22228500_10155350850889087_5888815784669565069_n

Want a brighter, more even-toned complexion? Neostrata’s got you covered.

I’ve struggled with oiliness and frequent breakouts since my early teens, but I’ve been battling a completely different breed of beauty concern since I fell pregnant when I was 26 years old: pigmentation. Since then, I’ve been on a quest to find the perfect skincare routine to reveal a brighter, more even-toned complexion – and I think I’ve found the answer in the Neostrata Enlighten range.

But first thing’s first: what exactly is pigmentation, and what causes it? Pigmentation occurs when melanin (the pigment that gives your skin and hair colour) is produced in excess, resulting in an uneven skin tone and dark spots on the surface of your skin. An increase in melanin production can be caused by any number of factors, including frequent sun exposure, hormonal changes caused by pregnancy or your birth control (also known as Melasma, which was the main culprit for me), or what’s known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which is what happens after a pimple or other injury to the skin heals and leaves a blemish in it’s place. All the more reason to stay clear of picking at your skin!

Since I first noticed the little dark spots cropping up underneath my eye area when I was about six or seven months pregnant, I’ve been in search of the perfect treatment – although there’s not a lot you can do while you’re actually pregnant. Since then, I’ve tried just about every pigmentation product on the market, with no luck – and my pigmentation just seems to get worse with age. Needless to say, it was time to bring out the big guns – enter the Neostrata Enlighten range.

Neostrata Enlighten

I’ve heard so many amazing things about Neostrata but I’ve never tried any of their products myself, so when I was asked whether I’d like to review the Enlighten range, I jumped at the chance. My experiences with professional, cosmeceutical products have only ever been positive, so I had no doubt that I’d have similar results with Neostrata’s range of products… and I wasn’t wrong.

I need to point out that I’ve only been using the Neostrata Enlighten range for just over three weeks now, so I can’t do a full report-back on the results just yet, but I definitely plan on checking in again after another couple of weeks to track my progress after six weeks of use, so be sure to check back then for a fill report-back. For now, I thought I’d take you through the range and my first impression of each product, along with some feedback after three weeks of use.

Neostrata Enlighten Ultra Brightening Cleanser (R505)

This soap-free and paraben-free cleanser contains NeoGlucosamine ™, a patented ingredient that helps to slough away the dead skin cells that leave your skin looking dull and lifeless, while helping to tackle those pesky dark spots at the same time. Exfoliation is key when dealing with pigmentation, and I love that this cleanser ensures a gentle, thorough exfoliation, without risking further trauma to your skin (and minimising the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation). It also contains Alpine Plant Extracts, which help to brighten your complexion.

Neostrata Enlighten

My first impressions

This gentle, cream cleanser is a real treat to use: it lathers up into a luxurious foam when mixed with water, and a little goes a long way. It has a beautiful, subtle scent that smells a bit citrusy to me, and it doesn’t leave my skin feeling even remotely tight or dry after use. I didn’t use my usual make-up remover before cleansing my skin because I wanted to see how well it removes makeup, and I’m happy to report that it removes every last trace – and that includes eye makeup. A big win for me!

Three weeks later

I’m still loving this cleanser, and I’ve pretty much got a full tube left. You really only need the tiniest amount of product, so I’d hazard a guess that this cleanser will last you a good couple of months. So worth the price tag! I’ve been using this cleanser morning and night for the past three weeks, and it’s proven to be an incredibly gentle cleanser – despite the active ingredients it contains. It’s also really gentle on the eyes. I haven’t been using a makeup remover at all these past few weeks, relying fully on the Neostrata Ultra Brightening Cleanser to remove dead skin cells, surface dirt and oils, and all makeup at the same time.

Neostrata Enlighten Illuminating Serum (R982)

This powerful serum contains a plethora of active ingredients to help target pigmentation, including NeoGlucosamine™ to get rid of dead skin cells and to increase cell turnover, along with 12 active brighteners to help break up and reduce the appearance of existing dark spots, while preventing the formation of new ones. This product is not recommended for those with sensitive or rosacea-prone skin types, and you absolutely must wear sunscreen on a daily basis when using this serum.

Neostrata Enlighten

My first impressions

This serum has quite a watery consistency, and I definitely used too much product the first couple of times I tried it. I used at least three or four pumps, when all you really need is one – maybe two pumps. The serum feels quite tacky on your skin at first, but it settles into your skin and is absorbed after a few seconds. It boasts a light, yet refreshing, citrusy scent and I love how it feels on my skin after it’s been absorbed – I don’t even feel the need for a moisturiser!

Three weeks later

I enjoy this product more and more the longer I use it! The initial tackiness took some getting used to – especially in the mornings when I’m usually in a rush to apply my makeup and get ready for the day, but I’ve started applying my serum before doing my hair, then following up with my moisturiser and makeup so that the serum has time to settle into my skin. I adore the light scent of this product, and I also like that I can get away with using just one pump all over my face.

