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Do you dare to go bare? No, not down there, silly! I’m talking about up top…your face. How often do you go bare there?…

If you answered “not often”, you’re not alone. But what’s stopping you? For many it’s uneven skin tone and complexion-marring dark spots. This certainly was the case for me years ago when I struggled through my hyperpigmentation phase. Ohh, that was a rough patch . . . post acne blemishes dotted my entire face and there was absolutely, positively no way I’d go out in public with bare skin. As a result of my battle with hyperpigmentation, I started the Hyperpigmentation Series on ThisThatBeauty – the focus of the series is to help others and highlight new and innovative products designed to target hyperpigmentation. So when I learned of Lancôme DreamTone (I received a complimentary sample from Lancôme), I knew I had to give it a try.


DreamTone is a customized skin tone correcting serum for those of us who wish to visibly correct dark spots and color imperfections for a more even skin tone. Lancome conducted global self-assessments of women of multiple ethnicities in an 8-week study and 72% of the women found DreamTone to be so powerful that they dared to bare their skin. Before testing the product, a few things immediately appealed to me. Firstly, I appreciate that DreamTone product trials included women of multiple ethnicities. As a woman of color, this gives me a bit of an indication as to whether or not a product will work for my complexion and the kind of dark spots darker skin tones tend to experience. Secondly, Lancôme DreamTone is the first product of its type that’s formulated specifically for certain skin tones…there are three serums, one for fair skin, one for medium skin and one for dark skin. This is truly a unique feature.

My appropriate serum is #3, for dark skin. And like the other serums for fair and medium skin tones, #3 is formulated to brighten dull skin, but it is also formulated to correct blemish marks in darker skin tones. In  clinical trials, 74% of women said they saw glowing skin immediately, 70% noticed a more even skin tone within seven days, 69% saw the appearance of dark spots reduced in four weeks and 78% saw color imperfections reduced by the end of the eight week trial. Though I am just starting my trial of Lancôme DreamTone, the clinical trial data is really impressive and makes me feel encouraged (check out these before/ after photos). In as little as four weeks, dramatic improvement is possible. And let’s be honest, four weeks is juuust about the time when your patience starts to wear thin if you’re not seeing improvement from a new skin care product.

To think, in a few short weeks you can actually go bare and feel confident in your skin. And as someone who’s been there (and thoroughly documented the struggle via my blog), believe me when I say – there’s nothing more freeing than feeling fresh-faced and confident. I’m proud to sport my bare skin!

Dream Tone selfie
I’m totally bare…except for my obligatory winged liner ; )

 #bareselfie #dreamtone

Lancôme DreamTone retails for $98 for a 1.3 fl oz. bottle and is available for purchase at Lancô and department stores nationwide.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Lancôme and Style Coalition.

Every now & then I like to republish this article for my many followers who deal with hyperpigmentation & inquire about my skin care routine. The blog post is a couple of years old — but my core principles are timeless….

Grab a cup of tea, a big bowl of (ThisThatBeauty’s fav) popcorn, glass of vino, yummy cocktail, or what ever it is you reach for when you settle in for a good read. This article promises to be the longest post in ThisThatBeauty history.

I am often approached regarding my exact skin care routine. I must confess. This is an extremely difficult question to answer for a number of reasons:

1) Everyone’s skin is different and the results I achieve may or may not be similar for your sweet little face.

2) My skin care routine changes from season to season…and when I say “season to season” I am not referring to weather. I am referring to my different “skin seasons”. For example, there’s the “acne season”, where my primary focus is managing my annoying adult acne. There’s the “dry season” where I incorporate products that help remedy excessive dryness. Currently my skin is in “hyperpigmentation season” so my routine is very heavily and aggressively focused on remedying the dastardly dark spots that have taken up residence on my otherwise pristine (I kid) mug.

3) I regularly (and cheerfully) review/test/and flip flop from product to product….and allow me to clarify what I mean by “flip flop”. I only flip flop from product to product after I’ve used for the recommended time frame (usually 4-8 weeks). If there’s no adverse reaction, I generally stick with a product until its used up. I then write a review and decide to re-purchase or move on to the next one. However, I should note that even though I regularly review and switch products, there are certain skin care principles that are constant (more on that later).

4) My overall skin care routine is somewhat extensive. Just ask @KatAragon. We recently roomed together in LA and she lovingly poked fun at my diligent day and evening skin care rituals…but she also all but licked my face and marveled at how smooth and even my complexion is. (I kid about the licking, but I could tell she wanted to-LOL).

So for reasons 1 through 4, it is hard for me to give an exact run down of what my skin care routine is….No two faces are the same, my skin issues and products change often, and my overall routine is quite intense…I’ve actually seen eyes glaze over when I’ve tried to explain it all.

The main focus of this article is my current “skin season”HYPERPIGMENTATION, which is in bold and spelled out in caps to signify that I am yelling the word at the top of my lungs. Hyperpigmentation is no joke! It makes me feel angry, sad, insecure…and basically unpretty. So for this article I will share with you, the intimate details of my struggle with hyperpigmentation and the products I am currently using. Once I am through this particular “skin season” some of the products will likely change.

Before getting into the actual products, I have to take a small step back and talk a bit more about my overall skin care routine. As I’ve already said, my routines are “skin season” specific and change often. HOWEVER HOWEVER, there are CORE PRINCIPLES that are constant….cleanse, tone, eye cream, treat issues, anti oxidant serum, sunscreen, special treatment masks, regular facials and regular dermatologist visits.


