I am feeling quite pleased with myself. I have demonstrated patience (not a virtue associated with me), thrift (even less) and a smattering of ingenuity. What's more it's bloody well worked. The result is an effective age spot fader that I - partly - concocted in my own bathroom.

It all started a few weeks ago when I researched ferulic acid. I discovered that it is found in the cell walls of plants and is an antioxidant that zaps at least three types of free radical: ‘superoxide’, ‘hydroxyl radical’, and ‘nitric oxide’ - according to a 2002 Japanese study. But what really got me interested was a Duke University study that found that mixed with vitamin C or E, it renders both more powerful.

So I splashed out (egged on, as I recall, by Mike) a whole $9 at Skin Actives on tiny bottle of ferulic acid. It arrived with a note saying it had to be added to one ounce of a potion of my choice. But what? It sat on my desk for a week before I came up with an idea. I had an almost full one ounce bottle of Somme Serum ($82) that I had tried but somehow failed to engage with.

The point about the Somme is that it is a potent shot of vitamin C and not much else. In fact, the C in question is ascorbyl methysilanol that is particularly (and unlike some other Cs) stable. This allows it to be time-released by Somme's 'molecular dispersion technology' (whatever that is).

Anyway, I dumped in the ferulic acid, gave it a good shake and put an experimental dab on my right hand. No smoke appeared, nor did hair start to sprout (look, I haven't resorted to bathroom chemistry before and was, understandably, nervous) and so I kept on dabbing. Three weeks later, I have visibly reduced some very stubborn 'freckles' on my hand.

I thoroughly recommended finding a good source of C and adding in ferulic acid for a thrifty DIY hyperpigmentation solution that really seems to work.

Ingredients in Somme (before I added in the ferulic acid)

Water, ascorbyl methysilanol, SD alcohol 40, Molecular Dispersion Technology (MDT5), xanthan gum, orange extract, palma rosa extract, lime extract, lavender extract, oak moss extract, galbanum extract, diazolidinyl urea, methylparaben, propylparaben, tetrasodium EDTA