Your COMPLETE Hyperpigmentation Skincare Routine! | Fix Dark Spots | Skincare Made Simple
– In this video, I’m building you a complete skincare routine to fade your dark spots right now. I’m giving you the details on the exact products to use, how to use them from the morning and night, and what to expect as you start this routine.
Check out my first video in my series on hyperpigmentation, where I tell you the very easy to understand three-step process to fix your dark spots. Today’s video is meant to build upon that. To give you even more clarity and direction for fixing your skin! But you need to truly understand the basics, so check that out first.
(cheerful music) (crisp ding) (music fades) I’m Doctor Maren Locke. I’m a Board Certified Dermatologist, known here as The Budget Dermatologist, where I make skincare simple for you and help you get real results without spending a fortune.
I truly believe that improving your skin health and appearance can be absolutely life-changing. Subscribe, give this a thumbs up, and comment, so we can spread this message with as many people as we can.
And check me out on Instagram @thebudgetdermatologist where I share more daily tips and advice! So this hyperpigmentation routine is all about the treatment products, with targeted ingredients in it that will clear the unwanted pigmentation in your skin.
Listen, many skincare products will claim to brighten the skin, but you want to be a very educated and smart shopper When it comes to picking out a product for dark spots. I am teaching you how to choose ones with quality ingredients and formulations.
Don’t just read the claims on the front. You want to check the ingredients label out! Here is what you will be looking for! My top nine ingredients that are studied and proven to fade dark spots, and stay tuned until the end where I show you how to put these together into a complete routine.
Ingredient number one is a Retinoid such as Retinol, which is over the counter or prescription strength tretinoin. This is an absolute staple in many of my skincare routines, if you aren’t pregnant or breastfeeding.
There is so much research and history behind this ingredient. It is absolutely proven to work for many skin issues and dark spots is definitely one of them. It is not a gimmick. My pick for a retinoid for dark spots is CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum.
It has retinol, which is the workhorse ingredient here, as well as a few other key ingredients to really boost the effectiveness of the product overall. Going to talk more about those extra added ingredients in a few minutes.
Ingredient number two is Topical Vitamin C like this one by La Roche-Posay. I’m choosing this because it also has salicylic acid in it. So it’s a great combination product that works well for acne prone skin, skin with dark spots, dull skin and of course all the anti-aging benefits in there as well.
But I specifically love this product for dark spot routines because of its dual ingredients. Number three, Topical Acids like glycolic acids, salicylic acid, kojic acid, lactic acid, and azelaic acid.
I really like Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid Booster. It has 10 percent azelaic acid and salicylic acid as well. This is a great standalone topical acid product. But you will see that some of my top product recommendations have topical acids added in them as well.
And that’s really a great way to boost their effectiveness without having to buy an entirely separate product. Number four, Tranexamic Acid. It’s a little bit of a lesser known ingredient but it is one that I am definitely loving.
I really love the Tranexamic Topical Acid 5% by Naturium. This is a top pick of mine because of all the extra added ingredients that also work together to fade dark spots. It has niacinamide, licorice root extract, and kojic acid.
So tranexamic acid in the oral form has been shown to have great benefits for melasma, but this is available prescription only and it does have risk to it, So it’s definitely not for everybody. But there are studies that show topical tranexamic acid can work as well.
And of course there is far less risk there and it’s available over the counter. Ingredient number five is Hydroquinone. This is a long-standing ingredient. It also has a lot of research behind it. This has previously been available in 2% over the counter but I believe now this is changing.
So you can probably only get this by prescription, in most cases. Number six is Niacinamide. I mean, what doesn’t niacinamide help, right? It’s such a workhorse ingredient. You don’t necessarily have to get a totally separate niacinamide product either.
I will show you how to effortlessly, just literally incorporate it right into your routine without a separate product. Ingredient seven is Soy Complex. Soy actually helps decrease pigment, it evens the skin tone, and it is anti-aging.
