Written on: Jun 19, 2019 By: Shari Hicks-Graham
Many of us are in pursuit of flawless skin; meaning the kind that never needs makeup or digital correction on social media. But, we also are aware that occasional skin irritation or blemish is annoyingly common. Even people with the clearest of complexions find themselves with a skin bump or two from time to time. However, one of the most frustrating issues is when these blemishes linger and leave dark spots behind. This is a problem that people with darker skin types face regularly, but it can affect anyone regardless of skin tone. In this post, I discuss why discoloration happens and will illustrate some methods for treating it and preventing it from occurring.
Inflammation is part of the body’s mechanism for healing itself. It occurs when the immune blood cells flood an area where a problem exists, like an acne pimple, a rash, or an ingrown hair. Inflammation also rushes to help heal the skin after excessive sun exposure or sunburn. Don’t get me wrong, inflammation is necessary, but in the setting of hyperpigmentation, too much of a good thing can be bad! Initially, an area of skin inflammation may look a bit pink, reddish or purple, but over time, it may become brown or hyperpigmented. This happens because the inflammatory cells communicate with melanocytes in the skin, causing an increase in melanin in the affected areas. This migration of melanated cells into the skin causes hyperpigmentation. This melanin can be found in the superficial layer of the skin (epidermis) or in the lower portion of the skin (dermis). The deeper the inflammation with associated melanocytes, the more difficult it is to resolve the brown discoloration, thus leading to prolonged hyperpigmentation. Individuals with deeper skin tones simply have more melanin present in the skin to begin with, and so discoloration is a greater issue.
So, what can we do to treat the discoloration? First, simply try and avoid skin inflammation. Our body has a way of alerting us about inflammation through the symptoms of pain, swelling, and redness. If you feel any of these things in your skin, pay attention and try to resolve the issue right away. The most common reason why people experience discoloration on the face is acne. In this case, products that work to reduce inflammation like benzoyl peroxide, adapalene, glycolic acid, dapsone, and azelaic acid are helpful. Be sure not to excessively dry the skin out around the pimples, and never ever squeeze or pick acne! Also, be sure to treat the skin gently and consider products that are more soothing than they are harsh. Choose one or two treatments, be consistent and don’t skip the moisturizer with sunscreen. If home treatments or over-the-counter products don’t work, see a board-certified dermatologist to help you craft an appropriate care routine. Also, keep in mind that facial hair may contribute to acne in a major way. If you remove unwanted hair, consider that your method may exacerbate the acne. Plucking hairs with tweezers, waxing, or shaving may irritate sensitive skin. Ingrown hairs may ensue and can look like acne, but are tougher to resolve because hair is involved. Laser hair removal can be a huge difference maker, so be sure to see a dermatologist with experience in treating people with your hair and skin type for best results.
Dry skin (eczema) rashes are associated with inflammation and can be tricky, especially in the summer. If they are not managed carefully, discoloration may ensue. Use anti-inflammatory moisturizers and creams to help hydrate the skin. Simple hydrocortisone creams can be useful. Remember that fragrance, dyes and sun exposure can be tricky on sensitive skin, so be careful! A simple prescription to prevent scratching and further skin discoloration can make a huge impact on poison ivy or heat rashes, so be resourceful and reach out to your healthcare provider instead of suffering in silence!
Lastly, not to overstate the obvious, but the sun can definitely cause unwanted permanent areas of pigmentation on the skin. Some sunspots are simply deeper, larger freckles called lentigines, and other larger deeper patches are part of a condition called melasma. Lentigines and melasma are definitely more difficult to treat than prevent. Sunscreen and hats are paramount in the effort to prevent these issues in the first place. These conditions may be treated with topical retinoids, fade creams, proper skin-type appropriate chemical peels, and even select lasers. The American Academy of Dermatology still recommends the use of daily broad-spectrum sunscreen SPF 30 or higher, along with hats to help prevent sun damage for all people, regardless of skin color.
Let us know if you have ever dealt with tough to treat skin spots. Have you found any good tricks for clearing them up? Remember to use an approach that is consistent, slow and steady to best manage areas of discoloration. Beware of any products that cause irritation or promise rapid results because they may make matters worse. Also, start early and be intentional with self-care because you are definitely worth the time and effort. Share any questions with us on social media & feel free to let us know if you want me to cover any other pressing questions or blog topics. Next month, I will write about another important hair & scalp condition, so be sure to stay connected with us and share this info with anyone you feel would benefit.
LivSo Free & Clear,
Shari Hicks-Graham, MD
Of course, all of our products are carried here at livso.com. Alternatively, you can also purchase our products at the following retailers, salons, and barbershops. Check back frequently as our stocklist continues to grow.
