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Discussion Starter #1
Hi..I thought I'd share pics & my experience for anyone else dealing with melasma and/or sun damage. I'm finding that taking photos helps me to be consistent. (I tried to link to my online photo album but I've uploaded them as attachments instead, please see below)

The 1st photo ~forehead series (top is from July 31st..bottom Oct 7)


2nd photo ~ Left was July 31st ---- Right was Oct 7th

3rd Photo ~ (red tops)
are to give an idea of what happens when I neglect to do any kind of sun protection or intentional exfoliation. The photo on the left is nowhere near my darkest tan (I'll try to find & scan a good photo if anyone is interested). The quality of these pics are not so great because they're actually snapshots of framed photos that I grabbed.
However, I hope it's enough to give an idea of how dark and uneven I can get.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has maintained an even complexion for years. What is your regimen? Have you found any nutritional, dietary elements that help?


I've been reading all sorts of things from taking megadoses of Gluthathione and Vit-c to avoiding caffeine & aspartame?

I'm currently using sunscreen faithfully, sometimes hats.. My current products are:

Loreal Ombrelle Suncscreen SPF 44+ for kids
Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby SPF 60 (better protection but it looks a little chalky)
Fair and Flawless Soho Lightening Parfait
Fair and Flawless Resurfacing Cleanser (it's like a gentle scrub)
Dove Soap
Likas Papaya Soap (when i remember to use it)
Othine HQ % cream
Belo Whitening Lotion on my arms and knees (just started last week)



My goal is to have an even color all over.
My forehead, back of neck, forearms, knees, and back of hands are the darkest areas (different degrees but all quite stubborn).

At this point I'll be happy with only 2 colors!


For a long time, I'd lay out try to even my skin tone. It looked good for a while but got gross again when the dark tan would fade & get patchy. Random tanning (parks, lake, shopping, concerts etc.) could also get weird, depending on what sort of clothes I wore..some times I'd get an awful farmer's tan...ending up with chocolate head & caramel boobs, you name it. arrgh.

Of course I thought the easy answer was even more sun or yet another shade of foundation. sigh. I'm rambling.


TIA for any help or experiences you can share!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I haven't tried RA (retin a? right?) yet.

I started this summer by wearing more hats & clothing and remembering to use my sunscreen more often (but not quite enough i guess.lol).

Then started using the F & F Parfait gel (the actives, i believe are Sepiwhite and kojic?) and doing my own regular glycolic 35% peels.. the peels about every week.

For the last 2 weeks, I added the Othine (HQ 3 %) every other evening instead of the F&F Parfait.

Last week I added the Belo Whitening lotion for my arms.

**

Will the HQ/RA method speed things along?
 

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EgogoMini, a warm welcome to the forum. You probably already know this by now from reading all the threads but if you just want to get rid of sun damage and restore your skin to its original color then Retin-A 0.05% Cream or the strongest 0.1% gel will be more than enough to solve your problems. You must also use the sunblocks we mentioned, preferrably a European brand. You can use the RA at night and HQ during the day under your SUNBLOCK. That will give u great results, also forget the other fair adn flawless and HQ 3% products, its not gonna work at the cellular level like retin-A will. You can also add a Vitamin C Serum into your morning regimen along with HQ and Sunblock.



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Discussion Starter #6
EgogoMini, a warm welcome to the forum. You probably already know this by now from reading all the threads but if you just want to get rid of sun damage and restore your skin to its original color then Retin-A 0.05% Cream or the strongest 0.1% gel will be more than enough to solve your problems. You must also use the sunblocks we mentioned, preferrably a European brand. You can use the RA at night and HQ during the day under your SUNBLOCK. That will give u great results, also forget the other fair adn flawless and HQ 3% products, its not gonna work at the cellular level like retin-A will. You can also add a Vitamin C Serum into your morning regimen along with HQ and Sunblock.
Thanks LNL! Which sunblocks are best? Do you know which online stores carry them?

This is such a relief as the F&F prices are


For the RA... can I start out with the 0.1%? Is it possible that it could be too strong? Should I ramp up to it somehow?

I don't think that I'm particularly sensitive and I've been doing 35% glycolics (no feathering or peeling from it at all lately, just some glow).

With the RA & HQ (4%? right) plan...will i still need the glycolic peel? any peels at all?

I think I read somewhere here that lactic is better anyway?

Thanks again!
 

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The European sunblocks are best and the one I buy and many other member have used with success because of its SUPERIOR protection is Garnier Ambre Solaire UV Sentive spf 50+ which you can buy from this link and its VERY affordable and there is no greasy residue, white cast, it absorbs very well ->>> NEW Garnier Ambre Solaire UV Sensitive Ultra SPF50+ - eBay (item 370221130039 end time Oct-24-09 12:35:49 PDT)

Since you said you didnt feel much with the 35% glycolic peel then definitely go ahead and get started on the RA 0.1% gel and HQ 4% regimen. You use the RA 0.1% gel at night alone and use the HQ 4% cream during the day with the sunblock link I just gave you together. Dont attempt to use the RA gel and HQ cream together b/c gels and creams dont mix well together, if you can buy a cream version of the 0.1% RA then go ahead and mix it with HQ cream at night and use together.

You wont need any peels anymore, unless u have to do a peel to boost ur results then I recommend you get a Lactic Acid Peel done at a concentration of 55 to 85%. You can use the RA/HQ regimen for three months to prepare ur skin for the peel, then take a one week break from the RA and perform ur peel, after ur peel let a week pass for you skin to heal then resume with the RA/HQ.



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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks LNL! 'Can't wait to get started on this approach!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
random notes:

*I'm finally ordering the HQ/RA... I think I'll be using it on my body areas only for now. I think it's smart just in case I have some freaky reaction (I've never tried Retin-A before) ...also because my facial patches-mask and neck are really responding already to what I have now.

However my outer arms are laughing at the F&F, Othine, & gly 35% - so they need some bullying.

*I haven't shown my legs much in a while so they're pretty good save the knees. I think I'll try TCA on those.

*I've had to hit the wax since I'm fading, my facial hair is jumping out more. eek. I've also realized that part of my moustache problem was actually the melasma.

*I've started noticing other people's multicolor situations more than before.

*Part of me wants to go crawling back to the spa out of laziness (I found out that it's still open) but the distance, high prices and star struck, cult-like atmosphere keep me away.

*I really do feel like I'm stripping furniture






or like an archeologist...



I can't help but feel that this is a project I could have avoided with some common sense and self-acceptance(the sun damage-permatan).

OTOH, The melasma probably still would have been a issue because of my pregnancies. The sloppy care just sort of compounded my mess.
 

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Hey Eggomini,
I do not see any photos, and was wondering if I am missing something, considering I am still kind of new to this site. Ha
Thanks!
 
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