I generally tend to favor gentle cleansers. I am usually on some sort of topical medication for acne management (currently using Evoclin foam) so I steer clear of harsh cleaners that will possibly conflict. However, the cleanser must clean deep enough to control my excessive sebum and oil production. A few of my fav cleansers include:

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser – It is super gentle and does no harm.

KISS MY FACE Exfoliating Face Wash – Don’t let the word “exfoliating” scare you. The formula is gel-like with no bits or particles. The cleanser gently uses the power of natural fruit acids to exfoliate the skin. Lemon Grass Oil is incorporated as an anti-inflammatory and astringent. Antioxidant Green Tea repairs damaged skin.

Lancome Creme Radiance – This clarifying cream to foam cleanser contains antioxidant White Lotus and soothing Rose de France to penetrate deeply without drying out the skin. I always feel brighter after using.

GRN Blue Chamomile Cleanser – Certified Organic Extracts of Chamomile, Rosemary and Green Tea. This gentle cleanser provides deep cleansing without harsh chemicals. It does not dry or irritate my skin.

So you see, I mainly use cleansers that are gentle and free of harsh irritants. My cleansers do rotate from time to time, but GENTLE is key for any cleanser I use. In addition, my Clarisonic Skin Care Brush is a staple. This brush is working miracles in my skin….*cue the parting of the sea and the conversion of water into wine*

This brush saves lives! I bought my first Clarisonic a few years back when Lady O (not Michelle, Oprah) touted the brush as one of her fav things. The brush flew off the shelves like Free Pancake Day at IHOP, but I was lucky enough track one down (and was later rather unlucky because I left it at a hotel and was forced to buy a replacement). For some odd reason I abandoned using the brush…bad move. During a skin care convo with my sister from another mister – Adri, she encouraged me to get back on my Clarisonic grind. I charged up the super sonic brush and have not looked back. My skin is, at this very moment, the best it has been in a long time. Regardless of the different cleaners I rotate, my Clarisonic skin care brush is a staple.


The next step of my skincare routine involves the use of a “gentle” toner. There’s that word again, “gentle”. My current favs are all awesome with a capital “A” because they are non-drying, contain no alcohol, and help to restore my skin’s balance after cleansing:

Chella Refining Tonic – Contains zinc and pomegranate. Is gentle and refreshing. The yummy pom scent is a bonus!

Renee Rouleau – Moisture Infusion Toner, Revitalizing Ginseng Toner, and Balancing Skin Tonic are my favs.KISS MY FACE Balancing Act Facial Toner – (Description from KISS MY FACE) Tone and nourish skin with organic ingredients. Revitalize tired skin with this blend of certified organic grapefruit, orange, ginger and lemon balm essential oils and extracts. Seaweed extract provides trace minerals while antioxidants Ester C® and Vitamin E help fight the signs of aging.

Again, the trend is “gentle” yet effective!

The last few steps in my general routine include acne medication, serum, eye cream, SPF, special treatment masks, regular check-ins with my derm, and somewhat regular facials.

And now, getting back to the main focus of this article, the next few products in my routine are formulated specifically to address my current “hyperpigmentation season”.

Are you surprised that I stated there will be a “few products” required to address hyperpigmentation? Well don’t be. Often times we expect one miracle product to solve our issues. I wish! The reality is that good skin takes a concerted and continued effort.

While this post is intended to share with you the products I am using to win my personal battle against hyperpigmentation, I also want to express my opinion that a lot of folks out there are slackin’ on their skincare pimpin’ and expect one miracle product to improve your skin. Girlfriends, I am here to tell you that if you are not properly addressing your skin from all angles, don’t expect the two or three hyperpigmentation remedies I’m about to recommend to work for you.

For example –

  • If you’re sleeping in your makeup….your skin is filthy and not properly repairing itself so don’t expect these products to work for you.
  • If you are not using sunscreen daily (preferably SPF30)…. don’t expect these products to dramatically diminish your hyperpigmentation.
  • If you do not properly exfoliate…do not expect these product to magically transform your roughness.

Am I making myself clear:) Good skin care is a multi-pronged approached. Whipping your skin into shape is serious business, kids. I highly suggest that you evaluate all aspects of your regime and not just place a band-aid. I am taking the time to highlight my core principles of skin care because I want you to understand that it takes a certain level of sustained commitment to achieve your desired results.

So having said ALLLLLLLL that (Whew, momma’s tired), I now want to share with you the products that I am currently using to address my hyperpigmentation. But remember, overall good skin care habits in conjunction with these products is the route that ThisThatBeauty wholeheartedly recommends.


I did not always have post acne hyperpigmentation. When I was in my early twenties and first started breaking out (Hello Adult Acne), my pimples usually healed without leaving a trace of its existence. This is no longer the case. I went through a terrible breakout phase last summer. The pimples were often cystic and extremely painful. After months of a couple pimples here and a couple pimples there, my face transformed from relatively blemish free to a face full of dark spots.

I went from skin like this (no makeup in pic):

To occasional breakouts like these (NSFW):

Which eventually led to lots of dark spots like these (DOUBLE NSFW):

I even ended up in my derm’s chair for cortisone shots:

With the help of great concealers by Cinema Secrets, Make Up For Ever, CoverFX, and BECCA, I was able to conceal the dark spots with minimal effort. But that was a band-aid, not the solution. The products I am recommending in this post are tried and true skincare solutions!

