Cystic acne scars are stubborn. Despite my best efforts with several scar-reducing ingredients, the fading has been slow and gradual. I’ve learnt in the process that skincare requires patience, especially when trying to fade scars. And I’ve never given up on finding better ingredients to help the process. Along the way, one of the best products I’ve found to help with scarring and overall skin barrier health is the Good Molecules discoloration serum.
What is it?
According to the Good Molecules website and product description. The discoloration serum is meant to “improve the appearance of skin discoloration and uneven skin tone. Formulated with an advanced form of tranexamic acid (cetyl tranexamate mesylate) and 4% niacinamide, this lightweight serum improves the appearance of age spots, acne scars, hyperpigmentation, and sun damage.”
This well-loved product is also vegan and fragrance-free. Packaged in a typical 30ml/1oz recyclable bottle this lightweight serum has a pH 5.5.
The good thing about Good Molecules is its ingredient transparency. It’s one of the few brands I’ve encountered that provides a clear breakdown of its ingredients list and the percentage of each addition.
- Water 76.8%
- Propanediol 10%
- Glycerin 5%
- Niacinamide 4%
- Cetyl Tranexamate Mesylate 3%
- Cetearyl Alcohol 0.5%
- Ceratonia Siliqua (Carob) Gum 0.2%
- Caprylyl Glycol 0.2%
- Tamarindus Indica Seed Gum 0.2%
I am by no means an ingredient expert but the ingredient list is short enough that I’m not intimated by the idea of researching the entire list. Hydrating ingredients like water and glycerin are at the top of the list so dry skin guys and gals like myself can expect to be hydrated at the very least by this product.
Then there’s the beloved ingredient, niacinamide, a super form of vitamin B3 with incredible benefits to the skin.
The benefits of niacinamide to skin
According to Healthline’s post on Everything You Should Know About Niacinamide, niacinamide provides the following benefits to the skin:
- Creates a lipid barrier.
- Minimizes redness and blotchiness.
- Minimizes pore appearance.
- Regulates oil.
- Protects against sun damage.
- Treats hyperpigmentation.
- Minimizes fine lines and wrinkles.
- Protects against oxidative stress.
- Treats acne.
Following the niacinamide in the list of ingredients is the one we all came here for and that’s Cetyl Tranexamate Mesylate. Formulated into the serum at 3% this new derivative of tranexamic acid is known to be well absorbed into the skin. Because of its ability to penetrate the skin barrier performs better than other versions of this plasmin inhibiting acid.
Still wondering how this form of tranexamic acid works? The Derm Review’s analysis of Good Molecules’ Discoloration Serum explains that “Tranexamic acid works by inhibiting plasmin, which means that it helps to break down proteins in the skin that contribute to melanin production.”
Simply put melanin is the substance in your body that causes pigmentation. In other words, it’s the main culprit for acne scars. And the best way to reduce the appearance of acne scars is to slow melanin production. The second best way to help fade is to protect your skin from sun exposure. Sun rays can further deepen melanated scars resulting in harder to fade scars or damaged skin.
How to use the Good Molecules Discoloration Serum
Apply a few drops in the morning and at night before oils and moisturizers. Suitable for daily use. Discontinue use if irritation occurs.
Related: Panoxyl Acne Foaming Wash Review
This $12 serum is slow acting but it works. It packs a punch but you won’t see a major difference in a week. You’ll need to consistently use it for 4 weeks or longer for the skin evening effects to be more noticeable. However, if healthy looking balanced skin is what you’re looking for it may be a great addition to your routine.
Personally, I’ve noticed the same effects I’ve previously gotten with the hyperpigmentation fighting ingredient, glycolic acid but with far less irritation. And that’s exactly what acne-prone skin needs to keep acne scarring at bay. Your skin needs to have fewer breakouts and be calm so you’ll have fewer acne scars to treat. Simple, right?
Besides the skin fading capabilities, my next favourite thing about this serum is its effect on texture. I include it as part of my nighttime routine. At night, I cleanse my face with my Panoxyl face wash, then tone with the Good Molecules Brightening Toner, I let that absorb into my skin for a minute then follow up with the discoloration serum. Lastly, I apply adapalene gel from Differin. To top it off you should also moisturize but my skin is so moisturized by this point that I skip that step.
I wish I had started using these products together sooner. Retinoids like adapalene gel tend to be quite drying to the skin and adding an ingredient as nourishing as niacinamide creates a great balanced environment for the retinoid to work. In the morning my skin is soft and my texture is the best it’s been in a long time. I took a few fresh-faced pictures to show you.
Summing up, the Good Molecules Discoloration Serum has been a welcomed addition to my skincare routine. It’s been great at nourishing my skin and promoting healthy skin barrier function. It can also be credited for the glow I’ve been complimented on. Based on the progress I’ve made I’m hoping to be able to share blemish-free skin by the end of the year.
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