The best ingredients and products to fight skin pigmentation and dark spots (2022)

Table of Contents
What causes skin pigmentation? The sun - even on cloudy days Inflammation – whenever your skin has been ‘injured’ Hormonal changes such as pregnancy and the Pill Illness and medication The wrong skincare and treatments How to prevent pigmentation Exfoliate Nourish Protect Why does pigmentation come back? Why sunscreen is THE non-negotiable pigmentation treatment How to treat and minimise pigmentation with skincare Is there a ‘best skincare ingredient’ for hyperpigmentation? Preventing hyperpigmentation: skincare ingredients to know Tyrosinase inhibitors to stop melanin production Acids, enzymes and retinoids: ingredients that break up hyperpigmentation Niacinamide, peptides, antioxidants and other pigment busters What the experts use to treat hyperpigmentation Skincare the experts use for melasma The best skincare products for treating hyperpigmentation Best for brightening: Dr Sam Flawless Brightly Serum, £44 Best clinical-grade pigmentation reducer: Skinceuticals Discolouration Defence Serum, £90 for 30ml Best high street pigment buster: Nivea Cellular Luminous 630 Anti Dark Spot Face Serum, £10 for 30ml Best budget dark-spot and melasma fader: Garden of Wisdom Alpha Arbutin 2% and Kojic Acid 1% Serum, £13.50 for 30ml Best three-way discolouration slayer: Medik8 Oxy-R Peptides, £55 for 2x 10ml Best cosmetic anti-pigment programme: MZ Skin Pigmentation Correcting Ampoules, £155 for 14x2ml Best skin-calming melasma treatment: Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid Booster, £37 for 30ml Best for glowing skin: Dr. Dennis Gross 15% Vitamin C Firm & Bright Serum, £86 for 30ml Best pigmentation treatment for menopausal skin: Skinsense Advanced Anti-Pigmentation Perfecting Serum, £36 for 30ml Best doctor-approved melasma treatment: Cyspera Intensive Pigment Corrector System, £224 FAQs Videos
  • Home
  • Beauty
  • Skincare
  • The best ingredients and products to fight skin pigmentation and dark spots

Where does skin pigmentation come from and how can you send it packing? Specialists say the right skincare is the best starting point to treat pigmentation. Here’s exactly what to buy

If you buy a product we recommend, we may earn an affiliate commission

Skin pigmentation is a topic that is slightly nuanced. Few would object to a smattering of freckles across the nose or a single Marilyn Monroe-esque beauty mark that has been there for most of our lives. But it’s when uneven dark spots and patches of skin pigmentation start cropping up willy-nilly on our face (and hands, and body) that many of us start asking whether there’s not a way we can get rid of the things.

While the vast majority of skin pigmentation is actually harmless, there’s a reason why it bothers us.

"Our brains are programmed to perceive an even ‘canvas’ of skin as more pleasing to look at than one with marks,” says dermatologist Dr Sam Bunting. The theory is that our caveman instincts associate discolourations and textural imperfections with declining health and advancing age and therefore strength, and because of that, says Bunting, “studies have shown that we think an uneven skin tone is as ageing as lines or wrinkles."

It can affect any skin tone and skin type and make a dent in our confidence. Author and TV personality Kate Ferdinand took to Instagram to share her experience, writing: "I always feel so insecure about it and it really does get me down, I try to cover it at all costs." Her followers were quick to share their experiences, writing: "I’m so going through this right now" and "I have this and I really worry what people will think.

Why do brown spots and skin pigmentation or, to give it its correct medical term, hyperpigmentation - i.e. melanin that’s gone into overdrive –come from?

What causes skin pigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is when the skin distributes melanin unevenly, creating areas that are darker than others. There are a number of causes.

The sun - even on cloudy days

UV rays cause the skin to tan as a defence mechanism: it’s trying to protect your skin cells’ DNA from getting nuked, because that way lies permanent damage and a small issue called skin cancer. The more you expose your skin to the sun, the more damage your cells sustain and the less efficient they get at protecting, repairing and renewing themselves. One very visible sign of this is dark blotches instead of a smooth, all-over tan: “this is sun damage, and it’s the most common cause of hyperpigmentation,” says Dr Amiee Vyas. “It can lie in wait under the surface of the skin from a young age [sun damage is cumulative, forms from the first day you step out into the sun unprotected, and is caused by UVA rays that are present even on cloudy days and in winter months] and comes to the surface as you get older, sometimes gradually, sometimes all at once.”

So the more you’ve tanned in your teens and twenties, the more you should brace for blotches when you hit your thirties and forties.