First and foremost, not to beat a dead horse because I already mentioned my Clarisonic in this post but ….hats off to my Clarisonic skin care brush. Its sonic technology gently and effectively cleanses my skin, clears pores, and really helps to improve my tone and texture. Everything about my skin improved once I started back using my Clarisonic skin care brush. Without proper cleansing, environmental stressors like pollutantion, oil and bacteria accumulate on the skin, clogging pores which causes blackheads, blemishes and dullness. Clarisonic’s gentle cleansing and massage help to prep my skin to better absorb my skin care products. In a study Clarisonic reported that after cleansing with their brush, skin showed a 61% improvement in the absorption of Vitamin C. They claim that skin becomes clean, clear and smooth—allowing skin to experience the full benefits of serums and moisturizers. I co-sign. The proof is in my gorgeous glowing skin….and did I mention I bought two Clarisonic brushes? Yea, its that serious!

For daytime I use Kiehl’s Highly Effective Skin Tone Corrector (KHESTC). This has been a staple in my anti-hyperpigmentation arsenal. I’ve been using for over four weeks and already see significant improvement.

KHESTC is formulated with a blend of antioxidants and acids that help to lessen the appearance of dark spots, sun spots, and uneven skin tone. KHESTC does not contain Hydroquinone. Instead it is made of a unique blend of Glycolic Acid, Emblica Fruit extract, and HEPES which KHESTC claims is as effective as 2% Hydroquinone and a safer, gentler combination of ingredients to achieve almost similar results.

Emblica Fruit extract contains a large amount of Vitamin C which serves to protect the skin from sun damage, promote collagen production, reduce inflammation, and help repair damaged skin. It is a natural antioxidant, which means it eliminates free radical damage to the skin. Emblica extract also works as a skin lightener. HEPES is an organic chemical buffer and acts as a hydrating agent to the skin. HEPES helps to eliminate roughness. It is as powerful as Glycolic Acid.

Glycolici Acid, a long time friend of mine, is essential because it works to dissolve the outer skin layer, breakdown hyperpigmentation, and reveal fresher looking skin. Glycolic Acid also helps to even out skin tone and improve texture/scarring.

I like that KHESTC is a corrector and antioxidant in one. That’s very important because it cuts down on the need for a separate antioxidant serum. The product comes in a gel like formula which is quickly absorbed into the skin. My one complaint about the product is the packaging. The metal tube oozes product long after you squeeze and dispense. This leads to the wasting of product. Here’s how I worked around this annoyance…I squeeze less than I need and allow the tub to ooze out additional product. Does this make sense? [UPDATE: KHESTC has been discontinued but try Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution instead]

After applying KHESTC, I follow up with a healthy slathering of Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF20. I am eternally grateful to my beauty blogger bud who was kind enough to give me her press sample of Clinique Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer SPF20. I had heard buzz from several friends in the industry that the moisturizer is effective in correcting hyperpigmentation. I used the product every morning for about 6-8 weeks and noticed that my dark spots were beginning to fade. Over time they became less and less obvious. After going through one full sized container, I rushed out and purchased another. I continue to use it today.

In the evenings, for the last 2-3 weeks, after cleansing, toning, eye cream, and Evoclin, I have been applying Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel. Once again, I have my sister from another mister, Adri, to thank for turning me on to this product. I was complaining that I need another product in my anti-hyperpigmentation arsenal and she suggested stepping up my game with Murad Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Gel. NOTE: Your Hyperpigmentation might not require a treatment for day and a treatment for night….but you saw my pictures. I did not have time to play games. I should disclose that Murad contains 2% Hydroquinone. Momma’s not hear to judge, but merely inform. My dark spots, in my opinion, require a product like Keihl’s that’s safe for daytime use…AND a product like Murad’s that’s highly effective for evening use. Once my spots fade a bit more, I will transition off of the Murad because I don’t want to use a product with hydroquinone for an extended period of time. You definitely need to think long and hard about the severity of your hyperpigmentation and then choose a product accordingly. Consult your dermatologist…which is actually a very important step that I won’t spend too much time on today. But see your derm…I do, regularly. Over the counter products can be expected to do but so much. I usually get regular facials and Silk Peels (but I haven’t made time for either since starting this new regime…bad girl!).

After applying Murad, in lieu of a night cream I rotate between one of two Vitamin C serums. In the evenings I alternate between Mario Badescu Vitamim C Serum and MD Skincare Hydra Pure Vitamin C Serum. Both contain potent doses of Vitamin C and have proved effective in diminishing my dark spots. Sometimes I skip the serum and go straight for Creme de La Mer.

On a weekly basis I use enzyme masks like Chella’s Enzyme Exfoliating Crema Mask. I also alternate between at home peels like Erno Laszlo C Peel or MD Skincare Alpha Beta Peels.

I am incredibly pleased with the improvement I am seeing in my skin. If my skin remains on its current course, I hope to slay the hyperpigmentation beast and be blemish free by summer.

Here’s what I look like today…WITH NO MAKEUP!!! You will notice that my hyperpigmentation is SIGNIFICANTLY improved. Perfect? No! But definitely much improved. I feel I’m well on my way….

Hyperpigmentation is no joke! In my day to day as a makeup artist and beauty writer, I often come across women who struggle to remedy their hyperpigmentation. Often times in our insecure moments of weakness we purchase some random snake oil in hopes that we’ll wake up looking like new money. This is almost never the case, love bunnies. You must commit to improving the overall health of your skin. And that has everything to do with how you care for your skin from sun up to sun down and from “skin season” to “skin season”. Make the investment!

This is an extremely personal post for me. I went back and forth in my head debating whether or not to leak my “un-pretty” photos. In the end I decided to share my photos/experience and pour hours into writing this post because I want to help other women in the hyperpigmentation struggle. I want to arm you with the information and resources to improve your skin. Be empowered! I also want you all to know that you’re not alone…ThisThatBeauty’s been there too!

