*This is not a sponsored post but, an honest review. All opinions are my own.
During pregnancy, I started getting dark spots on my face. We all know that many pregnant women suffer from melasma or the "mask of pregnancy" wherein there is a darkening of certain areas of the face even certain areas of the body. Of course, this is due to hormones produced during pregnancy and is quite normal. This symptom of pregnancy is said to fade on its own after childbirth. If not immediately, moms may have to wait for 6 months for the darkening to subside. For me, it did not subside. After trying certain facial skin procedures with negative results, I purchased the Prestige International Melasma Rejuvenating set from Lazada.
What is Melasma?
Melasma, according to the Philippine Dermatological Society, is a common dermatological condition which is characterized by patches of discoloration that is darker than your usual skin color. Patches may be colored brown or grayish brown giving a person an "ashen" look.
These discolorations usually appear on areas of the body that are highly exposed to the sun such as the face, particularly:
- Bridge of the nose
- Above the upper lips
|Melasma on the face by User:Elord from Wikidocs is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0|
This skin problem is more common in women, aged 20-50 years old, than men; only 10% of people who suffer from melasma are men. Also, those with darker skin or who have a genetic predisposition are more likely to contract melasma.
Melasma likely occurs when there is an excess of melanin production by the skin's melanocytes (cells that control pigment) causing hyperpigmentation. As mentioned above, those with darker skin tone are more prone to melasma and this is due to the fact that they have more active melanocytes.
What may trigger melasma?
- Sun exposure- the rays of the sun, particularly, UV light stimulates melanocytes. If you are already suffering from melasma, a small amount of sun can cause more damage.
- Hormonal changes- Estrogen and progesterone sensitivity are associated with melasma. Most often seen in pregnant women and is called chloasma or the "mask of pregnancy". Oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy may also trigger melasma as well as thyroid disease, ovarian disorders and stress.
- Skin care products and cosmetics- sometimes irritation from personal care products and cosmetics may trigger melasma or for those who already have it, may cause it to worsen.
Melasma is not painful but it is painful to look at. The main concern regarding melasma is purely aesthetic. People who suffer from melasma become self-conscious of their appearance just like me. Unfortunately, I have sensitive skin and can not use makeup foundation or concealer to cover up my dark spots. Right now, even the President of the Philippines is being put on the spot regarding the discolorations on his face. I am no expert so I can't tell you if he's suffering from melasma or some other dermatoses like maturational hyperpigmentation. He has consulted with a dermatologist so, hopefully, his skin clears up.
Finding a Treatment
The Filipino colloquial term for melasma is pekas and is quite common for Filipinas mainly due to the color of our skin and of course our tropical climate. Unfortunately for me, my dark spots never faded and may have even gotten darker due to the sun. Even if I slather sunscreen religiously and use an umbrella to hide from the severe rays of the sun, seems like nothing I do can prevent these spots from getting darker. My mother, who also suffered from melasma for a while, suggested I try using a facial rejuvenating set. Rejuvenating sets are cheaper than the traditional glycolic chemical peel (600-800 Php or $12-$14 USD) offered at derma clinics. She claims that the facial set will create a chemical peel effect and my facial skin will lighten with the added bonus of preventing breakouts. Her proof was her own face which I have to say for a 60-year-old is quite fair, smooth, and youthful looking.
To clarify, I went to a dermatologist to get a diagnosis and to see what can be done to clear up my skin. I have undergone certain procedures (upon the recommendation of the dermatologist) to treat my skin condition such as chemical peels and microdermabrasion and spent a lot of money. I was promised rosy fair skin but, after 3 months of continuous treatment, the dark spots did not lighten and I gave up.
So, taking my mother's suggestion, I went on the search of a rejuvenating set that has positive and effective claims although she did offer to get me a set of what she was currently using. During my hunt, I found the Prestige International Melasma Rejuvenating Set. Although I could only find a few reviews and some reviews were for the Prestige International Acne Rejuvenating set, all the reviews I found were positive and users attested to the effects of the Prestige International Rejuvenating sets. I quickly ordered myself a set online which arrived 2 days after purchasing. Of course, I had my qualms since I have sensitive skin, however, I needed to know if it would work like it did for my mother (she has sensitive skin also). So, after reading the instructions and labels of the set, I crossed my fingers and started the beauty regimen.