Aveeno has a Positively Radiant line that incorporates soy complex in their products. And they have many nice options that are all affordable and accessible at the drugstore. So my favorite for a dark spot routine, is the Aveeno Positively Radiant Intensive Night Cream.
It has the soybean complex, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid. This is a great moisturizing texture so it’s really good to apply alongside a retinoid at night to really lock in that moisture and prevent that dryness that can happen after retinoids.
Ingredient number eight is Licorice Root Extract. This is not a standalone product, but it’s a great ingredient that you can look for when choosing your other products. Because if you see it in the ingredients list, you know that it will help boost the effectiveness of that product.
At least that’s the idea. And finally, ingredient number nine is Arbutin. Which is a natural plant derived hydroquinone derivative. It works by preventing the production of melanin or the pigment in your skin.
It is more gentle, less side effects, and less irritating than hydroquinone and it’s available without a prescription. I like the Ordinary 2% Arbutin and Hyaluronic Acid. It is super affordable. It’s very easy to incorporate this product in your routine.
I’m going to show you how. So those are the nine ingredients that I consider among the most effective and ones that you will find the most readily. I recommend choosing just one or two treatment products with a combination or a cocktail of a few of those nine ingredients for your routine.
And here’s the good news. Many of these nine ingredients play nice together and can work synergistically to boost the effectiveness. So you get more bang for your buck that way. For example, I like to choose products that pair hydroquinone and kojic acid together into one formulation, or tranexamic acid with kojic acid.
Also many of these I like have niacinamide, and licorice root extract in their ingredients list as well. So you actually can get the benefit of many of these nine ingredients in just one or two products, which keeps your routine simple, effective, and affordable.
So let’s build your routine right now. In the morning. Step one, cleanse the skin. Now use a gentle cleanser here. For this routine, I am choosing the La Roche-Posay Gentle Hydrating Cleanser. This is a cleanser that has niacinamide in it.
So you are already using one of my top nine ingredients in this step. This is an all-time favorite of mine because of how gentle it is, yet very effective. It nourishes the skin. It does not irritate.
And it has a fabulous ingredient list. This is the cream based form of the cleanser, but they also have a foaming form of this cleanser if you have more oily skin. I can actually use either formulation on my skin and really end up feeling quite hydrated.
Step number two is your first treatment product. This is why you are here. So I’m giving you a choice, one of three options here depending what the root cause of your dark spots are. If you have melasma as your main concern, I’m going to recommend this: Naturium Tranexamic Acid, which has the main ingredient of tranexamic acid and 5% along with kojic acid, niacinamide, and licorice root extract.
So this is a combination product, With multiple carefully chosen ingredients that will all synergistically work together to fade out your dark spots. This product is extremely affordable and in my opinion is a more reasonable option than the SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense, which is similar in formulation, but that one sells almost 100 dollars.
Okay, so this is your more affordable and effective option. Now, if you are having some ongoing acne problems and you want to fight those dark spots, instead of the Naturium product, grab this one by Paula’s Choice, it’s the Azelaic Acid Booster with salicylic acid.
Azelaic acid is a wonderful ingredient for dark spots, because it blocks the enzyme that’s necessary for melanin or pigment production. So by applying this to your skin you will decrease the amount of pigment that is deposited and can really fade those dark spots out over time.
Now, not only that, but azelaic acid also has antibacterial effects, so it fights acne. And salicylic acid is also one of the top four best acne fighting ingredients. It dissolves in the oil gland, it breaks up debris, and it clears up the acne.
And of course salicylic acid also helps brighten the skin. And the third option if age spots or uneven skin tone, and just aging in general is your main concern. Grab the Vitamin C with salicylic acid here.
Again, I like this one by La Roche-Posay in particular for this indication because of the extra topical acid added in there, which really just helps with skin penetration and skin brightening. It’s just a fabulous product.
