Skin Nerd: What can I do to lighten a brown patch on my cheek?

Hi Jennifer, I am in my sixties and have a brown patch on my cheek which my dermatologist said is either an age spot or sun damage. I tried No 7 Dark Spot Corrector for a few weeks but there is no improvement. Is there anything you could suggest that might lighten the dark patch?Thanks, Eileen

Skin Nerd: What can I do to lighten a brown patch on my cheek?

You’ve done everything right so far in discussing it with your dermatologist, as getting any skin changes or anything worrying checked out is always key. The tricky thing about pigmentation is that the appearance of this patch of pigmentation can be reduced, but it is difficult if not impossible to completely get rid of it.

When it comes to dealing with pigmentation, I would usually recommend a combo of a number of things to get the best results: a vitamin A serum such as Skingredients Skin Protein (40ml, €42.00, from skingredients.com and selected pharmacies, salons and department stores nationwide) or Environ SkinEssentiA Vita-Antioxidant AVST Moisturiser (50ml, €57.00, from selected salons nationwide and theskinnerd.com for Nerd Networkers) to improve skin health and address pigment at the root of the concern, plenty of topical antioxidants daily and nightly, plus brightening ingredients like vitamin C and liquorice root extract, and SPF to prevent future pigmentation and stop it from getting worse.

The No7 Laboratories Dark Spot Correcting Booster (15ml, €49.00, from boots.ie and Boots stores) is a product I’ve personally used and liked! Inside, you’ll find gluconolactone, a mildly exfoliating poly-hydroxy acid that additionally works to help ingredients penetrate into the skin, liquorice extract, a botanical known to reduce pigmentation, plus a super stable form of vitamin C.

When it comes to pigmentation, arguably the most important ingredient you need (once you’re getting the aforementioned ingredients on to your skin) is patience. The damage that leads to the formation of it has occurred slowly over time and treating it will need to do - you have to be incredibly consistent with your skincare routine.

With that in mind, I suggest picking back up your Dark Spot Corrector alongside some new results-driven products that incorporate the ingredients I’ve mentioned and give it another go. Wait at least 28 days of continuous use, compare your results, and then keep going!

Another pigmentation correcting product that our Nerd Networkers get fantastic results with is the Murad Rapid Age Spot Correcting Serum (30ml, €90.00, from theskinnerd.com and selected department stores). I’ll admit, it’s at a heftier price point, but certainly worthwhile if you’re not seeing results from other products. It contains vitamin C plus a trio of innovative ingredients including hexylresorcinol, niacinamide and plankton extract and is clinically proven to improve the appearance of pigmentation.

If you’ve given the “just home care” method a go for about six months and still aren’t happy with your results, it’s time to consider treatments alongside your active skincare. My go-to recommendation would be microneedling, where very fine needles penetrate the skin, causing a fast influx of collagen and elastin, the skin’s structural proteins. Essentially, you’re left with much newer skin sans the pigmentation that was residing in the layers that are shed off as a result of microneedling.

One session of microneedling may not do the trick as any given patch of pigment is actually tiny bits of pigment throughout layers within the skin, so it’s unlikely that all the pigment will shed outwards in one fell swoop. With microneedling, there are studies to prove that, unlike laser, it doesn’t trigger the melanocyte cell, the type of cell that produces pigment.

To summarise, bring vitamin A, antioxidants and brighteners into your routine plus an SPF, continue using your dark spot corrector and if you want faster results, get microneedling done at a reputable clinic too!

The Nerdie Pick: Fuschia Correct & Perfect Concealer

Skin Nerd: What can I do to lighten a brown patch on my cheek?

That pigment patience is made easier with a full coverage concealer like the Fuschia Correct & Perfect Concealer. What makes this different is it’s a fully-mineral liquid concealer that doesn’t dry cakey. It feels more like a very good concealer that is coincidentally mineral!

It’s perfect for dark spots, any mottled pigmentation, dark circles and spot covering too and plays well with powder mineral foundations or liquid mineral foundations. It is also Irish, meaning you’re supporting our very own beauty industry.

Fuschia Correct & Perfect Concealer (€16.95, available from theskinnerd.com and selected pharmacies)

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