20 Things That May Treat Hyperpigmentation and Melasma

20 Things That May Treat Hyperpigmentation and Melasma

Hyperpigmentation and melasma are unwanted dark marks on the skin. They can range in severity but are almost always hard to get rid of.

There are things that may help lighten them that are found in some skincare products and/or sold by itself. This post is a roundup of all the possible treatments for these skin concerns.

Causes of hyperpigmentation and melasma

Both hyperpigmentation and melasma show up as dark marks on our skin. There is a difference between the conditions though. The following is a description of the two of them:

Hyperpigmentation- This is an excess production of melanin due to reasons such as sunspots, acne, wounds, cuts and from picking at the skin. These dark marks are common in people with darker skin tones.

Melasma- This is a condition that is mainly hormonal in nature. The dark marks are usually from some types of birth control or pregnancy.

When it comes to preventing dark spots, there are some things one can do. These include wearing sun protection when outside, getting acne under control and trying not to pick at your skin (if that is a problem).

Things that can treat hyperpigmentation and melasma

Without further ado, here are the options for the fading of dark marks:

  • Hydroquinone- This is a high-powered skin lightening agent. It is in a few different OTC creams at up to 2% strength. Anything over that percentage is prescription only. It may cause irritation and/or the skin to get even darker unfortunately. If one is going to use it, it should not be used for long periods of time.
  • Alpha arbutin-This comes from a plant called, bearberry. It is found in a few skincare products and can be bought in powder form. It may lighten dark spots and even out skin tones in a gentle way.
  • Aloe vera gel- This comes from the aloe vera plant. It is nontoxic, soothing and full of antioxidants. It may fade dark spots and treat acne.
  • Niacinamide- This is a form of vitamin B3. In addition to it being able to tackle dark spots, it can also improve texture and balance oil. It is found in powders, skincare products and capsules.
  • Licorice extract- This is from the licorice plant. It may also treat acne and reduce signs of aging in addition to the dark spot fading effects. It is found in skincare products, powders, capsules and liquid drops.
  • Mulberry extract- This is taken from the leaves of mulberry fruits. The extract is sold in skincare products, powders, capsules and liquid drops.
  • Korean red ginseng- This is an herb from Korea. It has compounds in it that may decrease pigmentation. It is sold in powder, energy drinks, tea, liquid drops, gummy and capsule form.
  • Ginkgo-This is a kind of tree. Extract from the leaves is used for its alleged body and mind benefits. The antioxidants it contains may also help with hyperpigmentation. It is sold in some skincare products as well as teas, oils, capsules and liquid drop form.
  • Resveratrol- This is an extract that can be taken from things like grapes, wine, blueberries and chocolate. Its antioxidant activity may provide anti-inflammatory, anti-aging and skin lightening effects. It is sold in some skincare products, powders and capsules.
  • Kojic acid- This is a chemical that comes from different types of fungi. You can find it in powder form, chemical peels, serums and many soaps.
  • Papaya- This contains alpha-hydroxy acids that lighten dark spots. You can puree the fruit and use it as a mask or get it in powdered extract, serum, juice, tablet, capsule, gummy and oil form.
  • Turmeric- This is made from the root of the curcuma longa plant which is in the same family as ginger. It has antioxidant, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits. It may help with acne and dark spots. You can make face masks with the powder and there are also soaps made with it.
  • Hesperidin- This is a flavonoid that comes from citrus fruits. It may help with wound healing, acne and dark spots. You can find it sold in powder and capsule form.
  • Rosehip oil- This comes from rosehips which are fruits from rose plants. They are full of vitamin C and A. Those two vitamins may help with fading dark spots, brightening the skin and fighting acne.
  • Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA)- These acids are great for the exfoliation of our skin. The ones that are best for dark marks include lactic (from sour milk), glycolic (from sugar) and mandelic (from almonds) acid. Of those three acids, glycolic is the strongest. These acids are found in serums, lotions and chemical peels.
  • Beta hydroxy acids  (BHA)- These acids are a lot like alpha hydroxy acids. The difference is that beta hydroxy acids go deeper into the skin. They are best for acne and oily skin conditions but may also treat hyperpigmentation. These can be found in serums, lotions and chemical peels.
  • Trichloroacetic acid (TCA)-This acid is related to acetic acid which is found in vinegar. It is used to make very strong peels that aid in anti-aging, fading dark marks, fixing textural issues and reading the appearance of scars. This acid may do more harm than good for people of darker skin tones.
  • Phytic acid- This is found in rice, legumes and seeds. It provides exfoliation and brightening benefits. The acid is not as well-known as other ones, but it is in a few serums and chemical peels on the market.
  • Retinol and Retin-A- Both of these come from vitamin A. Retinol is the pure form and Retin-A is the synthetic form of the vitamin. The latter is stronger which may lead to better results. They both may help with acne, anti-aging, dark spots and uneven skin tone.
  • Differin- This is a prescription strength retinoid that is available OTC. It is gentler than Retin-A and is FDA approved to treat acne (might be better for that purpose). Differin may also help with dark marks if they are from acne.
  • Sunscreen- This is really important as UV rays can do a lot of damage over time. Putting it on throughout the day can make sure that dark marks do not get any worse than how they already are. An SPF of at least 30 is recommended.

