well hey guys in today's video i'm going

to be talking about

skin care ingredients that actually work

to fade dark spots

dark spots are otherwise referred to as

post inflammatory hyperpigmentation

basically whenever there's any kind of

irritation in the skin

it can lead to up regulation and pigment


and subsequent dark spots that can take

a very long time to fade

this commonly occurs with acne as the

acne heals

and it also can happen if you've been

using really irritating skin care


if you've been doing a lot of scrubs

that cause a lot of irritation in the


ingredient number one i have to talk

about and i cannot

i cannot do a video like this without

without talking about

is vitamin c topical vitamin c

specifically l ascorbic acid vitamin c

is an antioxidant so it inhibits free

radical formation that can lead to

oxidative damage and subsequent up

regulation and pigment production

it also can inhibit the enzyme

tyrosinase that leads to


and you know you can't you can't do a

video like this without talking about it

but the problem

i have with vitamin c and vitamin c

products is that vitamin c

is really unstable specifically the form

l ascorbic acid which is what we have

the most data on

it's very unstable it degrades very

easily and when it degrades it can be

incredibly irritating

not only that l-ascorbic acid is

water loving and a charged molecule so

those two things combined make it really

difficult to get it into the skin

and it oxidizes very readily on exposure

to air

and light so manufacturers have a few


to overcome in order to have a product

that actually is going to work

but because vitamin c is not a

actual drug that we prescribe there's

really no

not much onus on the manufacturer to

prove these things

i have the most confidence in

skinceuticals ce ferulic

they have done a few things with the

vitamin c that have been shown to be

helpful for stabilizing it and allowing

it to effectively penetrate into the


they've added ferulic acid and vitamin e

both of which

have been shown to enhance the

penetration and stability of

l-ascorbic acid but that product is

super expensive

and you know i know i'm getting a bit

sidetracked here but i always get a ton


questions can you recommend an

affordable vitamin c

serum and i just feel like you know with

all the limitations around vitamin c

that just starts to become an anecdotal


and i don't even use vitamin c myself so

you know i'll just stick with

recommending the ce ferulic one

but do know that it's not the only

ingredient out there that can help fade

your hyperpigmentation

if you do want to use vitamin c serums

though the best way to use them

is in the morning apply them to your

skin allow them to absorb and dry and


put on sunscreen on over it and

you don't necessarily want to use them

at night it's best to use them in the

morning because remember

vitamin c is an antioxidant so it's

going to help in scavenging the free

radicals that you're exposed to

throughout the day that can lead to


so it's best to put it on in the morning


sunscreen ingredient number two

hydroquinone this has been

the gold standard for treating diseases

of hyperpigmentation for over 50 years

it too works by inhibiting that enzyme


now the downsides of hydroquinone are

that it's irritating

and it can cause with long-term use

rebound worsening of the

hyperpigmentation so you have to be

really careful with it

hydroquinone you can buy over the

counter and two percent strength or it's

available by prescription

the prescription stuff typically is more


but more irritating in my opinion it's


to pursue hydroquinone under the

supervision of a treating dermatologist

to get the best results it's not to say

that the over-the-counter stuff is off

the table i just find that

it can be very irritating for people and


anything that causes irritation in the

skin can push you over the edge for

worsening your hyperpigmentation

but you know it's certainly an option a


hydroquinone product that's very

affordable is ambi fade cream two

percent hydroquinone

how do you use this you want to apply it

in the evening or in the morning

or you can apply it twice a day if you

tolerate it without any irritation

the key though is how you apply it you

don't want to apply it to a widespread


you only want to apply it to the areas

of hyperpigmentation

put the hydroquinone in the center of

the area of hyperpigmentation and then

kind of feather it out to the periphery

of the

of the affected area you don't want to

use that for

longer than five to six months without

taking a break

because if you do that it can affect the

neighboring melanocytes that were

otherwise normal and lead to those

rebound hyperpigmentation which you

don't want

hydroquinone is obviously not perfect

and per in my opinion it's it's best

used under the supervision of a treating


because there's just all of these little

issues that can arise

and then with the cycling of it it tends

to be more nuanced from individual to

individual in terms of how it's best

used so i don't know it's available here

in the states over the counter but in

other countries it's not so

it's not even an option around the world

the third ingredient though

i think is one that you can feel a lot

more comfortable with

and that is kojic acid kojic acid

