Melasma: My Battle
By Kelly Trickett
Like most women, I have an insecurity that I constantly obsess over despite my better judgment. Beauty might only be skin deep but my skin suffers from hyperpigmentation, more specifically melasma, and I HATE it. Melasma is a skin discolouration caused by the stimulation of melanocytes (melanin producing cells). It is typically seen in women as it is triggered by the production of estrogen and progesterone. Unbeknownst to me, my birth control was causing my skin to darken on my forehead and cheeks every time I went in the sun!
Treating my melasma has been a frustrating journey with countless dollars wasted in the pursuit of erasing those dark spots. I have tried natural remedies, drugstore varieties, and the more expensive options offered in cosmetic clinics. Melasma is very difficult to treat and every case is different, but I can say that most of the products that I have used have shown minimal results. Despite their best efforts, I have tried and failed with the following brands: Clinique, Eminence, Obaji, Cosmelan, Neostrata and so many more that I can’t even recall their names! My main concern with certain products was the use of hydroquinone. In recent years, it has been linked to cancer and even banned in Europe. Due to this scary development, I took a 180-degree turn in my skincare regime by trying natural products. Unfortunately, after a few burns from too much apple cider vinegar and disappointing results from the all-natural lines, I gave up completely until I moved to Toronto and met Dr. Lisa Kellett.
Despite the marks on my face, none of my former dermatologists had informed me that I suffered from melasma. It wasn’t until I walked Dr. Kellett’s office a few years ago that she diagnosed me within seconds. I have trusted her ever since because her advice and product line has only shown me fantastic results.
When Helen blogged about the new Luminate pads by Kellett Skincare, I was the first one in line to get them! The main ingredient featured is Arbutin, which acts as the lightening agent. It is also the naturally occurring derivative of hydroquinone so I feel safe knowing that my vanity isn’t affecting my health (bonus!).
The only downside is that they are prepared at the clinic by a trained specialist so you can’t order them online. However, this means that they are freshly compounded on the spot so it hasn’t been sitting on a shelf.
I sat down with Lindsay at DLK to learn how to add the pads to my daily routine. I use them every night before my retinol serum to maximize my results. My skin was pink and a bit sore for the first few days but now I can use them daily without any tenderness.
I have recently finished up my first batch of 60 treatment pads and desperately need to get back to DLK to buy more. I believe that I have stopped the melasma from darkening any further, and it has lightened up. However, I still see it when I look at myself in natural daylight so I need to be more aggressive. I have decided to sign up for one for one of their Depigmentation Peel programs over the Christmas holidays when I have time to peel, flake and look a bit silly in the comfort of my own home. Hopefully this treatment will remove my dark spots enough so I can stop putting a filter on my photos.