A few years ago, SkinMedica launched Lytera, a skin-brightening complex that became a blessing for those with stubborn pigmentation and discoloration that weren’t too keen on using hydroquinone. The product works to reduce the look of discoloration, dark spots and dullness and has been positioned as an alternative to hydroquinone. Lytera works for all skin types relies on known skin brighteners like niacinamide, retinol and vitamin C to make a major difference in the skin in just about one month.
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And now the product just got a makeover. Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum ($154) is an even more advanced version of the original, although it still works to tackle stubborn discoloration. But the biggest difference in the two formulations (the original is still for sale and won’t be fading off into the sunset anytime soon) is that this one is free of retinol—as well as hydroquinone—and contains a new blend of skin-brightening agents like tranexamic acid, peptides, resorcinol, a marine extract blend, and phytic acid, making it a more suitable option to use in conjunction with chemical peels and laser treatments.
Montclair, NJ, dermatologist Jeanine Downie, MD, who has been using sample containers of the Lytera 2.0 product since 2016, says that because the 2.0 version doesn’t contain retinoic acid, it’s not as drying, and even pregnant women can use it to help combat melasma. “The blend of new ingredients in it helps in terms of correcting melanin production and evening out melanin distribution, as well as aiding in melanin removal,” adds Dr. Downie. “I suffer from melasma and have for years. I keep it under control by wearing sunblock every single day and reapplying all the time. I can definitely say that my skin tone is more even with this product.”