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Vitamin C Topicals

Q: What's the difference between Serum-C, C-Quench, and C-Strength?

A: pHaze 15 Serum-C is a liquid concentrate with special moisture binding ingredients designed to directly target fine lines around the eyes, mouth and forehead and used as a spot treatment. The C-Quench is a hyaluronic acid product that helps the skin retain moisture and boosts the effects of a vitamin C topical. C-Strength can be applied in a thin layer on the entire face. It contains a very active form of vitamin C.

Q: Should I use both the Serum-C and C-Strength?

A: Yes, these two companion products were formulated to work synergistically. This will give you the best possible results in the shortest period of time.

Q: How often should I use Serum-C and C-Strength and where do they fit into my daily routine?

A: We recommend using both products morning and evening. After cleansing and toning your skin, apply Serum-C and allow to penetrate, then follow with C-Strength. During the day, apply either pHaze 6+ Hydrator Plus or pHaze 7 Protecting Hydrator which protect against UVA and UVB damage.

Q: Will these products irritate my skin?

A: These products should not cause irritation when used as recommended. They are highly effective yet gentle enough to use twice daily.


Q: There are three formulas of Pigment GelŪ.  Which one should I use?

A: For the face, there are two versions: pHaze 13 Pigment GelŪ dyschromia controller (original formula) with 2% hydroquinone and the same formula without hydroquinone, pHaze 13 Pigment GelŪ HQ Free dyschromia controller.

Q: How do I fit Pigment GelŪ into my daily skin care regimen?

A: Pigment GelŪ dyschromia controller would be step 3: cleanse with pHaze 1 Facial Wash, tone with pHaze 2 Smoothing Toner or pHaze 5 Nutrient Toner (depending on skin type), apply Pigment GelŪ dyschromia controller and lastly, cover with your choice of sunblock moisturizer.  Before bedtime, follow the same steps but cover with the appropriate Physician's Choice™ nighttime moisturizer.

Q: How important is it to use sunblock? What if I forget?

A: Applying one of the Physician's Choice™ sunblock products is necessary to achieve optimum results.  Real improvement is seen only when you make a commitment to avoid and protect against sun exposure. For some patients remembering to use sunblock is not easy. If this seems to be a constant problem for you then choose the HQ Free formulas.

Q: What if I am allergic to sunscreens or cannot seem to find one that doesn't make me breakout? Does this mean I shouldn't use Pigment GelŪ?

A: Not necessarily. You may use the HQ Free formulas and avoid direct sun exposure.  A visor or some type of head covering which shades the face is needed when daytime exposure is unavoidable. Occlude your Pigment Gel dyschromia controller application with the pHaze 12 Eye Wrinkle Cream which has an emollient base.

Q: Will rubbing Pigment GelŪ into the skin makes it penetrate more deeply to get quicker results?

A: NO. Rubbing is definitely not recommended. This could actually stimulate your melanocytes to react and turn brown. Just smooth the gel over the affected area and spread it lightly. Let it penetrate on its own. Then cover the area with pHaze 6+ Hydrator Plus SPF 25 or pHaze 7 Protecting Hydrator SPF 15 during the day and the appropriate Physicians Choice™ moisturizer in the evening.

Q: Can I put Pigment GelŪ on while my face is still wet from washing and toning?

A: NO. This will dilute Pigment GelŪ dyschromia controller.  The skin needs to be completely dry before applying the gel.

Q: I've tried to use bleaching creams before and I couldn't get my makeup to spread evenly over them.  Is this going to happen if I use Pigment GelŪ?

A: Pigment GelŪ dyschromia controller has a clear fluid gel base which provides smooth and easy "slip". After the gel penetrates into the skin, makeup or other creams will glide over it.

Q: I want FAST results! Can I mix my Pigment GelŪ with Retin-A to speed things up?

A: This is not recommended.  All pHaze 13 Pigment GelŪ dyschromia controllers are designed to work on their own.  Mixing with other products is unpredictable and could be excessively aggressive.  The only time this might work well without sensitive side effects would be on very sun damaged (keratinized) thickened skin.  Do this only on the advice of your skincare professional.

Q: I have been using products that contain glycolic acid. I find that when I use Pigment GelŪ with them, my skin becomes irritated. Any suggestions?

A: Lactic acid based products are natural and "user-friendly" to human skin. Chances or redness and itching are greatly reduced when using lactic acid based products like those from Physician's Choice™.  Generally speaking, moderation in all things is a good motto when referring to AHA based products.

Q: What about using Pigment GelŪ for occasional pimples? With AHAs in them, wouldn't they be good for drying up breakouts?

A: You bet! Pigment GelŪ dyschromia controller serves as an excellent combination therapy for drying up active skin problems while simultaneously controlling possible discoloration that can appear.

Q: I am really anxious to use this product.  How many applications can I do in one day?

A: More is not necessarily better.  Too many applications could prove irritating to delicate facial skin.  Pigment GelŪ dyschromia controller is designed for twice daily applications; in the morning under sunblock and at night before retiring.  Multiple applications on thicker skinned areas such as the hands and legs could probably be tolerated.

Q: What are the advantages of using the HQ Free formulas?

