Hyper-pigmentation is one of the most common complaints from women. Did you know that it is not only caused and activated by the sun but also by heat? This alarming truth is one of the reasons hyper-pigmentation and dark spots are so stubborn and challenging to get rid of.

So what actually happens?

Patches of skin become darker in color due to excessive melanin, the pigment that produces skin color. Types of hyperpigmentation include sunspots, which result from cumulative sun exposure; melasma, which arises primarily in women due to hormonal causes; and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which arises from an injury or insult to the skin. While these conditions are conventionally treated with toxic topical agents such as hydroquinone, natural agents may also be helpful in managing them.

“Plant-derived agents such as alpha arbutin, kojic acid and birds of paradise have been found to be beneficial in lightening the appearance of the skin and evening its coloration,” says Dr. G!

Heat is also a culprit! Heat whether outside or inside increases vasodilation, which is the dilation or widening of blood vessels. This causes more redness to appear, particularly in areas of melasma. Heat can also lead to inflammation and stimulate melanocyte pigment production. While UV sources like the sun are defiantly enemy number one, there are many other triggers. Hyper-pigmentation can occur from heat sources like overhead LED lights, a BBQ grill, a hairdryer or the temperature in a hot yoga class. Wearing an SPF daily along with an environmental anti-pollution serum and dark spot corrective treatment will help combat many of these.

How to properly protect and treat:

The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Skin: The process of exfoliation is a lot like peeling away the dry, outer skin of an onion to reveal the living layers beneath. Whether the exfoliation is done using mechanical abrasion or a controlled chemical reaction, removing dead and damaged skin cells on the surface allows the fresh new skin underneath to become visible. This newly exposed layer of skin feels much softer and smoother. Its surface reflects light better, making fine lines and other small imperfections harder to see. Age spots and other areas of unwanted pigmentation are less noticeable because the dead skin cells containing the pigment have been removed. Exfoliation unplugs clogged pores and allows for the release of natural skin oils. Regular exfoliation also helps to maintain open pores, decreases pore size, and minimizes many types of superficial scarring. In addition, removing the top layer of dead and damaged cells allows other health-promoting agents such as moisturizers, antioxidants, and collagen-boosting ingredients to better penetrate the skin and work more effectively.

As a bodyguard:

Not only does your skin shield your insides from ultraviolet radiation and other forms of physical damage, it also carries a powerful defense system that seeks out and destroys any foreign invaders that manage to get through. When you consider that every square inch of your skin can be covered with millions of micro-organisms, you can understand how vital this is.

Look at your skin as “in defense” during the day. Integrate antioxidants into your AM regimen.

The nutrient, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the polyphenols found in antioxidants that span across tea, fruit, plant derivatives, have been scientifically proven to combat the effects of photo-aging.  Cumulative exposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun produces free radicals that can damage the sensitive lipids, proteins and DNA in your skin cells. This UV-induced damage to your skin can result in gradual loss of tone, wrinkling, discoloration, increased redness, and even cancer. Topical treatment with antioxidants has been shown to help prevent the DNA damage that leads to skin cancer and to support the general health and long-lasting beauty of your skin.

Dr. Goldfaden’s advanced brightening and antioxidant serum help aid against the appearance of photoaging and free radical damage while leaving skin feeling hydrated and looking radiant. Stay protected.

Don’t forget SPF. Here are some of our clean favorites from Credo Beauty. 

A daily regimen is on everyone’s mind, but how many steps and products do you really need? Sadly there is no magic bullet to deliver all our skincare goals, but with 5 easy steps, you can turn back the hands of time and keep your skin looking youthful. Five may sound daunting but below explains why you need each step to achieve glowing healthy skin.

Exfoliate:

The process of exfoliation is a lot like peeling away the dry, outer skin of an onion to reveal the living layers beneath. Whether the exfoliation is done using mechanical abrasion or a controlled chemical reaction, removing dead and damaged skin cells on the surface allows the fresh new skin underneath to become visible. This newly exposed layer of skin feels much softer and smoother. Its surface reflects light better, making fine lines and other small imperfections harder to see. Age spots and other areas of unwanted pigmentation are less noticeable because the dead skin cells containing the pigment have been removed. Exfoliation unplugs clogged pores and allows for the release of natural skin oils. Regular exfoliation also helps to maintain open pores, decreases pore size, and minimizes many types of superficial scarring. In addition, removing the top layer of dead and damaged cells allows treatment ingredients to penetrate the skin and work more effectively.

**Exfoliate your skin two to three times a week, unless you suffer from rosacea or eczema. Depending on the season and climate where you live, exfoliation can be increased or decreased.

Cleanse:

Cleansing or washing the face should happen at least once a day if not twice. Upon waking, washing the face will remove the residue from applied night treatments and regimen. If you choose to cleanse in the AM, make sure to use a cleanser that won’t strip or dry the skin. Cleansing the skin at night is a must! No exceptions here. The skin is exposed to many pollutants from just stepping foot outside your home. Soot, car exhaust, sun, second-hand smoke, and many other pollutants wreak havoc on the skin leaving a layer of dirt and free radicals. Makeup also needs to be removed no matter what.

