We asked you recently what you wanted us to review (there’s still time to add your suggestions; do it here!) and hyper-pigmentation cropped up a few times. I’m in my thirties so this is a concern for me, too – I have a big ol’ sun spot on one cheek and more than my fair share of speckles and splotches elsewhere.
Sun exposure is the most likely cause of these rogue patches of pigment (although hormonal changes can also be to blame – pregnancy is a common culprit). So a good SPF is the best preventative measure you can take, though there are also plenty of products out there that claim to diminish dark spots once they’ve already appeared.
I’ll be sharing some of my favourites next week and today, I want to focus on the products I’m using right this very second – the new range from NeoStrata, called, promisingly, Enlighten. Aisling gave you a very quick look at the range and I’ve been using it for about three weeks – enough to see some results.
Let there be light!
NeoStrata is on the pricier end of the spectrum but it’s hard to argue with this science-led, cosmeceutical brand. It’s what I tend to reach for when my skin is misbehaving, and it’s time to bring out the big guns.
The Enlighten range is made up of three products: a creamy cleanser, clear gel serum and pale yellow treatment cream. The three products are designed to work together to target hyperpigmentation and brighten complexions. The key ingredient in each is NeoGlucosamine, a non-acid amino sugar that prevents melanin formation and encourages cell renewal.
I’ve been using the Ultra Brightening Cleanser, €34.95, with my Clarisonic, to take off all my makeup (I use a separate eye makeup remover) and prepare the skin for the other products in the range. It’s suitable for all skin types and full of plant extracts to brighten the skin.
The Illuminating Serum is the next step, designed to break up existing pigmentation and prevent future discolouration. It’s pretty powerful stuff, with no less than 12 active brightening ingredients that also work to inhibit melanin production. Vitamin C and licorice - both clinically proven to be effective in the the fight against dark patches - are also present. This is the spendiest product of the three, at €55.85.
The Pigment Controller is the final step, and this is really the Daddy of the range. It’s so powerful that you can only use it once a day for the first two weeks, till your skin adjusts - after which you ramp it up to twice. This contains a whole cocktail of powerful actives including Retinol (0.1%), Vitamin C and SabiWhite, a proven alternative to prescription strength hydroquinone, which is excellent for treating pigmentation. This is €47.50.
While it will take more time to see any real reduction of dark spots, my skin is visibly clearer and more even-toned. Some of that could be down to the Clarisonic, but the brighter, more luminous complexion? That's down to this trio right here.
The NeoStrata Enighten range is out this month and can be found in pharmacies. If dull skin and pigmentation are your bugbears, it's well worth a punt - just remember to use it with a sunscreen!