Up there with gray hair, wrinkles and morning aches and pains, skin discoloration is one of our major aging bugbears. Especially because it’s so hard to pin down with its many causes and appearances – kinda rude, right?
Discoloration appears when the skin produces higher than normal levels of melanin due to hormonal imbalances, trauma to the skin (such as acne), or over-exposure to the sun. More good news: with time, the skin becomes even more uneven and blotchy as melanocytes – melanin-synthesizing cells continue to overproduce melanin due to further exposure to the elements and aging processes.
There are a variety of ways to effectively treat discoloration (otherwise known as hyperpigmentation) at the doctor’s office, and now one of our favorite medical-grade brands hopes to address the problem at home with a first-to-market, multi-targeting corrective serum.
“Hyperpigmentation is the fastest-growing global skincare concern, and, through our wide network of partner physicians, we’ve seen the demand for pigmentation correction products increase significantly over the past few years,” explains Christina Fair, Head of SkinCeuticals in the US.
“With this increase in popularity, we sought to deliver a product that could both complement the results of professional discoloration treatments, such as chemical peels, and work effectively on its own,” she adds.
Say hello to Discoloration Defense.
What It Is: Having arrived on the scene in February, SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense coins itself as a ‘daily-use dark spot corrector clinically proven to reduce the appearance of key types of skin discoloration, including hard-to-treat forms such as stubborn brown patches and post-acne marks.’ To be honest, we’re sold already (*we type as we hide our annoying age spots underneath this month’s oversized sunglasses of choice). But what’s the lowdown? In short, this twice-daily serum comes packed with a bunch of anti-discoloration ingredients without even a sniff of hydroquinone. These include tranexamic acid (a man-made form of the amino acid, lysine), brightening kojic acid, niacinamide and HEPES (a synthetically-derived, exfoliating acid).
What It Does: As with all SkinCeuticals products, Discoloration Defense was researched to the hilt and put through vigorous clinical trials before coming to market. In a 12-week study, continued use of the serum showed a 60 percent average improvement in the appearance of stubborn brown patches and a whopping 81 percent average improvement in the appearance of post-acne marks. Pretty impressive results, don’t you think? Simply apply it morning and night, to clean, dry skin. Oh and always, we repeat, always follow with a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day.
The Scoop: For us, this is the ultimate, between-treatment product for maximizing the results from depigmenting procedures such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion. You may roll your eyes at potentially yet another product to add to your arsenal and wonder how it fits into your layering regime, but just remember these three facts.
1. You apply it to clean, dry skin BEFORE moisturizing or applying sunscreen. Simple.
2. Discoloration Defense is super-lightweight, so you won’t even know you’re wearing it.
3. It works.
The Price: $98