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 Hyaluronic Acid Serum- I just explained what this will do for you. It’s great for those with dry and dehydrated skin. I often recommend this as an extra serum when clients are feeling particularly dry.
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
What is it?
A chronic congestion primarily on the cheeks and nose. Characterized by redness, dilation of blood vessels, and in severe cases, the formation of pimples. The exact cause of rosacea is unknown, but it seems to be attributed to circulation, genetic predisposition, digestive disorders, bacteria and mites. Certain factors are known to aggravate the condition. Spicy food, alcohol, caffeine, exposure to temperature extremes, heat, sun and stress aggravate rosacea. Soothing and calming ingredients and treatments will help calm the skin and decrease the inflammation.
It’s important to know that just because you have redness in your skin and maybe even irritation, that does not mean you have rosacea.
Pay attention to your skin. It’s pretty smart and will tell you when you might be using something harmful. When you apply a product and it stings or causes redness, this is usually not a good thing. Sometimes Glycolic acid will sting but you should be able to tell a clear difference between “I can feel it when I apply it" vs “it stings and I can feel it irritating my skin.” If you don’t know the difference, stop using the products and see a professional.
Here are some ingredients to avoid.
(Avobenzone)—a common sunscreen agent which may cause skin sensitivity and inflammation.
High doses of Ascorbic Acid, L-Ascorbic Acid or Alpha Lipoic Acid—these acid forms of vitamin C can increase skin sensitivity. Instead, choose Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate.
Essential Oils—those with rosacea could disagree with oils containing cinnamon, clove, geranium or peppermint so they should be avoided.
Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, Sodium Laureth Sulfate or Ammonium Laureth Sulfate— surfactants used as cleansing agents that cut oil from the skin, but are too harsh and will also strip water from the layers of the skin.
Good ingredients to help with rosacea are green tea and chamomile. Everyone is different for what will help the skin.
It’s important to avoid overexfoliating the skin. Too much can break down the skins protective barrier causing it to become inflamed. It’s best to talk to an esthetician to get a recommended exfoliation routine.
Your skin has a moisture barrier made of natural lipids and when it is damaged, tiny and invisible cracks are created, allowing moisture to escape and irritants to enter the skin more easily. This all causes dry, flaky skin and can make even products created for sensitive skin cause stinging and irritation. This is when you want to use specific products that will repair this barrier. Derma Relief is my favorite serum for helping to repair the barrier. It feels so good on the skin and you can immediately feel a difference.
Avoid using hot water and storing products in the fridge is also a good idea but not always easy if your fridge isn’t close to where you apply your products.
Follow me on social media @pureskinoc
For more information or to shop: PureSkinOC.com
Click here to look at my recommended products.
Foundation suggestions for rosacea skin: Priia and Jane Iredale.
This machine is a game-changer in skin care. It's absolutely amazing to watch my clients skin change in seconds. Imperfections that have bothered them for years, are gone! Each time I treat a client, I am still surprised at the results. I shouldn't be but it has that "it's too good to be true" feeling. The best part...it
s not too good to be true. It doesn't get rid of everything but it gets rid of a lot of imperfections.
What are you waiting for? It's cheaper than any visit to a Dermatologist and probably quicker!
Book your appointment today and let's get your skin clear.
Using electricity, this machine will zap your imperfections away instantly! In most cases, in just 1 treatment!
What happens after each treatment?
You may experience some mild irritation, redness and scabbing on the treated areas. While skin is healing, makeup can be applied to camouflage. You will need to avoid direct sunlight immedately after the treatment- but it’s smart to be sun-safe all the time! Otherwise, you can resume normal activities right away.
One session* $150
(this will treat about 10 spots, depending on size/issue)
Double session* $199
(this will treat about 20 spots, depending on size/issue)
*if any spots need to be retreated, the 2nd time will be FREE.
Removal of skin tags, milia, spider veins/broken capillaries, cherry angiomas, sebaceous hyperplasia and more!
For face and body!