The Prestige International Melasma Rejuvenating Set
|The Prestige International Melasma Rejuvenating Set. Image credit: Owner|
What is included in the set?
- 1 150g Luxury Kojic Acid bar soap with active ingredients: Sodium Hydroxide, Cocos Nucifera Oil, Aqua, Sodium Silicate, Glycerine, Cocamide sea, Kojic Acid Dipalmitate, Orangette Fragrance
- 1 10g container of Sunblock (SPF30) with active ingredients: Zinc Oxide, Titanium Dioxide, OMC, Moisturizing agents, Natural Plant Extracts
- 1 10g container of Melasma Night Cream with active ingredients: R.A. Arbutin, Niacinamide
- 1 60mL container of Melasma Toner with active ingredients: Niacinamide, Lactic Acid, Glycolic Acid, Natural Bleaching agent, Natural Plant Extracts
Instructions/Directions of Use
1. Using the Luxury Kojic Acid Bar Soap, lather luxuriously on wet skin. For the face, lather soap unto face for 2 minutes while avoiding skin around the eye area (you don't want that area to peel because it will cause wounds around the eye area). Rinse completely. You should feel a stinging sensation from the Kojic acid. Pat dry. Don't rub.
2. After cleansing with Luxury Kojic Acid bar soap, apply Melasma Toner on your face with a cotton pad. Make sure to swipe in areas where melasma is prevalent. The toner has glycolic acid and is responsible for the peeling effects of the set. Do not use this toner as if it is astringent because this toner stings. You will feel the stinging effects immediately after applying. Again, don't rub just swipe.
3. For day, after toner, apply sunblock and reapply every 2-3 hours and for night, apply Melasma Night cream. When your face is about to peel, the creams actually cause more stinging. Your face should start peeling 5-7/days of use. The peeling is evident by the 7th day.
Tips while using this regimen
1. Avoid the sun and avoid sweating. Sweating causes irritation. Basically, stay in a cool, dry place.
2. Your face will become red, inflamed, and slightly itchy by day 3-5. I suggest rinsing your face with warm water mixed with 1 tsp of baking soda after using the Kojic acid bar soap to neutralize the acid of the soap and alleviate inflammation and discomfort.
3. If irritation persists after the third day, stop the use of the toner after cleansing but, only for 2 days. Proceed directly to use of the creams. After 2 days, continue with the use of the toner, but in minute amounts and with gentle swiping movements on your face.
4. When peeling occurs, do not pick or attempt to rip off the peeling skin yourself. Let it peel off on its own. I know it is embarrassing to flake (when I would text on my phone, dry skin would flake off all over the screen of my phone... gross!) and the peeling skin may look ugly, but it is only for 3-5 days (felt like forever).
My Final Thoughts
By the 2nd week, I was melasma free, with fair, smooth skin and a rosy glow. The Prestige International Melasma Rejuvenating Set is effective. Even, blackheads and whiteheads I had prior to use, were also gone. I guess they also sloughed off with my peeling skin. The experience was really awful though, unlike, just going to the derma clinic and getting a peel. My face was inflamed and it felt like it was on fire for the first 3-4 days. However, the chemical and diamond peels didn't work when I had the procedures done. This did. Right now, I am currently maintaining this regimen to prevent the pesky melasma from coming back.
For Pinays (and maybe Pinoys), you can get the Prestige International Melasma Rejuvenating Set on Lazada for 199Php ($4 USD) exclusive of shipping fee. Prestige International also offers Regular, Extra Strength, Mild, and Zero rejuvenating sets.
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Disclaimer: This information is provided for general information and educational purposes only and should not be considered as a substitute for professional medical advice.
Here, at The Tired Mama Ph, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate healthcare professionals. This product review is based on the author's experience and intended for educational purposes only.
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