Thursday, April 25, 2013

More Post-Partum Skin Issues: Hyperpigmentation

I wonder what amazing feats I could accomplish in this world if I spent less time worrying about my skin and applied it elsewhere. Alas, not going to happen. Not even going to pretend that's going to happen.

So, to recap, after having a baby my skin was a disaster. As mentioned in my Parched post, it was incredibly dry and flaky but now that I'm 6+ months removed from the actual birth of my son I figured I'd be back to normal. Oh no. Normal has been removed from my vocabulary. Forever. While a little less dry, it now seemed dull, congested and oh vey - these brown spots. Are these age spots? Hyperpigmentation? Melasma? I don't care, I don't like them. Unfortunately, most of the products used to combat hyperpigmentation (it's name for the sake of this post) are harsh retinoids and hydroquinone. Which are all fine and dandy (or actually not now that studies keep emerging on their carcinogenic properties), but I'm still nursing and I'm not about to slather them on my face. So, soap and water?

I went on the hunt for products that would be gentle, but not so gentle that they didn't make a difference. I mean, I was so upset over the state of face that I was about to buy them all. I won't even tell you how many I did, but I will share with you my favorites over the past 2 months.

Murad White Brilliance Gentle Cleanser

I'm in love.  Even if this wash had no ability related to the fading of dark spots, I'd use it every day. It's consistency is thick, so a little goes a long way, yet it lathers so beautifully and rinses clean but not stripped. Infused with Vitamin C technology, I definitely noticed right away that I had fewer blackheads, break outs and dry patches plus a brighter, more even tone. Is it going to swipe those spots right off your face? Not hardly, but it is a great first step in a more desirable complexion. Increased luminosity is what you'll get, without parabens, synthetic dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMOs and triclosan.

Bliss "Youth As We Know It" Anti-Aging Night Cream
Crack. Seriously. I can't put this stuff down. My husband laughs at me because it sits by my bed and I slather it on every night, and for those 30 seconds it is pure euphoria. Don't even bother me. I first started using this when my friend Danielle and I had maybe one too many cocktails and went shopping at Sephora, and I honestly don't know why I ever strayed other than the price tag. But I'm back now and this stuff is the bees-knees. It smells wonderful and IT WORKS (soooo worth the price). My skin is super hydrated, plump, it never causes clogged pores or a break out and I can really tell a difference in fine line depth and my dark spots aren't as sharp. I also have the regular Anti-aging Cream from this line (also amaze) but the Night Cream is silkier and lighter weight, yet with 2x the benefits. I don't know how that works, but either is a great option, I just go for the bigger bang for my buck! Again, you won't find sulfates, dyes, petrochemicals, phthalates, GMO's or triclosan here - but you will find yourself creepily addicted. (I should note, the eye cream and SPF 30 Day Cream from this line are also incredible, and you can buy them all in a mini-sample pack at Sephora, but the Night Cream is the stand out!)

Bliss "That's Incredi-Peel" Spa Strength Glycolic Resurfacing Pads

I purchased this product on recommendation by my dear friend Katie. She's having a bebe and I'm nursing, so we're both on the safe-product train. Glycolic Acid is derived from sugar and generally safe for those of us in that group. It's powerful levels of AHA exfoliate the upper layer of the epidermis, unbinding dead skin cells for gorgeous skin renewal. Incredi-Peel is touted as a spa-strength, overnight facial that reduces wrinkles and dark spots all in 30 cute, single-use peel pads. I used these every day for the duration and experienced no irritation other than the intense tingling for about 3 minutes immediately after you apply. Now, the first 10 days I was freaking out because my skin was a mess, break-out central!!! BUT that is the point, it was detoxing my skin, which it desperately needed after all that medicine in my system from the birth and these dern hormones. I made it through the worst and then I really noticed a radiant, glowing complexion with much greater clarity and smoothness - that kept improving the remainder of the peel period. My skin really looked beautiful, and that I am thankful for - however, for the sake of brown spots, not so much. I hardly noticed a difference, so if you're looking for a miracle here, you haven't found one. I felt like I needed to include this though, because it really helped decongest and brighten my post-partum skin. 

All said and done (though I'm still using these products because I LOVE THEM) I've seen a minimal improvement (but it's an improvement) on my hyperpigmentation. I'm fine with having freckles; it's these larger, misshapen spots that are the issue - but I will have to settle here for the time being because no amount of vanity is worth the risk of using something that may effect my child. I did look into IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) Treatments which don't use chemicals and was about to pull the trigger, but even they told me to wait until I wean my child, not for safety reasons, but that my hormones will again fluctuate and the hyperpigmentation or melasma may then disappear. Fingers crossed.


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