Neostrata Enlighten Skin Brightener SPF25 (R747)

This triple-action daily moisturiser not only reduces the appearance of pigmentation and prevents the formation of new dark spots, but it also boasts an SPF25 – and we all know that a daily sunscreen is key when it comes to tackling pigmentation. It contains the patented NeoGlucosamine™, along with skin-brighening SabiWhite® and Butyl Resorcinol, which target the enzymes responsible for the production of pigment – thereby preventing the formation of dark spots. It also contains potent antioxidants (think Vitamin E and Chardonnay Grape Seed Extract) to help prevent oxidative and environmental damage.

Neostrata Enlighten

My first impressions

Given that this product is a sunscreen, I was expecting the usual chalky, white residue and a bit of oiliness – but there was absolutely none of either! The lightweight lotion simply melted into my skin, and it wasn’t greasy or sticky in the slightest! It also sits really well underneath my regular foundation – another big, fat win!

Three weeks later

I haven’t gone a single day without using this product, and it’s fast becoming my favourite of the lot. I love how quickly and easily it absorbs into my skin, and that it works to protect my skin from environmental damage while tackling my biggest beauty concern at the same time.

Neostrata Enlighten Pigment Controller (R842)

This powerful daily treatments boasts a clinically proven formulation that helps to minimise the appearance of dark spots over time and with regular use, while preventing new spots from forming. Like other products in the range, it contains NeoGlucosamine™, which has an exfoliating and brightening effect. It also contains Sabiwhite® (to help discourage pigmentation from forming), along with retinol, a powerful anti-ageing ingredient that’s been proven to assist in the prevention of dark spots and pigmentation. This product is not suitable for those with sensitive or rosacea-prone skin types, and since it contains retinol, it can’t be used during pregnancy or lactation (or if you’re planning on becoming pregnant).

Neostrata Enlighten

My first impressions

Since this product contains retinol (which is known to cause dryness and patchiness), I started off using it every couple of nights to ease my skin into it. Since it contains such a potent combination of active ingredients, I was expecting some sort of reaction – but there was none. I didn’t even notice any tingling when applying the product. It’s incredibly lightweight and is easily-absorbed, but still offers my skin a good dose of hydration.

Three weeks later

After a week or so, I started using the Neostrata Enlighten Pigment Controller every evening after cleansing, and although I experience a few dry patches here and there after a couple of days, this wasn’t incredibly obvious and cleared up after a few days. Since using this product, I’ve upped my sunscreen game, using another sunscreen with an SPF50 over and above the Neostrata Enlighten Skin Brightener SPF25 as extra precaution against sun damage. It’s ecommended that you start using this product twice daily after about two weeks, and although I haven’t started doing this just yet, I plan on starting in the next week. Watch this space!

Neostrata Enlighten Pigment Lightening Gel (R457)

This targeted gel contains a whole bunch of exfoliating ingredients (think Kojic Acid, along with glycolic acid and citric acid), which – as I’ve mentioned before – is key when tackling pigmentation. These exfoliating ingredients remove dead skin cells on the surface of the skin, and help to bring existing dark spots up to the surface of the skin, before eventually sloughing those cells away. (This is why you’ll likely notice your pigmentation spots getting darker before they start to fade away). It also contains vitamin C and Resorcinol Brightener to prevent new spots from forming and to brighten your skin tone, while Licorice Extract helps to brighten and even your skin tone.

Neostrata Enlighten

My first impressions

I start by applying this gel directly to affected spots after cleansing and applying the Neostrata Enlighten Skin Brightener SPF25 or Pigment Controller, both morning and night. It creates a bit of a tacky film that pills underneath my foundation, so I decide to use it only in the evenings (or on mornings when i’m working from home and don’t wear makeup).

Three weeks later

After about a week of use, I started noticing little dry patches on my actual dark spots, where I’ve been applying this gel. I take this as a sign that the product is working and actually doing it’s job at exfoliating, and continue using it nonetheless. The dryness cleared up after another week or so, and I’ve continued to use this product at least once daily ever since.

My overall thoughts after three weeks of use

It’s only been three weeks but so far, so good! I’m really enjoying using these products, and after a bit of dryness after the first few days of using the range, I feel as though my skin is really starting to benefit from this range. Although I haven’t noticed any improvement in the appearance of my pigmentation just yet, I know that it’s still early days and that I need to commit to using these products regularly for a good couple of months – along with staying out of the sun and using a good sunscreen – before I start to notice results. That said, my skin is feeling so much smoother (proof that the texture of my skin is improving) and it’s look a lot less dull and dehydrated at the same time.

I’ll definitely be continuing with these products, and will do another follow up post after six weeks to let you know whether the range is having an effect on my pigmentation. Keep your eyes peeled for more!

*This post is in paid collaboration with Dermastore. Despite this, all thoughts and opinions remain my own and are 100% honest at that.

  • These sound great, just a bit too much for my pocket. I desperately need something for pigmentation. Will check for your update in a few weeks.

  • The Secret Board

    My favourite brand!! I am so keen to follow your journey with it and see if these products makes a difference to your pigmentation. Yay, so glad you tried Neostrata! I am literally obsessed!