As we all know, melasma is my major skin concern – the dark patches of skin that seem to grow and grow. I find it super depressing…. I’ve been struggling with it since I was around 15 years old (30 now) and I bet you I’ve spent at least $10,000 or more (oh I’m sure more now that I’m typing this) trying to get rid of it. I’ve lived in 3 states (2 which are the sunniest in the US & have the most melasma sufferers per capita, I’d imagine), 4 cities, been to tons of doctors & have tried my ass off to get rid of it. I’ve done everything under the sun. My go-to has been Cosmelan, which I still recommend, but it costs around $800 per treatment and lasts around 6 months… so while it did do the trick, it was hurting the heck out of my wallet. When I started Cheeky Complexion, my goal was to help everybody feel and look beautiful! I really didn’t know the ride it would take me personally on & I’m so glad it did (and I hate riding in the car & have never been on a roller coaster, lol! So I’m always hesitant when it comes to ‘rides’). Because now I can help folks & suggest what actually works – specifically for melasma in this instance.
It wasn’t until 2 months ago that I finally found what worked… It’s not a sunscreen, a vitamin, yada yada… It’s a few products that are super affordable and frill-less! I do my damndest not to recommend crappy products and treatments because I know you guys and gals all work hard for your money and I want you to feel your best. So now that I’ve poured my heart and soul out, let’s get into what works.
The first photo was taken several months ago and the photo on the right was taken today. Both in the same area & I tried to replicate the same overall lighting, though I seemingly look brighter – maybe it’s actually just my skin tone that’s ‘glowing’. As you can see, the photo on the left was showing full blown melasma…. Had it on my forehead, above my eyebrows, on my nose, on the upper part of my cheeks, my cheeks and above my lips. Those are the typical areas where melasma suffers experience the darkness. I have zero makeup in each photo… they’re not the most flattering, but we’re not here to see how beautiful I look 😉 As you can see my skin today, there ain’t an ounce of melasma! No more forehead splotchiness, no more weird looking mustache area and the most improved area is near my eyes – see it on the left, it’s that big splotch? It doesn’t always show up in photos because of the lightning above but I was under a canopy so you can definitely see it.
So are you ready to be melasma free? I’ve read SOoOOoOOSOSOSOOSOSOSOSOSOOSOSOSOSOSO many articles, blogs, medical journals on how to get rid of it and I feel 100% confident with my regime to recommend to others. And all these other articles, etc. say ‘it’ll work’…. I’ll tell you straight up, it doesn’t and I’ve got the bank statements and before photos to prove it – besides Cosmelan, because it really did help but this new regime even blows that out of the water. In fact, Cosmelan and the first cream mentioned below have almost all the same ingredients!
Couple things to note…. I am mediterranean so I’ve got lots of pigment under my skin – so I had what doctors considered severe melasma – and the picture above on the left is using products & creams to treat it, so it was at its ‘best’. I have Botox and filler. I suffer from my dry skin and hormonal acne. When I get zits, I scar easily and it stays dark for several months.
DRUM ROLL PLEASEEEE!!!!
Groots Formula #3 – I found this through my dermatologist and it is prescription only. It’s got 8-12% hydroquinone (I use the one with 8%), kojic acid, tretinoin, hydrocortisone, and lots of other goodies in it. This took my skin to a whole ‘nother level. There is NOTHING like it. You can Google it all you want, but you won’t find much. It was created by Canadian doctor (now deceased), Dr. Groots. It is compounded in a compounding facility and only lasts for 30 days before it goes ‘bad’. You are to spot treat your melasma and NOT rub it all over your face because it can thin your skin (at least that is what my dermatologist said). You’re also supposed to use it every night starting out and then ween off of it to only once or twice a week (please use sunscreen and stay out of the sun). I will use this stuff the rest of my life. My insurance covered most of the cost & I paid $50 out of pocket. – Liess…. I just realized that insurance DOESN’T cover it and $50 was all that it costs! AWESOME! So that’s just one less manicure & pedicure for the month – totally affordable and I CANNOT CANNOT CANNOT say enough amazing things about it.
In less than two months my melasma was 90% gone….. the doctor was elated and not surprised! 😉 He knew it would work. When he said it was going to work, I came home and told my hunny that ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’…. Sure enough, he and I were mind blown at how it worked in just 2 weeks!
Ok so that’s the major contributor! Go to your dermatologist and ask if Groots is right for you! I owe my doc big time! But I also give a little credit to myself because I never gave up! And you’re here today because you’re not giving up! You’re fighting the big fight. So I want you to feel beautiful ALL THE TIME!
I went through a period where I was pissed off at all my other doctors for not recommending me this…. But when I went to tell my Botox doc about it, she had never heard of it… so maybe they haven’t been ‘lying’ to me after all the years and just trying to get my money… not sure!
Liquid Lightning Vitamin C – This bad boy took my skin to another level and really helped the Groots do its magic. I’ve been using this vitamin C for a couple weeks and have noticed a HUGE change in my forehead area. I didn’t apply the Groots too much above my eyebrows just because I was most concerned about my upper cheeks, mustache area and front cheek areas. So you can definitely see in the photos how much the vitamin C has helped my forehead area. I use it every morning and night… though they recommend that you use it only at night…. but I suck at following directions.
This product routinely sells out and its shelf life is limited… I get anxiety thinking about when it runs out and when I’ll be able to get it again, but until then, I’m enjoying the heck out of it. We’ve got one Cheeky on their waiting list as I type! Go Elizabeth!
Hanacure Mask – So this has been a last minute surprise for me! This is the third and final treatment to our madness ;-)! It’s around $119 (with shipping) and has gotten some of the pesky melasma on my cheeky that seems so deep within the skin, out and looking amazing. I’ve got 2 or 3 spots near my cheek, lower eye area that’s almost a different texture than other parts of my face… it always felt like the melasma almost ‘scarred’ the area. I don’t think that’s possible, but it didn’t always go away when I used Cosmelan and I thought that maybe it’s just scarring that’ll never go away.
Since using the Hanacure mask, I’m on the second treatment out of a total of 4 and those spots are 90% improved. It’s specifically the area underneath my left eye & on the right side of my nose, right under my eye – check out the photo above – that I’m referring to. It is recommended that you at least do the treatment a total of 4 times, but I will definitely be getting another box to continue again. It’s of course sold out too and the order won’t be shipped until mid-August at this point, but I’ll order when I finish this blog.
I also think the Hanacure mask has been helping the sun damage – that’s not something that Groots formula can totally target. There is definitely a difference between melasma and actual sun damage… so that’s why I recommend using this treatment in cahoots with the Groots! LOVE when I get a rhyme in!
Please please please let me know if you try this! For the absolute best results – please use all 3 recommendations from above. I want all of you to feel beautiful! I would also love y’all to share this with your friends. Because of all the money, time and effort I went through, I really want to make someone’s day with this blog & spare them of all the hardship and crap in the melasma world.