Blessed with year round sunshine here in southern California, we can just step outside to prevent vitamin D deficiencies, and research suggests that we are happier overall. Plus, it’s easy to get a good tan! However, prolonged sun exposure speeds up wrinkle formation and skin discoloration. In the last few years, Dr. Chow has been seeking a superior skin treatment for the blemishes that occur from age and sun exposure.

In the past, if one wanted to reduce hyper pigmentation, doctors would often prescribe hydroquinone, a drug used to brighten skin. However, this drug is banned in Europe and there are reports of increased risks of tumors such as liver adenomas. Even the Food and Drug Administration has noted that hydroquinone may be a carcinogen, although this has never been exhaustively proven.

Recently, at the Chow Center for Facial Plastic Surgery, we have begun recommending Vibrancy Therapy as an alternative to hydroquinone with natural ingredients for skin brightening.

Studies have shown it to be similarly effective as compared to 4% hydroquinone in treating uneven skin tone and equally effective in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles. In addition, Vibrance Therapy is more effective in treating rough skin. Using natural ingredients such as fruit and green tea extract, it is safe to use and does not need a prescription from a doctor. Furthermore, Vivite is a medical grade skin care line, meaning it has twice the strength and works better than drug store products.

Now you may have the same worries as I do: is this too harsh for my sensitive skin? After expressing my concerns to an Allergan rep, Julie, I was assured that this skin care product doesn’t “attack” the skin; instead, the ingredients are balanced to your skin’s pH level. This means that Vibrance therapy won’t feel harsh or caustic, regardless of how much or how often you apply it.

After using it for just a few weeks, I must admit that it has really helped to clear up and maintain my skin tone. Lately, I have been getting a lot of questions such as “What products do you use?” However, Julie said that one should always keep realistic expectations in mind. Vibrance Therapy isn’t surgery – improving your skin won’t give you a facelift. What it will do is help brighten your skin from natural and environmental damages such as pollution, aging, and sun exposure. It’s also possible to have some skin break outs in the first two weeks of using Vibrance Therapy. This is because the glycolic compounds within the product penetrate deep into the skin to clean out impurities. If a break out does occur, it should be minimal. In the Vibrance Therapy 8 week long study, no patients dropped out because of skin irritation.

When using the Vibrance Therapy, it’s important to remember to use it as instructed: twice a day and consistently for at least 8 weeks. You shouldn’t try to “save” the product by using it only once a day. If you do, then you shouldn’t use it at all because it won’t work.

Skin discoloration from aging and the environment is unavoidable. But products like the Vibrance Therapy can greatly help you improve and lighten your skin. For case studies and more information visit Allergan’s website for Vivite Skin Care. Try recording your progress by taking before and after pictures. I’m sure you will be pleasantly surprised at the results!