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Discussion Starter #1
Like many of you, I've tried a variety od treatments with disappointing results. After joining this forum & reading the posts, I decided to do more research before buying anything. Everyone seemed to be floundering & not getting results. There were even some scams with fake posts by people who obviously worked for the company whose products they were promoting. the worst & most blatant of these was for some crap called Fair & Lovely sold by Unilever; the people selling Dove & self-esteem & self- acceptance in the west BUT making coercive & blatantly manipulative & racist ads selling humiliation in the east. Shame on them! Their photoshopped 'before & afters' are totally misleading.

Here's what I'm doing (! week now, measurable & visible results!) I use Neo Strata HQ Plus lightening cream 2x/day. In the evenings, I use Avon Anew Regenerating Peel ( a white jar of pre moistened pads). I use 2 of them: one for my face, neck & upper chest & the other for both arms & the backs of my hands. You must, of course, avoid getting it in your eyes. What this does is greatly speed exfoliation & removes all dead skin cells & anything that would block the penetration of the cream. Before bed, after washing up (I use Spectro Jel on my face & neck) I then apply the Neo Strata.

Yes, it does contain Hydroquinone 4% & glycolic acid. BUT most of the horror stories you hear about hydroquinone are because of people who abuse the product & apply it 4-5 times a day & use harsh scrubs & soaps too ALL of which contain some bleaching chemicals. These compounded combinations are what is dangerous. You need to treat your skin with respect: NO hard scrubbing or rubbing: it will absorb the cream on its own.

I am using foundation shades to gauge success; not photos as lighting can mislead. When I began, I was wearing Dream Matte Mousse (Maybelline) in Dark 2. It would blend & lightem ny colour a little. Now, it disappears into my skin & I need to replace it with Dark 1 that blends nicely & slightly brightens. Before eginning my regimen, Dark 1 looked masky & was too light for me no matter how carefully I blended it.

The Neo Strata recommends using it for 12 wks to get maximum results: afterwards, in order to maintain the results, you can apply only once every other day (avoid the sun, use sunscreen etc.)While I do have 'white looking' features (very narrow nose & slim lips, oval face) I am NOT trying to turn my skin truly white. I want to have that nice golden tanned colour. The browner colour that made my knuckles look dirty is GONE! I am very happy with my results so far & I'll keep updating you on any further progress.
 

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I am new to this forum, and wanted to let you know I am impressed with your knowledge and willingness to share your experience.

I, too, have uneven skin color and wish to "even it up." I have been using Aveeno Facial Exfoliating pads prior to applying Luciderm. I just recently started the regimen, so results are pending. The pads have a soft side and an exfoliating side and come pre-soaped. My skin is also sensitive and I have experienced no stinging or rashes.

Thanks, once again.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The Avon peeling pads are considerably stronger. If you try them, do not rub & scrub (a skin care mistake many people make); you just wipe gently. No matter how much you scrub, if a given mollecule it too large to pass through the skin, it will not do so & all you end up with is raw irritated skin. Then the hydroquinone begins doing damage. My skin is completely undamaged & I am very happy with the results. The aveeno pads might leave behind ingredients that may hamper your skin's absorption of the Lucederm. Try rinsing your face in some warm water after using the pads & drying it gently but thoroughly before applying the cream. Please let me know how it works. Someone else here was disappointed with his product.
 

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hydroquine 4% i don't know
just doesnt feel worth it for some reason
hydroquine can be extremely harmful and will destroy the skin cells that protect ur skin from the sun
so it doesnt make sense to use hydroquine if u ask me
 

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Thanks for the tips, Ondine. I only use the scrubbing side gently because it is so abrasive. I'll remember to rinse thoroughly to remove soap residue.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Khari1157 you are most welcome! Good luck with your efforts.

Proscons, I understand your concern with hydroquinone. most of the people who run into trouble with it are those who abuse it. For example, there are those who think that "if twice/day is good, then 4 times is twice as good". This 'more is better' mentality is a big mistake. If used according to the directions it works very well. I am very happy with my results as I am in the middle of my 3rd week of treatment. There are no blemishes, unsightly white patches, rough blackening or any of the other horror stories you read about.

Like any product, nothing is for every person & some people might not react well to it. If you are new to it, I'd suggest doing a patch test on an inconspicuous area for a couple of days to test for an adverse reaction.

Remember to: avoid aggressive scrubbing, use a sunscreen ALLWAYS, stay out of direct strong sunlight, DO NOT mix your own chemical bleaches either by combining creams or by purchasing 'raw' materials & doing it yourself. YOU ARE NOT A PHARMACIST OR A DERMATOLOGIST! If you are careful & you respect your skin, it will return the favour.

I've double checked my foundation colour & I definitely require the lighter shade. In a couple more weeks, I'll be tossing this one out & moving to the next shade up! It is working, guys!
 

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urrghh it sounds so tempting
but spring is on its wayy
and i dont want to do this while the sun is out until 7-8 in canada
i think i might just wait till october or something
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am in Canada too so I know what you mena about our hot humid summers. DEspie this, I decided to lighten NOW while developing strategies I can use during the summer to avoid the times when the sun is at its strongest. I have just completed week 3 of treatment and, as promised, here's my update:

The Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse in Dark 1 no longer has that brightening effect: it just disappears into my skin. By the end of next week, I'll need to replace it with dark 0. So far, I haven't experienced any rashes or other signs of damage. Then again, I respect my skin: no hard rubbing, no using multiple strong products & no over-use. I am 1/4 of the way through my 1st 12 week round of treatments. I am on my 2nd $35.00 tube of Neo Strata & my 1st jar of the Avon pads. The fading has been even & I do not have that sickly yellowish bleached look as I am lightening gradually but steadily.