Please share this post with your girlfriends, aunties, roommates, etc. I hope this extremely long article is in some way helpful!

Please share your thoughts! Have I helped…or run-on for way too long? Leave a comment:)

Today we continue the Hyperpigmetation Series with Avon. On April 1 Avon launched its potent new Anew Clinical Luminosity Pro Brightening Serum (UK exclusive). The revolutionary pigmentation correction product claims to improve overall clarity, fade dark spots and even out the complexion. Avon Anew Clinical Luminosity Pro Brightening Serum is formulated with with injectable-grade L-aspartic acid, a skin brightening complex. With continued regular use, Avon Anew Clinical Luminosity Pro Brightening Serum is said to to reduce the appearance of discoloration and promote radiant luminous skin.

Avon Anew Clinical Luminosity Pro Brightening Serum boasts two powerful components:

  1. The brightening gel, which is said to help remove dull skin cells
  2. The anti-discoloration helix, which assists in brightening skin tone and reduces the appearance of dark spots

In a four week clinical trial, 100% of participants noted improved skin clarity. 91% saw an improvement in skin tone. Avon Anew Clinical Luminosity Pro Brightening Serum sounds like a powerful tool for your Hyperpigmentation arsenal! Willing to give it a try?

Today we continue the Hyperpigmentation Series with a product that is Certified Vegan and Paraben free.

I love my little off the beaten path beauty discoveries! While recently in LA I was introduced to a newly launched line of organic skin care products, jeune d’age organics. While the line contains certified organic ingredients, it is not 100% organic. Most of the ingredients are organic, but the brand feels that ignoring the properties of non organic products like Hyaluronan and DMAE (which are natural but not organic) would be to deny introducing the best possible ingredients to their products and customers. I’m all for organic, but efficacy is king…it is refreshing to discovery a product line that balances the two!

Twice a week for the past six weeks I have been using jeune d’age organics Pumpkin Masque. The 5% glycolic mask is now a staple in my “mask/ special treatment” arsenal. As most of you know, I have acne prone skin and lately have been treating my Hyperpigmentation…so having said that, I understand the benefit of a treatment product that gently and effectively exfoliates to expose smooth and silky new skin.

Pumpkin is somewhat of a magical ingredient because it contains over 100 beneficial nutrients. It is exceptionally high in beta carotene (a precursor to Vitamin A) and an excellent free radical fighter. In addition, pumpkin is richly packed with vitamins, protein, and essential fatty acids. The enzymes in pumpkin mimic the benefit of alpha-hydroxy acids, thus increasing the rate of cell renewal. Individuals with sensitivity to AHAs may find success with pumpkin, as it is a natural alternative. Over time the jeune d’age organics 5% Glycolic Pumpkin Masque clarifies and brightens complexion. It smoothes skin texture and evens out blotchy skin tone due to hyperpigmentation. The 5% Glycolic Pumpkin Masque helps promote skin cell regeneration and improve fine lines/wrinkles. The deep penetrating mask is rich with Beta Carotene, Vitamins B, C, E, antioxidants, potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron, copper, and exfoliating enzymes…everything you need for healthy glowing skin!

After experiencing great success with jeune d’age organics 5% Glycolic Pumpkin Masque, I am itching to try their Premier Cleanser (93% Organic), Hydrating Firming Anti-Aging Serum, and Marin Toner (98% Organic).

In an age of “proprietary” ingredients that sometimes leave the average consumer clueless, jeune d’age organics is all about transparency. The brand provides a complete ingredient list for every product in the collection. This empowers the consumer!

If you are an ingredient hound, below you will find jeune d’age organics’ complete ingredient run-down/ ingredient efficacy explanation for the 5% Glycolic Pumpkin Masque:

Cucurbita pepo (Pumpkin), Vaccinium myrtillus (Bilberry) Fruit extract, Saccharum officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Acer saccharinum (Sugar Maple) Extract, Citrus aurantium dulcis (Orange) Fruit Extract, Citrus medica limonum (Lemon) Extract, Aqua (Water), Kosher Vegetable Glycerin, Glycolic Acid, Tetrasodium EDTA, Tocopherol (Vitamin E), Phenoxyethanol, Limnanthes alba (Meadowfoam Oil), Xanthan Gum (Polysaccharide gum), Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C), Cinnamomum cassia (Cinnamon) Bark, Zingiber officinale (Ginger) Root Powder, Pimenta officinalis (Allspice) Powder, Myristica fragrans (Nutmeg) Powder, Rosmarinus officnalis (Rosemary Oleoresin), Azadirachta indica (Neem) Oil