Inflammation – whenever your skin has been ‘injured’

Any kind of injury to the skin such as bites, ingrown hairs, eczema and aggressive skincare can leave a dark mark behind, thanks to a surge of melanin in the area (inflammation stimulates melanocytes, the cells that create melanin), that can last for weeks, months or even longer. “This is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH),” says Dr Vyas, “and the most common ‘injury’ is acne. PIH is most common or visible in darker skin tones and those that tan very easily.” Dr Bunting adds that the colour will vary depending on your complexion: "In very fair skin, PIH tends to be more red-toned whereas in darker skin types the spots tend towards brown."

Hormonal changes such as pregnancy and the Pill

Hormonal pigmentation is known as melasma and is commonly seen during times of hormonal upheaval such as menopause, puberty, when you start the pill, during pregnancy or when breastfeeding. It manifests in much larger darkened areas than regular brown spots, often in a ‘butterfly shape’ over the forehead and nose, or on the top lip. It can disappear as suddenly as it has appeared but can also be very tenacious.

Illness and medication

“Sometimes illness may cause pigmentation, and some drugs can induce it as well,” says Dr Vyas. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (such as ibuprofen), antimalarials and psychotropic drugs (such as Prozac) are some of them. “HRT (a hormone-based treatment) can also cause pigment lesions, particularly in those with darker skin tones; think 3 on the Fitzpatrick scale (olive) or higher,” says oculoplastic surgeon Dr Maryam Zamani.

(Video) TOP 10 Ingredients to FADE HYPERPIGMENTATION| Dr Dray

The wrong skincare and treatments

Skincare as well as professional and clinical skincare treatments, if not chosen and administered carefully, can cause inflammation that can lead to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It’s why it’s advisable to always choose a very experienced therapist or doctor if you’re going to have your brown marks or melasma treated professionally. Energy or heat-based devices in particular, such as radiofrequency devices or lasers, can make hyperpigmentation and, particularly, melasma worse. Many lasers are not advisable for the treatment of pigmentation in darker skin tones, and these are particularly prone to PIH.

How to prevent pigmentation

There are a few skincare basics to consider to stop you from getting hyperpigmentation in the first place

Exfoliate

“Healthy, optimally functioning skin is essential for preventing the formation of dark spots, uneven patches and dullness, as it will empower skin to do its own preventative and repair work,” says Dr Vyas. She recommends regular, effective exfoliation while cleansing so that further skincare ingredients and moisture don’t just remain on the surface, but can work on a deeper level to actually tackle your pigmentation issues.

Choose an exfoliating acid, she says, that doesn’t irritate your skin, or you may actually set off pigmentation. “Glycolic acid is very effective and stimulates deep down into the skin, but if it ‘bites’, you’re better off with the gentler and deeply hydrating lactic acid. For very sensitive skins and those who need to ease themselves in carefully so as not to risk PIH, including those with darker skin tones, try malic acid or polyhydroxy acids,” says Dr Vyas. We rate Dermalogica Daily Milkfoliant, £59.

Nourish

“For strong, self-reliant skin that can cope effectively with strong, problem-solving actives, choose bland (unscented and frills-free) cleansers [see our picks of cleansers for sensitive skin]and moisturisers with deep-hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid alongside ceramides to seal in the moisture and reinforce the skin’s protective barrier,” says Dr Vyas. We love Glossier After Baume, £25

Protect

Daily high-SPF UV protection throughout the year is simply non-negotiable if you want to prevent, treat or diminish hyperpigmentation,” says Dr Vyas. And that doesn’t just go for sun-damaged induced brown spots and discolouration. “Any UV exposure will worsen the effects of inflammatory hyperpigmentation and make the marks worse. So even if your pigmentation is due mainly due to trauma or acne, a broad-spectrum SPF50 sunscreen is essential,” says Dr Bunting. The same goes for melasma: the cause is hormonal, but any dose of UV light will entrench it further and make it look worse. So finding the best everyday SPF is key.

Why does pigmentation come back?

If you manage to successfully lessen your brown marks with potent skincare or expensive professional treatments and follow your achievement by stepping out into the sun, the pigmentation will come back in a flash – likely worse than ever before. “Skin has a memory,” says Dr Zamani. So if you reintroduce it to the trigger that set off the pigmentation, it will send in the troops at speed. “It takes many, many skin cycles (one cycle is two months) of suppressing and preventing melanin formation to wipe this memory from skin’s ‘brain’; you’re looking at least a year.”