is derived from like mushrooms and also

it was discovered i believe in sake


anyways kojic acid is a compound that

acts as a copper chelater copper is a


factor in that enzyme tyrosinase

kojic acid you can think of is kind of

starving tyrosinase in a sense

and it it can cause irritation

people can have problems with it but

generally it's very well tolerated

now it can take several months to start

seeing improvement

but so long as you're tolerating it you

can definitely appreciate

some improvement in that

hyperpigmentation a product that

i really like that has kojic acid in it

you can get it in the drugstore

is the la roche posay melody

pigment control serum

this has kojic acid it also has glycolic

acid which will help

kind of slough off some dead skin cells

and improve the penetration of the

kojic acid but you can apply it but you

don't have to be as

precise however if you have some spots

of hyperpigmentation to make this last

longer you can just apply them to those


another product with kojic acid that i

have used myself in the past and

reviewed for you guys is the pca

skin pigment gel they make one with

hydroquinone and one without so

if you i you know i use the one without

hydroquinone this is

less irritating but they have both


and that's really good it's just more

expensive i think than the melody one

but both

both are really good i recommend trying


once a day like in the evening see how

you tolerate it and so long as you're

tolerating it fine

it can be applied twice a day for

maximum benefit ingredient number four

is soy soy is very well tolerated

except if you happen to have a soy

allergy then you don't want to use it

but otherwise it's really well tolerated

it can improve hyperpigmentation because

basically it

prevents the pigment from entering the

top layer

layers of the of the skin and so

it kind of inhibits some of how pigment

is moved around

it can really just help even out skin


it's anti-inflammatory and it has a

anti-wrinkle effect

it has a skin firming effect and it can

scavenge free radicals

it's really like i said it's really well

tolerated i think it is an under

appreciated ingredient out there it's

also been shown to improve

thinning skin that occurs with aging

it's a great

anti-aging ingredient for that reason so

if you are somebody who is more mature

and you're seeking

an ingredient that's going to help

not only improve skin firmness and

wrinkles but also brighten up


soy is a good one to consider you can

just apply it

in the morning and in the evening so i

have found

that the sauna brand from japan

is excellent these are products that all


soy in them this particular product is

their facial lotion it's called a lotion

but it's more of a

it's more of a liquid almost like a


and you can put this on in the morning

allow it to absorb and put on sunscreen

on top if you're somebody who likes to

use a moisturizer in the morning you can

put this on and then put your

moisturizer on over it

and likewise do the same thing at night

and this particular product you can

actually get on i herb

and you can also buy this even though

it's japanese

a lot of cities throughout the us have

asian markets asian grocery stores that

carry this

like hmart often will carry those

ingredient number five is great for

those of you out there who have

sensitive skin and or acne and are

dealing with hyperpigmentation and

that's going to be azoleic acid

azolic acid inhibits free radical

formation and also inhibits tyrosinase


for those reasons it benefits


but it does have a a modest anti-acne

effect it can help break up close

comedones aka whiteheads

and it's anti-inflammatory which is good

for both hyperpigmentation

and an acne and it also is antibacterial

beyond that

for people who have a sensitive skin

condition called rosacea azolic acid is

actually a very effective treatment

for that condition because of its

anti-inflammatory properties

so it really benefits many people and

it's very easy to tolerate now the

prescription strength stuff is what we

have the data

date on and when i'm talking about these

benefits of azolic acid

i'm speaking about what has been shown

with the prescription strengths

however you can buy azoleic acid here in

the states over the counter at a lower

percentage strength

an azelaic acid product that i really

think is very good

is the polish choice 10 percent acelic

acid booster

or the ordinary um azoleic acid

is also very good i recommend both of

those and acelic acid can be applied

again i recommend trying just applying

it at nighttime to see how you tolerate

it it can be

it can sting and it can be drying but

otherwise it's very easy to tolerate you

can bump up to

twice a day ingredient number six that

is definitely helpful for

hyperpigmentation is going to be topical

vitamin a i'll just

say the umbrella category there i'm

including prescription retinoic acid

i'm including retinoic acid derivatives

adaptolene and tazeratine

and i'm including cosmeceutical retinols

all of these can inhibit that enzyme


and these all help in skin cell turnover

that can kind of help in the clearance

of hyperpigmentation smooth out the

surface of the skin

allowing for more of a luminous glow

that kind of helps

basically in the scattering of light

yeah topical vitamin a

