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Dark spots, enlarged pores, and fine lines are all relatively common skin occurrences — but some of us would rather address these concerns instead of living with them. Since I'm a woman of color, hyperpigmentation is one of the biggest "issues" I have with my complexion, and making dark spots fade seems to be harder than getting rid of the acne that caused them in the first place.
Don't you wish the pathway to better skin was as easy as falling asleep? Well, that's impossible, but you can create a nighttime skin-care routine to wake up to a clearer, more radiant complexion. If you need a new brightening and tone-evening addition to your nightly regimen, then allow me to introduce you to the Ole Henriksen Dewtopia 20% Acid Night Treatment.
When I first came across this custard-textured treatment, I'll admit, I was a bit intimidated by its intensive formula since I have sensitive skin. It contains a 20 percent blend of alpha and polyhydroxy acids, two chemical exfoliants that are known for their skin-tightening and pore-unclogging benefits. According to Joshua Zeichner, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, AHAs penetrate deeper into the layers of your skin in comparison to PHAs, but both provide brightening and exfoliating results.
"Think of polyhydroxy acids like a bed of nails — you can lie on it and it won't hurt you because of the large structure," Zeichner says. "PHAs can be used across all skin types, but are particularly useful in people who are dry or sensitive since they are so gentle. They also have humectant properties to offer hydration benefits to the skin."
Ole Henriksen Dewtopia 20% Acid Night Treatment
Thankfully (and surprisingly), my sensitive skin was able to handle the very slight tingle of this formula. I have the additions of aloe juice, nordic birch sap, and cotton water to thank for that: Each of these ingredients works to comfort and support your skin as the chemical exfoliants do their job, counteracting that tingling-to-burning sensation that you feel from other potent skin-care products.
This treatment also contains licorice root extract, which Zeichner says has anti-inflammatory and soothing effects. "It also blocks the enzyme tyrosinase, which is responsible for pigment production," he says.
Once the product settled onto my skin, it made my cheeks feel plump and soft. To see how the Dewtopia 20% Acid Night Treatment works on its own, I didn't apply any other skin-care products before it and only used a moisturizer after for an added hydration boost. (In case you're wondering, I used the Beekman 1802 Bloom Cream Daily Probiotic Moisturizer.)
Don't expect your dark spots to be erased overnight, because no skin-care product can do that, but I will say that my problem areas definitely looked slightly smaller and lighter, and my overall complexion was noticeably brighter. Though I don't have many fine lines on my face (thanks, Botox), I did notice that the tiny, slender creases on my forehead were starting to look thinner — but that could also be due to a combination of increased water intake, strict use of sunscreen, and recently quitting my bad habit of vaping, which are all factors that play into skin aging and wrinkles.
I've been dedicated to this nightly treatment for about a week now, and I can proudly say that it's helped fade one particularly pesky dark spot that I've had my eye on for weeks. Plus, my skin doesn't look as lackluster as it usually does. So, is it a miracle worker that makes all your skin concerns disappear overnight? No. But, it definitely does live up to its claims, and as a sensitive skin type with constant bouts of hyperpigmentation, that's good enough for me.
If you want to grab the Ole Henriksen's Dewtopia 20% Acid Night Treatment for yourself, you can buy it now for $55 at sephora.com.
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