Other possible things that people say have helped them include cinnamon, honey and pumpkin puree. DIY face masks are usually created with these three ingredients and applied once or twice a week.

My take on all these possible treatments

My hyperpigmentation comes from skin picking, acne, cuts and scratches. The dark marks are extremely stubborn and do not seem to go away or get lighter.

I have tried a lot of things on this list over the years and it is frustrating that nothing has really worked. My plan is to make my own skincare product that uses some of these ingredients as well as DMAE for more anti-aging benefits.

Currently I am using vitamin C serum from Makeup Artist’s Choice, aloe vera gel, almond oil, sunscreen, chemical peels every week and a LED light massage wand (red and green settings).

In conclusion

There are many options available that may help fade dark marks on your skin. Only using one of them may not yield the results you want so it would be good to look for products that contain multiple lightening agents.

Have any of you suffered from hyperpigmentation and/or melasma? What have you used to treat it?

Thanks for reading!

#hyperpigmentation #melasma #skincare #acne #hormones #pcos #beauty

Another Celebrity with PCOS: Keke Palmer

Another Celebrity with PCOS: Keke Palmer

PCOS may cause skin problems but see above^

I did a post a while back talking about the actress, Sasha Pieterse (Pretty Little Liars) who has PCOS. Yesterday I ended up coming across an article that profiled another actress named, Keke Palmer and the effects of her PCOS diagnosis on her skin.

I was excited to showcase the article and discuss it in a post for you all!

Who is Keke Palmer

Keke is a 27 year old actress and singer from Illinois. She is best known for her roles in Akeelah and the Bee (a movie), Barbarshop 2: Back in Business (a movie), True Jackson,VP (a sitcom) and Madea’s Family Reunion (a movie).

Her music career includes one studio album, a stint on a Broadway musical and a couple of concert tours.

Keke’s People Magazine article

This article focuses on Keke’s struggles with acne and how it eventually led to her PCOS diagnosis. She also talks a little about how Tyler Perry (creator of the Madea character) helped pay for dermatologist treatments when she was a teenager.

Keke makes sure to mention how lucky she is to have access to treatments and that she knows many other women are not able to afford them.

There are pictures of her acne and hyperpigmentation in the article as well so that people know what she has been dealing with. She mentions her makeup routine for covering the marks and that it can be found on her Instagram in order to help other women with the same issues.