definitely is a mainstay in the

management of hyperpigmentation

as a matter of fact when i was speaking

about hydroquinone earlier i didn't

mention that

hydroquinone is frequently combined

with retinol and the treatment of

diseases of hyperpigmentation

because they kind of complement one

another over the counter you can buy

a dappling or different gel and

that you know is is a is a great option

now retinol is one of those ingredients

that's going to be really helpful

for people who have mature skin and are

looking for some anti-aging benefit

in addition to improving

hyperpigmentation it's going to be

helpful for people with acne because it

imparts some acne

acne control and also will

reduce the risk that the acne heals with

hyperpigmentation so it's treating the

acne and

it's treating existing hyperpigmentation

and preventing future hyperpigmentation

so really beneficial in those cases

but it's not going to be the best choice

for people with really sensitive skin

when using topical vitamin a it is

advised that you use it in the evening

because many forms of topical vitamin a

are not stable in the presence of light

so it's best to apply topical vitamin a

in the evening to a clean

um moisturized dry face so

clean wash your face apply your

moisturizer let everything dry

and then right before you go to bed put

on the put on the topical vitamin a

whatever form that you're using

that's that's the best way to use it to

reduce irritation

and to reduce the risk of it degrading

on light exposure

there are some ingredients that cannot

be combined with retinol that might be


in your journey to improving

hyperpigmentation and those ingredients

you can then incorporate in the morning

one such ingredient

is going to be salicylic acid this is a

polished choice

uh two percent salicylic acid or bha


exfoliant now salicylic acid is

anti-inflammatory and it helps

with skin cell turnover to kind of

smooth out the skin and remove some of

that superficial hyperpigmentation it

also is anti-inflammatory and it can

and it can have a skin brightening

effect as well

and it will give you acne control so


is an ingredient that you could use in

the morning and leave

on underneath your sunscreen

during the day and you can incorporate

the retinol in the evening

that's a really great routine for people

with acne especially people with acne


whose acne heals with hyperpigmentation

really a good

good pairing this is also helpful if you

have mature skin

and are looking to kind of brighten up

the complexion

and maybe smooth out some textural


but like topical vitamin a salicylic

acid is not a good choice for people

who have really sensitive skin or

rosacea it can aggravate those


the next ingredient is a good one though

for people with sensitive skin

really any skin type can benefit from

this ingredient and that is

licorice fruit licorice root can inhibit

how pigment is dispersed throughout the


thus having a brightening effect and

evening out

skin complexion licorice root is very

good for

reducing redness and irritation it's


if you have acne that heals with redness

and discoloration

licorice root is a good ingredient to

incorporate a product that i've

recommended in several videos

is the procure rosa care

moisturizer it's like a i mean you can

call it a moisturizer you can call it a


what i like about it is that it has the

licorice root which is the main


but it also is has a green tint to it so

it'll color correct

redness it's really good for proposed

acne redness

as well as hyperpigmentation and you can

apply it by itself

uh but i find that it works better

applied underneath the moisturizer

and it's also really good first thing in

the morning to apply it

let it set up and then put your

sunscreen on that way you really get

kind of that cosmetic benefit

of the green color correction throughout

the day it's a really nice product you

can get it at cvs

walmart and amazon recently though i

discovered the

it's skin li effector

power 10 formula this is a korean brand

and this is their licorice root serum

i finished it up it is really good

unfortunately this takes forever to

arrive and you can get it on amazon

but they often sell out and it takes a


i'll link it down below but that's

another licorice root option

you can introduce it obviously slowly

into your skin care routine starting

maybe just in the evening to see how you

tolerate it

and bumping up to you twice a day if you


but it's not something you have to be

really slow with

it's it's generally very well tolerated


that's that's an ingredient i really

like for people trying to help improve

hyperpigmentation because it's

it's not it reduces irritation

inflammation because of that

anti-inflammatory effect it's really

well tolerated

it's kind of low risk in other words


similar ingredient that has so many hats

in skincare is niacinamide i love

niacinamide i have a whole video on why

niacinamide is a good ingredient

as far as hyperpigmentation the

mechanism of action for niacinamide is


it interferes with the interaction of

pigment between

uh the skin cells that make pigment

melanocytes and the keratinocytes it

melanocytes make the pigment then they

kind of

hand it off to the skin cells the


and so niacinamide interferes with that

but it's anti-inflammatory as well

