How I got rid of my melasma: my night-time routine
As promised here is my night-time routine! As I mentioned in my previous post, getting rid of melasma was a long and hard slog but the trick is really a combination of high quality Vitamin C serum in the morning and a retinol at night. I think it’s really important to stress that you need to be patient and consistent in order to see results. I saw a real improvement in the texture and luminosity of my skin after about 3-4 weeks and it’s only after about 10 weeks later I really noticed how much my pigmentation had faded. You MUST be consistent! Also, exposing your skin to the sun or going out without sunscreen is a sure-fire way to reverse any improvement you make with your regime.
Step 1 – Calm
La Roche-Posay’s Serozinc is a miracle worker when your skin is irritated and inflamed. I use this after cleansing and before serums. You may find this product handy while your skin is getting used to using retinols. More on that below.
Step 2 – Hydrate
I’ll go into in detail below but if you’re going to start using a retinol you can minimize some of the drying effects by picking up a good hydrating serum. I alternate between the Dr Jart Ceramidin Liquid and the Codage Hydrating Serum. For this step, pat into skin after you’ve spritzed with Serozinc and let it sink in before going in moisturizer on the nights you’re not using your retinol.
Step 3 – RETINOL, RETINOL, RETINOL
Retinol is the gold standard in skin care. If you’re over 25 and not using this in some way, start. Retinols and retinoids have been proven to reduce wrinkles, help with acne and improve pigmentation. I mean what more do you want! In short retinol is a form of Vitamin A which promotes skin renewal which in turn increases collagen production in the skin. The downside is that can be irritating AF! I have very sensitive skin, so if you are like me you need to start low and slow.
I was using the Sunday Riley Luna Night Oil for months. I started every other night and worked my way up to every night. I LOVE this oil and I think it’s a great way to introduce your skin to the benefits of retinol. Use this at night after cleansing on dry skin.
If you’ve used retinols before then I would suggest going with either of these two products; Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5 or Retinol 1.0. Apply on clean dry skin and then follow with a sooting moisturizer.
You know how I mentioned retinols can be irritating, it’s actually normal and a sign of the products efficacy for some redness and even peeling within the first few weeks while your skin goes through a process of “retinization”. I would strongly suggest starting with the Retinol 0.5 unless you’ve already been using something of a similar potency. I got real cocky and started on Retinol 1.0 because I’d been using the Luna Night Oil for so long. Not only that, I used it two nights in row. DO NOT DO THAT! With both these products start with twice a week for the first two weeks, then increase from there as your skin gets used to it. Leave a few days in between use to see how your skin reacts. As I mentioned, some redness, sensitivity, and peeling are totally normal however, please use your discretion guys, if your skin is reacting particularly badly lower the potency of your product or increase the days between use.
I peeled for almost 4 weeks straight to varying degrees. Sometimes just around my chin and nose, others it was all over my face. I had a heart attack at week 2 when I was convinced the retinol was giving me wrinkles under my eyes but this did peel away to reveal smooth skin underneath after a week. Stick with it. This is where most people give up because the peeling is unsightly and uncomfortable. Leaving long gaps between use will also just prolong your skin getting used to it. I’ve been using the Retinol 1.0 for almost 8 weeks, 4 of which were admittedly a hassle but honestly, I’ve come out the other end amazed at the results. Anything for the glow guys! My skin is SO clear. I had seen an improvement using other retinols/retinoids but I’m floored by this product. Pigmentation, freckles and sun spots are substantially lighter, texture is smooth, and fine lines reduced. If you’re ready to take the plunge I’m excited for you! I’ve included some products below that really helped me with managing those dry, irritated weeks in the beginning.
Step 4 – Moisturise
Keeping your skin hydrated is a must when you’re using retinols, especially in the early weeks. If your skin is a bit red and irritated some moisturizers can sting and not provide any relief but I swear by La Roche Posay’s Cicaplast Baume B5 and Dr Jart’s Ceramidin cream. The La Roche Posay isn’t really a “moisturiser” it’s more for the days for when your skin is super irritated and you need some relief and to calm reddness. It does leave a white cast on the face but just let it sink in for a bit. The Dr Jart is great for everyday and makeup sits like a dream on top. This is always in my top drawer and I take it with me on my travels because it’s so hydrating. Even got my fiancé onto this! Both creams are wallet friendly which is a plus when you’re literally lathering it on morning and night! Once your skin normalizes you can go back to using your usual moisturizer.
Just a few things to remember – apply your retinol on dry skin, only use at night and always wear sunscreen during the day! I hope you found this post helpful, I’m not a doctor or skincare professional I just know what worked for me! Check out my morning skincare routine here.