What Is Kojic Acid
Designed to prevent the creation of melanin, kojic acid can be used topically to treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, melasma and dark spots on the skin. Melanin the pigment that gives eyes, hair and skin colour is present in every human. Different levels of melanin denote light or dark pigmentation. A skin-brightening acid, kojic acid is a chemical product obtained from different types of fungi and is a byproduct of certain fermentation processes.
Historically, kojic acid has been a key ingredient in skin-whitening products used at higher percentages and combined with arbutin to bleach the skin. However, when used in appropriate concentrations, it can be a potent way to treat specific melanin-related conditions without bleaching or whitening the surrounding skin. Its deemed a well-tolerated alternative to hydroquinone, which can cause adverse reactions in dark skin tones.
Found to be safe for regular use at a strength of 1% or below, kojic acid can be found in cleansers, toners, serums and masks.
Best Skincare Products For Hyperpigmentation
Skincare is definitely having a moment right now, but as anyone with a five- or six-step skincare routine knows, no one complexion is the same. Different products work for different people! After all, some people struggle with dry skin while others have oily or combination some of us are acne sufferers while others are constantly at battle with dark spots. What’s important is that you find the right skincare ingredients for your skin type and what works for you. If you’re dealing with hyperpigmentationa fancy word for discolorationthese dark spots can be tricky to get rid of and prevent.
But with the right ingredients, dark spots and acne scars can disappear once and for all. Newsweek consulted Diane Smorra, a licensed esthetician at St. Tropez Spa in Port Jefferson, NY, for her skin-sight and professional product recommendations.
“Some causes of hyperpigmentation can include birth control and hormonal imbalances like pregnancy, which can cause melasma,” Smorra says. “Another big one is UVA sun-induced exposure and tanning salons, which cause premature aging like wrinkles and skin cancer. Sun damage lies under the skin for years and doesn’t show up until years later.”
Picking at your spots can cause discoloration, too. Smorra adds, “Post-inflammatory Hyperpigmentation is from picking your skin and will leave brown marks on the skin for months and months.”
Best Creams And Treatments For Hyperpigmentation On Your Face
Hyperpigmentation is the term used for any uneven patches of skin, usually darker than your natural skin tone. Commonly known as dark spots or scars, hyperpigmentation can appear as a range of different shades depending on your skin tone and can be a pain to cover! Thankfully, these stubborn spots can be treated and reduced with the right skincare products.
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Skinceuticals Discolouration Defense Corrective Serum 30ml
Best: Overall and for sensitive skin
This niacinamide-rich formula is so light and thin, it feels almost like water and is recommended to use between three to five drops twice a day. Its fast absorbing and leaves the texture of our skin smooth, soft and ready for moisturiser. If you have a higher budget, this is well worth the spend, leaving no irritation, despite our reviewer having severe dryness as a side effect from acne medication.
It also sat nicely beneath make-up and was a pleasure to apply. As its such a thin consistency, it doesnt clog up the pipette, nor leave any dregs behind, so it definitely feels like you can reach every last scrap of product. If you use it in the morning, just be sure to always apply sunscreen after, to keep skin as protected as possible.
How Can I Prevent Hyperpigmentation From Happening
Hyperpigmentation is the result of an excess of melanin, which is the pigment that gives skin its color. It can be caused by sun damage, inflammation, or certain medical conditions. While there is no guaranteed way to prevent hyperpigmentation, there are some measures that can help to reduce the risk.
First, it is important to protect the skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen and covering up with clothing when spending extended periods of time outdoors. Additionally, it is important to avoid picking at or rubbing the skin, as this can trigger inflammation.
Finally, if you have a medical condition that is associated with hyperpigmentation, such as diabetes or Addisons disease, it is important to manage the condition and follow your doctors recommendations. By taking these steps, you can help to minimize the risk of developing hyperpigmentation.
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The Ordinary Niacinamide 10 Percent Plus Zinc 1 Percent Oil Control Serum
Fans of The Ordinary tend to bond over their shared hyperpigmentation, but the good news is the brand’s Niacinamide 10 Percent Plus Zinc 1 Percent Oil Control Serum can do wonders for visible blemishes. “Ingredients like niacinamide and azelaic acid are more gentler for sensitive skins,” Smorra explains.
Because of its high concentration of niacinamidethat’s vitamin B3The Ordinary Niacinamide 10 Percent Plus Zinc 1 Percent Oil Control Serum can reduce the appearance of blemishes and congestion, may visibly brighten the skin tone and regulate your skin’s oil production. Plus, it’s vegan-, gluten- and cruelty-free and made free of parabens, formaldehyde, phthalates, mineral oil, oxybenzone, coal tar and sulfates SLS and SLES.