Why sunscreen is THE non-negotiable pigmentation treatment

Even then, Dr Zamani says, “certain types of pigmentation can recur despite your best efforts. Pigmentation is a bit like grey hair: once you’ve got it, it’s not really going to go away.” That’s just the reality of it, and the reason why a high-quality SPF is the most important pigmentation- buster about. Luckily, countless good ones are available at every price point these days, but to name just one, Dr Vyas’s all-time favourite is Neostrata Sheer Physical Protection SPF50, £30, which comes with a universal tint but there are many other best tinted spfs out there.

How to treat and minimise pigmentation with skincare

Pigmentation is a complex issue that reaches deep into the skin and requires intensive treatment. Brown marks are among the most difficult-to-treat skin complaints with creams and serums. For very dramatic results, you may need to look into professional procedures such as chemical peels, laser resurfacing or some carefully selected heat-based treatments such as IPL or Morpheus 8.

It is important to choose a very experienced specialist who can diagnose the causes of your pigmentation issues properly, as these will dictate your treatment. Melasma, for example, requires quite a different approach than other types of pigmentation, while there’s no point treating pigmented acne marks without dealing with the acne first.

While you can’t ‘cure’ or ‘remove’ your brown spots with skincare, a regime with powerful, proven actives can lighten pigment flecks, spots and patches, and achieve an overall brighter and more even complexion.

Is there a ‘best skincare ingredient’ for hyperpigmentation?

There are many ingredients to treat pigmentation and despite the popularity of single ingredient-led skincare, there’s no stand-alone performer (although as mentioned SPF should be on your non-negotiable list).

(Video) Dermatologist’s Best Skincare Ingredients for Hyperpigmentation (Melasma, Dark Spots, & More)

You need a combination approach. “Pigmentation forms through a number of different pathways and can only successfully be treated with a complex of ingredients that address all of these,” says Dr Bunting.

Some ingredients prevent pigmentation cells being generated, others break up the pigmentation that’s already there by exfoliating it away, yet others prevent pigment cells migrating to the skin’s surface. The more pigment pathways you interrupt, the better the result, says Dr Bunting.

Whatever type of pigmentation you have, you need a blend of these actives.

Preventing hyperpigmentation: skincare ingredients to know

Tyrosinase inhibitors to stop melanin production

Some active ingredients work by interrupting an enzyme called tyrosinase, which stimulates the production of melanin (brown pigment) in the skin. They are known as tyrosinase inhibitors and they basically put the brakes on brown patches forming in the first place. They should be part of any successful pigment or melasma-suppressing skincare, whether your hyperpigmentation is already visible or you want to try and prevent the dark patches lurking under the skin surface from making an appearance.

  • Hydroquinone is probably the best-proven tyrosinase inhibitor, but it makes the skin more prone to sun damage while you are using it and may be carcinogenic if used incorrectly, so is only available on prescription in the UK.
  • Arbutin (also often listed and mulberry or bearberry extract), kojic acid, licorice root, hexylresorcinol, azelaic acid and tranexamic acid are viable alternatives is cosmetic skincare.
  • Cysteamine, which is currently only available under the brand name Cyspera, is a new tyrosinase inhibitor that skin doctors such as Dr Sophie Shotter are excited about. It also inhibits peroxidase, which is another enzyme in the melanin production pathway, so it’s doubly effective and, says Shotter, clinical studies show it’s at least as effective as gold-standard hydroquinone, but without the latter’s drawbacks.
  • L-ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and retinol (vitamin A) also appear to have tyrosinase-inhibiting properties, alongside helping to break up the existing pigment.

Acids, enzymes and retinoids: ingredients that break up hyperpigmentation

Other ingredients (again, you’ll need them for treating any type of pigmentation), help get rid of existing brown spots, either by sloughing them away (using exfoliating acids - AHAs such as glycolic and lactic acid, or exfoliating enzymes such as bromelain and papain) or pushing out pigmented cells and replacing them with bright new ones (retinoids).

Niacinamide, peptides, antioxidants and other pigment busters

Vitamin C and certain peptides help fade pigmentation by regulating melanin production, niacinamide blocks the transfer of melanin cells to the skin surface, and some powerful antioxidants such as green tea and glucosamine help protect from free radical damage and inflammation and have tyrosinase-inhibiting properties.

What the experts use to treat hyperpigmentation

“I love the combination of a retinoid, vitamin C, niacinamide and azelaic acid,” says Dr Bunting, who uses it in her own Dr Sam’s skincare range. In her medical practice, she likes to “rotate through different tyrosinase inhibitors over the course of the year.

“Hydroquinone is often used when a patient wants their skin to be at its best, for a wedding for example. And then we’ll use something like arbutin for the colder months when there is less chance of UV damage.” She combines this with antioxidants, exfoliants, and broad-spectrum sunscreens.