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Results are seen after one treatment often but some require more than one.
Yes, you can get a facial same day. Facial is done first and then ThermoClear.
This can be done on face and body.
Sun spots take longer to heal, which is why I stop treating them in May (resume again in the fall). Everything else has a shorter healing time but you must still stay sun safe.
You care for the treated area just like you would any wound. Don’t pick, wear sunscreen and stay out of the sun.
No downtime. You can wear makeup.
We all want to fight the signs of aging and so we go to the malls, our Estheticians and Dermatologists, hoping they will have the answer, maybe even the cure for our wrinkles. From fighting free radicals to stimulating skin's natural collagen production, anti-aging products make enticing promises.
Do they work? That's what we want to know, right? Below I have listed 4 commonly listed ingredients and some evidence on whether they actually play an effect on your skin.
As we age our skin gets thinner, loses fat and starts to sag and develop fine lines and wrinkles. We produce less collagen and elastin to keep our skin firm and plump. Oh my gosh!
Peptides are small proteins that help stimulate new cells to grow and to help skin cells to heal.
Scientists are still not sure how beneficial these actually are because of the size of the molecule. They are rather large and that makes it more difficult to deeply penetrate the skin. They can, however, do some good in a moisturizer and serum. This way they can hydrate the skin and make lines less noticeable. Whether they reduce wrinkles, the jury is still out.
Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHA's)
Examples are glycolic, lactic and citric acids which are natural ingredients that come from fruits and milk sugars. They are great for exfoliation because they get rid of dead skin cells, allowing new cells to grow.
Each acid does something different for the skin. Lactic Acid (comes from sour milk) removes the dead skin cells so this will have a brightening effect. Glycolic Acid (comes from sugar cane) helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles which can make skin look smoother and tighter.
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. This Retinol Serum is amazing and when used correctly, can do great things for the skin.
Help fight cell damage from free radicals, which are molecules that could injure cells and increase inflammation.
There are many antioxidants that are effective, however, the formulation is the most critical. Vitamins C and E are the most commonly used and time-tested. This is my favorite Vitamin C serum. It's my #1 seller and has helped my clients skin so much. Mine too!
Did you know that it takes about 10 years for your skin to show damage? That is why in your 30's you will all of sudden start to feel like you are getting older. You will start seeing more sun spots, freckles, wrinkles and dry skin. What we do NOW is important to how we look later. It's easy to live in the moment and think, "oh, I'll worry about that tomorrow" but I promise you, you will regret it. I hear it everyday from my clients. Protect your skin!
Here is a breakdown of what smoking can do to your skin:
Teenager: Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals that dehydrate your skin. Quit now and it’ll stay smooth and bright.
20 plus: Smoking can age you by ten years or more. Lines appear on the cheeks and lower jaw.
30 plus: Signs of wrinkles, lines and crow’s feet. Dull, sallow skin due to cigarette heat.
40 plus: Definite facial wrinkling and hollow cheeks through repeated sucking on cigarettes. Skin lined around lips and eyes.
50 plus: Wrinkles are deep and pronounced. Skin sags and is grey in colour. Teeth are brown with nicotine stains.
Exposure to the sun causes:
Pre-cancerous (actinic keratosis) and cancerous (basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma) skin lesions - caused by loss of the skin's immune function
Fine and coarse wrinkles
Discolored areas of the skin, called mottled pigmentation
Sallowness -- a yellow discoloration of the skin
Telangiectasias -- the dilation of small blood vessels under the skin
Elastosis -- the destruction of the elastic and collagen tissue (causing lines and wrinkles)
I get this question a lot! Men have always been known for aging gracefully (and they don't even appreciate it). Their secret? Shaving. Here are some myths and facts regarding shaving your face. You might find that you will want to do it...
Myth:Shaving your face makes your hair grow back darker and thicker. Just as with the rest of your body, hairs on your face will not grow back darker, thicker, or more numerous if you shave them.