  • Organic Bilberry Extract, Sugar Cane Extract and Sugar Maple Extract all help to reveal new skin cells and stimulate the production of collagen and elastin. The peeling action uncovers a fresh, luminous layer of skin.
  • Orange Fruit Extract and Lemon Extract are known for toning, cleansing and purifying properties as an astringent and good for oily skin. Alpha Hydroxy Acids gently remove dead skin and provide an added antioxidant. In our formula we use the gentle and natural form of AHA’s that occur in natural fruit extracts. All of these ingredients work as a synergetic blend to create an effective and wonderful serum.
  • Kosher Vegetable Glycerin is used for the hygroscopic (water retention) capabilities and for viscosity boosting.
  • Glycolic acid improves the appearance and texture of the skin. It may reduce wrinkles, acne scarring, hyper-pigmentation and improve many other skin conditions, including actinic keratosis, hyperkeratosis, and seborrheic keratosis. Glycolic acid reacts with the upper layer of the epidermis, weakening the binding properties of the lipids that hold the dead skin cells together. This removes dead skin cells and exposes the live skin cells. Please use an SPF product after use.
  • Tetrasodium EDTA is derived from sodium salts. EDTA is used as a chelating agent. EDTA not only is added to create a stable product, but it also pulls heavy metals from your skin when you apply the cosmetic. EDTA is widely used for chelation therapy, which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a treatment for lead and heavy metal poisoning.
  • Vitamin E. As an antioxidant vitamin E is vital in protecting skin cells from ultra violet light, pollution, chemicals, and other elements that produce cell damaging free radicals. The benefits of vitamin E for healthy skin care also include its ability to regulate vitamin A in the body, which itself is important for healthy skin. It helps skin look younger by reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Also, free radicals are believed to play an important role in skin aging and therefore the antioxidant activity is quite valuable for this skin problem.
  • Phenoxyethanol is a cosmetic preservative that is considered one of the less irritating ones to use in formulations. It does not release formaldehyde. Phenoxyethanol is an organic chemical compound, a glycol ether, derived from sage essential oil. Phenoxyethanol also works as a topical antiseptic; it provides broad spectrum anti-microbial activity against bacteria, yeasts and molds.
  • Meadowfoam is an herbaceous winter annual plant native to the Pacific Northwest. It is recognized for its outstanding oxidative stability. It is unique in that it contains over 98% fatty acids. Meadowfoam Seed Oil is said to moisturize the skin better than most oils, and it helps prevent moisture loss. Containing one of the most stable lipids known, Meadowfoam Seed Oil lends stability to other oils that are combined with it.
  • Xanthan Gum is produced by a process involving fermentation of glucose or sucrose by a bacteria found in plants. In cosmetics xanthan gum is used to prepare water gels. Is also used in oil-in-water emulsions to help stabilize the oil droplets against coalescence. It has some skin hydrating properties. One of the most remarkable properties of xanthan gum is its capability of producing a large increase in the viscosity of a liquid by adding a very small quantity of gum, on the order of one percent.
  • Vitamin C Ester is a form of skin-compatible Vitamin C. It is a powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from damage by free radicals, reducing lines, wrinkles and discoloration and results in an improvement in skin tone and texture. Is its also known to lighten melasma on the skin and protect it from harmful UVB rays.
  • Cinnamon is included for its tonic and antiseptic properties as well as the great scent! It increases blood flow to the skin.
  • Ginger, in addition to the tonic and antiseptic properties, is an anti-inflammatory.
  • Allspice contains eugenol. Eugenol when applied to the skin acts as a vasodilator, opening the vessels. Allspice also contains tannins, which give it mild anesthetic properties.
  • Studies indicate that Nutmeg has been shown to lighten the skin based on the ability to inhibit tyrosinase activity. Tyrosinase is an enzyme present in tissue and plants that catalyzes the production of melanin and other pigments from tyrosine by oxidation.
  • Rosemary extract is great for wound healing because of antiseptic, antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. In addition to the tonic and astringent qualities it also increases blood circulation.
  • Neem Oil relieves dry skin. It soothes itchiness, redness and irritation. It improves general skin health and immunity, combating bacterial infections.

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We continue the Hyperpigmentation Series with luxury Swiss skin care company La Prairie. The latest collection, The White Caviar Illuminating Système consists of three innovative skin care products designed to firm and brighten the complexion by zoning in on age spots, skin discoloration and areas of pigmentation. Of The White Caviar Illuminating Système, La Prairie states that each product adds “lightening, brightening and lifting effects” to the skin.

During the Hyperpigmentation Series I have focused on various ingredients that skin care lines use to target pigmentation issues. The White Caviar Illuminating Système incorporates golden caviar sourced from environmentally regulated farms. The golden caviar is then boosted with a clarifying whitening complex of larch tree extract, detoxifying Swiss garden cress sprout and Vitamin C.

The brightening and firming system includes:

  • White Caviar Illuminating Cream: A light moisturizer that contains brightening ingredients to control age spots and discoloration. The pearlescent powders in the cream helps to give skin a luminous glow and promises to even out skin tone
  • White Caviar Illuminating Serum This potent anti-pigmentation serum works to prevent age spots and discoloration as well as provide skin with hydration, anti-oxidant protection and anti-aging benefits
  • White Caviar Illuminating Eye Serum This eye serum promises to banish under-eye dark circles

La Prairie White Caviar Illuminating Système is available at

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Today I continue the Hyperpigmentation Series with DERMAdoctor Immaculate Correction. The product name alone deserves a round of applause. Immaculate Correction is intended to treat Hyperpigmentation due to scarring, melasma, or photo damage. For those who prefer a hydroquinone free option, Immaculate Correction is a product worth your attention. The skin lightener eliminates unwanted pigmentation by targeting several points in the formation of the dark area. Immaculate Correction incorporates six key ingredients to target/treat blotchiness and uneven skin tone:

  1. Mitracarpus Scaber Extract – Similar to hydroquinone and similarly effective without the undesirable side effects
  2. Dithiaoctanediol – To prevent the formation of over production of melanin
  3. Gluconic Acid – To inhibit and regulate tyrosinase activity, preventing further abnormal pigment formation. Also aids enhanced cellular turnover
  4. Azelaic Acid – Works to lighten skin
  5. Suitilains – To help speed exfoliation and cell turnover
  6. Glucosamine and Urea – To firm and soften skin

Immaculate Correction is a stand alone product that is able to be worked into your current skin care regime. Most products in the “pigmentation issues” category require continued use to see results. Immaculate Correction recommends steady usage for 6 to 12 months (twice a day). And as with all skin lighteners, daily SPF is strongly encouraged.