One Sephora.com reviewer wrote, “I have been using this product religiously in my nighttime skincare routine for almost 2 years straight and it has made some amazing changes in the appearance of my skin. It’s helped with brightening my complexion and getting rid of old acne scars! I’m so glad they sell it in a higher quantity now!”
Mistake #: Using The Wrong Ingredients To Treat It
Different types of hyperpigmentation do crop up for varying internal and external reasons, but our experts agree that there are some standard skincare ingredients that can be helpful across the board. “The active ingredients for hyperpigmentation include hydroquinones, azelaic acid, kojic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, and retinol,” says Moy. Turner tells us that additional ingredients to look out for are niacinamide, vitamin C, and topical tranexamic acid. Variation in treatment can be determined by a board-certified dermatologist, who might also recommend certain in-office peels or lasers in specific cases.
But as Turner points out, it’s crucial to remember that more isn’t always better. A dermatologist can help you determine how rigorous an exfoliation regimen you might need to curb hyperpigmentation, but it’s never a good idea to go overboard.“It goes without saying, but repeated rubbing or picking skin can exacerbate hyperpigmentation. Using mechanical exfoliating scrubs with harsh abrasives liked crushed walnut shells or crystals can also worsen hyperpigmentation,” he explains. Long story short, resist the urge to apply harsh pressure or overly abrasive products onto your skin, or you might end up doing more harm than good.
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How To Treat Hyperpigmentation
If you seek treatment in-office, dermatologists can offer prescription-based creams, while board-certified dermatologist Josh Zeichner notices great results from oral tranexamic acid pills. But not everyone has time and access to a dermatologist. Though difficult, you can still help even out your skin tone from home using well-formulated serums and treatments. The more ways you can incorporate different mechanisms to block the production of pigment, the more synergy is achieved , explains board-certified dermatologist Ranella Hirsch, founder of Atolla, on what to seek in a serum. if you arent wearing SPF, you are wasting your time.
The most popular antioxidant for brightening is vitamin C, but newcomers like the master antioxidant glutathione and the anti-inflammatory compound CBD have also been gaining attention of late. Other actives named by experts include retinoids and bakuchiol , Niacin and Niacinamide, tranexamic acid, kojic acid, malic acid, and brightening peptides. Koestline shares one to look out for called Potassium Azeloyl Diglycinate, an Azelaic acid and Glycine product that trends have not caught onto yet. Azelaic acid is also a tyrosinase inhibitor, and studies show that this molecule helps reduce dark spots, she explains.
To Improve The Appearance Of Scars: Bio
Reduce the appearance of stretch marks and scars with the Bio-Oil Skincare Oil.
With good for you skin ingredients like vitamin E, vitamin A, chamomile oil, and lavender oil, Bio-Oil increases your skins moisture and addresses concerns like uneven skin tone and texture caused by hormonal changes and sun damage. This body oil works for all skin types and it can be used on any area of the body, and reviewers say its done wonders for their stretch marks and scars.
“Omg, this stuff is the best! one Amazon reviewer gushes. Not only is it one of the best facial moisturizers I’ve ever used , but it also helps so much with dark spots from acne. will definitely be using this forever.”
Fenty Skin By Rihanna Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer
Lastbut never least!our girl RiRi proved she’s a genius once again by reinventing the wheel with Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen with Niacinamide. On Sephora.com, this product has hundreds of reviews and 39.1K likes, with most fans calling out its efficiency in lightening dark spots, minimizing pores and alleviating dryness. This lightweight sunscreen moisturizer is also refillable and oil-free and targets dark areas using Kalahari melon, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and aloe. Rihanna, you just get us.
One Sephora.com reviewer wrote, “I got a sample and liked it so much I bought the full size. Because of my age, 55, I could use just a bit more hydration but I’ll just add a moisturizing serum beforehand.”
Newsweek may earn a commission from links on this page, but we only recommend products we back. We participate in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.
Bha And Aha Cleansers
Typically, cleansers with beta hydroxy acids, like salicylic , and alpha hydroxy acids, like glycolic and lactic , are marketed to teens and those who suffer from acne . But they can also help other skin types by gently exfoliating the surface and unclogging pores , which could be causing your unwanted acne. So unless you have really dry and sensitive skin , consider using a cleanser with either or both to help fade marks.
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What Exactly Is Hyperpigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is simply a descriptive term that refers to patches of skin with excess melanin. It can occur in small patches or in larger areas, it can affect any area of the body, and it can be caused by many different skin irritants and exposures. While hyperpigmentation can occur in all skin types, it is much more common among people with melanin-rich skin. Hyperpigmentation is technically not a skin “condition,” but is a sign that skin has been damaged or experienced inflammation. It’s a side effect of the healing process whether that damage is caused by acne, a cut, skin chafing or sun exposure. And while hyperpigmentation is common, the good news is it is usually harmless.
