When it comes to enjoying skin that is as healthy as possible, it is essential to take care of it every day, offering it all those nutrients and hydration that it needs so much every day. For this, it is vitally important that these cares are specific depending on the type of skin we have, since each type has its own basic needs. For example, dry skin tends to be slightly dry and flaky most of the time, while oily skin tends to be oilier most of the time, which in turn is prone to breakouts, and pores are usually more obvious and visible.
With combination skin, however, things get complicated. In fact, many experts consider it one of the types of skin that is tremendously more difficult to deal with, because it is characterized by showing dry or dry and scaly areas in some parts of the face (usually in the cheek area), while that what is known as the T-zone of the face (and which mainly involves the area of the forehead, nose and chin or chin), tends to be fat. But that’s not all: these dry and oily areas vary throughout the seasons, so in summer the production of fat is usually higher.
As we can see, therefore, while dry skin requires constant hydration, to reduce dryness as much as possible and avoid some of the different discomforts that usually arise (also using products that are as gentle and respectful as possible, reducing the chances of irritation, redness and greater sensitivity), oily skin needs moderate hydration, but with products that are not comedogenic; that is, that they do not clog the pores to avoid greater evils in the long run.
Be that as it may, what is certain is that all skin types are certainly prone to the formation of spots. Also known by the name of hyperpigmentation, age spots or solar lentigines, they can occur at any time. Although it is true that, over the years and especially as we get older, they usually make an appearance. For this reason, it is very common for them to appear in what is known as middle age.
Its causes? As we will learn at the end of this note, they are a direct -and obvious- consequence of sun exposure, especially regular exposure without proper protection, as well as the artificial ultraviolet light commonly used in tanning beds. Of course, they can also arise as a result of a certain skin condition, or as a side effect of a medication or drug. Luckily, dark spots are generally harmless and can be reduced, prevented, or even eliminated if desired.
When it comes to skin care, facial serums can always be an excellent option when it comes to integrating highly concentrated products into our daily skin care routine. And anti- blemish serums are quite useful in this regard, because while it is true that facial serums contain a very high concentration of ingredients that can slightly hydrate the skin, rejuvenate it and fight against some of the main signs of aging (such as fine lines of expression and wrinkles), in the particular case of facial serums against blemishes, contain precisely an interesting series of active agents that act by actively lightening the skin.
At what point should we start using an anti-dark spot serum?
Before discovering when it is advisable to use an anti-dark spot serum, it is essential to understand how and what the pigmentation process that is usually followed when treating these brown spots effectively consists of. As you might imagine, dark spots basically become the result of both the overproduction and uneven distribution of melanin, a natural pigment produced by melanocytes.
Melanin is a natural pigment that provides color to our skin. And it is responsible, for example, for the tanned complexion after exposing ourselves to the sun for a few hours. But its qualities and effects do not remain that way, since it acts as a protective shield against the ultraviolet radiation emitted by the sun, by multiplying and producing a greater amount of melanin in order to protect it.
We find the melanocytes at the base of the epidermis. But despite their important functions, they present a problem: they are extremely fragile and susceptible, which means that they can easily become deregulated, in most cases due to problems or common elements of everyday life, such as the case of hormonal disorders -or changes- (pregnancy is a good example of this), stress or, as you probably know, intense exposure to ultraviolet rays.
All these elements tend to have a direct impact on hyperstimulation of the melanocytes, which ultimately end up producing too much melanin. And what is the result? Skin cells are no longer able to defend themselves against the action of free radicals (which, incidentally, tend to be closely related to the appearance of premature aging), and promotes the formation of dark spots.
Although they often tend to be less dark, if we compare them to a mole, for example, the spots can present a variable pigment, with an irregular shape, and in addition, they can extend and turn brown for several centimeters. In addition, it is also necessary to keep in mind that there are different stages that a stain goes through before settling on the skin and staying fixed. For example, the so-called incipient dark spot tends to appear when the melanocytes are overstimulated, producing a greater amount of melanin, which rises to the surface of the epidermis and gradually becomes more and more evident. When this happens, it is common to see how some areas of the skin are no longer so homogeneous, although it is true that, for now, the stain is not visible. Later,
But the truth is that many people who suffer from age spots, or sun spots themselves, usually have a problem that they face quite often: even when a certain spot is treated, or we even get it to diminish (or disappear).), when the environment of the pigment cells is altered, it is common for us to find ourselves before a recurrent spot, which means that the spot will form again and appear at any time, even if it has been removed from the surface.