My thoughts on the article

All of my thoughts on Keke’s article are positive. Here they are:

  1. I thought it was wonderful that an actress came forward to talk about having PCOS. The diagnosis is becoming increasingly common among women so there is bound to be several famous women with it. This humanizes them a little more.
  2. The fact that she is black and showcasing PCOS really makes me happy. The article may help other black women who are dealing with hormonal issues realize they are not alone and seek treatment.
  3. I loved that she showed the severity of her skin problems. My hyperpigmentation is really bad as well and sometimes I feel like no one else has it as bad as I do. This article jolted me back to the reality of the fact that I am not alone in my struggles.
  4. I love that she mentioned how annoying it is when people say that those of us with skin issues need to eat better or drink more water. This annoys me too because those two things do not always make much of a difference. Some of us need heavy-duty treatments that go along with them.

In conclusion

I really enjoyed seeing this article on a personal level. It is also great on a larger level in that it gets PCOS out there. Many women are suffering and do not know that there is a name for what is happening to them.

You can find the People article here: https://people.com/style/keke-palmer-says-tyler-perry-offered-to-pay-to-send-her-to-the-best-dermatologist-when-she-was-14/

Thanks for reading!

#kekepalmer #acne #skincare #hyperpigmentation #celebrities #famous #pcos #womenshealth #hormones

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum + Review

CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum + Review

dav

As you know if you read my other posts, I deal with horrible hyperpigmentation (dark spots). I try not to let it get me down too much but I definitely do want them to fade.

I have tried many products over the years to get them to fade with little to no results. This CeraVe serum product is something I have been using for a few weeks now. If you want to know if it is working for me, read on!

The CeraVe company

This company makes many products for different concerns and skin types. Everything is developed with help from dermatologists. The company offers cleansers (face and body), moisturizers (face and body), serums, sunscreens and baby products.

All of their products have three ceramides in them which help with the moisturization of the skin. They are also all fragrance free.

The Resurfacing Retinol Serum

This is a creamy serum that was created to help even out skin tones, fade spots and improve the texture of the skin. To do this, it contains the following active ingredients:

  • Licorice root: This contains properties that make it act as an anti-inflammatory and skin lightening agent. You can find it in other skincare products, powder form, liquid form and capsules.
  • Niacinamide: This evens out skin tones, fades hyperpigmentation, improves texture and helps reduce oil production. You can find this in other skincare products, powder form, tablets and capsules.
  • Retinol- This reduces signs of aging, improves texture and evens skin tones. You can find it in many other skincare products.

This serum should be used after cleansing and up to two times a day. Sunscreen is recommended.

It is sold in 1 ounce pump-top bottles for around $17.

What I think about it

Finding an effective hyperpigmentation treatment is very important to me. After I felt I was wasting my time with the retinol lotion from Belei, I decided to try and find another one that might actually work.

I came across this retinol serum by CeraVe and was excited to try it. The following is what made me buy it:

  • It has licorice root in it: I knew from my research a while back that this can really help to fade dark spots. To me, having this included with the retinol meant that it could work better than only have the retinol in there would.
  • It has niacinamide in it: I liked that this was in there because it adds extra hyperpigmentation and texture improvement power to the serum. The texture of my skin needs a lot of help too.
  • It is fragrance-free: I need products to be fragrance-free due to my husband’s allergies so I was glad this one is.

I ended up buying it and have been putting it on every night for about eight weeks now.

Sadly during this eight week time period, I have seen absolutely no difference in my skin. I do not know if it has not been long enough… but how long do I have to wait? Years, for anything to work?

It is so frustrating to me.

During this time I have also had forehead zits which is unusual for my face. That coupled with it not doing anything for my hyperpigmentation means it is not something I will be purchasing again.

Now, just because it did not work for me does not mean it will not work for someone else. It obviously works for a lot of people if you go by the reviews on Amazon.

I really wish it would have worked for me!

I need to find something else now

Right now I do not have a night-time serum with any actives in it to use. I am back to just using organic aloe vera gel after cleansing.

I will keep trying to figure out a product for the evening and not give up hope. There has got to be something out there that will help my situation!

If any of you reading this know of some products I can use to help my bad hyperpigmentation, let me know!

Thanks for reading!

#hyperpigmentation #skincare #africanamerican #melanin #blackwomen #acne #pcos #cerave

Period Power Book+ Review

Period Power Book+ Review

I love to read stuff about women’s health. The topic is just really interesting to me.

