I’ve struggled with moderate to severe eczema my entire life. My flare-ups are the worst in the winter: Any eczema sufferer can tell you about the intense itchiness brought on by cold, dry weather. And in the warmer summer and early-fall months, I’m dealing with the hyperpigmentation and marks left behind from all those winter nights spent scratching.
About two or so months ago, I was complaining to a friend (and fellow eczema sufferer) about how self-conscious the marks on my legs and ankles make me when I wear skirts and dresses. She asked if I had tried the Topicals Faded Mist — a body treatment created to help fade stubborn post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. According to her, it was the only product that got rid of the marks on her back and shoulders that didn’t also trigger her eczema. It’s not that all hyperpigmentation treatments themselves are especially sensitizing; it’s that any lotion, besides the ones that are specifically formulated to treat eczema, poses a risk.
I had become a fan of Topicals, the Gen-Z-founded, results-driven skin-care brand, when it launched in the summer of 2020. Yes, it’s important to note that its packaging looks adorable in my medicine cabinet (brightly colored with great ’70s fonts), but what I loved most about Topicals from the jump was its emphasis on treating hyperpigmentation and eczema-prone skin —my two biggest skin issues. I’d tried — and loved — its two face products: Faded Serum (a gel formula that helped me get rid of this annoying acne scar on my chin) and Like Butter Hydrating Mask (a moisturizing mask that I reach for to soothe and calm my flaky, irritated skin on the driest winter days). But to be honest, I was nervous about trying its hyperpigmentation treatment for the body. I had a bad experience a few years ago with a body exfoliator. I’m not sure what it was — either the percentage of AHAs was too high or I was overusing it, or perhaps both — but after a few weeks of testing it out, my skin erupted into red, inflamed itchy patches. My eczema was pissed.
But I was feeling desperate, and I was tired of avoiding certain outfits so as not to expose the hyperpigmentation along my legs. I decided to give the Topicals Faded Mist a try. Much like the face-serum treatment, the Topicals Faded Body Mist uses a blend of gold-star brightening ingredients such as kojic acid (for mild exfoliation and removing dead skin cells), niacinamide (for smoothing and evening the skin), alpha arbutin (which is known as one of the best ingredients for fading pigment issues), and tranexamic acid (another excellent hyperpigmentation-busting ingredient, which helps eradicate dark spots).
I knew from studying these ingredients in school that they were all incredibly effective, but to be sure I wouldn’t trigger any kind of eczema flare-up, I reached out to Dr. Rachel Maiman, a board-certified dermatologist based in Manhattan. According to Dr. Maiman, the formula contains a few ingredients commonly found in eczema treatments, such as niacinamide (which not only helps treat pigment but can also reduce inflammation) and sage leaf (an herbal medicinal ingredient used to resolve minor irritations and bacterial infections), and cucumber (which contains an anti-inflammatory substance called feisen). However, Dr. Maiman explained that since the formula incorporates the resurfacing alpha-hydroxy acids glycolic and kojic acid, she advises initially using it only one to two times per week while assessing your skin’s tolerance, looking for as indicators of irritation like burning, itching, flaking, or redness, before slowly increasing the frequency by one additional day every one to two weeks. Dr. Maiman added that the product should be applied on clean, dry skin and strongly, strongly advised following with a moisturizer to lock hydration into your skin.
As of today, I’ve been using the Topicals Faded Mist along my most hyperpigmentation-prone areas (namely, my calves and thighs) for about three months, following Dr. Maiman’s slow-integration guidelines. I started once a week and then once I assessed that there was no irritation, I bumped it up to twice a week. The results weren’t immediate — hyperpigmentation treatment very rarely is — but in these past couple of weeks, I’ve really started to notice that the marks left behind from scratching have begun to fade more and more, to the point that I can barely see them at all. And an even greater success: It didn’t irritate my eczema or strip my skin in the slightest.
The mist is super-fine and sprays on evenly, so covering larger areas is incredibly easy. It also dries quickly — in about two minutes — so you never have to be concerned that it’ll dampen or destroy your clothing. The most common complaint about the original Topicals Faded face-gel treatment was that, since it was totally fragrance free, it smelled very bad (sort of an unpleasant rotten-egg odor). But for whatever reason, the body-mist version of the formula is significantly less stinky.
The Faded Body Mist doesn’t just work well on eczema-related hyperpigmentation. I had a little breakout on my shoulders from tight workout gear, and this mist helped ensure that any acne marks left behind were gone in about a month — half the time it usually takes such marks to clear.
For anyone with any kind of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, whether it be from chestne, bacne, or eczema-related scratching, the Topicals Faded Body Mist is an easy way to help diminish marks or scars without irritation. I love this formula so much that I recently purchased the Topicals Like Butter Body Mist — which is packed with eczema-friendly ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, centella asiatica, and green tea to calm and hydrate the skin — to apply on days I don’t use the Faded Treatment. Together, these two body mists are a great way to minimize scarring and keep my skin moisturized and soothed.
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