Paula Begoun, the woman behind evidence-based skincare brand Paula’s Choice, favours two brightening ingredient combos (safe for all skin tones). “Niacinamide plus glucosamine is backed by impressive research showing its ability to alleviate the appearance of uneven skin tone and redness,” she says. Meanwhile, “tranexamic acid plus niacinamide is a research-supported combination for targeting stubborn, patchy discolourations.”

Skincare the experts use for melasma

Melasma is a particularly hardy, deep-rooted form of pigmentation that is very hard to treat with skincare alone, but some products can make a dent in it if used consistently. Dermatologist Dr Emma Craythorne quotes clinical studies that show roughly 50 per cent improvement in melasma patches when a concentration of four per cent niacinamide (a level widely available in cosmetics) is used. Niacinamide is also a calming anti-inflammatory, which is important for melasma as it’s associated with inflammation as well as hormonal fluctuations.

Dr Craythorne also loves azelaic acid, which is an anti-inflammatory agent and tyrosinase inhibitor. “It’s shown in randomised trials to be more effective than 2% hydroquinone,” she says. But to get the strength used in the trials (20 per cent) you’d need a prescription. The highest level you can get in cosmetics is 10 per cent, which can still be effective over a longer period of time (think four to six months). Azelaic is a gentle chemical exfoliant as well, safe for treating acne and post-inflammatory pigmentation in all skin tones.

Cysteamine is the new kid on the block for melasma. “It’s a great option and so much less aggressive than other topical melasma treatments,” says Dr Shotter. It’s not perfect, though: “Melasma is particularly stubborn - it’s not JUST pigment, but also has a vascular component and is often hormonally driven,” says Dr Shotter. “I like to combine a topical such as cysteamine with oral tranexamic acid, which has excellent evidence for working synergistically, and professional peels.”

The best skincare products for treating hyperpigmentation

Best for brightening: Dr Sam Flawless Brightly Serum, £44

A carefully balanced blend of azelaic acid, niacinamide, vitamin C and retinol-mimicking bakuchiol in white lotion-like serum that you apply all over under your SPF, designed to gently but resolutely even out your skin tone, calm breakouts and prevent marks forming.

(Video) Tips for Dark Spots, Hyperpigmentation, and Melasma

Buy now

Best clinical-grade pigmentation reducer: Skinceuticals Discolouration Defence Serum, £90 for 30ml

This clear serum that can be used all over or on individual patches is formulated with 1.8% tranexamic acid, 5% niacinamide and 5% gently exfoliating sulfonic acid for a synergistic brightening effect. According to Dr Craythorne, there is some clinical proof that a concentration of 2-3% tranexamic acid in a topical preparation can safely reduce pigmentation in all skin tones.

Buy now

Best high street pigment buster: Nivea Cellular Luminous 630 Anti Dark Spot Face Serum, £10 for 30ml

This is a silky serum that has a resorcinol derivative to prevent the formation of melanin, patented by Nivea, alongside vitamin C. Together, they’re said to fade brown spots in four weeks. Whether it’s really effective against melasma (as the marketing implies) remains to be seen – usually, you need something a little more clinical-grade for that.

Buy now

Best budget dark-spot and melasma fader: Garden of Wisdom Alpha Arbutin 2% and Kojic Acid 1% Serum, £13.50 for 30ml

This purse-friendly all-over serum is designed to be a gentle alternative to hydroquinone-based products for treating melasma and hyperpigmentation. With niacinamide in the line-up, too, and the brand being known for is no-bull, effective formulas, it’s a great choice at a great price.

Buy now

Best three-way discolouration slayer: Medik8 Oxy-R Peptides, £55 for 2x 10ml

This silky serum featuring two peptides that interrupt melanin pathways was created to target all three types of pigmentation with a three-pronged attack. It also uniquely uses oxyresveratrol to block tyrosinase – apparently it’s 33 times more effective than kojic acid, but notoriously unstable. Medik8 has created a preservation system by storing it in the lid; click it straight into the bottle of serum right before use for box-fresh ultra-potency.

Buy now

Best cosmetic anti-pigment programme: MZ Skin Pigmentation Correcting Ampoules, £155 for 14x2ml

A seven-day intensive twice-daily regime of ampoules to minimise hyperpigmentation, melasma and age spots with alpha arbutin, tranexamic acid, vitamin C and antioxidant vitamins. It’s very flash and should help brighten within the week. There’s enough in each ampule to treat face, neck and decolletage.

