Fade Hyperpigmentation Fast!

Licorice Root

If you’re an acne sufferer, then chances are you’re probably gifted with hyperpigmentation.  Those horrible dark spots that acne leaves behind can be a bigger pain in the butt than the acne itself.  The dark spots can also cast an unfortunate shadow on the best makeup application.  A personal cruel twist is the best concealers for hyperpigmentation often caused acne over time as my skin is not a fan of anything creamy.  Thankfully, I have found the key to controlling my acne, but I still get minor flare-ups.  So, the hyperpigmentation fight remained.

My dream product was one that faded hyperpigmentation fast and left no side effects.  Over the years, I tried strong prescription medications, drug store products and costlier creams, gels and serums.  In return, I got bleached skin, blocked pores and more acne.  One day, after another desperate internet search, licorice root extract fell into my lap.

Licorice root has anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, and anticarcinogenic properties.  Licorice contains glabridin, which some research has shown to be a greater depigmenting agent than hydroquinone.

After testing this product out for five months or so, I can finally say that I found a product that quickly fades dark acne spots with no side effects.  I noticed a vast improvement of newer marks within two weeks and a month for older ones.  This is a Holy Grail product for me.  I purchased this miracle dark colored liquid at my local Vitamin Shoppe, but it can be purchased at any health food store for around $10 for 1oz.  It is meant to be consumed for a variety of medical needs, but for dark spots, I apply it topically.  I chose an alcohol free extract so it doesn’t dry out my skin.  As the liquid is sticky, I use it at night and apply it right before going to be (a few hours after my moisturizer).  As mentioned before, the liquid is very dark in color and has a tendency to stain light colored clothing and bedding, but it easily washes out without special attention.

Give it a go.  I sincerely hope this product works as well for you as it does for me.

Konjac Sponge

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!  Man, I haven’t made a skin care post in forever though it still remains at the top of my ‘worry list’.  I have more things to share over the next few weeks, but first up…the Konjak Sponge.  I discovered this product early in the year.  It certainly deserved a blog post long ago.

Konjac Sponge pic

Konjac (English pronunciation: KOHN-yak) sponge is a 100% natural vegetable fiber that is derived from the root of the amorphophallus konjac plant.  It is a soft and gentle cleanser and exfoliator, which is pH balanced, color free and naturally sustainable.

This simple product made its way into my daily routine since it arrived on my doorstep and it is still a joy to use.  I use this exfoliating sponge in the morning with nothing but warm water.  Initially, I was nervous at only using water to cleanse my skin because I always thought I needed soap.  I remember thinking that my skin is going to revolt after a few days of using only a sponge and water, but it didn’t.  I soak the sponge in fairly warm water and go over my face several times, using circular motions.  It’s like giving my face a nice message every morning.

I wanted the sponge to last as long as possible so I don’t use a cleanser with it or use it to remove makeup…though you can.  My first one lasted many months before needing to be replaced.  The sponge never fell apart, but I noticed some of the fibers separating along the surface.  To deep clean the Konjac sponge, put it into boiling water for several minutes.

There are several types of Konjac sponges to choose from.  I have the one that contains bamboo charcoal that is for oily and acne prone skin.  The carbon in the charcoal helps absorb oil and contains anti-oxidants to fight bacteria.  There are sponges that contain French green or red clay for other skin types including sensitive, oily, dry and mature.  The sponges arrive moistened in its packaging and is small enough to fit into the palm of your hand.  There are also Konjac sponges for use on infants and larger sponges that can be used on the body.

The sponge comes with a string attached so it can hang dry.  After it has dried down, I keep it stored in the original packaging.  I’ve used facial sponges before but they were rougher on my skin and would leave bits of sponge on my face.  It’s great that there is a natural alternative to synthetic fibers and dyes.

You can purchase Konjac sponges online for $9.

Sweet Acne: Final Update

March 8, 2011 was the day I decided to challenge myself.  Is my acne caused by sugar?  I can’t believe it has been a year since I’ve had ice cream or a Bakers Square pie.  It would be great if I could say my skin has finally lived up to my definition of ‘clear skin’.  It hasn’t.  Not yet anyway.  I have no doubt that it will soon.

Despite my diet change, I still get one or two breakouts gifted to me, courtesy of my monthly cycle.  That will not change anytime soon.  What will change is my reaction to those breakouts.  I’m proud to say that I’ve finally learned to not pick at my acne.  When I don’t pick, the acne will go away within days.  I am (was) a chronic zit picker and it is an accomplishment every time I walk away from a mirror and not have picked at my face.  I know picking is horrible and exacerbates everything, but it’s a bad habit to break.  The end result of picking for me is hyperpigmentation that is darker, which takes longer to fade.  Clear skin for me is the day those old hyperpigmentation scars fade and I can bury my concealers.

My diet is consistent.  I am taking my vitamins and supplements daily.  I still struggle with drinking enough water on a consistent basis.  That is my next hurdle.  I hope you find what I’ve learned over the past year helpful.