One of the reasons why I tend to buy and trust Peter Thomas Roth products is because they know their stuff and use impressive ingredients that do the job. That said, most of the time they work but sometimes, for some reason, it just doesn't.
I don't have much pigmentation but I do like to use products that even out my complexion and I've had a couple of friends who do have pigmentation try this and give me their verdict. There were mixed results and I think that's down to the age-old 'not everything suits everyone' adage since the ingredients are quite impressive.
*Who is this for ? *
This is for anyone who has pigmentation issues and because it is a gel formulation it will suit ALL skin types. Drier skins may want to slot this into their normal skincare routine whereas oilier skins like to use this and an SPF cream alone, with perhaps just adding a moisturiser during the times that it's needed. Oilier skins will probably love the ingredients even if they don't have much pigmentation.
*How to use*
To begin, I would say that unless you're willing to wear an SPF cream of at least 25-30 everyday then I wouldn't bother trying to deal with pigmentation issues. It's crucial that as you remove the layers of clumped pigmentation that you protect the fresh, new skin or you will never be rid of your skin issue. Also, another reason why some people find that some pigmentation products 'don't work' is because they're applying their SPF cream incorrectly.
Those SPF creams with a chemical sunscreen ( the likes of Avobenzone for example ) works by reacting with your skincells without interference, therefore a chemical sunscreen needs to be added FIRST before ANYTHING !!!! It should be left to dry for approximately 10 minutes before you continue with your skincare routine. ( I won't go into the pros and cons of physical and chemical suncreens here, but I may write a review of such products so people can make an educated decision. )
Those SPF creams with a physical sunscreen ( the likes of titanium dioxide for example ) works by reflecting the harmful rays, therefore a physical sunscreen needs to be added LAST !!
Now you know when to apply your SPF cream, it should give you a good indictaion as to whether you should apply this before or after your SPF cream. For those who enjoy using serums and oils etc, I would say serums, gels, oils in that order, depending on how lightweight or heavy your serums or oils are and how much you use. Lightest should always go on first and then followed in order. If you use a heavier serum or oil then you will need to change the order, but you will learn to know for yourself which sink in the easiest and quickest to place in order.
* Why this product works *
The active ingredient in his product is Hydroquinone which is a ingredient that has been used for many years in lightening products. In this product it has a 2% strength whereas in a physician strength for example, it would 4%. (However, that has to be prescribed and is not available over the counter. ) So from the outset, one of the reasons as to why this is not THAT effective could be that although it uses Hydroquinone in a safe way, it may not be strong enough to do as an effective job on SEVERE issues of pigmentation as the physician strength. This could be because of how Hydroquinone works. Hormonal or sun damaged skin for example have blotchy areas of brown which are due to groups of cells manufacturing too much pigment and Hydroquinone works by interfering with the cells' enzymatic processes of manufacturing too much pigment to achieve a more evened out complexion.
Therefore, perhaps this ingredient is only truly effective in larger percentages, but that is not safe enough for everyday, over the counter use. So it may be that you're sacrificing results for safety, but if that's the case, perhaps using another ingredient is the way to go ? Also some people are found to be quite sensitive to this ingredient, so if you find your skin irritated by using this skin lightening gel, it may well be the Hydroquinone.
However, that said, to be fair this product has other impressive ingredients that should have an effect. For example, it contains the likes of Azelaic Acid ( this is a product traditionally found in products that treat acne as it's thought to kill the bacteria associated with acne but also reduces the growth of the keratin surface skin cells that can block pores and increase the likelihood of a spot, ) Kojic Acid ( another ingredient that has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which is also thought to help brighten and normalise pigmentation ( or darkened areas in general ) of the skin. Some undereye creams use this ingredient too if they're targeting dark shadows for example. )
It also contains the likes of Bearberry Extract and Mulberry Extract ( which is thought to target pigmentation by decreasing the melanin in the skin for example, ) Ascorbic Acid ( which is a form of Vitamin C which not only acts as an effective anti-oxidant but it's also thought to stimulate collagen production, ) and Salicylic Acid ( which acts an exfoliator on the skin. )
Therefore, the lightening gel has quite as impressive ingredient line up for fighting pigmentation and helping to keep the skin clearer and more radiant. However, I'm not a huge fan of Hydroquinone in general and only wish that Peter Thomas Roth would have used an alternative active ingredient for less chances of irritation and higher success rates in the gels results.
Active Ingredients: Hydroquinone U.S.P. 2%.
Inactive Ingredients: Purified Water, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Azelaic Acid, Kojic Acid, Bearberry Extract, Mulberry Extract, Ascorbic Acid, Salicylic Acid, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Disodium EDTA, SD-Alcohol, Sodium Bisulfite, Sodium Sulfite, Glycerin, Methylparaben, BHT, Diazolidinyl Urea.