Tri-luma was a popular combination of tretinoin ( the generic name for Retin-A), hydroquinone to lighten the skin and a medium strength steroid by the name of flucinolone. The tretinoin would hasten skin growth and exfoliation to shed darkened skin; the hydroquinone would decease melanin production and the steroid would avoid redness and swelling from the other two turbo driven ingredients. It worked well for my under eye shadows and was the go to-product for brown patches known as melasma.
It would take at least three weeks to see results for Tri-luma, but when it worked, it WORKED. You had to be complusive about sunscreen using at least a 30SPF during and after Tri-luma since the ingredients increased sun sensitivity to the sun.Then one day Tri-luma seemed to disappear from pharmacy … Continue Reading… →
Answer: I love new beauty ideas that are based on good science and BB creams are just such a concept. BB stands for ‘blemish balm” where blemish is defined as a skin defect ( eg dark spots and splotches and acne scars), not just traditional breakouts.
The original BB creams were developed by a Korean dermatologist to help his patients care for laser treated skin. After having both IPL and frying off my freckles with a YAG laser, I had difficulty finding appropriate moisturizers and sun protection products. The treatments made my skin especially vulnerable to sun damage, yet traditional chemical sunscreens were irritating while zinc based formulations left my skin with a weird white sticky film.
BB creams are a genuinely clever idea. They are a zinc based high SPF moisturizer/sun block combo that have a flattering tint. The result? On the skin … Continue Reading… →
Each time I do a post on skin lightening and mention hydroquinone, I get a flurry of concerned emails warning me against using it. Often they point out that hydroquinone can cause cancer and was banned in Europe. Yet the usually quick to pull the recall trigger FDA still permits hydroquinone to be sold here– both in over the counter formulations and in prescription only preparations. I was both confused and worried. Digging into the literature and talking to a few trusted experts, here is the current take on hydroquinone.
Hydroquinone is considered the most effective skin lightenens currently available and is one of the very few on that acts by preventing melanin formation. There are three problems associated with hydroquinone:
1) Tthe British Cancer Journal published a study that linked very high doses of hydroquinine to cancers in mice. A second similar study found similar … Continue Reading… →
Triluma, a combo of hydroquinone, Retin-A and a steroid was one of the first anti-aging tools I tried. I used it successfully to reduce my dark circles and was planning to keep using it, but my dermatologist Dr Marmur said that I needed to take a “Triluma Holiday”. Apparently, it cannot be used for more than three months at a time. Then the skin needs to take a rest for three months before using it again. But when I tried to refill my prescription, the product was “on back order” at every pharmacy in NYC. I began to hear from people who also reported they could not get Triluma. What happened?
There was no FDA recall and no announcement from Galderma, the manufacturer of Triluma. I kept digging and found that Galderma itself announced a recall of all its Triluma products made by a sub-contractor, Hill Dermaceuticals. Apparently, Hill reported to Galderma that one of the critical … Continue Reading… →
Kojic Acid has been around for almost 100 years. It was originally discovered by Japanese scientists who were working on different fermenting methods to turn malted rice into sake. As the story goes, the scientists noticed that spots and freckles on their hands disappeared after working with Sake production. Kojic Acid has been a popular Japanese beauty aid for generations. In recent years we’ve learned that Kojic Acid acts somewhat like hydroquinone by preventing melanin formation.
Research has shown that Kojic Acid can be effective but it has its problems. On the one hand it tends to be unstable and high concentrations are often needed to be an effective spot buster. On the other hand, Kojic can be very irritating and is known to cause allergic reactions. Often the best solution is to combine lower concentrations of Kojic acid with other skin lighteners like soy or hydroquinone.