An insightful guide about hyperpigmentation and the best products you need to have in your skincare routine
Hyperpigmentation is a common condition that affects people of all ages and races. It usually affects the face and neck, but can occur on other parts of your body.
People who have hyperpigmentation should have a skincare routine with products that help reduce the effects of hyperpigmentation as well as protect their skin from further damage.
In this post, we talk about hyperpigmentation, with official resources you can check, and introduce the importance of specialized products that accompany this condition. We also school you on the best ingredients for hyperpigmentation you should look for and product recommendations from experts.
What Is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is the term used to describe areas of the skin that appear darker than other areas. Common symptoms of hyperpigmentation include pink, red, grey, brown, or black spots or patches. Facial hyperpigmentation is often called sun spots, age spots, or liver spots.
The word hyperpigmentation includes the prefix “hyper”, which means more, and “pigment”, which means color. This can occur either in one area or the whole body.
There are various types of hyperpigmentation we must address in order to recommend the best hyperpigmentation skincare products you should consider buying.
What Causes Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation can be caused by a few reasons, the direct cause is excess production of melanin (a pigment that gives color to your skin). Abnormal melanin production can be caused by a range of different factors.
Some medications can produce hyperpigmentation, as well as pregnancy due to changes in hormone levels, and sun exposure. We cover the most common causes below.
The first type of hyperpigmentation is called melasma, which is caused by hormonal changes developed during pregnancy. Melasma usually appears on the face and on the stomach, but it can show in other areas of the body as well.
Another type of hyperpigmentation is called liver spots, sunspots, or solar lentigines. If the name didn’t give it away, they’re related to excessive sun exposure.
Sunspots appear on the most common areas where the sun hits your skin such as your face, hands, and neck.
The last type of hyperpigmentation is known as post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and is the result of inflammation or injury to the skin, generally due to acne or physical trauma.
Hyperpigmentation doesn’t present a threat to your health in most cases, however, it might be a sign of internal organ issues in some cases. And keep an eye on sun spots, if they start growing you may have a problem on your hands (or face - yikes). Consult your doctor if you’re worried about your health.
For most people with hyperpigmentation and dark spots, the condition can be reduced with the help of the right skincare products. In some situations, more powerful treatments are needed, but specialized products are still recommended for aftercare.
What Ingredients are Good for Hyperpigmentation?
You may hear about the best hyperpigmentation products for your skin and related titles, but what makes them the ultimate solution for looking after dark areas of your skin?
Here, we’ll go through the ingredients that help hyperpigmentation so you can understand the basics and make your own selection next time you shop.
The Best Hyperpigmentation Skincare Routine
If you have hyperpigmentation, it’s important that you establish a proper hyperpigmentation skincare routine with good products and the right routine.
This doesn’t mean just throwing away every item you have in your bathroom cabinet, and rushing to the store to buy the first products that you see. Effective hyperpigmentation skincare means understanding what your skin needs in order to heal and protect it from further damage.
For those who aren't familiar with skincare, we’ll make things very simple and easy to understand. The order of products many experts recommend you follow are cleansing, moisturizing, applying essence or serum, then a cream and finally applying SPF (in the morning). Masks and peels are also recommended 1-2x per week.
Cleansing your face means washing it and eliminating dirt, bacteria, pollutants, and makeup. The famous and highly recommended Japanese skincare routine recommends you remove your makeup first with a cream or oil. This additional step completely takes off makeup. Follow with a soft cleanser to get rid of any excess (foam, cream, or gel).
The next step in the hyperpigmentation skincare routine is to moisturize with lotion or a toner. In other words, lubricating your skin to promote elasticity and firmness. Using a good moisturizer allows the rest of the products to be properly absorbed by your skin.
Look for alcohol-free formulas to prevent your skin from drying out. Always use your hands for application. Cotton pads and other applicators tend to absorb most of the lotion, meaning your skin doesn’t absorb all those heavenly ingredients!
Serums and essences are formulated to treat specific skin ailments (such as hyperpigmentation), and often include powerful concentrations of effective ingredients. There are specific serums and essences for problems like hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, acne, and more. Read the labels carefully to make sure you’re choosing the right serum for your skin. Only a few drops morning and night are necessary since serums are super concentrated.
Using a cream is one of the last steps of the hyperpigmentation skincare routine, and acts as a seal, allowing the previous products to work on your skin without interruption. Those who have oily skin might want to consider lighter creams. For people with dry skin, look for creams with high concentrations of oils or simply re-apply the cream as needed throughout the day.
Finally, SPF finishes the list, and it’s the most important product for hyperpigmentation. If you’re going outside, you should never forget to apply SPF since it acts as a barrier between your face and damaging UV rays.
Protecting your skin from the sun is an essential part of any hyperpigmentation skin routine. Splash out and invest in a high-quality SPF that matches your skin type. Cheap SPF moisturizers or sunscreens can be irritating and may cause itchiness and/or redness.