So choose one of those treatment products for the morning and then follow it up with step number three, which is moisturize. Choose a moisturizer with niacinamide in it to get the most brightening benefit out of your moisturizer.
Now I have several niacinamide moisturizers that I absolutely love! What I’ve been using most recently is this Holy Hydration Cream. It has niacinamide in it which, again, is one of my top ingredients, so you are maximizing the benefit of this step.
Now, this moisturizer is really an amazing product for this price point. It is extremely hydrating without being greasy. And step number four, sunscreen. I cannot emphasize enough how important this step is for dark spot routines.
The sun will make these spots darker over time. So you have have have to protect your face diligently. Now I want you to choose one that is ideally a mineral sunscreen with iron oxides. So that’s likely a tinted version of the sunscreen.
My top choice here is by Australian Gold, the Botanical Sunscreen. It’s affordable, it’s elegant, and it has an SPF of 50. It’s tinted so it has iron oxides. It comes in a variety of tint colors. It wears nicely under makeup.
And this is just one of the products that you guys messaged me about the most thanking me for the recommendation. So if you haven’t checked it out, you are missing out. Now I will also link some other perfectly great sunscreen options at different price points below.
So you can find one that you like the best and will use daily. Now for your routine at night. Step number one, cleanse with your same gentle cleanser. My La Roche-Posay longtime favorite. Step two is your second treatment product.
I am choosing a retinoid. If you can use a retinoid, use a retinoid. It is one of our most powerful skincare ingredients on the market. So here I’ll be using the CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol containing licorice root extract, and niacinamide as well.
Again, all three of these ingredients are really working together to fade out those dark spots and retinol, as we know, is anti-aging as well. So this is an awesome product. And step number three, moisturize.
I’m recommending the Aveeno one that I mentioned with the soy complex. I’m loving this option lately. It is very luxurious and hydrating. This will be such a crucial product at keeping your skin barrier strong, so it can really stand up to some of these potentially more intense treatment ingredients that you are using on your skin.
I really love Aveeno’s Positively Radiant line and I’ve seen that it is very well tolerated in most of my patients. I give out a ton of samples of this in my private practice clinic and I get great feedback on it.
So I’m very happy with these products. And of course they are at an amazing price point. You can find these right at the drugstore and of course easily online. So with that simple routine we have used almost all of my top nine ingredients, which is amazing for a fairly simple routine that does not require layering a ton of products.
Now, if you want to try a couple of these treatment products that I mentioned for the morning time, you can pick two and just use them on alternating days. That works really well too, but just gradually add in one at a time to make sure that your skin is tolerating it.
So you’ll notice we did not use hydroquinone in this over-the-counter routine because you will probably need a prescription for that in most places. So I won’t add that in here, but do know that hydroquinone is really quite effective.
So if your over the counter routine is not clearing up your dark spots, you can consider getting prescription strength products from a physician. But what about Arbutin? We did not include that yet in this routine.
However, if you are into layering products, this is a very easy and safe one to incorporate both morning and night. Using the Ordinary Arbutin product, you can put a few drops in your hand, apply it to the whole face, then just complete the rest of your routine.
You can use it at night too, because it is okay to apply alongside a retinol, vitamin C, topical acid. So just layer away with this, if that is your cup of tea. I think it will give you added benefit for sure! So it’s really easy to build a powerful dark spot correcting routine.
You just have to be strategic about your ingredients and pair them correctly. You want to get yourself used to this routine. Get your skin slowly adjusted with some of these lower strength products. See how far you can get with this, and then seek additional care if you need it.
And I will tell you, that not everyone will need prescription strength products and expensive procedures to fade their dark spots. And that is truly good news. If you found this step-by-step advice helpful and you want more Skincare Made Simple videos by me give this a thumbs up, comment below, and don’t forget to come check me out on Instagram @thebudgetdermatologist.
So let’s keep the conversation going. See you soon! (cheerful music)