Buy now

(Video) How to Get Rid of Hyperpigmentation, Brightening Skincare Routine | Fade Face Dark Spots Fast part.1

Best skin-calming melasma treatment: Paula’s Choice Azelaic Acid Booster, £37 for 30ml

Azelaic and salicylic acids, both skin-calming and effective against acne spots and brown spots, are assisted by licorice extract and further skin-soothing agents to make this a weapon against melasma to boot, at a reasonable price. Can be used twice daily, all over, under moisturiser or SPF.

Buy now

Best for glowing skin: Dr. Dennis Gross 15% Vitamin C Firm & Bright Serum, £86 for 30ml

Vitamin C may already be in your daily routine, but if you suffer from hyperpigmentation, consider substituting this for your daily vitamin C serum. 15 Per cent l-ascorbic acid (active vitamin C), lactic acid, mulberry and licorice extracts are in here to chip away at pigmented patches in their multiple ways. Smells a bit ‘meaty’ but don’t let that put you off; that’s the natural scent of vitamin C.

Buy now

Best pigmentation treatment for menopausal skin: Skinsense Advanced Anti-Pigmentation Perfecting Serum, £36 for 30ml

A fresh, grown-up serum that instantly plumps and deep-delivers a cocktail of reliable skin tone evener-outers that won’t irritate – think hexylresorcinol, niacinamide and licorice extract. Can be used at any time, applied all over under other serums, moisturisers or SPF.

Buy now

Best doctor-approved melasma treatment: Cyspera Intensive Pigment Corrector System, £224

A three-product system based on clinically-backed cysteamine, which includes a neutraliser to deal with the stinky whiff the active gives off (who says beauty is glamour?!). There’s also isobionic amide, a gentle pigment buster that, says Dr Shotter, works synergistically with cysteamine, alongside AHAs to resurface the skin. You need to use it every night for 16 weeks to see your pigmentation fade, then use it twice weekly for maintenance.

Buy now

FAQs

Which ingredient is best for skin pigmentation? ›

Retinol is one of the best ingredients to treat hyperpigmentation due to its ability to speed up cell turnover. Azelaic acid is another ingredient that brightens the skin, but is gentler, making it great for those with sensitive skin.

What can I use for dark spots and pigmentation? ›

The American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) recommends the following treatments for dark spots in skin of color:
  1. 2% hydroquinone.
  2. azelaic acid.
  3. glycolic acid.
  4. kojic acid.
  5. retinoids, such as retinol, tretinoin, adapalene gel, or tazarotene.
  6. vitamin C.

Which ingredients is best for removing dark spots? ›

When it comes to dark spot treatments, hydroquinone has been the gold standard for over 50 years. You can find this ingredient over the counter in concentrations of 2% or less, whereas the prescription has 4% or greater.

Which product is best for removing pigmentation? ›

  • 7 Days Bye Bye Pigmentation Blemishes removal Cream || Anti Pigmentation Cream for Women/Men with Niacinamide, B-White & Lime Pearl - 100G. 5.0 out of 5 stars 1. ₹320 (₹320/100 g) ₹599 (47% off) ...
  • 7 Days Freshing Remove freckle reduce pigmentation lightening brightening dark spot corrector cream- 100G. 5.0 out of 5 stars 2.

What ingredient removes pigmentation? ›

  • Hyaluronic acid.
  • Retinol.
  • Vitamin C.
  • Niacinamide.
  • Glycolic acid.
  • Salicylic acid.
  • Ceramides.
  • Bakuchiol.
20 May 2022

Which natural ingredient is best for pigmentation? ›

Aloe vera contains aloin, a natural depigmenting compound that has been shown to lighten skin and work effectively as a nontoxic hyperpigmentation treatment, according to a 2012 study. To use: Apply pure aloe vera gel to pigmented areas before bedtime.

How can I remove pigmentation permanently from my face naturally? ›

These are several remedies you can try at home to treat your pigmented skin.
  1. Apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which may help in lightening the pigmentation on your skin. ...
  2. Aloe vera. ...
  3. Red onion. ...
  4. Green tea extract. ...
  5. Black tea water. ...
  6. Milk. ...
  7. Tomato paste. ...
  8. Masoor dal (red lentils)
10 Jan 2021

What cream removes dark spots fast from face? ›

Best Dark Spots Removal Creams For Body
  1. Fabindia Vitamin E Cream De-Pigmentation. ...
  2. Khadi Omorose Anti-Blemish Cream. ...
  3. VLCC Almond Honey: Deep Nourishing & Skin Brightening Body Lotion. ...
  4. Garnier Light Complete Moisturising Serum-In-Lotion. ...
  5. Nivea Whitening Even Tone Body Lotion.
23 Mar 2021

Which serum is good for pigmentation? ›

Best Alpha Arbutin Serum In India : Alpha Arbutin is one of the best active skincare ingredients to fight pigmentation, dullness, blemishes, dark spots and uneven skin tone. This effective ingredient can be found in many skin brightening and anti aging skin care products.