Still in search of a product to help treat your pigmentation issues?…Perhaps DERMAdoctor Immaculate Correction is for you!

Today I continue my series on Hyperpigmentation and products formulated to treat said condition. M Lab has recently launched two new anti-aging and brightening solutions designed to address skin concerns related to discoloration like pesky brown spots and pigmentation issues.

The new collection from M Lab consists of an Anti-aging Brightening Cleanser and an  Anti-aging Brightening Serum.

With 62% clinically active ingredients, the daily cleanser is designed to brighten and even out skin tone. The active ingredients include enzymatic exfoliants and gentle cleansing micro-beads that exfoliate patchy dull skin and promote a more radiant complexion. Special  emollients and hydrators aid in restoring the natural moisture levels of skin.

The Anti-aging Brightening Serum is formulated with 69% clinically active ingredients. The serum aids in the reduction of pigmentation issues like brown spots, freckles and hyperpigmentation. The serum also features three potent anti-aging peptides designed to help diminish fine lines, wrinkles and increase tone and firmness.

The two step M Lab regime is easy peasy…cleanser and serum! If considering this product line, I highly recommend partnering the pair with an SPF 15+ for daytime use…and possibly layering the serum with a night cream for evening. Good luck!

M Lab Anti-Aging Brightening Cleanser and Anti-Aging Brightening Serum are available at

Ever since recently chronicling my personal struggle with Hyperpigmentation, I have launched a one woman crusade to educate ThisThatBeauty readers on the many effective product lines currently on the market, designed to address a multitude of pigmentation issues. Today we continue the Hyperpigmentation Series with Bobbi Brown Brightening Skincare Collection.

In understanding that every one’s skin is different, it is important to showcase a the range of products and ingredients available to aid you in your quest to manage your personal pigmentation woes. New to market from Bobbi Brown is the Brightening Skincare collection. Of the collection Bobbi Brown says this:

“I believe beauty starts with healthy, glowing skin. Traveling through Asia, I’ve discovered that many brightening skin-care lines do not address women’s immediate need to cover dark spots. I used my make-up artist’s perspective to create this simple five-step regimen. It includes skincare to give you brighter, smoother and clearer skin over time – and treatment make-up to give you a beautiful, even complexion instantly.”

When battling pigmentation issues (yes, it feels like a battle) it is important to treat the condition, prevent future issues, and camouflage discoloration as skin repairs. Bobbi Brown’s new collection works to address pigmentation issues with both effective skincare and makeup. Each brightening product is formulated with ingredients to brighten, soothe, and hydrate skin:

– Vitamin C complex help to to control melanin production and help fade dark spots
– Licorice, gentian root extracts, and Caffeine to prevent future discoloration
– Glucosamine to exfoliate and even out dull skin
– Sodium hyaluronate (a star ingredient in MY book!!!) to keep skin hydrated

Bobbi Brown Brightening Skincare is formulated with light-reflective optics and pigments, which project a luminous and even-toned complexion.

The product line is segmented into five steps: prepare, brighten, moisturize, protect and treat, cover and perfect.

The collection includes:

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In my opinion, Crème de la Mer (also referred to as “La Mer”) is the most widely debated beauty lotion/potion known to wo-man. Many swear by the powers of its miracle broth and gladly pay $100+ an ounce (and that’s the *starting* price). Others question the efficacy of La Mer and argue that the car-payment-like price tag is plain ol’ cruel. I, for one, am a big time fan of La Mer Moisturizing Cream. It’s a highly effective night cream!

La Mer’s newest launch, The Regenerating Serum, contains a potent concentration of Crème de la Mer’s proprietary miracle broth – the original fermented elixir developed by Dr. Max Huber. The miracle broth is known for its ability to help skin look renewed.

One thing’s for certain — a serum (a highly concentrated dose of active ingredients) is a vital component of a solid skin care regiment. Serums help to treat/repair various skin conditions like hyperpigmentation, loss of elasticity, environmental damage, dryness, fine lines, etc. Crème de la Mer The Regenerating Serun contains a new regenerating ferment derived from marine plant stem cells, designed to help progress the renewal of the skin’s tone/texture and protect it from free radical damage.

Other key ingredients in Crème de la Mer The Regenerating Serum include:

  • Marine Peptide Ferment – An anti-age marine algae and peptide complex to reduce lines for a firmer appearance
  • Colloidal Gold – To deliver anti-irritant benefits to the skin
  • Lime Tea – Anti-oxidant protection

The serum is said to have taken four years to formulate and was created with the combined efforts of physicists, marine botanists and biologists from around the globe and contains 50 patents (granted and pending) worldwide. Do the ingredients and technology in Crème de la Mer The Regenerating Serum compel you to give it a try? Leave a comment!

Crème de la Mer The Regenerating Serum is available at, Saks Fifth Avenue, Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.

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I’m nothing if not real. In fact, I’m a habitual over-sharer. I’m all about the share. And it’s not because I’m some hyper-chatty blabber mouth who can’t stop herself. Noooo. I share because I care. And as corny as that may sound — I’m being 100% real. And it is this “real-ness” that has been a major cornerstone of my brand since launching my blog over ten years ago. I mean, remember my hyperpigmentation journey and the super NSFW photos of my skin? Yikes.

But again, I share because I care. And because I believe that authenticity is a beautiful thing.