 Previously, I did a review of a book about women’s health. It had some good information in it and I overall enjoyed it. I came across another one about periods called, Period Power by Maisie Hill and I just had to buy it.

This post will discuss the book’s content and my personal opinions about it.

About the author

The name of the author is Maisie Hill. She has training and education in Chinese Medicine acupuncture, Abdominal Therapy, aromatherapy, reflexology and women’s health. She is also a birth doula.

She wants to help other women with their hormones and menstrual problems they may have.

About her book

Period Power was written to show women how to gain control of their hormones and make them work for us. There are a few different ways to do that and going by this book is supposed to be one of them

The very first section of the books is all about sex education. It goes into anatomy, hormones, ovulation and menstruation. This is to give readers a further understanding of their bodies so that the rest of the book makes more sense.

The second section goes into the cycle tracking strategy that the author came up with (called, The Cycle Strategy), why it is good to track your cycles and how to track them.

The Cycle Strategy has the different parts of our menstrual cycle broken up into different seasons. Winter is during the menstruation time, spring is the time before ovulation, summer is the time around ovulation and autumn is the time before your period.

After a brief description of how The Cycle Strategy works, the author then goes into detail about each menstrual cycle “season.” She talks about what the hormones are doing, good/bad things that may happen, things to avoid during that time and what can help for the issues one may face during each season.

The remaining topics given information on in the book include birth control methods, hormonal changes throughout the years, self-care as it relates to our cycles and conditions that have an effect on our hormones.

At the end of the book, the author shows an example of The Cycle Strategy tracking dial as well as gives resources for readers to seek out.

My opinion

Period Power was packed with great information. Even though I have read a lot about women’s health, I still was able to enjoy it and gain some new knowledge from it.

Just like with everything, it is not perfect. Here are my likes and dislikes of this book:

Likes-

*Amazing information provided in the first section of the book (sex education refresher!).

*The Cycle Strategy: I loved this new way of thinking about and tracking my menstrual cycle.

*What women may feel during each day of their cycles: Even though I have read about what feelings our hormones cause and even have the Hormone Horoscope app, I still learned some new things.

*Even though I do menstruate regularly, I appreciated how the author gave an alternative way to track a cycle for women that are not regular.

*Lots of information on self-care

*Great and thorough information on hormonal-related conditions

*Interesting and informative chart about all the different types of birth control.

*Information about how our hormones change over the years.

Dislikes-

*Author’s writing voice seemed to have a judgmental tone at times.

*Although I liked the birth control information, the author seemed to denounce using them a bit.

*There was part of the book where she talked about period euphoria. It was kind of weird. Like, what the hell?

I highly recommend Period Power

Reading this book was a pleasure and I am glad I bought it. It went over things I already knew in a different way and I learned some new things as well.

I would recommend this for any woman/non-binary person who wants to learn more about our specific, sexual and hormonal health.

Thanks Maisie Hill!

#periodpower  #periods  #menstrualcycle  #womenshealth  #hormones  #books

Is This PMDD? I certainly Think So!

Is This PMDD? I certainly Think So!

This is my mood certain days of the month.

Something sure is up with me. My menstrual cycle symptoms in general are just ridiculous.

In doing one of my many Google searches for other’s experiences with severe hormonal issues, I came across a condition called PMDD. I decided to look into this more and talk about in this post!

What is PMDD?

PMDD stands for Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder and is considered the severe form of PMS (premenstrual syndrome). It is said to affect about 5% of women.

Here are some symptoms of PMDD:

  1. Extreme mood shifts- Changing between different moods
  2. Extreme moods- Intense depression, aggression, anxiety, paranoia etc.
  3. Physical symptoms- Heart palpitations, fatigue, cravings, breast pain, bloating, GI upset etc.
  4. Brain fog
  5. Sensory sensitivity

Some of the things listed above can occur with PMS but the difference is that they are more intense and disrupting of life with PMDD.

