Monday, May 3, 2010

Brown Spots/ Hyperpigmented Skin

This is a question from a customer regarding the appearance of brown spots, and my answer:

"Dear Evan,

I am a woman in my 60s who has been using Pomegranate Repair Serum and Rose Vetiver Day Moisturizer for 3 months. I have noticed his healing effects and have been delighted. However, in the last couple of weeks I have begun to develop a significant number of brown splotches on my cheeks, some of them are growing larger. I am very concerned and would very much appreciate hearing from you. Should I discontinue using the Pomegranate Repair Serum? Do you have any ideas why this condition has developed on my cheeks? What would you recommend? I would like to continue using your products as I have liked them very much, but I do wonder if I may be having a reaction to one or both of them.

Thank you very much for your products and your support."

Monday May 3 2010 09:05 AM PDT


evan said...

Hi Jean - Thank you for your question... These brown spots could be hyperpigmentation, also called 'liver spots'. There can be a variety of causes: sun exposure (from years before), changes in hormones, illness or injury, or prescription drugs including some antibiotics, antiarrhythmics, or antimalarial medication.

Hyperpigmentation seems to come on slowly: one day you'll look in the mirror and notice brown spots that (seemingly) weren't there yesterday! This happens to all of us. The origin of hyperpigmented skin comes from the skin's deep melanin layer (see more below).

The good news: I can reassure you it is not from the protective Rose Vetiver Day Moisture or the Pomegranate Repair Serum.

In fact, the Pomegranate Serum (or our RoseHip Serum) is a synergistic formula rich in essential fatty acids and the natural vitamins a + c, as well as valuable plant lipids – all of which actually contribute to beginning to fade or minimize these brown spots. To prevent deepening of the color or the spread of these hyperpigmented areas, (also called ‘solar lentigines’), I highly recommend limiting your exposure to sun: either by covering face and arms when you in the sun – or - daily use of a sun block to prevent the spreading and darkening of the spots. I like zinc oxide as an active sun block ingredient. (see my earlier blog on sun protection).

I also want to add, there is a very common product ingredient in almost all "anti-aging" skin care product that is the cause of a high percentage of hyperpigmented skin that I saw over my years in skin care practice: AHA's, (alpha hydroxy acids) or fruit enzymes. I would witness sometimes drastic changes in skin, month to month in both texture and pigmentation. AHA's literally dissolve the protective epidermal layer of the skin – this layer offers an important protection from the sun. So, I strongly suggest that if you are using AHA's, to stop.

Hyperpigmentation: is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs when an excess of melanin, the brown pigment that produces normal skin color, forms deposits in the skin. Hyperpigmentation can affect the skin color of people of any race.

Melasma: These spots are similar in appearance to age spots but are larger areas of darkened skin that appear most often as a result of hormonal changes. In practice I would see more hyperpigmented arise as a woman enters menopause, or in the years beyond. These spots do take years to appear, both from hormones as well as sun exposure. Pregnancy, for example, can trigger overproduction of melanin that causes the "mask of pregnancy" on the face and darkened skin on the abdomen and other areas. Women who take birth control pills may also develop hyperpigmentation because their bodies undergo similar kind of hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. If one is really bothered by the pigment, the birth control pills should be stopped.
Hope this helps!
Cheers, Evan

Monday May 3 2010 11:12 AM PDT


  1. hi!
    nice blog , to share it every problem to related to our skin.

  2. Evan,

    If you have hyperpigmentation caused from using AHA products (Nonie of Beverly Hills) for 1.5 years, and then stop using the products, should the hyperpigmentation get better?


  3. Hi Kristy,

    I don't want to say that the areas won't diminish over time, because they very well might. The number one thing you should do immediately is to be very mindful of your sun exposure. Cover your face with a hat. Depending on your natural skin tone and genetics, relying on sun blocks or protective products will not work or offer enough protection and the interaction of certain chemical sun blocks with sun exposure can actually darken the areas of hyper-pigmented color and/or increase areas of sensitivity.

    There are a few variables at work here:
    1/ how long have you had/or noticed the hyper-pigmented skin?
    2/Did it all of a sudden show up, i.e., sudden onset? If the onset has been recent, the prognosis for reversal is good.
    3/The quality of your diet is also important, I recommend a balanced diet rich in antioxidants for starters to boost your body's repair system.
    Hyper-pigmentation is not a surface event, it starts deep down in the dermis.