If results like this persist, the difference will be dramatic. After lightening my face, neck, upper chest, forearms & hands to where I want them to be, I'll switch to a maintenance regime for these areas & begin lightening the rest of my body. Fall and Winter are great times to begin a lightening treatment since the sun is weaker, you are indoors more of the time & most of the body is covered so any colour inconsistancies are less apparent.
 

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Hi I am a 24 yr old male from uk england and I am interested in trying out this method. I have tried to find the avon peeling pads but I seemed to be having trouble in locating it, could you please repost the full name of the products you are using and possibly a link to where you can purchase them, so to give me a idea of what I am looking for. Thanks in advance
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I willl try to get those links to you sometime this afternoon. For the Neo Strata, you might just try to Google it for a source near you in the UK or you'll wind up overspending on shipping fees. I've got to run out soon, but I'll gladly give you the info you want tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here's a link for the Neo Strata HQ+ gel (4% hydroquinone and glycolic acid): Buy Neostrata HQ from Canada Drug Superstore
Avon Shopping

and above is the link to the Avon Anew Retexturizing Peel pads I am aslo using. As you can see, the proces are reasonable and I hope this regimen works as well for you as it is for me. I think you can find sources for Avon near you in England & the same for the Neo Strata. If not, go to www.canderm.ca ; they are the makers of Neo Strata & they could point you to a local source.
 

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be careful with HQ. I used 4% years ago and it made my skin much lighter but when I stopped using it my skin got so much darker, even darker than it was before I started the HQ. It took almost a year for my skin to turn back to its normal color after that.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for the warning, Mutti. I am being careful and very gentle with my skin. Perhaps some of the darkening you experienced was due to abruptly stopping the product as opposed to gradually diminishing your use of it as well as the effects of the sun.

What I liked about the Neo Strata is that they do not hype their products with a bunch of misleading coercive ads. there is no 'soap opera' about the dark person who was unpopular who suddenly became a superstar because they slapped on some cream. They tell you what the product is, what it contains, what to use it for & how to use it. That is it! It was a nice change from those high pressure ads that try to make 'dark' (because those models were NOT really all that dark anyways!) people feel as though they are backwards or inferior. Actually, the rude fair-skinned declasse bigots seem to be just insulting & mean-spirited. Light or dark: who would want to befriend such people? Worse yet, who would want to become like them! Neo Strata does not make extravagant claims, show fake before & after shots or deceive shoppers. That is in part why I feel comfortable recommending them to my new friends in the global village here!
 

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My doctor gave me HQ for the dark circles under my eyes. It burned then I got scars. It took a while for my skin to heal & i followed directions. I am still on my search for something to work on my dark circles any suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I am surprised that a doctor reccomended you use HQ near your eyes since all the packages I've seen warn against this! Eyelid skin is way to sensitive & fragile for this. Plus, most dark circles are not caused my actual melanin but by fine capillaries that leak micro droplets of blood through their walls. This is the shadowing you see through the thin skin. It becomes more apparent as skin ages & thins on older people.

Nourishing yourself well from the inside out & getting a balance of sleep, exercise & stress reduction is a good strategy to try.
 

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Hi guys! Just a quick update:I ab in the middle of my 4th week of treatment. Yesterday I switched foundations for a lighter shade. This morning, I used Maybelline Dream Matte Mousse in Dark 0. It disappears into my skin very nicely with no demarkation along the forehead or jawline. To recap: Before beginning treatment, I was using Dark 2 & it had a skight brightening effect.

Another important thing I noticed: those areas where the skin is thinner (face & neck) show more rapid lightening than thicker areas (arms and backs of hands) so for anyone just beginning their treatment cycle, you may want to treat the thicker areas first for 2 weeks and then begin treating the thinner skinned areas for more evenness in your results. Another thing: from using them to rub the cream in, the palms of my hands are lighter too: those lines in that are in the palms have faded noticably.

proscons: I took a photo on Sat evening to post here. I took it in my bathroom in neutral lighting (neither extra bright nor dark). I had to take several shots then edit out the ones where there was an unnatural glare that made me look lighter than I am. I also edited out the ones where any shadowing made me look darker. I wish I'd taken one right at the beginning, but 3 weeks into a 12 week cycle isn't bad. When I get in tonight I'll put it up.
 

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thanks so much ondine.
Can you also give me a list of exactly what you bought, how much it cost,
and how you applied it to your skin. I don't really understand the dark 0 1 2 method and how it works.
I look forward to the pictures and once again thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Here's exactly what I have been using:

Neo Strata HQ+ and Avon Anew Clinical Advances Retexturizing Peel (the pads)

I cleanse my face, pat it dry & use 1 pad for my face, neck & decollete & another for my forearms & the backs of my hands. A little later, I GENTLY apply the cream to those same areas. As for the photo, I realized that I was wearing the foundation in it so I deleted it & will take & post a new one. Sorry for the snafu.

This is the beginning of week 5 for me. The Maybelline Dream Matte mousse in Dark 0 now disappears into my skin with no brightening or any other effect. Soon, I will be switching from the pads to the tretinoin (as La Donna generously shared her source with me). Maybelline's medium shades are still a little too light for me so I'll have to wait a couple more weeks before I can switch but hey: from Dark 2 to Dark 0 in about 4 wks is fantastic.
 
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