Be that as it may, there are basically three types of spots: melasma (a type of hyperpigmentation that usually appears on the forehead and cheeks, and which can be triggered by pregnancy or by certain hormonal treatments, such as contraception), age (the most common, also commonly known as solar lentigines), and certain post-inflammatory lesions (for example, after an acne breakout).
Age spots, also known as sun spots, usually form on more visible areas of the skin that are regularly exposed to the sun. For this reason, it is common for them to form in the area of the face, chest and forearms. They are the result of sun exposure, and tend to become much more evident as we age. Fortunately, with the help of the right facial serums, it is possible to treat this type of discoloration, but regular use of sunscreen is also essential, which will go a long way in preventing further damage.
In the case of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, however, it usually appears after an outbreak of acne, in the form of reddening of the skin, which then tends to become paler, finally forming brown spots that generally end up fading with time. weather.
Taking all this into account, we come to the point at hand: When is the best time to start integrating a serum with anti-dark spots into our beauty routine? The truth is that even when the spots are completely harmless, do not cause any type of problem, and are also superficial, they can end up becoming a real aesthetic problem, which most women -and also, it is true, some men- they tend to worry about correcting. Moreover, although sometimes it is not entirely possible to get rid of stains completely, their appearance can be minimized if we use the most suitable product for it.
Before choosing more radical treatments, such as chemical peeling, laser treatment or cryotherapy, it is possible to resort to certain cosmetics with specific and adapted formulas for the treatment of blemishes. They are products that respect the skin, improving in a more or less significant way the different irregularities that have appeared on the skin as a result of problems related to hyperpigmentation.
And this is when we find an anti- spot serum. As we have already explained to you on different occasions, after having become familiar with the use of a deep cleanser, toner and moisturizer every day, adding one more product can become a strange and complicated task, especially integrating it -and applying it- at the right time (that is, at the most opportune). Although it is true that these types of products are not essential when it comes to skin care, if we add them to our daily beauty routine, it is true that our skin -and in this case, our spots- will greatly appreciate it. Do you know essentially why?
Unlike an anti -blemish cream, facial serums have a fat-soluble base, which allows their different active ingredients to penetrate much better, more easily and simply, into the epidermis, instead of remaining only on its surface. If we also take into account that serums have very high concentrations of active ingredients, we can offer our skin highly concentrated doses, which is why they become excellent treatment options to address specific skin problems, among which, as you can imagine, dark spots are found (and not only that, but also problems associated with hydration, shine, acne, fine lines and wrinkles).
What anti-blemish facial serum to use?
The objective with the serum-based dark spot treatment is to try, at least, to reduce the pigmentation as much as possible, to the point where the spot is not as visible as, for example, it was before. And the truth is that anti-blemish serums can be tremendously useful and effective when the dark spot has recently appeared on the skin of the face. That is, when it is definitely a stain of recent appearance.
When it comes to achieving much clearer and brighter skin, brightening serums can be an excellent option, as they work by gently lightening the skin while providing light hydration, preparing it for application, for example, of any other anti-blemish cream, with a more pronounced and specific action (as could be the case, for example, of creams with comic acid, an ingredient derived from a fungus, and which also becomes a total and completely natural alternative to hydroquinone, useful therefore to reduce skin discoloration).
Among the most interesting active ingredients in this sense, there is no doubt that citric acid becomes one of the most suitable, since when combined with vitamin C (we could think, for example, of aromatic and wonderful extracts of lemon, lime or orange), can be extremely useful in slowing down the action of melanin-producing cells, which, as we have seen, end up making the skin darker.
Not surprisingly, antioxidant serums, especially those with a higher content of vitamin C, are able to act by helping to stabilize the skin after an injury or damage caused by ultraviolet rays. While, in addition, we combat fine lines of expression and manage to smooth the texture of the skin.
But as it happens with the skin care routine itself that we follow every day, the products that we use in our beauty routine will depend directly on what type of skin we have. Thus, if your skin is generally oily or prone to acne, anti-blemish serums with vitamin C are also very interesting, as are those that contain retinol (a derivative of vitamin A with interesting qualities such as a gentle exfoliant and lightener skin), and salicylic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid that also provides gentle cell-renewing benefits). Both ingredients help reduce inflammation, unclogging and unclogging pores.
