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Skin Deep; Hope for Hyperpigmentation

When I tell people my age, they gasp. My neighbor on Deering Street once told me, after I had confessed that I was 37, that I should both start and end every conversation with that fact. Cute. It's true, I am now 38, and proud of it. A few factors contribute. I have a youthful spirit and navigate the world with childlike wonder. My astrologist informed me that my soul is new to this realm, that my origin is elsewhere (which makes total sense). I carry a much lighter cosmic load. I also lead a (mostly) healthy, active lifestyle that keeps me fit, but the MVP for the under-aging most likely has a lot to do with my skin. My skincare game is strong and has been since I was 19. It is and has always been a 5-step process each morning and each night. I pour over research determined to find the best thing out there at a price I can afford, which has fluctuated over the years, but skin has always been my top priority. I would often joke with my dermatologist in New York that my skin was sure to glow from the tent I would soon call home...

This all being said, I have been battling Melasma for a good part of ten years now. I probably know more about this condition than most aestheticians, because in my relentless pursuit of perfect skin, I have studied the subject thoroughly, inside and out - an uncertified expert. Really, you can ask me anything about any product, ingredient, lifestyle practice, supplement, herbal remedy, laser, peel, micro-needle, and I'm willing to put money on the fact that I have some light to shed. The bottom line is is that if you have Melasma or Hyperpigmentation, you are most likely always going to have it, and it is about keeping it at bay, and doing a darn good job of hiding it, of which I am also a master.

I've gone the hydroquinone, a bleaching agent, route with great success, and then it stopped working and things got worse. So I took myself off and things really got worse, but I have recently witnessed a miracle, and must share.

When I tell you that I have tried countless skincare lines to address the issue, I mean it. Countless. High-end, low-end, natural, chemical, herbal, all of it. One evening, while researching incessantly, I came across Civant and their best-seller, Meladerm. I liked what I read. The numerous reviews were all great and seemed sincere and honest. The company was one I could get behind as well. For ten years now, Civant has been a trusted name in the discoloration struggle with a line of dermatological products addressing the issue specifically. Their website is full of clear information, stating and explaining their effective ingredients for all of their products. Consumers have access to clinical studies done to showcase the success of the line, can read real life customers' stories, as well as view visual results. Civant is cruelty-free and vegan. AND! Customers are allowed a 30 day money back guarantee, which is what hooked me. I ordered almost the entire line because their prices were AMAZING compared to what I had been using, and if there was a chance that this worked, then I would save a lot of money in the future.

I ordered the Complete 5 Piece Kit, which included the cleanser and toner (adore), the Eye Complex, the Meladerm, and a Microdermabrasion cloth. I also ordered the Vitamin A and C serums and the AHA serum. I alternate the vit A and AHA each night, and apply vit C in the morning. Do you need all of that? I'ma say yes, but that is completely up to you and what you are after. The products work synergistically and those serums are gonna help that Meladerm work on a deeper level. I honestly expected to return it all after a month, because I was certain that products at this price might work for those with a milder version of pigment, but my case was probably beyond. I wish I had taken photos. Now, look, it is not instant. Hydroquinone works faster for sure, but if you are looking for an alternative, you must have patience. It took about 4 weeks for me to notice a slight lightening, but at 6 it was considerably improved. I am 2 months in and my skin has never looked this good without the use of Hydroquinone. I can say in all honesty that I have yet to find anything that works better.

I do want to try their Firm & Renew but am currently obsessed with Sunday Riley's Tidal, a brightening enzyme water cream, that smells / feels like a dream and in this super dry California climate, keeps my skin hydrated and dewy. Also, I do apply a retinol nightly as my last layer. The one I am using, La Roche-Posay Redermic is great, but will go back to Obagi360 Retinol 1.0 when this one is done, as I feel it was stronger and ain't nobody getting younger over here, so full strength ahead! When layering products, give each one a full minute, at least, to get absorbed into the skin before applying the next. As always, I encourage speaking with a dermatologist before implementing a new skin care regimen, especially when it comes to retinol. If you don't already use one, I'm also going to strongly suggest easing your way in, starting with 2X a week then gradually increasing. Your skin will peel a bit, but that's what you want and the price you must pay to get to the good stuff underneath! I will definitely be writing a piece on retinol and how it is the fountain of youth in a squeeze tube very, very soon. Until then I hope this finds those of you battling pigment problems, and that Civant delivers you to a long awaited happy place with your face, the way it did me.

This condition has been the bane of my existence for so long, and it's really never going to be a distant memory. I've come to peace with that, mostly. I have mastered covering it up, and that is due to an endless makeup search, which I will be sharing soon. Until then you can find what I use to fool everyone into thinking that I have perfect skin here, under "skin veils." Although these covers work so well, if the skin beneath isn't healthy, they are not going to perform to their potential, so I highly encourage taking the best care of what's underneath, first. An artist wouldn't paint a portrait on a compromised canvas, and neither should you.

WAIT one more vital thing! SUNSCREEN, forever and always deer ones, forever and always. I love La Roche-Posay Anthelios Tinted Mineral Suncsreen. It is vital for those of you battling discoloration to ONLY use a sunscreen with the ingredients Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide, which are natural minerals that block the sun's radiation by forming a protective barrier that sits atop your skin rather than the chemical ingredients that sink into your skin and are, a.) chemical and b.) less effective. A very important piece on why it MUST be mineral coming soon...

For a list of my very favorite things, visit Coco's Choice. This page lists the products and services that I use and mention throughout my blog along with their individual affiliate links.

"Exterior beauty, without the depth of a kind soul, is merely decoration."

You mustn't live so lightly,

Spin your stories, tell your tales,

Let them dance across the oceans

And set the wind upon your sails.

For every truth found on your travels

And in the pits of your despair,

Is a shout into forever

Of "I existed, and I cared."

~ Erin Hanson

Los Angeles, CA

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