This Breakthrough Can Stop Age Spots from Forming

Dr. Janet Zand

November 20, 2020

 

 
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Imagine if you could stop brown spots from showing up in the first place...

You’d no longer have to use exfoliating acids or bleaching chemicals for months to get rid of hyperpigmentation ... only to do it all again when new spots inevitably show up.

Instead, you could stop the very process that causes those spots in the first place, so that they never appear at all.

Well, there’s a breakthrough discovery that’s doing just that. It’s a skincare ingredient that lifts the pigment from existing spots, and also stops future spots from forming.

And while this ingredient is new to skincare, it’s been used for decades in medicine. It’s even listed in the World Health Organization's list of Essential Medicines.

So what is it?

It’s called tranexamic acid. And what makes tranexamic different is the way that it fights hyperpigmentation.

Here’s how it works:

Hyperpigmentation occurs when your skin cells produce too much melanin — the pigment that gives skin its color. This overproduction of melanin is an inflammatory reaction to things like long-term sun exposure, medications, and certain medical conditions. And eventually, your skin cells produce so much melanin that it shows up as brown spots on your skin.

But tranexamic acid disrupts that process.

How? By regulating the chemicals that trigger melanin production in the first place, slowing down production. And when that happens, existing spots fade and new spots are less likely to show up.

Tranexamic acid works really well, too. Double-blind studies found that 2-5% topical tranexamic acid fades spots better than over-the-counter hydroquinone. (Hydroquinone has long been considered the gold standard for fading brown spots.)

Studies also found that tranexamic acid is gentler than hydroquinone, which can cause a reaction in some people.

And not only is tranexamic acid gentle on the skin, but it even pairs well with other skin nutrients, like vitamin C serum. So it’s easy to incorporate it into your existing routine.

How to use it

If you want to give tranexamic acid a try, here’s how to do it:

1. In the morning, wash your face and apply a vitamin C serum. Vitamin C is an effective skin brightener, so using it with tranexamic acid can give you even better results.

2. Apply tranexamic acid. Look for one that also contains kojic acid or licorice, which will boost the skin brightening benefits even more.

3. Apply a broad-spectrum SPF 50. UV damage is one of the top causes of hyperpigmentation, so use a high-factor sunblock every, single day.

If you’re seeing great results with this routine, you can add tranexamic acid to your evening routine, as well. Just don’t use it on the same nights that you use stronger chemical exfoliators like retinol or glycolic acid treatments.

Also, a note for those with sensitive skin: while tranexamic acid is gentle, if you are prone to sensitivity when using new products, try a patch test first.

Otherwise, if hyperpigmentation is an on-going battle for your skin, tranexamic acid might be a game-changer for you. If you give it a try, let me know how it goes!

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