March 7, 2017
I had acne for about 10 years, off and on. And while I rarely get breakouts anymore, I still have a bunch of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It's the bane of my existence. Even though I don't need to cover up pimples anymore, I slather on a full-coverage foundation to hide all those little red and brown dots.
Of course, non acne-suffers get hyperpigmentation too. Typically in the form of sun spots, dark spots, or age spots, and they're brought on from the usual suspects: Too much sun exposure, hormones, and aging. When there's inflammation, the first or second layer of the skin cells produce extra pigment during the healing process.
There's no other way to put it, trying to lighten the appearance of these is time-consuming, tedious, and annoying. In trying to get rid of mine, I've used a ton of products including drugstore brightening creams, hardcore spot treatments, and prescription products. I'm still holding out on the in-office procedures (because I'm hoping the topicals will work, and also, $$$).
In short: I know a bit about what works and what doesn't. Plus, I spoke with a slew of top dermatologists for their expertise. Here's a rundown of your best options, ranging from mild cases to severe.
5. Patches. These nightly patches have some pretty cool technology behind them: Basically you stick a circular patch over a dark spot, and this will send microcurrents down into your skin to diminish discoloration with the help of retinol, peptides, and niacinamides, which are all fused into the cloth sticker