Doctors diagnose women with this condition if they experience at least five symptoms that are intense and get in the way of their daily lives. The following is an example of a PMDD diagnosis profile:

  1. Severe depression
  2. Feeling like people in their life do not like/love them
  3. Lack of interest in things that they normally like
  4. Binge eating
  5. Quitting jobs suddenly based on temporarily heightened emotions
  6. Bad insomnia

If one is wondering whether they have PMDD, it is a great idea to keep track of the symptoms they experience each day of their cycle. A health planner would be wonderful for this or just a regular notebook.

The cause of PMDD is not well known. It is postulated that women who fit the diagnosis criteria are just extremely sensitive to hormonal fluctuations that occur each menstrual cycle.

The current PMDD treatment options are as follows:

  1. Diet- cutting out caffeine, excess sugars, and alcohol.
  2. Antidepressants
  3. Birth control pills- Examples of some that may help PMDD more than others include Seasonique, Amethyst, Mirena and Lo Loestrin FE.
  4. Getting good sleep
  5. Supplements- Some have had success with calcium, vitamin B6, magnesium and fish oil.
  6. Meditation

There have been some reports of women with PMDD having success with micro dosing psilocybin, CBD and weed to treat their symptoms. It is important to look into these three things before trying them out.

My hormonal issues

Like I said before, my menstrual cycle symptoms are bad! I have always had discomfort at certain days during the month but ever since I had a child, things have gotten much worse.

Here are all of the lovely things I deal with during my menstrual cycle:

  1. Intense bouts of sadness during fertile window and before my period starts.
  2. Massive cravings
  3. Quick to anger
  4. Extreme Irritability
  5. Feeling like I am worthless and dumb.
  6. Can not stop thinking about the sexual/emotional abuse I endured at 14-15 years old.
  7. Severe GI upset and bloating
  8. Panic attacks and anxiety
  9. Trembling legs
  10. Severe itching

These problems have definitely disrupted my life in that they have led me to quit jobs. I find it so hard to work when I am dealing with all these things going on.

If having severe menstrual cycle symptoms were more common than it is, I do not believe that many women would be able to be successful in the workforce. Feeling extremely upset, enraged, mentally fogged up, panic stricken, like you are going to throw up all the time and more is not conducive to successful days at work.

I have PMDD

I am just going to go ahead and diagnose myself with this condition. There is no use having a doctor’s appointment for it because they will not help me at all.

I have been trying for a long time to fix my hormonal issues and I am still searching for the right thing (or things) that can help. I would say that the physical symptoms are the worst part of all this for me so I need to find something that will address them better.

I will continue doing/taking these things for PMDD:

  1. Vitamin B6
  2. Getting good sleep
  3. Intermittent fasting for 16 hours and watching my carbs
  4. Anti-nausea supplements that take the edge off

I may consider the following:

  1. Adding in magnesium into my routine- The magnesium spray I had been using was giving me bad stomach cramps and insomnia which made me stop taking it. I need to find one that does not make me feel like that because it is an important nutrient.
  2. Reducing my caffeine intake- Right now I take 500 mg of caffeine a day which is considered over the recommended amount. I might try to get this down to 200 mg a day to see if that helps anything.
  3. Adding in calcium into my routine- I had planned on doing this a while back but never ended up doing it.
  4. Meditation- I keep reading about how much this can help different ailments so I may start trying it.

I feel for anyone who deals with horrible hormonal symptoms

PMDD sucks for sure. I would not wish it on my worst enemy.

I really hope that one day, I will be able to overcome my severe hormonal issues or at least reduce them by a lot.

Do any of you have tough menstrual cycles, too?

Thanks for reading!

Sources-

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/premenstrual-syndrome/expert-answers/pmdd/faq-20058315

https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/premenstrual-dysphoric-disorder-pmdd

https://iapmd.org/about-pmdd

#pmdd  #pms  #pcos  #womenshealth  #periodproblems  #menstrualcycle  #health  #supplements  #mentalhealth