A few years back, I had horrible acne. With the help of a dermatologist, regular facials and using professional products, my skin healed but not completely.
I had post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation along my cheeks and it was difficult to clear it up. Amidst my love for Dermalogica, I couldn’t be a true skin expert if I didn’t try out other brands.
Here’s an example of my own scarring back in 2012:
Hyperpigmentation is the overproduction of melanin in random areas of the body, mostly on the face and other exposed areas of the body. The result is dark spots or age spots, scars or sun damage.
This is the #1 concern amongst my clients because it affects people of all ages and ethnicities. Examples include a teen with acne prone skin, a man who never puts on SPF, pregnant clients that contracted melasma (aka pregnancy mask), or an elderly woman. My treatment plan would includes a combination of chemical peels, microdermabrasion, and anti-aging facials. Additionally, consistent product usage is just as vital in healing this skin condition.
Introducing Dr. Murad’s Rapid Lightening Regimen, which treats the main causes of dark spots–sunlight, aging, hormonal imbalance, and scars/inflammation. In my case, it was scarring from my past breakouts. Infused with Vitamin C and other antioxidants, the Environmental Shield line reverses the signs of aging and hyperpigmentation.
This three-step regimen includes the following:
- Essential-C Cleanser
- Rapid Age Spot & Pigment Lightening Serum
- Intensive-C Radiance Peel
- Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | PA+++
As an esthetician, I needed to inspect the ingredients. The primary ingredients were Vitamin C (hence the orange packaging), an antioxidant that shields the skin against free radicals in the environment.
The Rapid Age Spot & Pigment Lightening Serum contained 2% hydroquinone, a bleaching agent. I was concerned that it contained this ingredient because there is a lengthy history of its carcinogenic effects with prolonged use. However, using an over the counter percentage (0.5% to 2%) will effectively reduce the production of melanin (molecules that cause dark spots). It also contains Hexapeptide-2, a skin conditioning agent that compliments the hydroquinone.
The Intensive-C Radiance Peel contains glycolic acid, one of my favorite exfoliating ingredients! It is quite strong in turning over damaged cells, especially in a professional grade peel, which is why I’m not surprised it came as a 1-2x treatment product. Apply it as a mask and leave for 10 minutes. Upon application, I felt a tingling sensation which faded away, along with my spots!
The last product I tried and LOVED was the Essential-C Day Moisture. I have dry/dehydrated skin so applying SPF alone is not enough. Not only does it have SPF 30, but the Vitamin C gives added protection for elasticity and free radical damage. Because it’s very emollient, I don’t recommend it for oily or acne-prone skin.
After using the product for approximately 30 days, I saw a difference! In addition to this line, I used a hydrating toner and exfoliated 2x during this cycle so I can truly feel the benefits of the line. Below is my latest photos of the results. Disclaimer: this is also the result of using other cosmeceutical brands over the course of 2 years, not Murad alone:
Are you convinced yet? Give it a 30-day run with their Rapid Lightening 30-Day Kit for $39.99. Do not give it 1 week or 2 weeks! The skin needs to turn over at least 30-60 days in order to slough off the dull skin and reveal a brighter complexion.
Your Friendly Neighborhood Esthetician & 360 Beauty Maven
PS/Disclosure: I was provided the products by BeautyStat.com, but all opinions and experiences are MINE!