Although LA sunshine has been abundantly bright and cheery this summer, my skin has not been loving it as much as I have. I've mentioned before on my blog that my skin does not tan nicely (bronze goddess girls - lucky you). Instead I end up with sunburns on my shoulders, and brown spots on my cheeks. I'll admit that it's probably the typical Asian in me that really much prefers fairer skin on myself... I find that my skin tans a muddy, unappealing dull tone.
So for the past few months, I've been keeping an eye out for brightening/sun protection products. I also wanted something to get rid of the few little brown spots on my cheeks. A friend of mine who is an esthetician recommended I try the Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum (link!). The hero ingredient in this is 2% Hydroquinone, a proven skin lightener. Serious stuff.
Murad suggests applying this as a face serum before your moisturizer, but I was a bit hesitant on applying a slightly stronger skin lightener all over. Instead I've been only applying this to my cheek bone area as a patch treatment. The first week I tried this, I felt a slightly warm sensation and noticed the applied area on my cheeks looked pinkish - like a blush application gone wrong. I've kind of expected my skin to react to it, since my skin reacts to everything, drama queen. It was nothing severe, and about a week later my skin adapted to it. No reaction since then.
With this product the results are pretty black and white - brown spots here or not? I've been using this for over a month now, and yes they are still here, but visibly lighter than before. Good enough for me, as long as I know they're fading away and no new spots start showing up.
If you're new to Murad like me, Murad's skincare ranges from aging to brightening to acne solutions. The ingredient Hydroquinone works on age spots, freckles, as well as acne scarring. So if you have pigmentation for any reason, this serum could be your lifesaver. Murad also has another serum version in their acne solution line that contains the same 2% Hydroquinone; so essentially the 2 serums are very similar, with slight tweaking of the ingredient mix to cater to different skin types (the acne version has willow bark and tea tree extract to soothe inflamed skin). For me, I prefer the brightening version as it contains ascorbic acid (a.k.a. Vitamin C), which is known to brighten and even out skin tone.
This serum retails for a whooping $60. For those who're interested, I found a coupon code online "60SAVE15" which worked for me on the Murad website - so I only paid $45 for this :) score.
Also, a little of this goes a long, long way. I've already been using this for over a month now, but it still looks like a full bottle (see first picture in this post). Even if you were to use this all over the face, I'm guessing this will probably last you 6 months, at least.
It's been a great first impression with Murad - I'm hoping to try their Essential-C Day Moisture Broad Spectrum SPF 30 PA+++ next - Vitamin C and Broad Spectrum SPF concoctions always suck me in!