as long as the others. What can I say about retinol that you don’t already know? It’s a great anti-aging ingredient. This 0.5% retinol concentrated serum resurfaces skin to minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, brighten dull skin, fade sun-induced age spots, and improve rough texture. The peptide-infused formula and revolutionary Tri-Cosmetic Delivery System help boost collagen and elastin production for a fresh, glowing, and age-defying complexion.
This serum is a little more expensive but you only use it about twice a week so lasts longer!
So here are the serums I use daily…Vita-C and Derma Relief in the morning. TGF Booster and Collagen Peptide at night. I can only use the Retinol serum once a week so on that night, I skip my other two night serums.
Listen, I’m trying to do everything I can to hold off botox, fillers, lifts and plastic surgery. I’m not even sure I would get them anyway but I need my skin to look good. It’s my business but it’s also my face! I want it to look good!
SKIN CARE COACHING WITH DEVYN
We get one face and how we treat it matters. From exposure to the sun to the products we put on it, everything plays a part in how our skin looks and how it ages. There are so many options out there that I know it can be overwhelming.
So what are the right products for you? That’s where I come in. As an esthetician who has helped many clients near and far, I can tell you that using the right products for YOUR skin makes all the difference.
If I want to help you improve your skin, then this is a joint effort and I can’t expect my job to be done when the consultation ends. This is about you loving your skin and I want to be there to help and guide you along the way. I am excited to start this journey with you. Who is ready?
What You Get:
Online consultation form
FaceTime consultation or Pictures (your choice)
Free samples for a full skin care routine
“Prescription” sheet that tells you how to use products
10% off your first purchase