I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t THE hardest thing I’ve ever shared on this blog to date. The thought of these photos living on the internet forever? EEK!
Honestly though, I’ve decided REALNESS trumps my own fears and decided to put my struggle with hyperpigmentation out on front street for a number of reasons…
- I have literally received dozens of emails and social media messages about my “flawless” skin, what makeup I use or my skincare routine. Covering up with makeup and using filters is pretty standard these days, especially amongst bloggers, but it was starting to make me feel icky and like a fraud .
- I created BABESKILLS as a place to share pretty things yes, but I want this blog to be an open place where we can have honest conversations.
- I am SO sick of women, especially teenage girls, thinking Kylie Jenner and Bella Hadid “woke up like this”. The truth is, those girls have a LOT of help. AND let me be clear: I’m not bashing them and there is NOTHING wrong with a little nip/tuck if that’s what YOU want to do. I just feel it’s unfair when women play the comparison game and believe girls like that were simply “born with it”.
So this year I’m on an “own it” tour, testing out everything from acupuncture and cupping to laser skincare and non-invasive fat reduction… and of course bringing you along for the ride.
I’ve already touched on eyelash extensions, dermaplaning and stem cell facials, but there is SO much more to come this year, you’ll have to stay tuned.
For now, let’s chat hyperpigmentation: the causes, treatments and my own personal plan of attack thanks to my skincare guru Leah at Leah Chavie Skincare.
What is Hyperpigmentation & What Causes It?
Hyperpigmentation is a pretty common condition where parts of the skin become darker in color due to an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color.
Hyperpigmentation can be caused by UV exposure, hormonal changes (melasma) and any post inflammation response (ex: injury, acne scars).
What Can You Do To Treat Hyperpigmentation:
Hyperpigmentation can be pretty stubborn to treat. Some methods include:
- Topical Skin Lighteners: hydroquinone, retinoids, kojic acid, and Vitamin C
- Chemical Peels
- Laser Photofacials (IPL)
Laser Treatments For Hyperpigmenation:
After months of experimenting with topical skin lightning products and chemical peels, which barely did anything to reduce the appearance of my hyperpigmentation, I turned to IPL treatments.
The number of treatments you need varies and it’s only mildly painful (I did a whole post on the different types of lasers which you can read here).
My “during” picture above might be the most shocking of all. After you receive IPL all the extra pigment deep within your skin rises to the surface, so that it can be shed naturally (usually within a week to 10 days). It really highlights just HOW much damage was present (PLEASE wear SPF people).
I’m also sharing my personal treatment plan from Leah Chavie Skincare.
Leah has provided us with this easy “bed” analogy to understand the process:
- First Leah “takes off the sheets” with dermalplaning which removes the layer dead skin & vellus hairs.
- Next she works on the “mattress” with IPL (Intense Pulsed Light). IPL works on the top layer of the skin and can target both brown spots & redness.
- Moving on to the layer between the mattress and the box springs, Leah performs Laser Genesis to treat fine lines, wrinkles, pore size and skin texture.
- On to the box springs, the last treatment is Titan Laser — a deep, dermal heating which tightens the skin & kills bacteria.
- Finally the duvet cover! Leah applies stem cells which blanket and protect the skin, as well as help calm, soothe and heal.
This treatment plan which utilizes 3 lasers (IPL, Laser Genesis & Titan) is called 3D skin rejuvenation because it treats ALL layers of the skin, addressing multiple problem areas at one time.
From my before and after photos above, you can see what a journey it has been! I’ve received about 6 treatments and have seen about 85% reduction in the appearance of dark spots.
I used to LOVE to go makeup free but felt so self conscious with my hyperpigmentation exposed. Now, it feels amazing to just be able to walk out my door again to grab a coffee or go to the gym and not have to load up on foundation!
I will update this post when I am completely finished with my treatment plan but for now, here’s a makeup-less selfie:
If you live in Chicagoland and suffer from skin pigmentation issues, I HIGHLY recommend Leah Chavie Skincare. ALWAYS consult a doctor to determine what is safe/best for you. Note, this is not a sponsored post and ALL opinions are my own.
What other “realness” posts do you guys want to see on my “own it” tour?! Have any of you tried facial lasers?