About a month ago I had a really wonderful facial that suddenly took a very dark turn. After a thorough consultation and what was perhaps the best face massage of my life, my aesthetician moved on to extractions. Now, extractions are never fun, but these were particularly painful because of congestion and an under-the-surface breakout on my forehead that required a lot of picking and squeezing.
I wasn’t surprised to have quite a bit of discomfort, but I was surprised by what felt like a needle (I had my eyes closed the whole time and my brain was in spa mode, so I wasn’t paying attention) picking and slicing at a milia (hardened pus trapped below the skin—very chic) close to my left eye. I left my facial with the glow I was promised, but I was also covered in red spots, the biggest being a dark wound where the milia was extracted.
I tried not to cry while tipping my aesthetician, and immediately canceled my plans for the evening. As soon as got home, I wiped away my tears and buried myself in research on what to do to fix this mess.
If it seems like I’m being a touch dramatic, let me give you some background. For some reason, my skin is a delicate flower that holds on to redness—like the temporary one you get after a facial—for years. I’ve been told by my dermatologist that this is postinflammatory hyperpigmentation, not scarring. But still, it’ll linger. At 22, I’m still working on marks I have from high school breakouts. That’s why I wasn’t thrilled to have a large wound right by my eye, which was all but guaranteed to become a red spot.
Deep in the comments section of one of my favorite sites, I came across a scar ointment from Thailand called Hiruscar. The reviews convinced me this could fix my problem, but to be safe I cross-checked with some other sites. MakeupAlley? Glowing reviews. Amazon? Tons of five stars. I’ve never clicked one-step checkout so fast.
Two days later (bless Amazon Prime in these situations), the tiny tube arrived at my doorstep. Hiruscar is a clear gel that has a very slight oniony smell (more on that in a second) and absorbs quickly. It’s not greasy or oily. For the best results, the brand recommends using it three times a day, but I’ve only been using it once.
According to Hiruscar’s website, the gel’s healing powers come from its six key ingredients. That onion smell I mentioned? It can be attributed to allium, a compound found in garlic (remember when Instagram had us rubbing garlic on pimples?) that has microbial properties that can help reduce redness in inflamed skin. Hiruscar also has aloe and vitamin E, which are well-loved for their healing and redness-reducing properties; vitamin B3, which hydrates and can improve skin elasticity; allantoin, which provides moisture and helps with cell turnover; and mucopolysaccharide polysulphate (MPS), an anti-inflammatory compound.
That was about a month ago. I’ve been applying the gel to the spot on my eye once a day, every day, and it has all but vanished. I first noticed it lighten after about a week of using Hiruscar. It’s still a little pink, but that’s much less noticeable than my usual postblemish pigment. I’ve started using the gel on some older spots on my cheeks, in conjunction with my usual acid regimen, and have noticed a bit of lightening—nothing too dramatic, but I’ll happily take all the help I can get.