Which cream removes dark spots permanently? ›

Ambi Skincare Fade Cream

The star ingredient in this cream is 2% hydroquinone, an ingredient which has been proven to fade dark spots. And with its wallet-friendly price tag, it's also great for those on a budget.

How can I remove dark spots in 7 days? ›

7 Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Dark Spots
  1. Drink Plenty Of Water. Drinking plenty of water can do wonders to your skin. ...
  2. Lemon Juice And Yogurt Face Mask. We all know that lemons have a number of benefits. ...
  3. Buttermilk. ...
  4. Aloe Vera. ...
  5. Tomatoes. ...
  6. Papaya. ...
  7. Honey.

What vitamin helps dark spots disappear? ›

By inhibiting melanin production, vitamin C can help fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation. It may also help brighten your skin's appearance.

Which lotion is best for pigmentation? ›

We Have Handpicked Pigmentation Creams For You
  • Mamaearth Bye Bye Blemishes Face Cream. ...
  • The Derma Co 2% Kojic Acid Face Cream for Pigmentation. ...
  • DERMATOUCH Bye Bye Pigmentation Cream.
  • O3+ Whitening Face Emulsion Pigmentation Removal Cream.
15 Jul 2022

Which oil is good for pigmentation on face? ›

Rosehip seed oil, vitamin E oil (found in almond oil) and argan oil are some of the best carrier oils to use in your everyday skincare routine to reduce the appearance of dark marks.

Which acid is best for dark spots? ›

Glycolic acid

Pierre recommends for dark spots is glycolic acid, which is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that helps dissolve and shed the "glue" between dead, discolored skin cells, leaving you with a clearer, brighter, all-around glowier face.

Which fruit is best for dark spots? ›

Blueberries, blackberries and strawberries are high in vitamin C, vitamin K, folic acid and tannins. That blend of immune-boosting ingredients encourages collagen production and limits inflammation, which means better cell turnover and brighter skin.

How do you fade hyperpigmentation fast? ›

According to Ayodele, a chemical peel is also a great way to fade post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, as "it will help the skin to exfoliate quickly and fade the discolouration." Alpha-hydroxy-acids such as glycolic, lactic and mandelic acid work by dissolving the 'glue' that holds dead skin cells together, revealing ...

What food causes pigmentation? ›

Spicy and Fried Foods – inflammatory foods

Spicy foods and/or fried foods are also highly inflammatory in the body. Those foods should be limited as they can also trigger hyperpigmentation of the skin.

How can I hide pigmentation on my face? ›

To cover pigmentation with makeup, an orange colour corrector is the most effective. Orange colour corrector cancels out any darkness or pigmentation you may have on the skin. Simply dot some orange corrector over any hyperpigmentation you may want to conceal and blend it well.

How can I get rid of dark spots in 2 days? ›

Milk is one of the easiest home remedies that you can use to get rid of dark spots. All you have to do is take some raw milk in a bowl and use a cotton pad to dab it gently on your face, particularly the areas containing blemishes and dark spots. Instead of using plain milk, you can also add a teaspoon of honey.

What causes skin pigmentation? ›

Skin color is determined by a pigment (melanin) made by specialized cells in the skin (melanocytes). The amount and type of melanin determines a person's skin color.

What is the best home remedy for hyperpigmentation? ›

The five best ingredients to treat skin hyperpigmentation are…
  • Turmeric. Turmeric contains an active ingredient called curcumin that inhibits melanin production in the skin cells. ...
  • Aloe vera. Every household has aloe vera. ...
  • Milk/milk products. ...
  • Citrus fruits. ...
  • Potatoes.
21 Mar 2022

What happens when you stop using alpha arbutin? ›

No sooner do you discontinue using the arbutin products than your skin reverts to its former condition. The beneficial effects of arbutin are temporary. As it merely inhibits the activity of the key enzyme, tyrosinase, and decreases melanin production. No permanent change or reaction is caused.