ThisThatBeauty x Nair

Over the years, I have had the privilege of partnering with many wonderful brands who share my core philosophy of truth in beauty….brands who respect and believe in the power of real. That’s why I’m now partnering with the #1 hair removal brand, Nair.

Join me live June 22nd at 12:15PM-EST on @naircare’s Facebook page and we can ALL get real. #NairGetsReal

Owning YOUR beauty is key. And we’re going to do just that during Thursday’s Facebook Live. We’re getting real about beauty, hair removal and we’re going to share summer skin care tidbits to help you survive the months ahead. And my right hand, Christene will be there, too….swapping hair removal horror stories, discussing why we’ve ditched the razor, and, well, the usual shenanigans.

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My sunscreen crush du jour, Clé de Peau Beauté Protective Fortifying Emulsion SPF 22, is really expensive, but let me explain.

protective fortifying emulsion spf 22

Clé de Peau Beauté Protective Fortifying Emulsion SPF 22 costs one hundred and thirty eight American dollars. Yep, nearly $140 for a sunscreen. But hold up a minute. The bottle is approximately 4.2 0z. So, in applying some basic math to the situation, the cost breaks down to about $33 per ounce. And when I survey my beauty closet and check the labels on my mass-tige and department store sunscreens, most are an ounce in size and most range in cost from $25-$55. So, when you look at it like that — Clé de Peau Beauté Protective Fortifying Emulsion SPF 22 isn’t really all that expensive, right? Right!

The sticker shock is ‘ouch’ like a mutha! I must admit. But the formula, coverage and seamless blend (with no stickiness or residue) = mind blown! I’ve been allover Instagram Stories and Snapchat showing off just how much I love this sunscreen. And I love that so many of you are sending me direct messages threatening to block me because I’ve MADE you buy a $140 sunscreen. LOL! Let’s be real — ain’t nobody blocking nobody. Why? Because y’all love me and y’all know I speak the truth and drop the skin care gems. *group hug*

And here are a few more reasons to love Clé de Peau Beauté Protective Fortifying Emulsion SPF 22: The sunscreen contains Illuminating Complex EX, a proprietary cocktail of moisturizing and retexturizing ingredients that help to lessen the presence of environmental damage and reduce the look of dullness — which explains why my skin is so darn glowy when I wear it.  A broad spectrum sunscreen, Clé de Peau Beauté Protective Fortifying Emulsion SPF 22 works to protect skin against harm caused by evil UV rays. Think: lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation.

Does Clé de Peau Beauté Protective Fortifying Emulsion SPF 22 make sense for your lifestyle? If you’re typically a $10 sunscreen girl — probably not. Also, if you’re totally happy with your current sunscreen situation, stick with it. But if you’re like me, and your sunscreen typically runs about $20-30 an ounce….Clé de Peau Beauté Protective Fortifying Emulsion SPF 22 is worth exploring. When asked: “Felicia, what’s the best sunscreen out there?” I always respond, “It’s the one you actually wear.” Meaning, if you’re not wearing it (because it’s tacky sticky, looks ghostly) then it’s definitely not going to work for you…regardless of the cost. The best sunscreen is the one that you will love to wear. And I can promise you, you’ll love the texture, absorption and comfort of Clé de Peau Beauté Protective Fortifying Emulsion SPF 22.

Let me know if you try it. Would love your feedback…


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I’ve been testing beauty products for a long time. Nearly 10 years, professionally. Before that …well, let’s just say I’ve been swatching and sampling, dipping and dabbling since I was a teen. And in this time, I can count on one hand the number of adverse reactions I’ve had.  But, *deep sigh*, that’s all recently changed. My skin has become increasingly sensitive over the last six months. The way my aesthetician explains it — my skin is starting to say no mas.

How I Feel When My Skin Is Awesome...
How I Feel When My Skin Is Awesome…
Simple_When-my-skin-is-irritated (1)
How I Feel When My Skin Is Irritated…

Over the years I’ve blogged extensively about products that correct hyperpigmentation, treat acne, and reverse the signs of premature aging. However, I’ve spent hardly any time speaking to products and routines that are specifically suited for sensitive skin. Sorry, gang! But that’s changing here and now….

Going forward, look out for more blog posts on the topic of sensitive skin and dealing with allergic reactions.

As soon as my skin negatively reacts to a product, the first thing I do is strip my routine down to very basic cleansing and hydrating (now’s not the time for acids, peels or retinol – NO!). Simple Micellar Cleansing Water has been my go to every since the product first launched. After using a basic cleansing oil, I drenched four cotton rounds with Simple Micellar Cleansing Water and apply to my skin, sort of like a compress. I hold them in place on my skin and let the calming begin. Sometimes I stretch the cotton rounds and create a DIY sheet mask.


If you have sensitive skin, or routinely struggle with allergic reactions to skin care products, I cannot stress the importance of having the right products in your arsenal. Walking around with irritated skin can be so emotional, trust me (I know!). For me, it always seems to happen like 2 days before I have to go on air. Sigh!

Packed with gentle ingredients and multivitamins, Simple Micellar Cleansing Water helps balance skin and remove impurities. While I prefer to use the Micellar Cleansing Water, Simple also offers wipes for on-the-go. I love that both products contain no artificial perfumes, dyes, or harsh chemicals.

