Pigmentation, Hyper pigmentation, Hormonal Pigmentation or Melasma - I don't care what you call it but I have tried most treatments to get rid of it.....
One of the humid days, after an adventure to the Meatpacking District, I came back to our hotel to wash my face, only to find a darkness had settled under my eyes, thinking it was the late nights, different diet and timezone I thought they were just dark eye bags (which I have also struggled with most of my life). I covered them as best I can with concealer and thought a bit of a tan in our next stop Hawaii would sort out the problem.
But getting a tan didn't help and I have been dealing with these circles of pigment ever since. I personally think it was a combination of the contraceptive pill Diane (that I was on to ironically clear up some pimples) my DNA from Italian background and sun damage from my youth. Anyway I can't prove how they got there only that they are there and make me feel self conscious every day and send my anxiety into angry mode.
I have worn makeup every day of my life since (even when giving birth to both my daughters) as I hate the reaction people give me when they see my skin and the questions that follow. No-one sees my skin without makeup, except my husband when I have washed my face at night getting into bed or my dermatologist so I could show how it looks and a handful of beauticians who have obviously helped at some point to try and combat my skin issue.
Not long after New York we started planning our wedding and I wanted my skin to be better so I embarked on an expensive mission to try as many a facial, microdermabrasion, brightening product and beauty treatment that I could.
I used fancy home care products and many methods to try to treat my skin right and get results. Products I have tried include Dermalogica, Pevonia, Medik8 and numerous brightening formulas from brands available in Priceline.
All of these are fine products but they had no actual effect on the pigmented areas.
I then heard about the Elos skin rejuvenation laser treatment at SKYN in Nedlands so in 2010 I booked in to prepare for my wedding. I went for two separate sessions, it hurt a lot - like a hot rubber band repeatedly hitting you on the face for an hour.
The procedure had a few days downtime and it was pricey but it worked amazingly for a month or two. Then the pigment came back. I was less pigmented for my wedding but couldn't afford to keep up treatments so eventually the pigment came back and became worse.
After the Wedding we were building a house and planning a family so I gave up on treating my pigmentation being advised it would probably come back while pregnant so I should deal with it after having kids. So I became a professional concealer champion with no one knowing I had my skin issues unless I told them but I wore a cake of makeup everyday!! even to put the bin out.
In between having my babies I visited a day spa after a friend recommended I go to treat myself. So using Ultraceuticals products at home and having lightening masks done at a salon in Karrinyup I started to see some lightening, we then treated it with one round of IPL but it didn't really budge.
I then fell pregnant with my second baby and under advisement of my beautician I ceased all treatment so the pigment was there to stay. During my pregnancy I found Sodashi products and I loved the luxe organic vibe they have. The Sodashi made my skin gorgeous but there was no treatment in the range for my pigment so once I had my baby I saw a dermatologist.
I was prescribed a compounded Hydroquinone cream and told to use it morning and night and up my sunscreen vigilance. I really hated the formula of the cream on my skin and I couldn't put makeup over it during the day as it bubbled so it was a lost cause for me at the time. It seemed to sit on my skin and not do a lot. I discontinued use as I wasn't seeing any results there.
Bring on Instagram and The Skin Fairy with her fabulous brows and "skin is in" vibes. I sent her a desperate email but was told I couldn't do any hard hitting treatments till I finished breastfeeding my baby (something I choose to do for 16 months, when my babes decided to wean themselves)
Then I entered the feather touch brows competition at the skin clinic called Beauty Ink where the Skin Fairy gets her brows done. I won the competition and once I finished my breastfeeding journey with my babe I was allowed to get my brows done. After getting the perfect brows I asked what they could do for my pigmented skin.
So I started a treatment plan and spent thousands over a 6 month period buying all the DMK products and having regular enzyme treatments to build my skin up to the suggested 6 layer peel treatment which would help shed my pigment.....
DMK products were like nothing else I have tried and my skin is amazing because of them. The in clinic treatments are revolutionary and a really clever approach to skincare. A list of the treatments I have had include:
DMK Enzyme mask
Quick Peel and Enzyme
Prozyme and Enzyme
Alkaline on spots & hair removal and Enzyme.
Bihaku and Enzyme
Then after months of building up my skin the time came for the the big DMK 6 layer peel (see previous post Diary of a DMK 6 Layer Peel) to see more about how that experience was for me.
The 6 layer peel was amazing and the Pigment was gone in 10 days, I had terrible breakouts on my chin though so I felt like I had got rid of one problem to create another.
I was so happy with the pigment gone but unfortunately it came back within a few weeks....I continued with lightening treatments but no real further lightening occurred. These treatments included:
Bihaku and Enzyme 2
Liquid laser and Enzyme 2
Alkaline on spots & hair removal & Enzyme
At this point I felt defeated and we were broke from my quest to get rid of my pigment.
No more monies, nothing was working, depression had set in.
I stopped treatments and resigned to the fact I was stuck with this face.
Until I recently went to see my new dermatologist for my mole check and he was a breath of fresh air. He prescribed a different ratio compound of Hydroquinone cream (after I told him my dislike of my previously tried compound) and to be honest in less than a week I noticed a difference in my skin. I was amazed, my husband was stoked when he saw me with no makeup and it keeps getting better.
Many weeks on and my pigment is almost completely gone and I am so happy but I know from experience not to judge results just yet.
I use the compounded Hydroquinone cream every second night on my pigmented areas and use the DMK 50+ sunscreen daily.
See the photos for results that speak for themselves.
I will update this blog in a few months with any further thoughts on my current best solution for pigmentation.
Have you struggled with pigmentation? Please comment and let me know what have you tried to combat it?
Hi my name is Brie.