Niacinamide and alpha arbutin seem to be about the best choices for fading hyperpigmentation and evening out sun damaged skin tone. Your Best Face upped the amount of alpha arbutin in its reformulated Restore, but most of the time we simply don't know if we are getting meaningful amounts of actives in our potions - unless, that is, we make our own. I had a go with buriti oil (a new antioxidant find of mine) and threw in Matrixyl 3000 for good measure.

If you want to channel your inner formulator and fashion a freckle fader, then read on for the recipe (it takes a couple of minutes to whip up) and a little background on the ingredients. Note, I have been fiddling around with the recipe over the weekend and have modified the ingredients slightly - the main reason was I overdid the buriti in the version posted on Saturday and have now reduced it to a few drops. Easier still, use YBF Concentrate as your base.

The recipe is:
4 teaspoons of Your Best Face Antioxidants Concentrate or 4 teaspoons quality olive oil
1 teaspoon buriti oil
Half teaspoon alpha arbutin
Half teaspoon Matrixyl-3000
Half teaspoon niacinamide

There's more on the ingredients below. You can buy ingredients from Lotioncrafters, Skin Actives and New Directions Aromatics.

A one-month study on 80 Chinese women, using a 1% alpha arbutin concentration, resulted in a “skin lightening effect”. It was faster and more effective than kojic acid (another commonly used skin lightener) and it left hydroquinone in the shade. Alpha arbutin is typically derived from plants, including bearberry, which has sun protection properties and is probably responsible for claims made by the makers of alpha arbutin that it also reduces the degree of skin tanning after sun exposure.

Matrixyl 3000 is made from two new peptides that have nothing to do with the palmitoyl-pentapeptide 3 that is in the original matrixyl. The two new peptides are palmitoyl-tripeptide and palmitoyl-oligopeptide. It boosts collagen production.

Mauritia flexuosa is a palm tree that grows in South American swamps and is rich in vitamin C and vitamin A. A brazilian research team claims it has the richest natural source of beta-carotene known to man. One study speculates that the oil, called buriti, has such low cytotoxicity that it may render topical creams completely non-irritating.

Niacin is vitamin B3. It has been shown to be an effective skin lightening agent, especially for skin conditions where hyperpigmention may occur on the face or other visible parts of the body, and to have anti-inflammatory properties, which makes it a potential treatment for acne, rosacea and any blistering-type disease. Studies also noted that niacin and its derivatives have chemopreventative effects.