Before & After: How to Reverse Sun Damage and Pigmentation

Rebecca, who grew up in South Africa, sought Aysha’s help in reversing sun damage and pigmentation prior to her wedding. She was also concerned about random breakouts. As a business consultant, she travelled often and couldn’t visit the clinic for regular treatments.

“I grew up in South Africa and competed in athletics, which meant I spent a lot of time outdoors and tanning. At the time, I didn’t realise how important it was to protect my face against sun damage and I very rarely wore any sunscreen.

“As I got older, I saw noticeable brown marks after being in the sun, which it turns out was pigmentation. Other problems, such as enlarged pores and lines, also started to bother me. My skin felt so dry and tight, and was very uncomfortable. As a result, I got facials and tried several different skincare brands. Nothing seemed to fix the dryness and I ended up with a cupboard full of products, from every type of brand, even very expensive ones, which was very frustrating.

“Four months prior to my wedding, I went to see Aysha, she looked at my skin and did an analysis. She advised that I needed to go on a full skincare detox and bootcamp.”

Rebeccas's Treatment Programme

Phase 1

Cleanser: Purity Solution

Kit: Even Skin Tone 4-Piece Essential Kit

The Even Kit contains the serums Serum 16 and Simply Brilliant Brightening Serum. Serum 16 is a professional-strength retinol serum that contains the 16% LG-Retinex complex, a proprietary blend of Retinol, Retinaldehyde and Glycosaminoglycans. Simply Brilliant is a brightening serum that visibly reduces the appearance of dark spots and pigmentation.

Balm: Rescue with Cherry Extract Balm & Mask

Mineral Makeup: INIKA Organic SPF 25

Phase 2

Cleanser: Purity Clean 

Serum: Affirm Antioxidant Firming Serum

Serum: Define Vitamin A Resurfacing Treatment

Vitamin C: Pure C Mixing Crystals

Serum: Simply Brilliant Brightening Serum

Sunscreen: Protect Sunscreen Moisturizing Spray

Phase 3 (swap Define for these products)

Serum: Refine Retinol Serum

Serum: Defy Age Management Exfoliator

Rebeccas's Peel Series

Note: The treatments were done four weeks apart. Because Rebecca often travelled, we went straight to the highest strength application and left the peel on overnight. She received micro peeling on the third and fourth day. Immediately post peel she started using Pure Enzyme mask once a week.

Phase 1

Peel: Pomegranate Brightening Peel

Peel: Benefit Peel

Phase 2

Peel: Benefit Peel

Peel: Blueberry Jessner

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Rebecca’s Feedback:

“I was willing to try a new approach and committed to a short peel series and using the CosMedix programme, including Serum 16. I followed the instructions and put numbers on the bottles. It took a few days to get used to doing a double cleanse at night. After the first two weeks my skin started to feel normal and looked so much brighter. I no longer had to rush to put on a moisturiser immediately after cleansing and could even skip it all together.  

“When I saw my before and after pictures it was a real shock. Looking in the mirror on a daily basis I hadn’t noticed just how dramatic the changes were.

“Prior to starting the regimen, I thought having pigmentation was part of getting older and I was resided to living with damaged skin. Now I can see the steady improvement, it’s revived my belief in making a difference and I want to keep going with getting even better results and maintaining them. I really enjoy feeling confident about going out makeup free and even get compliments on my skin!”

Aysha’s Feedback:

Rebecca used several different brands and wasn’t seeing any improvements. Her wedding was only a few months away and there was no time to waste! The first part of the treatment programme introduced using key active ingredients. As part of the elimination phase, she stopped wearing liquid foundation and switched to a mineral makeup from INIKA Organic SPF25. It’s my secret weapon for addressing both dryness and pigmentation. By removing ingredients that increase water evaporation, the production of natural moisture factors is rebalanced. Heavy duty moisturiser and toners also need to be avoided and replaced with a proper cleansing routine. The combo of using an oil and l-lactic acid cleanser works great to remove impurities and does not strip the skin of natural hydration.

For the first treatment, I carried out the Pomegranate Brightening Peel. It has a good dose of hydrating properties combined with soothing antioxidants. I find it helps to revive the skin and wakes up the production of natural moisture factors (NMF’s).

There wasn’t much time before the wedding to do peels and we only managed one more treatment called Benefit Peel. This is my all-time favourite peel because the concentration of Retinol AGP Complex (10%) and L-Ascorbic 20%) can be applied really close to the eye area. The skin there was very dehydrated (a dark purple) which indicated a lot of water loss.

In these cases, it’s a mistake to address pigmentation with exfoliation alone, the damage is so far beneath the skin’s surface, that a chemical peel will be ineffective or only temporarily brighten.  

The only way to transform is using a corrective process that heals the key functions that have been lost. There are two categories of ingredients that do so, Vitamin A derivatives such as Retinol and 1% Retinaldehyde combined with using Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs). Several companies provide these ingredients in their formulations. What makes CosMedix unique is the concentration and length of time that the Vitamin A peels can be left on the skin without causing any burning.  

I absolutely love the results from micro needling .25 mm and this can be done at home using a facial kit

Benefit Peel will stimulate the rate of skin cell renewal and as a result, the skin can form a new structure and restore its barrier.

It is also essential to protecting against UV damage and premature aging. However, a lot of clients are confused about how to do this on a day to day basis. They don't know what amount of protection their SPF really offers and how to use it.

As part of taking a holistic approach to skin health, I don’t encourage clients to stay out of the sun because the health benefits of sunlight far outweigh the risks of premature aging. When correctly following a programme, wearing a mineral sunscreen and hat will suffice. It’s crucial to have a few different options of mineral SPF, not just a cream. It’s more practical and suits the mood! On a very hot day, when outdoors wear both mineral and top up throughout the day using Protect SPF spray sunscreen. It’s a spray that dries completely clear.

My final piece of advice is when using active ingredients, don’t repeatedly buy the same strength of product. The concentrations need to progressively be increased to ensure the rate of renewal is stimulated. To get the process started, Rebecca used Serum 16. The formulation is a blend of 16% Retinol AGP Complex equivalent to using (1% Retinol and 1% Retinaldehyde). The formulation has additional properties that address dryness and is nourishing.  

The real milestone happens when stepping up to using higher concentrations of Vitamin A and AHAs. It is an indication that the skin is getting more tolerant to being stimulated and the barrier is healing.  

Today ingredients have become so much more sophisticated and perform much more efficiently at recovering what has been lost, rather than temporarily masking symptoms. I am really delighted to see the progress that Rebecca has made and it’s incredibly rewarding to know she is much happier with her complexion.

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