Ok. So, now you’re officially over it. You’ve bought just about every product from the drugstore that claims it can lighten your hyperpigmentation and still no improvement! What’s a brown or black girl to do?

Well, your frustration is probably due to the low percentage of 2% hydroquinone (HQ) in most over-the-counter products doesn’t always show significant changes in deeper skin tones. However, when “hydroquinones [are used] in stronger strengths varying between 4- 10% for a specified period of time,” changes are much more noticeable, says New York-based, board certified dermatologist Dr. Elena Jones. And there just so happen to be skin lightening products with higher HQ percentages available for purchase without a prescription, but we’ll save that secret for later.

As Dr. Jones explains, because “our skin tends to produce more inflammatory cells which produce more persistent and difficult-to-treat hyperpigmentation,” you should consider other types of treatments that deliver good results when done under the supervision of a doctor. Treatments like…

Glycolic Peels: Also treats acne. This peel is an alpha hydroxy acid and derived from sugar cane. It keeps pores unblocked and stimulates cell renewal.

Microdermabrasion: This is a mechanical exfoliation treatment that sprays microcrystals onto the skin through a stainless steel pressurized wand.

Retin A: This is a topical Vitamin A which is primarily used to treat sun-damaged skin, but also speeds up the growth of new skin cells, thereby reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation.

Non-ablative Fraxel Laser: a non-invasive laser-resurfacing therapy treatment of acne scars.

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