Fact:Shaving coarse hair will create stubble. If you have a few coarser hairs sprinkled among the peach fuzz, pluck or wax them first to avoid any chance of (horrors) facial stubble. Female face shaving is a skin treatment, not a hair removal method.
Myth:Shaving roughens the skin. If you're like most women, you'll find your legs feel smoother than parts of your body that you don't shave. Smooth, fine-textured skin is just a side effect for legs, but for your face, it's a prime benefit of shaving.
Fact:Men look so young for their age in part because they shave their faces. Exfoliation speeds up skin cell turnover and reveals chubby young skin cells underneath the old gray ones. Women exfoliate with scrubs or cloths and men shave. As far as skin is concerned, it's all exfoliation; skin doesn't care if it's taboo to shave.
Myth:Shaving gives you ingrown hairs. Fine hairs don't have the tensile strength to grow into skin like coarser hair on the legs and at the bikini line, so shaving can't cause ingrown facial hair. This is another reason to remove coarse hairs before shaving.
Fact:Makeup goes on more smoothly with a shaved face. If you want immaculate foundation coverage, shave your skin smooth. While female face shaving improves skin texture, taking off any fine hair down near your jawline is a nice fringe benefit. Powder that used to cling to facial fuzz now lies flat and smooth on your skin.
If you're convinced, here's a quick rundown on how to shave your face.
Always use a razor dedicated to face shaving alone. Hair elsewhere is too coarse, and using the same razor everywhere leads to shaving cuts. Take care around your hairline and eyebrows. You want people to notice your glow, not your half an eyebrow. As long as you remove coarse hairs first, you can shave as often as you like (about every 3 weeks). It's one of the kindest and least irritating skin treatments.
There are a lot of medications on the market to "cure" acne. Some are not as bad as others but some, like Accutane (Isotretinoin), should not be taken. The side effects are scary!
The drug works for severe (cystic) acne, providing long-lasting and sometimes complete reduction of acne for 80 percent of patients. However, clear skin may be accompanied by serious side effects like Crohn’s disease (this has also been reported to cause problems long after the person has stopped taking the drug), birth defects and suicide. And, once you stop taking it, the acne may come back because you have not fixed the problem.
These are some common side effects associated with taking this medication:
Diminished night vision
Increased bone injuries due to thickened or weakened bones
Increased reaction to UV exposure
Red, cracked or sore lips
Changes in nails
Unusual hair growth or loss
Bleeding or swollen gums
Slow healing of cuts or sores
Dry skin and eyes
So many myths and remedies that have been around for years and a lot of people don't know if they work or of they should try it. Here is a list of some popular "tips" I read and hear about all the time that you should AVOID!
1. Toothpaste- It can dry out your skin and actually darken the areas that you apply it.
2. Benzoyl Peroxide- This is an effective spot treatment and can be used EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE but this is why I don't think it should be used all the time...
a. Drying to the skin
b. Can thin the skin
c. Makes your skin photo-sensitive
d. Can make your skin sensitive
e. Can make your Langerhan Cells go dormant- these are responsible for killing foreign viruses/molds/bacterias.
3. Biore Strips- These don't work even though they appear that they do. The black stuff you are seeing is the top of the blackheads but the strip is not actually removing anything under the skin, where the the build-up is trapped.
4. ProActiv- I'm sorry but I'm not a fan. And while this may work temporarily, it is not fixing the problem. It usually dries out the skin and after awhile, it stops working altogether.
5. Tanning (the sun or in a bed)- I know that people love this "remedy" but it just isn't true. Tanning causes your skin to increase cell production which, in turn, creates more dead skin cells. That is what we are trying to avoid, right?
6. Dry Out Your Skin- I know people with oily skin want less oil. This is possible without drying out your skin. You need oil so it's about finding a way to balance it. When you strip all the oil from your skin (most OTC products do this) then your skin produces more oil because it needs the moisture. It cannot produce water so you are left with oily skin. If you only use products that treat and replenish your skin, then you will find the balance.