Fading blemish marks has been my biggest skincare concern since clearing up a particular nasty bout of hormonal acne earlier this year, it's also an issue I am frequently asked about by readers, and which I know is surprisingly under-served in the online beauty community. Consequently I've spent the past six months reading and testing my way through the [badly signposted] waters of post-breakout skincare. Products that are suited to clearing a complexion peppered with flat and smooth red or brown marks are rarely labelled as such, so a lot of reading between the lines is required. Having said that however, now that we're living in an age of brightening and lightening products [thanks in part to the growing influence of the Asian beauty market] it's a little bit easier to work out what's appropriate and what's not.
Like I said, I've tested a lot of products over the past few months [and I'll be divulging on the lot in a kind of skincare routine-esque post next week] but today I wanted to shed some light on the ones that really truly stood out to me, wowed me, and blew me out of the [said badly-signposted] waters.
Meet my favourite serum, ever; it feels good, it smells good, and it absorbs luxuriously. Light and refreshing, it packs on natural reparative ingredients such as cotton thistle extract, St. Paul's Wort, and centella alongside Vitamins A, B, C, and E and hyaluronic acid, which is to say, the perfect cocktail for stimulating cell renewal and speeding up the skin's healing process. I use it by night [post-tone and pre-moisturise], squeezing out the requisite three drops with the utmost care and precision; this stuff is liquid gold in my eyes. It could be the £88 price tag that has me rationing every drop, but going by the number of people who have complimented me on my glowing skin recently, it's worth every penny.
The latest launches reveal that exfoliating has become something more about moisturising and balancing as opposed to just stripping. A case in point: these wonderfully soothing and calming pads from hi-tech skincare brand Radical; enriched with chamomile, they're ideal for sensitive and dry skin. Essentially a cotton pad soaked in an exfoliating toner, these will bring both luxury and efficiency to your evening skincare routine, with a potent [10%!] dose of AHA and BHA acids, which will gently exfoliate away the upper layers of the skin and improve the efficacy of consequently applied products. I've previously described these as something of a fast-forward button upon the skin's healing process and that's a statement which, after three months of use, I will happily stand by. Note that these pads are listed by the brand as an anti-ageing product, but do ignore this. They are more than [and especially] suited to those of any age suffering from any kind of discolouration or pigmentation, so don't let the label put you off.
Those seeking to establish a skincare routine entirely garnered towards fading their blemish marks will be aware that finding a suitable day cream is possibly the hardest step. This is likely due to the fact that fading blemish marks requires exfoliation, and exfoliation makes skin more sensitive to UV rays [which in turn worsen pigmentation], so isn't exactly ideal when sun exposure is on the cards. The recent launch of Bioderma's White Objective range [a line entirely geared towards treating pigmentation issues] solves this issue in one fell swoop, offering a lightweight lotion that combines SPF with a patented blend of ingredients designed to both reduce and prevent hyper-pigmentation. It soaks in quickly and evenly, creating a fresh and luminous base, and the perfect canvas for makeup application.
While "brightening" may seem like an ambitious claim for a moisturiser, this cream does just that; all whilst smelling like roses and turning dull and dehydrated skin into something undeniably more healthy looking. Your skin will be moisturised, it will feel plumper, it will look radiant. At £75 it is admittedly fairly expensive, but as far as night creams go, this has the wow factor. I've previously never truly hit gold with a moisturiser; there are some great ones that really do do the job when it comes to hydration, but this one quite simply goes above and beyond. It's designed specifically to deal with pigmentation [but most certainly does not scrimp upon the moisture levels] and contains a trademarked formulation known as Dermapep - essentially a blend of powerful ingredients that serve to block melanin production [the cause of pigmentation] and lighten existing marks. Given that this is the kind of moisturiser you'll see a difference from the morning after you first use it, I'm kind of [very] obsessed with this stuff [i.e. nearly finished my second jar in 6 months].
The packaging is quiet, the name unassuming, but this cool, soothing liquid screams efficacy, and is a longstanding beauty blogger favourite - it's a classic because it works. An exfoliating experience that feels restorative [as opposed to stripping], this is a gentler than gentle product that rapidly delivers and feels more like a watery lotion or serum than a traditional toner. Packed with glycolic acid, it leaves skin feeling soft, refreshed, and comforted, breaking down buildup and encouraging cell renewal without so much as a tingle. For a committed approach to fading your blemish marks, use this daily until the bottle runs dry.
What are your hero products when it comes to fading blemish marks?