Ambushed Salon - Gahanna, Ohio
Adrian Fanus Grooming - Brooklyn, New York
DTLA Cuts - Los Angeles, California
Downtown Dermatology - Columbus, Ohio
Ms. Melanin Beauty Supply & Salon - Canal Winchester, Ohio
Panache Hair Designs - Oak Park, Illinois
Skin Specialty Dermatology - New York, New York
Skin Wellness Center of Alabama - Homewood, Alabama
Willis Beauty Supply Co - Columbus, Ohio
W Style Lounge - Columbus, Ohio
If you are a professional stylist, barber, or retailer and would like to carry our LivSo products please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Yes! We offer samples for $2 each on our website. Each sample includes a 0.33 oz package of each of our three products. There is no limit to the number of samples you can purchase. You may require more than one sample depending on the length and thickness of your hair and how many times you would like to use each product. Samples are a great way to introduce friends and family to the product line as well!
We fulfill orders within 48 hours and once an order is shipped, shipping time is typically 2-3 business days.
Moisturizing Shampoo - Apply to wet scalp and hair, lather and rinse. Repeat once or twice as needed. Our gentle, sulfate-free formula is intended to effectively cleanse without overdrying your hair and skin. Massaging the scalp while applying is also recommended to improve circulation throughout the scalp. Use at least weekly for best results. Be careful to avoid direct contact with eyes. View a quick tutorial video here.
Moisturizing Conditioner - Apply to scalp and hair for at least three minutes, detangle or comb gently using a wide-toothed comb, then rinse out completely. Be careful to avoid direct contact with eyes. View quick tutorial video here.
Moisturizing Lotion - Apply to scalp after washing and conditioning, before drying & styling hair. May also apply to scalp daily as a moisturizer. This product also works well on the hair itself for extra moisturization to improve manageability. View a quick tutorial video here.
The products are designed to be used at least once per week but may be used as often as three times per week depending on your hair and scalp condition and moisturizing needs.
Yes! The Moisturizing Lotion is a versatile product. Although it is formulated to be a light moisturizer applied directly to the scalp to alleviate dryness and itchiness, many use it directly on the hair for additional hydration from the roots to the tips. Men also find it useful to moisturize their beards without leaving their hair with an oily finish or strong fragrance.
Yes. Although we did not do a unique test for color safety, we are familiar with all of our ingredients and have yet to receive feedback relating to issues with use on color treated hair.
Our independent clinical trial consisted of only adult participants. Please be advised that our products do not have a tear-free formula and they were not studied for use on children. Be careful to avoid direct contact with the eyes.
LivSo was designed for people with dry itchy scalp and curly or textured hair, regardless of ethnicity or gender. If you have a textured hair type that dries out easily with typical dandruff shampoos or sulfate products, this product is for you. Curly or textured hair, by nature, requires more moisture to prevent breakage, splitting and ensure its luster. The cuticle of curly and textured hair tends to be more ruffled as opposed to flat, which prevents oil from the scalp from wicking from the root to the tip of the hair causing it to look and feel drier.
Beyond those who have dry, itchy scalp, if you have dry curly hair, our products were expertly crafted to promote scalp health and meet your hair cleansing and moisturizing needs.
To our friends with straight hair and dry, itchy scalp, LivSo products are formulated to meet your needs as well. Our line of products may feel more moisturizing than alternative products without a focus on hydration, but they will still work to alleviate dry itchy scalp.
Creating products that are safe and gentle for your skin and hair without compromising efficacy is our highest priority. We include numerous natural ingredients in all of our products but we do not focus on being all-natural because natural elements and therefore natural products may not necessarily be safe and gentle. Our products are gluten-free, paraben-free, sulfate-free, and are not derived from animals in any way.
Acetyl alcohol will not dry out your hair, in fact, it does just the opposite. Acetyl alcohol is a conditioning agent and a fatty alcohol, which actually has a moisturizing effect on the hair and skin as opposed to isopropyl alcohol, which is your common rubbing alcohol.
Glycolic acid is a valuable and effective ingredient included in our Moisturizing Shampoo and Conditioner and can increase photosensitivity on the skin. As such, we want to ensure that those with sun sensitivity are aware of its presence. We believe sunburn risk from using these products is still fairly low because the hair on the scalp protects the scalp from being exposed to direct sunlight. If you are wearing a protective style where parts of your scalp is exposed or if have a very short haircut, we advise that you apply sunscreen on any exposed areas.
Roughly two years.
We have plans to ship products to select countries in 2018. Please sign up for our newsletter to be notified when we begin shipping internationally.
LivSo, LLC500 East Main StreetSuite 310Columbus, Ohio 43215