A:  The regular formulas of Pigment GelŪ dyschromia controller contain hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is a bleaching ingredient that will oxidize when exposed to air and light causing the product to turn dark brown. When this happens, the product becomes a stain (the very problem you're trying to correct) and must then be discarded. It is quite possible that topically applied hydroquinone products that have not been covered with an occlusive sunblock could turn brown directly on the skins surface. So, if you are not compliant about applying sunblock, the HQ Free formulas might be a better choice for you. 

Q: I am a person of color and feel that most people don't understand my skin's needs. I have dark spots, too, and my skin is extremely sensitive. How do you recommend I use Pigment GelŪ?

A: It is our experience that you are quite correct - naturally darker pigmented skin is not well understood. The difference in pigmentation in dark skin is due to the way melanin is distributed and not to the number of melanocyte cells that produce the melanin. It is easy to overstimulate the melanocyte of persons of color to react and hyperpigment. We recommend that you use a blending method of a couple of drops of Pigment GelŪ dyschromia controller mixed with a moisturizing sunblock. Use of the sunblock is crucial to protect naturally darker pigmented persons from turning darker.

Q: My spots have very well-defined edges. Do I apply Pigment GelŪ just on those specific areas or do I spread it around?

A: It is recommended to feather the edges of the application. Only applying a circular drop and allowing it to dry could cause a visible halo effect.

Q: I used Pigment GelŪ for two weeks or so... is it my imagination or did my spots get darker before they got lighter?

A: You have a good eye! Yes, sometimes there is a preliminary surface exfoliation caused by sloughing off the dead skin cells that cover the hyperpigmented area. So, it could seem that it gets worse before it gets better. However, after this initial unroofing of the dead surface layer it is especially important to continue to apply Pigment GelŪ dyschromia controller which targets the affected area with the active ingredients.

Q: Can Pigment GelŪ be used for the dark circles under the eye area? Also, what should I do if the product gets into my eye?

A: Pigment GelŪ dyschromia controller was not originally designed for this kind of hyperpigmentation disorder. We have had feedback, however, that patients have tried it and experienced positive results for this condition. You may try it to see if you have the same experience, but you need to know that this type of dark pigment is quite different in nature than solar or hormonal discoloration. If Pigment GelŪ dyschromia controller gets into your eyes, immediately flush with water and do not rub them.

Q: I am very sensitive to just about everything but I am excited to try Pigment GelŪ. What's the most conservative way to get started and test for a sensitive reaction at the same time?

A: On your fingers, blend a drop or two of Pigment GelŪ dyschromia controller with a small amount of our pHaze 6+ Hydrator Plus SPF 25 or pHaze 7 Protecting Hydrator SPF 25. This will reduce the potency of Pigment GelŪ dyschromia controller. Smooth this mixture over the area you want to treat. It may take a slightly longer time to see results, but it will also be potentially less sensitizing to you.

Q: I noticed that the Pigment GelŪ I bought last year turned a golden/amber color. Is it still OK to use?

A: Yes. This can happen to lactic and koiic acids. It can still be used and will still be effective. However, if the hydroquinone formulas become opaque and dark brown, discard them.

Q:  Pigment GelŪ comes in a small bottle. Is it going to be enough to get the job done?

A: No problem. A little goes a very long way and a small drop will cover a large area. Patients seldom need to purchase a second bottle.

Q: How long do you think I will need to use Pigment GelŪ to get the results I want?

A: Everyone's condition is unique and we all respond quite differently to the same treatment. Results are dependent on the type of discoloration, the location of the problem area, use of sunblocks, extent of the damage and many other factors. Use the product only as long as it takes for you to reach your desired level of improvement.

Q: I use PCA SKIN™ vitamin C products following use of the Pigment Control products. My results seem to have accelerated... can you explain this?

A: Yes. Our vitamin C products do have a synergistic lightening effect with our Pigment Control products and, yes, they will definitely help to provide rapid results!

Pigment Bar

Q: I have spots everywhere - my face, chest, arms and hands. Is the Pigment Bar the best choice to treat all these areas?

A: Yes, the Pigment Bar is recommended when extensive treatment is needed. It enhances results when used with the other pigment control products.

Q: Where does the Pigment Bar fit into my daily wash, tone, moisturize program?

A: Use after cleansing with pHaze 1 Facial Wash as it is formulated to help lighten, not cleanse. The Pigment Bar does not replace the cleansing step in your daily program. Remember that the Pigment Bar is formulated as a companion to, not a replacement for, Pigment GelŪ dyschromia controller.

Q: If I'm only using the Pigment Bar, but not other products - is it still necessary to protect with pHaze 7 Protecting Hydrator SPF 25?

A: Most definitely. Guarding against UV sunlight is always wise.

Q: I am considering having my skin resurfaced with laser to remove sun damage. Can I use the Pigment Bar to prepare my skin?

A: Yes, the ingredients in the Pigment Bar will maximize and enhance your results. Also, it will serve to minimize possible rebound pigment reactions which can occur following laser treatments.

Q: Does all this mean I can never go out in the sun again?

A: To tan or not to tan? That is the question.  Current public opinion seems to think that a tanned appearance is more aesthetically pleasing than a natural flesh skin tone.  However, tanning and depigmenting the skin are at odds with each other.  A decision to stay out of the sun will help to reduce your risk of skin cancer and will help to prolong a more youthful appearance of your skin's texture.  It's a lifestyle choice that you need to make for yourself.

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