Out, Out, Damn Spot

I was hopeful, but not very optimistic, when a PR firm sent me a sample of a new dark spot corrector. Over the years, I’ve tried a number of over-the-counter creams and prescription remedies to no avail. But I have to tell you: I’ve been using the Luminaze two-step treatment for just two weeks, and can already see a noticeable lighting of the particularly persistent spot on my jaw line. Other products use ingredients like hydroquinone (HQ), which slows down melanin production, but Luminaze actually breaks the melanin down. Not to worry—no nasty chemicals are involved. The magic enzyme comes from a tree fungus (okay, that doesn’t sound much better) found in the forests in the Swiss Alps. When the enzyme comes in contact with the trees, it lightens the bark; it does the same thing with skin. Apply the enzyme solution twice a day from pump one, followed by an equal amount of the bio-activator solution from pump two (both pumps are conveniently packaged together in one unit). A double-blind clinical study comparing Luminaze to a HQ-based product found a 15-percent improvement after eight days of use with Luminaze; zero improvement with HQ. After a month, uneven skin tone and dark spots improved by 29 percent with Luminaze; 15 percent with HQ.

$120 for one ounce at Nordstrom and sephora.com.

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