Which serum is best for dark spots and open pores? ›

  • Minimalist 2% Salicylic Acid Serum For Acne, Blackheads & Open Pores. ...
  • The Derma Co 2% Salicylic Acid Face Serum for Acne. ...
  • Luxura Sciences Salicylic Acid 2% Face Serum. ...
  • Charmis Deep Radiance Face Serum. ...
  • StBotanica Bha Salicylic Acid.
25 Jun 2021

Can I use Colgate to remove dark spots? ›

Save toothpaste for your teeth, not for your skin. It might work to reduce the redness of your spots and dry them out, but there are safer alternatives, like baking soda or witch hazel, which will do the trick without wreaking havoc.

How does Vaseline get rid of dark spots? ›

So to answer if vaseline removes dark spots - No, regular Vaseline is just petroleum jelly that seals in moisture and doesn't contain any ingredient that would remove dark spots.

Can honey remove dark spots? ›

Yes, Honey can remove dark spots. It helps get rid of dark spots and improves your skin's quality by making it soft and smooth. Honey helps in maintaining healthy skin and also has hydrating properties.

How do dermatologists get rid of dark spots? ›

Microdermabrasion (procedure): During this procedure, a dermatologist will smooth away age spots. Studies show this can be quite effective, especially when a patient also has a chemical peel. In one study, some patients were treated with microdermabrasion once every two weeks for 16 weeks.

Which is better vitamin C or niacinamide for dark spots? ›

"Because it's a mild acid, vitamin C also gives you more of an exfoliating and brightening effect than niacinamide," says Dr. Lee. "Niacinamide has a greater impact in terms of hydrating the skin." Niacinamide is the gentler of the two, making it a great vitamin C alternative in those with sensitive skin.

Which vitamin deficiency causes pigmentation on face? ›

The hyperpigmentation related to vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in darker-skinned patients. Few other cases of skin hyperpigmentation due to vitamin B12 deficiency have been reported in the literature.

What actually works for pigmentation? ›

Hydroquinone is considered by many to be the gold standard treatment for pigmentation. “Hydroquinone blocks the production of pigmentation by inhibiting tyrosinase,” explains Dr Jack, adding that it does so in a particularly potent way.

Can pigmentation be removed completely? ›

Contrary to what many people think, freckles, melasma and dark spots don't usually resolve by themselves. In fact, in about 90% of the cases, treatment is necessary to remove pigmentations from the face permanently.

Can aloe vera remove pigmentation? ›

Aloe vera contains aloin, a natural depigmenting compound that has been shown to lighten skin and work effectively as a nontoxic hyperpigmentation treatment, according to a 2012 study. To use: Apply pure aloe vera gel to pigmented areas before bedtime. Rinse using warm water the next morning.

What oil removes dark spots? ›

Lemon Oil - is excellent for lightening dark spots on the skin, due to its bleaching properties. Rose Oil - Rose oil is antibacterial, antiviral, and excellent for clearing cases of acne. Sandalwood Oil - its anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory qualities make sandalwood perfect for hyperpigmentation.

Can turmeric cure pigmentation? ›

Hyperpigmentation has been one focus of topical turmeric studies. If you have patches of skin that are darker than the normal surrounding tissue, this is hyperpigmentation. One such study found that a turmeric-based cream reduced hyperpigmentation by more than 14 percent over the course of four weeks.

Does Vitamin E help pigmentation? ›

Dark patches on your skin can be caused by too much pigment (melanin), which is triggered by hormones or other causes. Called melasma, this condition is believed to be treatable through the use of topical vitamin E. Studies show that hyperpigmentation may be only moderately affected by using topical vitamin E oil.

Which is better for hyperpigmentation vitamin C or alpha arbutin? ›

If your main concern is hyperpigmentation then alpha-arbutin is your best bet. On the other hand, if your main concern is to revive dull skin and reduce signs of aging then Vitamin C is a better option.

Which is better for hyperpigmentation vitamin C or glycolic acid? ›

Lightening dark spots: Just like AHAs, vitamin C has shown some remarkable potential in getting rid of dark patches also known as hyperpigmentation. Nonetheless, it is not as potent or as effective in brightening severely damaged skin like glycolic acid.

Is niacinamide good for pigmentation? ›

In the clinical studies, niacinamide significantly decreased hyperpigmentation and increased skin lightness compared with vehicle alone after 4 weeks of use. Conclusions: The data suggest niacinamide is an effective skin lightening compound that works by inhibiting melanosome transfer from melanocytes to keratinocytes.

Which oil is best for hyperpigmentation? ›

Here are the top 5 essential oils that are most beneficial for hyper-pigmentation treatment:
  1. Neroli or sweet orange oil. ...
  2. Sandalwood oil. ...
  3. Geranium oil. ...
  4. Carrot seed oil. ...
  5. Lemon oil.
1 Mar 2022

Can I use Alpha arbutin everyday? ›

Arbutin is a derivative of hydroquinone, which is banned in many countries. But arbutin itself is not banned in any countries, as it's linked to a lower risk of side effects than hydroquinone. Can you use arbutin every day? Yes, it is safe to use arbutin every day, and it's also okay to use it twice a day.

