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Tried & Tested: A hyperpigmentation facial for post-adult acne


By Sarah Finnan
21st Feb 2024

Pexels

Tried & Tested: A hyperpigmentation facial for post-adult acne

If, like me, you struggle with uneven skin tone, blotchiness, dark spots and/or freckles, then this is the facial for you. 

I used to be someone who looked at people with a multi-step skincare routine and scoff. “God they’re so high maintenance”, I’d think to myself as I scrubbed my face raw with an exfoliating mitt in the shower.  

At that time, my own skincare regime consisted of taking my make-up off (often with an almost dry facial wipe) moisturising and then calling it a night. I had been blessed with relatively good skin up until that point, so never had to work for it.

That was until adult acne hit. I immediately launched an exhaustive ‘fix my face’ plan which entailed doctor visits, multiple sessions with The Skin Nerd and a steady rotation of exceedingly expensive products I thought would help. I spent more time (and money) on skincare than I did on practically anything else and the devil laughed on his throne of fire, spiting me for ever thinking I was above it all.

After two years of suffering, I finally went to see a dermatologist. A very tough 9 months on RoAccutane (also known as isotretinoin, a synthetic derivative of vitamin A which greatly reduces the rate of oil production) ensued, accompanied by lots of blood, sweat and tears. 

Thankfully, my acne has since cleared but one thing I still struggle with, and unfortunately always will, is pigmentation. Admittedly, it’s only the past few years that I’ve really become obsessed with skincare but I knew what the word ‘pigmentation’ meant from an early age – comes with the territory of being a pale-skinned, freckled Irish cailín, I guess. 

For those of you who don’t know what it is, pigmentation – or hyperpigmentation as it’s sometimes called – means colouring. Uneven skin tone, blotchiness, dark spots and freckles are all examples of unwanted skin pigmentation. 

“Hyperpigmentation is a common skin concern we can be challenged with all year round but in particular after the sunny summer months,” explains Michelle Macken, National Trainer for Ultraceuticals, Australia’s leading cosmeceutical-grade skincare brand. 

The first step in preventing and managing hyperpigmentation is to understand your triggers. Skin triggers can be internal or external factors and include UV light and sun exposure (hence why the issue often worsens during the summer), certain medications, hormonal changes (such as pregnancy) and injury to the skin (for example, post-acne scarring). 

Wearing a broad-spectrum SPF is the number one prevention method… and believe me, it’s easier to prevent than it is to undo the damage already done. Never picking your spots and choosing the right skincare are also essential. For treating hyperpigmentation at home, brightening products are your best friend. 

When it comes to professional treatments, the Ultraceuticals Radiance + Glow facial comes highly recommended. Invited in to try it for myself, I can attest that it really does work.

So, what does it involve? 

This treatment, available at various clinics around the country, features the Ultra Brightening Accelerator Mask with a cocktail of tried and tested ingredients designed to deliver a smoother and more even skin tone.

The Radiance + Glow facial is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) that, in its natural source, is derived from fermented sugar. AHAs are designed to soften the bonds that hold dead skin cells together removing the dead outermost layer of the skin which will in turn reveal new, fresh skin cells underneath. 

Suitable for a variety of different skin concerns, it’s particularly good for hyperpigmentation as it actively works to resurface the skin and restore clarity and luminosity. 

What to expect?

A slight tingling, itching or heat may be experienced on the skin during the treatment. This is due to the active ingredients penetrating and activating in the skin to perform their function. Lead Ultraceuticals trainer Sharon Brady, who did my facial, warned me about this in advance but the sensation was minimal and short-lived.

The results

After the treatment, you may experience mild discomfort, redness and/or flaking – though it’s not necessary to see visible flaking or peeling for the treatment to have worked. Bar a few spots that popped up on day 2 (and cleared soon after) I had next to no side effects.

On my way out, Sharon gave me a bag of goodies for me to try out, including a skin-perfecting serum, a hydrating milk cleanser and a moisturiser cream. Admittedly I’ve become a bit of a skinimalist since finishing RoAccutane; partly because I have sensitive skin and partly because I’m hesitant to try too many new things – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and all that – but I’ve been using the products I was given and have genuinely seen a difference. The little white bumps on my chin are all but gone and the pigmentation ‘moustache’ above my upper lip is markedly improved.

One week on, my complexion is definitely plumper, brighter and more luminous too… so, consider me a convert. 

Photo via Pexels. We may earn a commission if you buy something from any affiliate links on our site. This article was originally published in August 2023.