Skincare masks function in a similar way to serums. The only difference is they usually consist of higher concentrations of active ingredients. For hyperpigmentation we recommend choosing a mask with ingredients such as glutathione which works to even hyperpigmentation and reverse dark spots. Be careful with peels!
Consider gentle peels before moving up to more powerful acid peels. We don't recommend applying high-concentration peels at home because the acids can be damaging to your skin so require specialized application. Consult a professional for high-concentration acid peel procedures.
Best Hyperpigmentation Skincare Products
Now you know what the ideal hyperpigmentation skincare routine is, we’ll give you some expert recommendations on the best hyperpigmentation products.
We include the ingredients that treat - and prevent - hyperpigmentation so you have all the information needed to choose the right products for your skin.
For cleansing, we recommend the following products:
- WHITE ICHIGO Organic Tech-Cleansing. Its unique formula perfectly removes makeup, SPF, dirt from your pores, and other impurities. When applying the cleanser, it changes from an oily cleanser to creamy when it comes in contact with skin. Ingredients include strawberry extract, rich in polyphenols (which have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties) and Vitamin C, great for reversing sun damaged skin, slowing the aging process, and stimulating the production of collagen.
- AMARANTH Mild Cleansing Gel & Make-up Remover. Excellent for sensitive skin due to its gentle formula, this product removes makeup while hydrating your skin. Perfectly preps your skin for the rest of your skincare routine. A mild cleansing gel that features hydrogenated castor oil which works as an excellent cleansing agent.
Moving on to lotions or toners, you'll want to find a product that matches your specific skin type. The best hyperpigmentation lotions and toners are:
- KYOTO KOMACHI Matcha Beauty Moisture Lotion. Ideal for preventing pigmentation and tightening your skin. The lotion helps brighten your skin as well as control wrinkles and deeply moisturize. The matcha antioxidants help rejuvenate your skin and support its structure.
- HYAKKASO Facial Toner. With hyaluronic acid and lemon extract, this toner is the perfect addition to your hyperpigmentation skincare routine. Designed to soften your skin, and improve its tone and texture. Suitable for all skin types and ages.
In the serums and essence category, the following products have been reviewed and recommended by dermatologists:
- AXXZIA Beauty Force Prime Serum A1 with Silk Sericin Extract. One of the best serums on the market, and works wonders on uneven skin. High-penetration Vitamin C and Silk Extract reduce redness and inflammation while brightening the skin, giving it a healthy glow. If you prefer to do your hyperpigmentation skincare routine at night, this serum is perfect for you.
- Cica Method Booster Serum. Great for all skin types but especially for sensitive skin, this serum repairs irritation while soothing and calming inflammation, and healing acne all at once! If you struggle with dry skin, this product prevents moisture loss as well as stimulates collagen production.
Next on our list are the top hyperpigmentation creams:
- LIOVERITE Balance Control Cream. Includes hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid that penetrates the deep layers of the skin, moisturizing the outer and inner layers of the epidermis. What’s more, this moisturizer restores the skin’s PH balance helping you achieve smooth and evenly-toned skin.
- WHITE ICHIGO Organic Tech-Cream. With natural ingredients as well as arbutin and white strawberry extract, this cream gel is ideal for everyday use. Formulated with a light structure means this cream is easy to apply and absorbs effortlessly.
Lastly, we’ll introduce the recommended sunscreens for managing hyperpigmentation and looking after your skin. They include:
- COMOACE UV Cream With Silk Extract SPF50. A delicate yet highly effective sunscreen with SPF 50. Excellent for protecting your skin for long periods in the sun. This SPF is water resistant and features UVA and UVB for full protection from harmful sun rays. A completely non-greasy formulation means no afternoon mirror face. Applies flawlessly under makeup.
- DIREIA Stem Protect UV Cream. With SPF 50 and complete UVA/UBA coverage, this sunscreen provides a powerful barrier against sun damage. Added anti-aging ingredients such as Hydrolyzed Fermented Protein of royal jelly bees and Stem Cells dramatically boost the production of collagen. A light texture with a pleasant rose aroma.
Bonus: The best peels for hyperpigmentation
- AMARANTH APP-C Moist Peeling. Sake sediment extract gently exfloiates with enzymes. Low molecular weight vitamin C brightens complexion and improves collagen production. 17 plant extracts leave skin radiant with consistent use.
- Esthe Pro Labo Sevens Face Mask. Glutathione to help fight hyperpigmentation. Retinol reduces appearance of hyperpigmentation over time.
Hyperpigmentation Products & Skincare Final Words
Hyperpigmentation can have a range of different causes, some in our control, and some not so much. But there’s one thing that we know: an effective skincare routine with the right ingredients can both prevent and reverse dark spots.
For most, hyperpigmentation is simply a part of the aging process. While I used to think my skin was invincible, all those summers going out without SPF did start to catch up to me.
But with consistent trial and error, I found the perfect products and skincare routine right on my doorstep - Tokyo!
All the products I recommend in this article I have personally used and have achieved great results. Feel free to get in touch with my team and we’d be happy to recommend the right products for you.