Most women (and many men) of every skin type will encounter hyperpigmentation at some point in their lives. For some the struggle is life-long. This has been one of the more difficult skin conditions to treat. Botox, fillers, lasers and facelifts address wrinkles and skin laxity, but they don’t do much for the clarity and evenness of skin tone – and they may even contribute to the formation of new hyperpigmentation in areas of the skin (known as post inflammatory hyperpigmentation or PIH).
Worse still, the few things that have been historically used to even skin tone are particularly dicey propositions for men and women of color. Many ingredients and laser therapies are significantly irritating – and for darker skin tones, irritation leads to increased melanin production which means more dark spots and patchy pigmentation caused by the very treatment meant to get rid of what was there in the first place. Even irritation caused by simple acne blemishes can leave a lingering mark on the skin for months.
It was with this in mind that the creators of Lumixyl set about to solve skin tone problems for all skin types, by focusing on the right solution for skin of color.
The Lumixyl Topical Brightening System incorporates a series of unique and powerful features to bring brighter, healthier and more even skin tone for darker skin types in four simple steps:
First, Lumixyl Active-Prep Cleanser is formulated like no ordinary cleanser. You see, many cleansers have a high pH which strips (or actually neutralizes) the skin of its “acid mantle” – that is, healthy skin is naturally acidic, providing a strong barrier protection against infections that attack the skin.
In an article by “Skin and Allergy News” entitled “What Every Dark Skinned Patient Should Know“, the number one caution is “don’t over wash” because it can irritate the skin. As mentioned above, it can also weaken the acid mantle; by contrast, Lumixyl Active-Prep is a low pH non-soap cleanser that is gentle yet effective in clearing skin of pollutants, while delivering rich antioxidants, to promote skin health and to neutralize free radicals that contribute to over-stimulating melanin production. Generally, you need only cleanse once in the morning and once before going to sleep.
Second, Lumixyl Topical Brightening Creme is a peptide powerhouse for skin brightening. It contains the Stanford University discovery – Decapeptide-12. With this peptide technology there is finally a real alternative to Hydroquinone, the harsh bleaching agent that is commonly prescribed for hyperpigmentation in the United States. Hydroquinone is particularly troubling for skin of color because it is cytotoxic in nature (it causes cell death), and therefore highly irritating (remember, a good therapy for skin of color will avoid excessive irritation). By contrast, this clinically proven peptide is not a bleaching agent – but studies show that it is more potent than hydroquinone in restraining the enzymes in skin that create melanin. As such, it is an ideal choice for the treatment of darker skin tones. Since it is a potent peptide, a little goes a long way, and only two pumps from the dispenser in the morning and two pumps at night after cleansing the skin are needed.
Third, now that we have effective cleansing while promoting effective skin barrier function, and we are reducing the production of new skin spots, we need to address the removal of old skin spots. Skin spots, or hyperpigmented areas of the skin, are simply where pockets of clustered melanin reside at or under the surface of the skin. Often these pockets will fade away on their own over time through the natural skin exfoliation process. But that does take some time – so a good hyperpigmentation therapy will include an exfoliant. The stronger the exfoliation the stronger the signaling is to your skin to “speed up skin cell production”; however, here again we want to find a less irritating way to do it. One of the best methods for exfoliating darker skin tones is by using glycolic acid. In fact many physicians who specialize in treating skin of color prefer glycolic or salicylic acid peels when performing a concentrated peel, instead of the historically more commonly performed TCA peels.
Lumixyl has taken that concept one step further by introducing the GlycoPeel 20 Rapid Exfoliating Lotion to our Lumixyl Topical Brightening System. GlycoPeel is strong at a 20% concentration of glycolic acid. However the formulation has been highly buffered as well – a process that makes it gentle enough to put on and leave on. The average person may experience a strong tingling sensation the first few times it is applied to the skin, and you doctor will likely recommend that you start by applying a thin layer of GlycoPeel to the face once every other morning for the first 7 to 10 days. Thereafter you may want to increase frequency to every morning in order to accelerate the results and achieve your skin health goals. In some instances, such as with more oily skin types, your physician may recommend increasing frequency up to twice a day (always after cleansing and applying the topical brightening creme).
The Fourth and Final Step is all about protection, protection, protection. Keeping irritation and UV rays away from your skin will keep it looking great! So the importance of the right kind of daily sun protection of a SPF 30 or higher cannot be understated. Today’s leading experts on skin of color, such as Dr. Jeanine Downey, put a great deal of emphasis on the importance of using sun protection on the face and arms (the most common locations of skin cancers). Just because a darker skin tone is less prone to burn, does not mean it is less prone to develop skin cancer! In addition, to keep your skin tone even and unspotted, you want to use a physical sun block (one containing titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide). The reason for that is, unlike chemical sunscreens, physical sunscreens lie on top of your skin and deflect UV rays away from the skin, and they are not photoreactive (they don’t break down in the light). By contrast there are many sunscreens with a SPF factors of 30 or higher, that use chemical based sunscreens. These chemicals absorb into the skin surface and while they may prevent the burning UV rays from penetrating into the skin, they generally do it by absorbing the light/heat, which in turn can stimulate melanin production (as the skin’s heat sensors signal that it is being attacked). They also are thought to generate free radicals, contributing to skin aging.
This concept is well considered by the Lumixyl Topical Brightening System, with the inclusion of the MoistureLock Sunscreen SPF30 . MoistureLock provides healthy skin protection in two very unique and important ways. First, it is an all physical sunscreen with Titanium Dioxide (TiO2). What is unique about Lumixyl MoistureLock is a very proprietary method used to micronize the TiO2 so that it spreads over the skin very invisibly. As a result it goes on smoothly with no chalky residue, which is particularly important for darker skin tones, since historically it has been difficult for people of color to find a good physical sunscreen for daily use due to the typically chalky color and consistency found in most other physical sunscreen products.
Another true advance in daily sun protection is included in MoistureLock. It is a newly developed ingredient called Symhelios® 1031. What it does is really quite amazing. Essentially it protects against the long term damaging effects of UVB rays, reducing stress on skin cells that would otherwise cause damage and lead to a deterioration in tone and texture, leading to more fine line wrinkles. Together with the proprietary TiO2, this gives MoistureLock a first-of-its-kind level of elegant protection, that is great for all skin types, and particularly well received by people with darker skin types.
An excellent complementing therapy to the Lumixyl Topical Brightening System is the SilkPeel® Dermalinfusion™ procedure. This is an in-office procedure that includes a Lumixyl peptide serum as part of a peel of the upper layers of the skin gently through the use of a medical grade microdermabrasion.
With these four steps in place the Lumixyl Topical Skin Brightening System is an effective set of tools to help solve the age-old issues of hyperpigmentation while promoting healthy skin function. To find a physician dispensing the Lumixyl System as part of their skin care services, click here.
Related Article: Heal Those Damaged Elbows, Knees, Ankles – article on treating darkened thick skin buildup on knees and elbows, printed in Madam Noir, Lifestyle Magazine for African American Women.