    The problem with topical exfoliating products (AHA's etc) is that typically the exfoliation of the skin occurs at an accelerated rate, the epidermis simply can not keep up with the need for new, healthy skin (protein) growth/cells. As a result, the skin looses its resiliency and softness, it appears more rigid, flaky, sensitive and exhibits a parchment-like look and feel in addition to blotchy, uneven tone and spots.

    So what to do??
    We've found that daily applications of RoseHip Treatment or Pomegranate Repair Serum to be very helpful in both nourishing the skin's epidermal layer, and also supplying activating EFA's, naturally occurring vitamin A and VIt C. The Pomegranate Repair Serum has a trio of super 'heavy hitters" targeting the skin's repair mechanism.

    In the Pom Repair Serum the healing and regenerative action comes from the synergistic combination of oils rich in antioxidants, conjugated fatty acids and essential fatty acids.

    Also, and finally (never thought I'd get here did you?) a weekly Clay Mask help to absorb the dead skin cells and stimulate a HEALTHY cellular turnover rate.

    I can't believe this is so long, apologies - I hope this helps.....Evan

  4. Hi Evan, I loved your products immediately... however I'm starting to break out after about a week's use. I'm sticking with the line b/c I do believe in the ingredients and the care you've placed into them.

    I'm hoping it's just my skin clearing... and will definitely continue to use the products for another 6 weeks to see. I love the smell and they just really feel very wholesome.

    I've been using the pom oil, rose cleanser and both rose and lavender hydrosols. And noticed after using the pom oil and green clay mask a bit of breakout and over all my skin has a very flakey if my skin suddenly started to shed... which i think has to do with a very drying acne product i think i've got to stop using.

    Which makes me think about exfoliating. I was wondering what your philosophy on exfoliating is?


  5. Yes, number one: Stop using all *acne treatment* products while you are using my products.
    And also, yes, it is perfectly normal for the skin to clear and detox through the pores, that's what they are there for, along with the lungs and kidneys they release metabolic impurities in the body.
    Exfoliating is a necessary part of skin cleansing - but the friut enzymes and all the AHA's that can be found in almost every OTC product are too much. Dissolving the epidermal layer is never a good idea, especially if you get even the smallest amount of sun exposure. I recommend CLAY. (more on CLAY as an Eco-Alternaitve to AHA's are on my website:
    You can add more detoxification action by combining in the palm of your hand: about 1/2 teaspoon of the Green Tea Clay, one pump of CLeansing Milk, dribbles of water - enough to make a smooth creamy paste - and massage this combination into skin. Rinse, and spray with Hydrosol Tonic. One Pump of POM oil may be all you need, spray again (4-5-6 sprays) of Tonic along with Pom Oil. Very Cleansing. You must allow anywhere from 6 weeks to two months for the skin to really release metabolic impurities from digestive tract. Green juices, steam, veggies, all will help gently balance your system.
    Hope this helps.

  6. Maybe a dumb question... but would exercise or anything causing you to sweat be a stronger way to detox?... than through clay for example?

  7. It's not a dumb question at all. Any exercise that creates a good sweat is an excellent way to naturally encourage the body to release toxins. Clay is not meant to be the only way to detox the skin, of course, it is one of many ideal treatments for congested skin, it action literally draws impurities out of pores, purifying the pore opening.
    - evan

  8. Your blog is very enriched. You can see my website Advanced Natural Skin Care, beauty centre & beauty salon in Moorabbin, Victoria, Australia provides best natural skin care & facial treatments Victoria, Australia.

  9. Now there are times you ask yourself questions such as how to get rid of stretch marks and any other skin disorder that you are probably experiencing. Having skin disorders is a very troubling matter that must be cured immediately...

  10. Hi Evan,

    I have been looking into trying your products for quite some time but have to been hesitant because I have a combination of different skin issues and I'm not sure what line or products would be appropriate for me. I have melasma on my forehead...and hormonal acne that comes and goes on my chin. I have sensitive skin and have redness on my cheeks. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks. Jen