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Are Your Clients in the Dark About Brightening?

Jennifer Linder, MD February 2013 issue of Skin Inc. magazine
Are Your Clients in the Dark About Brightening?

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With millions of people seeking treatment for skin discolorations annually, it is no surprise that the professional skin care industry is overflowing with products that boast skin-lightening and -brightening benefits.

Hyperpigmentation is the result of melanin overproduction, either UV-induced, due to sun exposure and tanning beds; hormonally induced, due to melasma; or through post-inflammatory cutaneous trauma. Hyperpigmentation also can be a side effect of Addison’s and Cushing’s diseases, linea nigra, celiac disease and more.

Fortunately, there are many ingredients that are proven to be not only safe, but also quite effective at suppressing the production and deposition of unwanted melanin. Because age, lifestyle choices, genetics and the environment all play roles in the development of hyperpigmentation, choosing products that contain blends of several pigment-inhibiting ingredients instead of single-ingredient formulations will provide the versatility necessary to treat a wide variety of clients and types of hyperpigmentation.

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How-to: Deep Cleansing Brightening Facial

This results-oriented facial protocol is suitable for most skin types, and will benefit clients who desire a more even complexion and don’t wish to experience visible exfoliation.

Cost: $50–300, depending on products used

Duration: 60 minutes

Contraindications: Pregnancy, lactation and allergies to any of the products’ ingredients, such as hydroquinone

Equipment and supplies needed: Cotton pads and 4 x 4-inch squares Warm towels (or moistened cotton squares) Bowl of warm water Gloves Fan brush Small ceramic dish Fan

Products needed: AHA gel cleanser Alcohol-free AHA toner Clay mask with exfoliating beads Papaya enzyme treatment mask Treatment gel with kojic acid, azelaic acid and 2% hydroquinone Treatment serum with urea, glycerin and hyaluronic acid 15% L-ascorbic acid and 5% vitamin E serum Brightening cream with alpha-arbutin, undecylenoyl phenylalanine and phenylethyl resorcinol Peptide eye cream A 10% retinoid and 20% lactic acid cream-based peel (optional) Lightweight calming moisturizer Broad-spectrum SPF 30

Step 1: Cleanse the treatment area thoroughly using an AHA gel cleanser. Rinse with moistened cotton squares and pat dry.

Step 2: Apply an alcohol-free AHA toner with a cotton pad to prep (de-grease) the skin. Allow the skin to dry. This product may sting or tingle on some individuals. Assess sensitivity by asking the client, “On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being extremely active, how do you rate this sensation (or feeling)?”

Step 3: Using gloved hands, apply a thin, even layer of a clay mask with exfoliating beads to the area of treatment. Leave on for approximately 3–5 minutes. With moistened fingertips, gently massage in circular motions to remove the buildup of dead skin cells and debris. Remove all traces of the mask with warm towels or moistened cotton squares.

Step 4: Dispense a quarter-sized amount of a papaya enzyme treatment mask into a ceramic dish. Apply to the area of treatment using a fan brush. Again, use the scale of 1 to 10 to gauge sensitivity. Fan the skin to keep the client cool. Allow the mask to remain on the skin for up to 5 minutes. Remove completely with cotton squares moistened with warm water.

Step 5: Spot treat areas of hyperpigmentation with a gel containing kojic acid, azelaic acid and 2% hydroquinone (if appropriate).

Step 6: Apply a dime-sized amount of a urea, glycerin and hyaluronic acid serum to the area of treatment to increase intracellular hydration and improve barrier function. Allow to penetrate for approximately 30–60 seconds.

Step 7: Apply a thin, even layer of a 15% L-ascorbic acid and 5% vitamin Eproduct for antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, with further melanogenesis inhibition.

Step 8: Apply a pea-sized amount of a cream containing alpha-arbutin, undecylenoyl phenylalanine and phenylethyl resorcinol to entire face for accelerated brightening and anti-inflammatory benefits. It provides all-over facial brightening, leaving the skin looking healthy and luminous.

Step 9: Gently apply a pea-sized amount of a peptide eye cream around the delicate eye area to reduce dark circles and puffiness while stimulating collagen production to reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

Step 10. This step is optional. Apply a thin layer of a 10% retinoid and 20% lactic acid cream-based peel to increase cell turnover and provide added melanogenesis inhibition. Allow to penetrate and dry for approximately 1 minute.

Step 11: Finish the treatment with the application of a light moisturizer containing calming ingredients, such as evening primrose oil, in conjunction with a broad-spectrum sunscreen product containing zinc oxide with an SPF 30 or more, to calm, hydrate and protect the skin from UVA and UVB exposure.

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