similar to licorice root so it really

has many benefits it also has

uh the benefit of reducing oiliness it's

been shown to be helpful for acne i mean

it has

tremendous skin benefits personally i

always recommend cerave products they

pretty much all most of them not all of

them but most of the cerave moisturizers

have niacinamide in them and it's a

no-brainer in those products because

it's like

okay i'm putting my moisturizer on and

you don't have to think too much about

layering it or anything like that

for example two percent niacinamide used

in a moisturizer has been shown to

noticeably improve the appearance of


in people with melasma so you know

there's no reason to feel like you have

to have a dedicated niacinamide serum or


but speaking of serum i will call out a

product that

that's really good for people with acne

again it's their resurfacing retinol


the reason i like this product so much

for people with acne

especially the types of acne that heal

with hyperpigmentation

is that it's got retinol in it so as i

said that's a good ingredient for

helping with skin cell turnover

controlling the acne reducing

inflammation and it combines

licorice root which i've already

mentioned and niacinamide

so this is really good if you have acne

and are looking to derive the benefits

of all three of those ingredients

but the most important one i mean all

this stuff just scratch don't even just

ignore everything i just told you

focus on those the best

ingredient for hyperpigmentation

is the ingredients that are the active

ingredients in sunscreen

sunscreen alone can and does improve

hyperpigmentation and sunscreen

is critical for any of this stuff to

work because exposure to

ultraviolet radiation from the sun

including sun that comes through the


does drive hyperpigmentation

specifically the sun that comes through

the window is called uva

and that really has a lot of

impact on how pigment is produced in the


and the other type of light from the sun

that you need to concern yourself with

if you have

hyperpigmentation that you're trying to

fade is

blue light visible light in the blue

light wavelengths is established as

contributing to hyperpigmentation

specifically it's associated with

early onset and more stubborn


and you know a lot of skin care

marketing has a lot of buzz

around around how their

ingredients protect against blue light

from your

phones and tvs but you know i have a

dedicated video on this

the majority of the of the blue light

that you need to concern yourself with

is coming from the sun including the

sunlight that comes through the window

as well so the sun is giving off visible

light that's how we see the world

and that visible light component in

addition to the uv

plays a role in hyperpigmentation and


come through the window so i'm telling

you guys that because don't think that

just because you're indoors all day

uh it's a reason to not apply sunscreen

your skin

can still be impacted by those

wavelengths chemical sunscreens

have filters like ava benzone oxybenzone

i mean there are a ton of different

sunscreen active ingredients and

chemical sunscreens

now those sunscreens they they

can give you really good uva protection

depending on how they're formulated

you know it's not something to it's

beyond the scope of this video for me to

get into that

but chemical sunscreens they can really

potentially give you really good

protection against the uva

like the rays that come through the

window from the sun that are not visible

to you

those can potentially give you really

good protection against those


unfortunately chemical sunscreens

especially those in the states because

we don't have as many filters here

can be irritating so for people with


those sometimes are just not the best

choice for that reason

now the other type of sunscreen is

physical sunscreen

has zinc and or titanium dioxide

zinc will give you protection against

the burning rays

as well as those uva rays large particle

zinc will also protect

against the pro-pigmenting wavelengths

of visible light the blue light

mineral sunscreens by the way are much

less irritating than the chemical


tinted mineral sunscreens will have an

ingredient called iron oxides

iron oxides in those tinted sunscreens

have been shown to provide

some protection against those

pro-pigmenting wavelengths of visible


so tinted sunscreens are always a good

option tinted mineral sunscreens

ultimately though whatever sunscreen

that you like and use consistently

that's the best one relying on sunscreen

alone is not enough though

you want to be cognizant of how long

you're spending time

outdoors and also make sure that you're


sun protective clothing broad hats long


i know it's miserable in the heat but

those things

it really needs to be a multi-pronged

approach is what i'm getting at you

can't just put on sunscreen and be like

i'm good to go

because it wears off we all know it has

many limitations

uh you have to do multiple behaviors not

staying out too long

and making sure that you wear you know

some sun protective clothing

so those are my top 10 ingredients for


but i hope this video was helpful to you

guys if you liked it give it a thumbs up

share it with your friends and as always

don't forget sunscreen and subscribe

i'll talk to you guys tomorrow bye