I have used many vitamin C serums and none of them worked. They have made my skin darker. Why?

It’s possible that you didn’t use the right product. Vitamin C is a tested molecule and the cream or serum from a reputed brand will work.

Are there any home peels for gentle exfoliation?

Yes, there are plenty. You get OTC peels with 10 per cent lactic acid or you can find regular pharmaceutical peels with six to 12 per cent glycolic acid, two per cent salicylic acid or a combination of mandelic and lactic acid in local medical stores. You can choose from these and use as home peels once or twice a week according to your skin type. Just make sure not to use anything at home that’s meant specifically for professionals.

What are some of the best creams and treatments for dark circles?

If you’ve always had dark circles, they might be familial dark circles, which means they run in your family. They are not going anywhere. What you can do is opt for lactic acid peels and use a nourishing cream before applying concealer so it doesn’t look patchy or powdery. If you have dark circles that keep fluctuating and you get them due to stress, weight loss or nutritional anemia, then your doctor can prescribe a skin-lightening cream, peels or laser that can help. You can look for ingredients like berry extract, kojic acid, liquorice, B5, niacinamide and azelic acid that help lighten the under-eye area. If you have dark circles with a depression underneath it (aka tear trough extension) or ligament attachment under your skin, you might need a filler. This will make the under-eye look fresher and is easy to conceal.

How do I deal with hyperpigmentation?

1. Protect your skin from the sun by using sunscreen regularly.

2. Do not scrub your skin as it causes friction melanosis, which is increased pigmentation due to friction.

3. Do not pick or scratch your skin.

4. If you have hereditary pigmentation, apply sunscreen all day and keep your skin well-moisturised at night.

5. You can use skin-lightening creams with ingredients like berry extract, kojic acid, liquorice, B5, niacinamide and azelic acid.

6. You can also use mild Retin-A to keep pigmentation at bay.

7. Consult your doctor for any peel or laser treatment according to your skin.