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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. 

WHAT IS HYALURONIC ACID?

Hyaluronic acid, also known as hyaluronan, is a clear, gooey substance that is naturally produced by your body; it’s found in virtually every tissue of your body. The largest amounts of it are found in your skin, connective tissue and eyes. Its main function is to retain water to keep your tissues well lubricated and moist (aka, the ultimate plumper). Hyaluronic acid is an ideal moisturizer because it can attract and retain 1000 times its own weight in water (a feat unmatched by any other substance in nature). “The volumizing effect it has on your skin adds vital fullness that can minimize facial wrinkles and create a smooth appearance.” Dermatologist, Dr. Gary Goldfaden

WHY DO I NEED IT?

Hyaluronic acid is found in great abundance in youthful skin, the cumulative damage caused by free radicals drastically depletes these hyaluronic acid reserves (on average, a person. As a key ingredient in your skin’s extracellular matrix, it plays a significant role in maintaining moisture, plumpness, and softness.

WHO SHOULD USE IT AND WHEN TO INCORPORATE IT INTO MY REGIMEN?

We all strive for that youthful appearance and that’s exactly why Hyaluronic Acid has become such a popular ingredient in skin care for all ages as it’s never too early to start using products that contain HA — in fact, just a single gram can hold supposedly hold up to six liters of water, and research suggests it can help protect against environmental aggressors like pollution, too. Best of all, it works for every skin type — especially in serum form, where it can be more easily absorbed and work its skin-plumping magic at a deeper level.

Hyaluronic acid works exceptionally well alongside other protective ingredients like antioxidants – in particular vitamin C so look for serums containing both (like Dr. Goldfaden’s Brightening Elixir) or layer them up, waiting a few minutes in between each application to allow the product to settle.

For those of you who don’t know Ali Lizzi (aka LadyLentils), you need to now. Ali Lizzi is a New York City based freelance fitness, health and beauty writer and an active member of the fitness community. She is worldly, inspirational, funny, and speaks our language with wellness at the top of her world.

We had the pleasure of partnering with Ali on documenting her skin before Goldfaden MD and then after using a customized regimen after 4 weeks – see below for photos! Dive in deeper to get a full-rounded idea of her experience with using the products below.

Tell us about your current regimen before transitioning to the Goldfaden MD collection?

I always have cared about my skin. I always wanted to find products that are cruelty -free and work for my skin to give it it’s the healthiest glow, however, I never found an entire line that works for me. So it often led to me trying many new products all the time, trying to find the right match for me and I was just not seeing the results that I was promised.

What have you experienced in your time with using Goldfaden MD – how has your skin improved?

Since using Goldfaden MD, my skin has never been clearer, I have had maybe one or two spots the entire month of transitioning to only using these products, when usually I am breaking out multiple times in a week! My skin is also beginning to look more even. I have a few dark spots from past breakouts that limit me from going out make-up free. But since using Goldfaden MD, I have been going out in the world without makeup and feeling confident!

How do you practice sustainability?

Sustainability is very important to me in my life, I always use products that are cruelty- free and care about sustainable packaging. I make sure that when I buy products, I vote for sustainability with my dollar. I have cruelty-free transitioned all my produce to be purchased locally by making a weekly trip to the farmers market and have set up water filters throughout my house so that I can limit the amount of water bottles I use.

What are your favorite Eco-Friendly Products?

Goldfaden MD, of course! However I also love using swell bottles for my everyday water consumption since water is the number one key to a healthy life in my opinion. I also have fallen in love with sustainable clothing brands such as reformation and naadam.

What does wellness mean to you?

Wellness to me means balance. I find that if I make small changes to help the earth and myself, I feel my best. However, when I push myself to look at every part of my life and want to make a switch to a healthier, more sustainable life it can cause me stress. So, instead of being 100% healthy and eco-focused, I instead make small decisions that I know I can maintain. It’s all about balance.

Any advice for people wanting to make the switch towards a more mindful existence (increased wellness) but who are not sure where to start?

Start small and do your research. Figure out what area of wellness you are most passionate about and what you would be excited about sharing with others. When I first took on a plant-based diet, it was due to doing a TON of research and seeing how animals are being treated in factory farming and my heart could not align with participating in that, so for me it was easy for me to stick to that. From there, I learned more and more about what the earth needs for us to be healthy and made small changes over time. Just start with what you feel passionate about and the rest will come.

What are your go-to daily beauty products and why?

Sunscreen is my number one! Even if I spend the day inside doing work, I use a sunscreen that blocks from blue light. I also use Goldfaden MD Moisturizer about three times a day since I live in Miami and spend a lot of time in the sun and need a little extra moisture in my life. I also love using face oils, and hair oils. I like to keep things as natural as possible. But hydration and protection is the way to go for me.

Why is clean beauty important for you?

Clean beauty is just as important to me as eating clean, what goes on my body matters just as much as what goes in my body. Keeping it clean helps not only you, but the earth itself. I am always so thankful for what this world has brought me and want to do my part in giving back and taking care of it just like it takes care of me.

How do you de-stress?

If I’m having one of those days that everything has gone wrong, I put on a Ella Fitzgerald album and my stress just slips away. But, some CBD never hurts either 😉

Favorite mood-boosting meal?

I’m going to be honest, it’s not a veggie smoothie or a super healthy option, it’s a bowl of pasta. For me pasta reminds me of my family dinners that I had when I was younger, it reminds me that I don’t have to be focused on my health 24/7, it gives me the freedom to just enjoy and feel full of love. I always think whatever food reminds you of the people you love, or a memory you have surrounding food is always going to light up your heart.

What is your daily mantra?

“Love yourself, and spread that love to everyone you see today.” Be the light that the world needs, and that light always comes right back to you, karma is real folks.

Goldfaden MD Regimen: Before & After Shots:

Before

After