If you’re like me, and finding that your skin is starting to become super sensitive, now is the time to create a “Keep Calm” skin care plan and invest in products that soothe. Right now, Walgreens is offering $1 off at [COUPON HERE]. Also on, check out skin saving tips and enter for a chance to win the ultimate skin care starter kit during a Simple Twitter Party on March 15th . Follow the conversation at #SimpleSkinQA

*Fine Print: Coupon available until 4/10/17. Offer valid until 5/1/17
*Sponsored by Simple. Opinions my own. Please support the brands that support and help to make ThisThatBeauty possible.

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We are already at the close of the first month of 2017 and for me, it can’t go fast enough.  The fever dream that has been every day since 45 won the presidency and took office shows no sign of breaking.  While I have had a few stress related breakouts as a result, I have still managed to keep my skin looking relatively decent. Politicians might have a say in how I get insured, what is covered and my right to choose, but they most certainly can’t dictate how clear, radiant and otherwise flawless my skin can be.  With that said, here’s what popping in this week’s Facebook Live.

Facebook Live: New Year, New Skincare Routine
Photo Credit: Mario Badescu Instagram
Topic: New Year, New Skincare Routine

As the title suggests, this is all about helping you figure out how to choose products based on your skin care concerns and help you to develop a routine that is right for you. We’ll cover:

  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Acne
  • Anti-Aging
  • Oily Skin
  • Three ways to tell if you have a particular skin type/ concern
  • Dos and Don’ts for each skin type/ concern
Products That Got Us Through The Week

Lancome Advanced Génifique Youth Activating Concentrate ( $105)

MyChelle Hydrating Cactus Mask (, $28)

Black Opal True Color Foundation Stick – my shade is Hazelnut (, $9.95)

Jamaican Mango and Lime Black Castor Oil Exotic  (Find it at select Walgreens, MSRP $8.99)

Wet n Wild Megalast Hard as Ice Top Coat (, $2.99)

Wet n Wild Megalast The Saving Base (, $2.99)

Tom Ford Nail Lacquer in Mink Brule (, $36)


3LAB Super Eye Treatment (, $450)

RESTORSEA Pro Intensive Treatment 10x (

Philosophy Kiss Me Tonight (, $22)

Antonia Burrell Forest Dew Skin Conditioner (, $33)

Rodin Olio Lusso (, $170)

ThisThatBeauty Facebook Live: New Year, New Skincare Routine
Photo Credit: Mario Badescu Instagram

This week’s giveaway sponsor is Mario Badescu — a long time favorite with products to suit ALL skin types and skin concerns. We have four sets of prizes that include several full size products addressing all the skin concerns listed above. After you have checked us out on Facebook, come back here and enter the giveaway below. All winners will be chosen and announced here. Giveaway ends 02/02/17.

 *Due to overwhelming amount of SPAM, comments are moderated and won’t show up immediately*

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Should Retinol be a part of your anti-aging skin care routine?
The short answer is “Yes, because I said so.” If you’ve been reading my blog for the last ten years and following my skin care advice, you already know that I’ve never steered you wrong, SO for you, a simple “yes” is sufficient. But for the rest of you, I’ll explain : )

ThisThatBeauty x RoC
But seriously, you should listen to me because this face is 41. And I’m only wearing bronzer.

Retinol is the #1 dermatologist-recommended cosmetic anti-aging ingredient. Chances are, if you go to your derm today, and tell him or her that you’re concerned with fine lines and wrinkles, you’ll walk out with a retinol recommendation. But, why? Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali of Sadick Dermatology explains: “Retinols and retinoids are BY FAR the best ingredients in dermatology, and especially when it comes to anti-aging. They stimulate increased cell turnover and remove excess debris that can clog pores. I like to refer to this as the “detoxing” phase of skin rejuvenation.”

It’s the one ingredient that dermatologists universally agree is effective in correcting the appearance of aging skin, but here’s the kicker….

  1. Choose a formulation that is gentle.
  2. Don’t break the bank — A good retinol based product doesn’t need to cost a lot.
  3. Proceed with caution — Start with night time use and alternate nights to allow your skin to adjust.
  4. Wear sunscreen everyday — But you’re already doing this anyway, right?!!

roc x thisthatbeauty

I’ve been using RoC retinol products for years (reviews here and here). RoC works and their products satisfy points 1 through 4 above. The pocket-book friendly line (yes, you can find it in your local drugstore) is formulated in such a way that it’s gentle on the skin and doesn’t cause excessive peeling or drying (a common side effect to retinol products that are way too strong).  As with all skincare, it’s important to wear sunscreen daily, but it’s especially important if you’re using retinol because retinol can make skin ultra sensitive to the sun.

Where should you start?

According to Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali, “Bottom line – everyone should use them! Benefits include evening out of skin tone, decreasing acne, shrinking pores, decreasing redness, improving hyperpigmentation, increasing cell turnover, and most importantly, stimulating collagen which improve the appearance of wrinkles.”

I recommend adding your retinol step to your nighttime routine. RoC offers four, yes FOUR, nighttime formulations to choose from:

RoC® RETINOL CORREXION® Deep Wrinkle Night Cream — your go to if you have deep wrinkles
RoC® RETINOL CORREXION® Sensitive Night Cream — designed for the retinol newbie
RoC® MULTI CORREXION® LIFT Anti-Gravity Night Cream — if skin is showing signs of sagging (this is an anti-aging focus for many women of color *raises hand*)
RoC® MULTI CORREXION® 5 In 1 Restoring Night Cream — a good choice if dull tone and discoloration is also a focus

So — Should Retinol be a part of your anti-aging skin care routine?
Absolutely! Take it from me &  Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali. We know a thing or two!

Sponsored post.  As always, opinions are 100% my own.  Thank you for supporting the brands that help make ThisThatBeauty possible.

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