**Sleeping in makeup is one of the worst things you can do for your skin. Clogged pores will lead to breakouts and or rashes.

Treat:

Pollution releases microscopic particles or free radicals that can go deep into the skin and cause damage to otherwise healthy cells. The outcome is a loss of elasticity (wrinkles and sagging) and Hyperpigmentation (dark spots). Pollution can cause uneven skin tone, dehydration, dryness, dark spots, expedited aging, wrinkles, sagging and deterioration of collagen.  Consider using products that employ the highest regarded pollution fighting ingredients, such as, Organic Red Tea, Ferulic Acid, Vitamin C, Vitamin B, Vitamin E, Retinol and Resveratrol.

Hydrate:

Look for ingredients that hydrate and repair. Plant stem cells are powerful ingredients that hydrate and repair damaged, aging, sagging skin. Organic Red Tea extract also restores important anti-oxidants and Birds of Paradise restore skin’s youthful appearance by reducing uneven skin pigmentation, dull and lackluster complexion resulting in an increased illuminated glow. Plant and botanical based oils are also a terrific way to get hydrated! Loaded with Vitamins C , E and F, Baobob, Kalahari, Marula, and Mongogo oils not only deliver hydration but also overall brightness and luminosity.

Protect:

Sun protection is crucial all times of the year but especially during the summer. Reapplication every hour when in direct sunlight and up to three times daily (AM/Mid—day/Afternoon) when going in and out of indoor/outdoor areas. As a general rule of thumb: if you are going to be outside for 20 minutes or more, SPF is recommended.

** “I always recommend an SPF of at least a 30. Wearing SPF safe clothing, like hats and glasses are crucial and extremely beneficial for sun protection.” Dr. G.

Over the next few months, we will share Dr. G’s thought process and choices for ingredients and formulating. This week we sat down with him to learn about the ‘Power of the Flower’, and why something as ordinary as a floral arrangement on your table, could save your skin.

“The integrity and purity in plant and botanically derived ingredients is one of the forefronts of our brand. We use high levels of vitamins, minerals, essential fatty acids, amino acids, antioxidants, enzymes, plant stem cells and floral extracts to provide a vital spectrum of benefits for the skin without being compromised by fillers and inactive ingredients.” Dr. Goldfaden

Every product in our collection has a reason for being and represents a solution to a skin problem. On the heels of our two newest launches, Detox Hydrating Gel, and Skin Balancing Mask, you may have noticed a plethora of floral extracts and plant/floral stem cells as ingredients. Here is Dr. G’s dictionary on ‘The Power of the Flower’.

Found in our proprietary DETOX ComplexTM (Detox Gel + Detox Cleanser)

*Cowslip Primrose which helps bruising, may help eliminates toxins

*Veronica Officinalis: anti-inflammatory benefits, astringent properties, soothing and rich in tannins

*Mallow: soothing and anti-inflammatory properties

Found in The Skin Balancing Mask

*Elderflower: promotes blood flow, loaded with vitamins A, B, C, E

*Calendula/Marigold: good for moisturizing, soothing, pain relief, anti-inflammatory properties

*Geranium Extract: calming, anti-bacterial, astringent

Found in Bright Eyes

*Arnica- helps with bruising and the darkness involved and contains flavonoids, polysaccharides, and sesquiterpene lactones. Also contains the beneficial oil, thymol, clinically shown to cause the smooth muscles in your blood vessel walls to contract, thereby dilating them and increasing blood flow and circulation. Bye-bye bruising and swelling!

Found in Fleuressence Botanical Oil

*Milk thistle: Fatty acids, including linoleic acid, Vitamin E (antioxidant/environmental stressors, Silymarin, which is actually a group of three flavonoids (anti-aging, antioxidant purposes from environmental stressors).

*Rosehip seed oil: Brightening properties due to Vitamins A + C, hydrating and antioxidant benefits.

*Chickweed: A super food, good for inflammation, referred to as ‘skin healer’, full of fatty acids.

Found in Facial Detox Mask

*Japonica flower: one of the most important medicinal herbs in history, may provide extraordinary levels of calming properties. Loaded with key benefits to improve the appearance of flaws.

*Comfrey leaf extract: wound healing

*Camellia leaf extract: moisturizing, the transdermal carrier of cell rebuilding nutrients, helps restore the bounce to skin.

Found in The Plant Profusion Collection

*Japonica Flower extract: One of the most important medicinal herbs in history, it may provide extraordinary levels of calming properties. Loaded with key benefits it works to improve the appearance of flaws.

*Comfrey Stem Cell: Used since ancient times for its extensive properties, these stem cells to make skin feel firmer and appear smoother, resulting in a smoother and plumper complexion.

*Birds of Paradise: Derived from White Bird of Paradise, this multi-functional ingredient works to restore skin’s youthful glow by improving the appearance of skin color and tone.

So the next time you’re applying your serum or mask you can feel like you’re actually putting a bouquet of flowers on your face.  Stay tuned for next time when we will discuss the use and importance of plant stem cells.