Tag Archive | microdermabrasion

Sunscreen helps with fading hyperpigmentation and blemishes


One of the biggest concerns about my skin, outside the hair, is the hyperpigmentation my skin has suffered from years of shaving and tweezing and ingrowns.

I am honestly more self-conscious about the dark marks than the hair! I can epilate the hair no problem but the scars stay for quite some time.

Sometimes, it feels like they will never go away.

But the good part of it is this: most blemishes and scars are on the epidermis layers of our skin:

Courtesy of eMedicinehealth.com

With that being said, most fading creams for blemishes (if they are good products) will penetrate the epidermis layer. If you use these products long enough, you may start to see your blemishes fade. Some microdermabrasion treatments will remove the damaged layers of the epidermis to reveal healthier looking skin. Chemical peels also remove the blemishes on this layer of skin.

Blemishes in the epidermis layer look brownish or reddish like in the pics below, before and after a chemical peel, courtesy of The Laser Spa website:

Courtesy of The Laser Spa

Blemishes that are more blue and grey-ish are probably in the dermis layers and will be way more difficult to treat without the assistance of a dermatologist. Chat with one to determine which type of hyperpigmentation you have.

Sunscreen is so important because it blocks harmful rays that do even more damage to our skin, even when we think our skin is flawless. You see, if you are taking a medication to fade dark spots, it will only work as long as your skin is protected from the elements, mainly the sun. The sun will simply make you darker, making the medication or cream you are using less effective. Even darker toned people like Blacks, Hispanics, Indians and Middle Easterners should very much so be using sunscreen if they have hyperpigmentation.

It’s actually a pretty well-known regimen to use sunscreen when dealing with scars and blemishes….one that I neglected until now!

When buying a good sunscreen consider the following:

  1. Is it a reputable brand with rave reviews?
  2. Does it have at least SPF 30?
  3. Does it specifically state “Broad Spectrum” protection?
  4. Does it NOT cost an arm and a leg?!

If you can answer yes to all four of those questions, you probably found a very good sunscreen for yourself! I use Neutrogena Clear Face myself.

 

I cannot really say if it’s working or not because I just bought it, plus, I have not received the product I will be using to fade my blemishes and scars from my hirsutism.

This is what I will be using to try to eliminate some of my scars on my face. This product line is called Forces Of Nature  and it is the only USDA approved skin care line for a number of health conditions including athlete’s foot, eczema, acne, arthritis and hyperpigmentation scars.

So I will definitely keep you all up to date about my progress with the Scar Treatment. I’m all for using all natural products so I really look forward to this!

So remember to always protect your skin even if you don’t suffer from hyperpigmentation at all. And always protect your skin no matter how light or dark your skin is.

 

 

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Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation and DIY treatments


Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) and hirsutism are often related. Because of the constant tweezing, shaving, razor bumps, and waxing, it is likely that your skin will scar up from the extra melanin that works to heal broken skin…thus creating dark spots.

Honestly, many days my PIH bothers me more than the hair. The main reason I am considering laser hair removal again is because I know the dark marks will disappear.

If you click on the link above, the NIH will explain what PIH is, why its worse in darker skinned folks and multiple treatment options.

These treatments include:

  1. sun screen (crucial)
  2. chemical peels
  3. soy
  4. licorice extract
  5. various types of alpha hydroxy acids

I knew about chemical peels, but soy and licorice were something new to me! The more I looked into correcting my PIH the cheap way, I noticed that I kept coming across microdermabrasion. Microdermabrasion (MDB) is a method of exfoliating dead skin layers to remove and improve worn skin aliments, including PIH. Caution should be taken in doing MDB because it may cause more harm than good if you exfoliate too hard.

Neutrogena and Olay have at-home devices to do MDB which both cost less than $30 and have great reviews. I personally may consider the Olay device.

But until then, I developed a DIY MDB recipe that seems to work great. Baking soda seems to be the top MDB ingredient for DIY MDB, according to the internet. So I used that with some other ingredients:

  1. Baking Soda
  2. water
  3. Lemon juice
  4. jojoba oil
  5. Glycerin
  6. Organic Soy Powder

I used Soy and baking soda the most. Sorry I didn’t write down the measurements, but I definitely used those two the most. It came out looking very creamy, not so much pasty like a lot of the baking soda ingredients online:

My DIY microdermabrasion cream. I simply mixed all the ingredients together, and in a circular fashion, put it all over my face and neck. I allowed it to sit for several minutes (almost an hour!) and then I rinsed in the shower.

I actually put it on twice and the first time, my skin did look bright! I liked it so much I did it another time, and am actually still wearing the cream on my face while I type this blog!

But this is a good method to DIY MDB if you cannot afford salon prices according to my extensive internet research.

I will admit: the salon is the best way to go because it will likely deliver the results you want faster. For us hirsute girls, again, the best way to get rid of the PIH is to get rid of the hair.

But this DIY method is a way to try and clear up your PIH just as effectively, but a little slower. Like anything else, it will probably take some time to peel the skin layers back and reveal your true skin tone. And is a good alternative if you (like myself) cannot always afford salon prices! As I stated before, you can also consider at-home chemical peels and always use your sun screen!

I did come across a wonderful salon website in Charlotte, NC that shows very great before and after photos of clients with PIH from acne, razor bumps and hirsutism. It gives you an idea that there is hope!

Seriously, click on this link! The results are great!

So in closing, here is a list of things to manage your PIH:

  1. Wear sun screen at all times! Typically, a broad spectrum brand! Even in winter! Dark folks need it too, especially for conditions like PIH! It is imperative! I cannot stress this one enough. As a black woman, I assumed my people and other darker pigmented ethnicities simply did not need it because we are already naturally darker than our European counterparts. But the UV rays from the Sun can still damage our skin, making our PIH potentially worse.
  2. Exfoliate with a MDB scheme. Any good facial scrub directly made for MDB should do the trick but just remember the results will not happen over night, even using a device like the ones sold by Neutrogena and Olay.
  3. Consider chemical peels! It is one of the best ways to remove damaged skin layers as well as raise ingrown hairs for hirsute folks. I would advise you at least talk to a dermatologist or a medical spa before attempting this one on your own.
  4. Consider Soy! I have seen soy in Vitamin Shoppe. Apparently, it shows promise with PIH conditions. The only issue I have with this is that many people are allergic to soy. If not, consider some soy supplements or in your beauty regimen. Notice I used it in my DIY MDB mix.
  5. Consider Mequinol, a Hydroquinone alternative. Because Hydroquinone is believed to be in connection with  carcinogens, I did not list it, but Mequinol is a good alternative, as both are very promising in reducing PIH. I believe you can get this as a prescription.
  6. Consider other treatment options listed here.
  7. If you can afford it, and need a quick method, just get laser surgery. This is the fastest way to clear up your skin! Try to go during a sale the salon is having. They almost always give package deals.

So as you can see, there is a lot of hope for folks with PIH and there are options without having to run to the salon, spending hundreds on methods that you can probably do at home.

Thanks!