One of the questions I get a lot from readers and customers is about a good, safe, skin lightening product. I know “bleaching” is a fairly controversial topic, but hear me out.
Even though skin lightening has gained a notorious reputation, I want to point out that this is actually a pretty effective way to treat acne scars and hyper pigmentation or uneven skintone.
Hyperpigmentation / Uneven skin tone.
What is hyper pigmentation? A quick Google search will tell you this:
Hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin.
A lot of women with deep skintones suffer from hyper pigmentation, either as a result of excessive sun exposure, genetics or other factors.
Personally, I used to suffer from it too. My face used to be considerably darker than my body, and the area around my mouth was even darker than the rest of my face. But after years of using sticking to a good skincare routine, which includes chemical exfoliation and sun protection, I’ve gotten my skin to a place where I’m really happy with how even everything looks.
But that took years of consistency, and my case wasn’t so severe. Some people might want something quicker and stronger, and that’s where today’s post comes in.
Skin lightening can be an effective way to treat hyper pigmentation and acne scarring. It can get your skin back to how it should look in a perfect world, and it’s not always necessarily about going from looking like Lupita to looking like Zendaya. That’s not what this post is about, and I’m not advocating skin bleaching.
This post is about using skin lightening products to address hyperpigmentation, acne scarring and uneven skintone.
Now that we hopefully feel less judgey -or judged – about skin lightening, let’s get into the actual post.
Introduction to The Ordinary
The Ordinary is a new Canada-based brand owned by the parent company Deciem. This brand is taking the skincare world by storm. I first heard about them from Wayne Goss but I didn’t pay attention because I thought it was another overhyped Youtube fad that would come and go. But when Caroline Hirrons aka the Skincare Queen tells you to try something out, you pay attention.
Personally, I love the idea of this brand. Seriously! They offer simple products at decent prices. I know the scientific names might seem a bit confusing to some, but as a skincare junkie, ingredients are what I look out for in my products, rather than grand claims, so I’m glad they name their products things like Lactic Acid 5% instead of “Good Genes “.
The point is, The Ordinary offers straight forward skincare products and here’s the kicker: everything is super affordable. Prices start from around $8 and I’ve not seen anything above $20 so far.
I don’t want this post to get crazy long, and I plan to review quite a few of their products in the coming months, so you can head over to their website for more info. I will link it at the bottom of this post.
Alpha Arbutin 2% by The Ordinary
Finally, let us discuss Alpha Arbutin. In the simplest terms, it is a melanin -inhibiting substance. It suppresses unwanted pigmentation and it is supposed to be pretty safe. It is derived from a plant called the Bear Berry. It’s really stable in this form, and it appears to have no side effects. It is supposed to be one of the most effective ways to treat hyper pigmentation. I could go on and on, but like I always say, do your own research on this ingredient if it is something you’re interested in trying out.
The Ordinary makes a serum that contains 2% Alpha Arbutin and Hyaluronic acid. It’s supposed to be really good for hyper pigmentation. You can read all about it via the link below.
Important things to note:
I haven’t tried this product. My skintone is pretty even these days, so I will be outsourcing the actual long term testing of this to a trusted family member, who has serious hyperpigmentation. Stay tuned for a proper review in about a month or two.
Sun protection is important all the time, and necessary when using products like this. I’d suggest something with at least SPF 30.
You can read more about the Alpha Arbutin 2% on the brand website. I like that this contains hyaluronic acid, because that’s my current favourite ingredient for hydration.
Their Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate is also recommended for people who want to brighten and even out their skin tone.
I also got the Vitamin C serum, which I will be reviewing real soon. Vitamin C is great for brightening the skin and protecting it form environmental aggressors. This also contains hyaluronic acid. Pre-order: N5000
I’m also curious to try their Azelaic Acid which claims to brighten and smoothen textured skin. Pre-order: N6500
Their Advanced Retinoid 2% is another one on my wishlist. Retinoids are great for keeping the skin looking fresh and free from lines and wrinkles. Pre-order: N75o0
And their High Adherence Silicone Primer is the current top item on my wishlist but it is forever sold out.
Disclaimer: I’m not a dermatologist. This post is not meant to replace advice from your doctor. Always do your own research and use common sense. There’s more information on the brand website which I’ve linked where relevant.
PS: Click here to read all about chemical exfoliation. It’s not as scary as it sounds, I promise.
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