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If you're someone who suffers from melasma, acne scars, chloasma or other forms of hyperpigmentation (patches of dark skin), then you're probably a candidate for skin lightening. While hyperpigmentation tends not to be medically serious, if you are someone with dark patches of skin, it can be emotionally upsetting.

The first step in any skin lightening program is to find and use a good UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 30.. UVB protection will help to prevent sunburn, but if you want to protect against tanning and hyperpigmentation, a good UVA blocking agent is essential. Ensure that you choose a sunscreen that contains [Link Removed] block UVA rays – use it every day.

While there are a number of ingredients available to lighten skin, experts often recommend a combination approach as the most effective. That's because skin lightening is most successful when you combine 3 different strategies, which no currently available topical ingredient is able to accomplish on its own:

•Remove existing pigment from the skin
•Shut down the manufacture of additional melanin pigment
•Prevent the transfer of existing melanin pigment to the melanosomes (structures within pigment producing skin cells – melanocytes) that contain melanin.
Removing Existing Pigmentation

Topical exfoliating agents such as [Link Removed] are generally most effective in helping to reduce existing pigmentation from the skin. And, by removing the top layer of dead skin cells, alpha hydroxy acids can also help with the penetration of other ingredients in the skin lightening treatment regimen.

Try not to overdo it as excessive exfoliation can irritate skin and may result in rebound pigmentation, particularly if you are prone to hyperpigmentation. Choose from a range of products including [Link Removed] 

Stop Manufacturing Additional Melanin  

Ingredients that can do this tend may work in a range of different ways including the inhibition of tyrosine (the enzyme necessary in the production of melanin). Choose from a range of ingredients including [Link Removed] also disrupts the production of melanin. High concentrations (greater than 10-15%) should be used with caution in darker skinned individuals due to the possibility of skin irritation, which may result in hyperpigmentation.

Ingredients above are often combined together in preparations or may be used together to hasten the skin lightening process.

Prevent The Transfer of Existing Melanin to Melansomes  

Ingredients like retinoids (prescription only retinoic acid or over the counter retinol as in [Link Removed] are cell communicating agents, which help skin cells 'talk' to one another more effectively. Retinoids can also help with the penetration of other skin lightening agents including hydroquinone.

Your Skin Lightening Program  

Try to prevent the development of dark patches by wearing a good sunscreen. Then combine a range of ingredients to attack the problem in different ways. Don't overdo it as irritating skin can lead to further hyperpigmentation. Be patient as it can take months to achieve results, but the reward of clear, evenly toned skin will be worth it.

Pharmagirl, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.

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