If, on the other hand, instead of having oily skin you have it generally dry or parched all the time, the most appropriate and advisable thing is to opt for a facial serum rich in vitamin E. This vitamin has a recognized antioxidant action, which means that it is suitable for combating the negative action of free radicals on the skin, which, when left to act at will, can end up having an incisive influence -and therefore negative- in the appearance of what is known as premature aging (that is, when aging is formed before time, at a younger age). And what’s even better: moisturizes and fights dark spots. The same goes for two other ingredients that are as essential as they are useful in this regard: hyaluronic acid, which provides increased moisture, elasticity and gentle exfoliation, and glycolic acid.
If your skin is characterized by being more mature, and also showing slightly aged, an ingredient with antioxidant qualities can be very helpful. An example is found in bearberry, or in white mulberry extract and niazimide (vitamin B3), a wonderful and unique combination that has been shown to be able to reduce melanin production.
What if your skin is generally dull and lackluster? In this case, it is best to opt for an anti-dark spot serum with a shiny and smooth effect, qualities that you will find especially in those facial serums that mainly contain ferulic acid and green tea extract.
In short, here is a brief summary of the main qualities offered by most of the active ingredients mentioned so far, so that you ultimately choose the one that best suits you:
- Vitamin C. A facial serum with vitamin C becomes a naturally excellent product, providing anti-aging qualities, ideal for a smoother and more even complexion. In fact, it has been shown that the application of vitamin C can prevent the production of melanin, therefore it can lead to a much more even complexion by helping to fade dark spots.
- Vitamin E. We are facing another extremely interesting and useful vitamin in this regard. It works by strengthening the skin barrier, so that the skin retains water better and stays hydrated more easily. But, above all, it stands out for its highly antioxidant qualities, which helps enormously when it comes to preventing and minimizing the damage caused by free radicals. In addition, it works by lightening dark spots on the face, mainly those caused by sun damage, since its skin repair qualities are mainly directed at these areas.
- Citric acid. We often confuse vitamin C with citric acid, and this becomes a complete mistake, since this vitamin is a compound that we find mainly in citrus fruits, but it has nothing to do with citric acid itself. In fact, citric acid consists of an alpha-hydroxy acid, which works by restoring the skin, gently exfoliating it, which means that it helps improve the appearance of problems related to pigmentation, as well as dark spots on the skin. It can work on the outer layers, repairing the barrier function, thus preventing ultraviolet rays from penetrating the areas of the skin that commonly suffer from photodamage.
- Retinol. It is a derivative of vitamin A, with a recognized exfoliating action. Especially if we find it in an anti-blemish serum combined with vitamin C, it becomes the best combination that exists when it comes to fading dark spots, since it is a highly effective mixture, thanks to the fact that it is a powerful combination of antioxidants, which act diminishing and lightening the spots, but without irritating the skin.
- Salicylic acid. It also consists of one of the most well-known anti-inflammatory ingredients out there. And, particularly, it actively helps to eliminate excess oil present in the pores, so it can be of enormous help when it comes to preventing the formation of acne breakouts, and with it, the appearance of spots associated with acne. these lesions of inflammatory origin. On the other hand, it consists of a gentle exfoliant that renews cells, also acting as a tremendously useful cleanser.
- Hyaluronic acid. Possibly we are facing one of the ingredients that has achieved the most popularity in recent years. There is no doubt that it becomes a tremendously moisturizing active agent, since it is capable of retaining up to 1,000 times its molecular weight in water. Or, what amounts to the same thing, it penetrates the skin and binds water to skin cells, infusing all skin layers with valuable, enriching moisture. In addition, it improves the lipid barrier, which means that it better protects the skin from damage caused by both ultraviolet rays and environmental pollution, which can produce a greater number of fine lines, wrinkles and dark spots.
- glycolic acid. It is characterized by being an alpha-hydroxy acid, naturally derived from sugar cane or sugar beet, which is commonly used in performing a medium strength chemical peel. It is especially helpful in post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, reducing or diminishing the appearance of those uncomfortable flat dark brown patches.
- Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide). It becomes an essential nutrient whose deficiency can contribute to the appearance of certain skin disorders. But, in turn, applied in the form of a serum, it can act by minimizing both the problems related to redness and blemishes. In this sense, some studies have found that concentrations of vitamin B3 or 5 percent niacinamide can be extremely useful in lightening dark spots. It is believed that this benefit may be due mainly to the fact that it affects a greater production of collagen.
- Ferulic acid. It consists of an antioxidant of plant origin, obtained from different foods, among which we can mention above all oats, rice, bran or apple seeds. It has a high amount of useful antioxidants to combat free radicals, and could work perfectly when combined in serums and other products with vitamin C, helping to stabilize it while increasing its photoprotection. It could become a very interesting preventive in this sense, since this combination of antioxidants of natural origin could reduce the risk of photoaging, and hence the formation of new dark spots.
- Green tea extract. Of one hundred percent natural origin, and full of benefits not only for internal health, but especially for the skin when applied topically, did you know that green tea could also be extremely useful when it comes to lightening both dark spots dark as the different imperfections of the skin? It’s perfectly gentle on the skin, and can even help reduce inflammation. All this thanks to its richness in different anti-inflammatory compounds, and above all, to its high content of antioxidants, among which polyphenols and catechins stand out.
Obviously, there are many more active ingredients that we could find in a facial serum, and that could also be extremely useful in fighting the problems associated with hyperpigmentation, and hence with the discomfort and unsightly dark spots. But the ones we mentioned above usually, by the way, provide some of the most desired and interesting effects.
How to use your anti-blemish facial serum to maximize its results?
When we refer to the skin care routine, it is just as important to follow the appropriate steps, in the right order, as it is to use the most effective -or recommended- products based on the different objectives or purposes that we wish to achieve. And it is that, in the beauty routine that we can (and should) follow daily, the order of the factors does alter the product. Or, what is the same, if we do not apply the products in the correct order, we could end up ruining many of their beneficial effects, and our routine would be seriously affected.
As all beauty experts agree, it is vitally important to apply the products that we use every day in our skin care routine in the following way: from more liquid to thicker, which will depend on most occasions the consistency of the product. And do you know why this is just so important? The more liquid products tend to prepare the skin for the thicker treatments, even helping them to end up acting more effectively, and better.
Remember that facial serums have only recently entered the beauty routine of many households, so many women -and some men- have needed to integrate them into their daily beauty regimen. Until shortly before then, it was common practice to first use a deep cleanser to thoroughly cleanse the skin after a tiring and strenuous day. Thus, if for example you applied some type of makeup or cosmetic product throughout the day, we could greatly benefit from what is known as double facial cleansing, and which consists of the application, first, of an oil-based cleanser, effective for dissolve the makeup, and finish with a water-based cleanser, such as micellar water, which ends with the work of the first, removing the remains of cosmetics that may have remained.
Now it’s the turn of the facial toner, which prepares the skin for the subsequent application of our favorite anti-blemish serum, or any other moisturizing product, while at the same time removing both excess oil and stubborner dirt, or even the remains of make-up that may have remained on the face after having washed and cleaned it. Of course, the toning liquid should not be conceived as a replacement for the cleanser, but as a product that can even further enrich the action of the serum, by addressing a wide variety of different problems, such as acne, dryness, blemishes or other signs of aging.
And, indeed, after the facial tonic, it is the turn of the anti- blemish serum. To apply it correctly, you must do it with the help of the fingertips, giving light palms, and then smoothing it. It is not convenient to massage the skin but let the formula absorb itself. Of course, since the facial serum is characterized by containing highly concentrated active ingredients, it is not necessary to apply it in excess, much less in large quantities. Instead, just using a standard amount, about the size of a pea, will suffice. In this way, you will guarantee that all the skin of the face will receive it.
Finally, it is the turn of the eye concealer (if you use it), facial oil if you have especially dry and dehydrated skin, and we finish with the moisturizer. Although depending on the moment in which we apply the skin care routine, we will have to finish by applying a sunscreen, or a moisturizer with an SPF factor. Obviously, if we follow the routine in the morning, it is essential to apply the protector if we are going to go out later.
In any case, when it comes to when we should apply our anti-blemish facial serum, and how many times a day, most experts agree that, in order to take better advantage of its different benefits and properties, the most recommended is to apply it in the morning, in the morning skincare routine, and at night, in our nightly routine.