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For the last four weeks I have been testing a Rapid Lightening Regimen from Murad designed to treat hyperpigmentation and brighten skin tone. Being a mature woman that spent many years bathing in the sun without SPF protection, I have developed an uneven skin tone accompanied by dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Although I am very diligent about using a high SPF with broad band protection now, much of the sun damage on my face and chest is a result of overexposure in my early 20’s and 30’s.
What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is darker than normal pigmentation that can appear on the skin as dark patches or spots.
What causes hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is caused by production of excess melanin, the natural pigment that gives color to the skin. Melanin protects the skin from UV radiation and can be affected by several different factors including genetics, hormonal fluctuations, UV exposure, medications, systemic disorders, inflammation and trauma to the skin. There are three main causes of hyperactive melanin: hormones, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and UV exposure.
Contrary to popular belief, ridding the skin of dark spots requires additional treatment outside of topical application of “bleaching” products. Dark spots have to be brought to the surface and out of the skin, they do not simply “fade” away. This is why some people lose faith in their chosen course of treatment. Visible improvement of dark spots can take 3-6 months and in fact, may appear to darken before they begin to “fade” or lighten. This is a natural part of the skin renewal process and exactly what happens when a patient undergoes laser treatment for removal of dark spots.
How well did Murad’s Rapid Lightening Regimen work?
It is also important to consider who is testing the product so you can be sure you are comparing apples to apples. For example, I am a woman that spends a lot of time caring for the skin and have a multiple step skin care regimen for both morning and night that I adhere to every single day. The results I would experience would be much different than results achieved by another test subject, (test subject “B”) that is less diligent with caring for her skin. Test subject “B” may or may not cleanse her skin thoroughly or wash her makeup off before bed much less go through a time consuming regimine twice a day of layering anti-aging skin care products. Thus, it would be reasonable to assume that test subject “B” would see a more significant change to the skin using the same products, over the same testing period.
Interestingly, as I examined my skin in the mirror yesterday, I was not sure there had been any improvement. However, I have learned the importance of taking a series of photographs during the testing phase of any product. When we see ourselves in the mirror multiple times a day, it is difficult to notice small signs of change whether it’s looking for change in the skin, weight loss or any other area we strive to improve. When comparing the two images below it is evident that using Murad’s Rapid Lightening Regimen improved the overall tone of my skin as well as two areas of hyperpigmentation on the left side of my face.
In addition, it is very common for me to develop dark spots or scars as a result of inflammation to the skin. In fact, in the before photo below there are two blemishes on my right cheek that developed as a result of another cosmetic product I had tested earlier that week. Normally these inflammation induced blemishes take months to go away.
The most exciting result I achieved during the testing of Murad’s Rapid Lightening Regimen is the speedy healing of inflammation induced blemishes. Despite daily use of a 15% glycolic serum and several other high end skin care products I have never seen improvement in inflammation induced blemishes!
During this test period I did not use any other skin care products targeted to treat skin tone including my favorite daily glycolic treatment serum from Therapy Systems. Every day for four weeks I precleansed using my normal oil based cleanser but instead of using my normal foaming cleanser for the second step of cleansing, I used Murad’s Essential-C Cleanser. I really liked the refreshing citrus scent of this cleanser which is very concentrated so a little bit of product goes a long way. It worked as well as my regular cleanser to remove residue from my oil cleanser from the surface of my skin without leaving it dry and taut.
After cleansing I lightly spritzed my face with my Rose Hydrosol then applied a generous amount of Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum to my entire face, excluding the eye area. (2-3 pumps) Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum contains glycolic acid in a PH level that works to exfoliate dead skin cells from the surface of the skin. It also contains 2% Hydroquinone which works as a skin lightening agent and Hexapeptide-2, an advanced skin-lightening peptide that compliments the results of Hydroquinone. Upon application to the skin I did not experience any unpleasant side affects to the skin such as burning or stinging. The gel-serum like formula dries down leaving a bit of sheen on the skin. This was not visible once I applied my daily moisturizer and CC cream.
I did not use the Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 every day, only on the days I was going to be outdoors.
Important to note:
As many of you know, I am very critical of products that contain hydroquinone. I have used prescription strength hydroquinone products in the past and did not like the translucent quality it gave to the surface of my skin. It also concerns me that hydroquinone has been banned in many countries and not currently considered safe by the FDA (see more here). During my recent series, “Ask the Doctor” I interviewed several of Atlanta’s most respected skin care experts and asked each of them about the safety of using hydroquinone. I now understand that hydroquinone is the “gold standard” for breaking up overactive melanin that has occurred as sun damage. However, it is a temporary solution and should only be used for a short period of time and not to exceed 3 months consecutive use. Laser treatment is the most permanent treatment for hyperpigmentation. Proper treatment for hyperpigmentation and dark spots also must include daily use of high SPF suncare protection as without it, areas of darkness can worsen and/or new hyperpigmentation and dark spots will develop. Contact your personalized physician to learn more about aggressively treating hyperpigmentation.
Brand History: Murad was founded by board certified dermatologist, trained pharmacist and pioneer of the Inclusive Health movement, Dr. Howard Murad, and is dedicated to making beautiful, healthy skin attainable for everyone.
PRODUCT INFORMATION for Murad 90-Day Rapid Lightening Regimen ($219 value):
This Rapid Lightening Regimen has a full 90-day supply to treat skin discoloration from the 4 major causes of hyperpigmentation: sun, genetics, hormones, and inflammation. Each product in the 90-Day Rapid Lightening Regimen treats hyperpigmentation at the source so you can start seeing brighter-looking, more even skin tone in as little as 7 days.
The Vitamin-C rich Essential-C Cleanser removes skin-dulling impurities to renew skin’s radiance. The Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum contains 2% Hydroquinone which lightens dark spots and skin discoloration. Our Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 | PA+++, rich in Vitamin-C and antioxidants, revitalizes and protects your skin from further damage.
For more information: Learn more about Murad’s 90-Day Rapid Lightening Regimen here: http://www.murad.com/rapid-lightening-regimen or to purchase Murad’s 90-Day Rapid Lightening Regimen visit: http://www.murad.com/rapid-lightening-regimen-90-day-supply
Enter the giveaway below for your chance to win the Murad 90-Day Rapid Lightening Regimen
To learn more about hyperpigmentation and what causes it, read my examiner article: What is hyperpigmentation of the skin?
- Disclaimer: I received Murad’s 90-Day Rapid Lightening Regimen as a promotional courtesy from BeautyStat in exchange for a review. As a beauty blogger, I am often given cosmetic products free of charge, however all thoughts and opinions shared reflect my honest and unbiased opinion.
Sending peace, love & happiness to all!