What should I not mix alpha arbutin with? ›

Does Alpha Arbutin have any conflicts? The only product Alpha Arbutin shouldn't be mixed with is The Ordinary Niacinamide Powder due to its pH level.

What goes first vitamin C or alpha arbutin? ›

Alpha arbutin is water-based whereas vitamin C is oil-based, so the layering of vitamin C should be followed by the use of alpha arbutin. After cleansing, it can be used twice a day. And, the use of Vitamin C can be applied twice a day for better results.

How long does it take for glycolic acid to clear dark spots? ›

However, despite the speed and ease with which dark spots can form on the face, glycolic acid offers consumers an excellent and affordable option to fade dark spots, in as little as four weeks.

How long does it take glycolic acid to fade hyperpigmentation? ›

"Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that has exfoliating and renewing properties to provide a more radiant complexion and to brighten hyperpigmentation," she says. "Generally, with daily use and depending on concentration, it takes about three months to see results."

What face acids Cannot mix? ›

Don't Mix: Retinol with vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, and AHA/BHA acids. AHA and BHA acids are exfoliating, which can dry out the skin and cause further irritation if your skincare routine already includes retinol. As for benzoyl peroxide and retinol, they cancel each other out.

Which is better for dark spots niacinamide or salicylic acid? ›

Niacinamide will help to fade acne scars and hyperpigmentation. Salicylic acid does exfoliate the skin, but it's not known for its ability to help treat acne scarring. Niacinamide is a great ingredient to help fade discolorations and pigmentation, so it's the best option if you're dealing with scarring.

Which one is better niacinamide or alpha arbutin? ›

What goes first Alpha Arbutin or niacinamide? When applying skincare products containing alpha arbutin and niacinamide it is considered best to first use alpha arbutin as it is more potent and much like many strong skincare ingredients can deliver a side effect of skin irritation and dryness.

Which of the ordinary products should I use for dark spots? ›

Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

This serum combines hyaluronic acid with arbutin to reduce the appearance of dark spots without drying out the skin. Apply a few drops to the skin before your moisturizer and be sure to use sunscreen during the day, too. The Ordinary.

What oil removes dark spots? ›

Lemon Oil - is excellent for lightening dark spots on the skin, due to its bleaching properties. Rose Oil - Rose oil is antibacterial, antiviral, and excellent for clearing cases of acne. Sandalwood Oil - its anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory qualities make sandalwood perfect for hyperpigmentation.

How can I remove dark spots at home permanently? ›

7 Natural Remedies To Get Rid Of Dark Spots
  1. Drink Plenty Of Water. Drinking plenty of water can do wonders to your skin. ...
  2. Lemon Juice And Yogurt Face Mask. We all know that lemons have a number of benefits. ...
  3. Buttermilk. ...
  4. Aloe Vera. ...
  5. Tomatoes. ...
  6. Papaya. ...
  7. Honey.

Videos

1. Dermatologist Explains: Hyperpigmentation and Melasma - How to Manage it with Top Picks
(Dr. Daniel Sugai)
2. MY TOP 5 HOLY GRAIL PRODUCTS FOR HYPERPIGMENTATION
(Dr Alexis Stephens)
3. Fix Your Dark Spots in 3 Steps! | Hyperpigmentation | Melasma | Skincare Made Simple
(The Budget Dermatologist)
4. HYPERPIGMENTATION | Products you need to treat dark spots fast - skin brightening ingredients
(Mad About Skin)
5. Dark Spot Treatments: Differin Dark Spot, Faded by Topicals, Versed | Doctorly Reviews
(Doctorly)
6. Best Skin Care Products for Dark Spots & Hyperpigmentation
(DermWarehouse)

Top Articles

Latest Posts

Article information

Author: Prof. An Powlowski

Last Updated: 12/07/2022

Views: 5472

Rating: 4.3 / 5 (44 voted)

Reviews: 83% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Prof. An Powlowski

Birthday: 1992-09-29

Address: Apt. 994 8891 Orval Hill, Brittnyburgh, AZ 41023-0398

Phone: +26417467956738

Job: District Marketing Strategist

Hobby: Embroidery, Bodybuilding, Motor sports, Amateur radio, Wood carving, Whittling, Air sports

Introduction: My name is Prof. An Powlowski, I am a charming, helpful, attractive, good, graceful, thoughtful, vast person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.