Best Bleaching Cream: Ambi Fade Cream
There arent many effective bleaching ingredients available over-the-counter, with the exception of hydroquinone. Theres no denying that this topical bleaching agent really does work, but theres also no hiding from its side effects severe skin redness, dryness, and blisters are all pretty common.
Still, if nothing else has worked for you yet, give it a try at a 2% concentration, which is exactly what the Ambi Fade Cream provides. In addition to hydroquinone, this skin whitening cream, which is designed for normal skin types, also contains lactic acid and vitamin E to promote softer and smoother skin. Use it twice a day and you should start to see results in just two weeks!
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Which One Should You Choose
So there you have it, six of our favourite skincare brands with products and ranges designed to tackle hyperpigmentation and lighten the look of dark spots.
Of course, there are still six to choose from, so if youre ready to invest in some products but not sure which ones are best for you, why not get tailored advice from our skin experts. Our team can analyse your skin tone and type to give you the best recommendations with a free online skincare consultation.
We only recommend brands that use cosmeceutical ingredients and give you real results. Well analyse your skin, ask about your exact concernswhether thats just hyperpigmentation or other skincare issue tooand then recommend the best brands for the job. We can also recommend which products to use from those brands, and help you build an entire routine.
How We Researched
To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best products on the market in this category, evaluating their key featureslike ingredients, shade range, or designin addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five to certain products on the list.
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What You Can Do
Acne-related hyperpigmentation occurs when dark patches develop after a blemish has healed. Although hyperpigmentation is harmless, it can be frustrating to deal with.
If youre experiencing acne-related hyperpigmentation, you arent alone. Talk to your dermatologist about your options for over-the-counter and professional treatment.
The exact treatment you choose will depend on the severity of your condition, as well as your skin type and tone. Your dermatologist can help you find the best option for your skin.
Read on to learn more about how you can fade this form of hyperpigmentation with OTC products, prescription creams, and more.
Best Products For Hyperpigmentation Under $80
Check out these products for hyperpigmentation from Amazon under $80!
A difference in skin coloration due to lifestyle or biological reasons is called hyperpigmentation. Uneven skin tone is of no harm yet can make one very self-conscious and feel less confident about themselves. Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin produces excess melanin natural pigmentation found mostly in the skin. The affected areas may simply look like freckles or age spots. Here we bring to you the best products for hyperpigmentation from Amazon.
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To Banish Fine Lines And Wrinkles: Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum
Say “bye” to fine lines and wrinkles with the Mario Badescu Vitamin C Serum.
Formulated with antioxidants to protect the skin against free radicals that age the skin, Mario Badescus Vitamin C Serum claims to not only brighten your complexion but also to diminish the look of fine lines and wrinkles. With a blend of vitamin C, collagen, and hyaluronic acid, this highly-rated serum combats hyperpigmentation and plumps and smooths skin.
One Amazon reviewer writes: Noticed a difference in my face within weeks of using this product! My hyperpigmentation began to fade , and my overall skin just looked brighter and more glowy.
Biore Uv Aqua Rich Watery Essence Sunscreen Spf 50
Best Sunscreen for Hyperpigmentation in Dark Skin
While this product wont directly treat hyperpigmentation, sun protection is vital for preventing new spots from appearing. It also will help current spots heal faster. Sun protection is key, says Dr. Oluwatobi Ogbechie-Godec, MD, MBA, a board-certified dermatologist at APDerm. A few hours of sun can undo weeks of using a topical product. I always tell patients to use sun protection every morning and to reapply as needed.
This is a cult-favorite chemical sunscreen that shields the skin from the sun. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which hydrates the skin. Furthermore, it is waterproof and has both UVA and UVB protection. The formula is lightweight and absorbs well without leaving a greasy film. Lastly, it is one of the best sunscreens to prevent tanning.
How to Use: Apply to the skin prior to sun exposure. If swimming, reapply after 80 minutes in the water.
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How Can I Lighten My Hyperpigmentation Fast
Unfortunately, beyond professional treatments, there arent any products or tricks that will help fade hyperpigmentation super quickly. That said, by using the right skincare products , you will likely begin to see improvements in the appearance of hyperpigmentation within a few weeks. In addition to using targeted treatments, youll want to ensure you are wearing sunscreen everyday, as sun damage can make hyperpigmentation darker which will make these spots even harder to fade.
Best Sunscreens For Hyperpigmentation
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The Best Skin Lightening Cream For Hyperpigmentation: Our Top 11 Picks
Every skin lightening formula out there will be unique in its own way. Some will produce instant but temporary results, while others may bring about deeper changes over a longer period of time. Its also important to keep your skin type and skin tone in mind when picking a product some will be too harsh for sensitive skin, while others wont be suitable for darker skin tones.
Have a think about exactly what it is that your skin needs before scrolling through our featured products.
If your skin has a dark tone, check out our guide and pick the best skin lightening cream for black skin.