The expert manual for understanding hyperpigmentation

hyperpigmentation Source: Shutterstock

Hyperpigmentation is a skin care that affects millions of people, which means that we will be advised on how to treat hyperpigmentation all the time. And since you continued to ask, we would give you all the answers directly from the experts who treat hyperpigmentation daily. We came in contact with two of the world's best dermatologists: Dr. Harold Lancer, founder of Lancer Skincare, whose celebrity clients include Kim Kardashian, Beyoncé and Victoria Beckham, and Dr. Doris Day, author of Beyond Beautiful, dermatologist, award-winning medical scientist and teacher. They both agreed that hyperpigmentation is the number one concern in their patients, meaning they had a lot to say. Here are their tips for treating and preventing hyperpigmentation:

What is hyperpigmentation?

Dr. Lancer explains that "Hyperpigmentation is an inconsistency of color. There are various forms of hyperpigmentation: sun spots, melasma, friggs, etc. Scars from acne or even damage (burns, cutouts, sprains) can also cause hyperpigmentation." There's basically someone Uneven skin tones on the body, but are most common in areas in your skin that are exposed to harmful external factors such as your face, neck and decolletage. It means melasma, dark spots, freckles, are all a type of hyperpigmentation.

hyperpigmentationSource: American Academy of Dermatology

What causes hyperpigmentation?

"Pollution, sun damage, anorexia, damage, hormones, blue light and heat – all contribute to hyperpigmentation," says Dr. Lancer. He broke down a little longer:

  • Sun damage: UVA and UVB rays trigger an overproduction of melanin (which gives our skin color). More specifically, UVB rays trigger immediate pigmentation (tan) while UVA triggers delayed pigment changes (approximately two to five days).
  • Pollution: Particles and chemical contaminants, both acidic or alkaline, irritate the skin. This irritation leads to melanocyte melanocyte overactivity.
  • Ancestry: Hyperpigmentation may be caused by a genetic predisposition to it.
  • Damage: The most common example of an injury that causes hyperpigmentation picks at a pimple, the solution dissolves and leaves a reddish brown spot.
  • hormones: Estrogen stimulates melanocyte production of pigments. That is why people who want to correct their skin color should not take hormone supplementation as birth control. See other ways that contraceptives can affect your skin here.
  • Blue light (from computer lights / TVs): Blue light can trigger hyperpigmentation. Therefore, we recommend that you put a filter on all of your devices in your settings.
  • HEAT: Sweat and heat can trigger pigmentation. Even if you are exposed to heat and perspiration, it may cause hyperpigmentation.

Types of hyperpigmentation:

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

hyperpigmentationSource: Eucerin

Dr. Day told us, "Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is the most common type of darkness in the skin and can happen after insult or skin trauma such as rubbing, burns, acne, eczema, rash or skin irritation. On the face we can see it as dark The spots that remain after acne has resolved. Some think it's scarred, but a skin change is not a true scar if there is no change in texture along with it. " Day explains that it may also occur on your body. "After bite bite, acne, eczema or something that irritates the skin. Even friction from shoes or dense clothes can give marks on the feet, or wherever the strap rubs the skin."

The best treatment: "The most important way to approach hyperpigmentation is to find and treat the underlying cause. It is also important to be careful to avoid further inflammation and hyperpigmentation that causes it. Also discreet options include ingredients like niacinamide, retinol, vitamin C, licorice extract Careful use of glycolic acid and salicylic acid to help with skin cell turnover can also be useful, but they can also be annoying so it is important to pay attention to the skin and go slowly if needed, says Dr. Day.


Another very common form of hyperpigmentation is melasma. Dr. Day told us that "Melasma usually occurs in the face and is triggered by a combination of genetic factors, sun exposure and hormones. It usually appears as symmetrical, spotted areas with darker skin on the forehead, cheeks and upper lip that usually appear or become darker shortly after sun exposure. The sun stimulates pigment production to enter overdrive, which leads to hyperpigmentation. "

The best treatment: Dr Day says that "The many causes of melasma make it particularly difficult to treat. The dark areas often persist after birth or the interruption of hormone treatment. Current skin remedies such as hydroquinone, tretinoin and tranexamic acid can be very effective in treating it. case chronic intermittent treatment is often necessary to maintain the results. "If your skin is prone to melasma, we recommend consulting with your dermatologist, so often it requires the best treatment method, for example, tranexamic acid, found in Lytera 2.0, $ 155.

Freckles and sun rays

Dr. Day explains that froths and sun rays are caused by "sun exposure" and may occur in any skin type. Frogs are often seen on the cheeks, chest and back and may occur after a tan, usually in childhood, indicating sun damage. They have irregular limits, and They can light and dark depending on how much sun exposure you get. "While we find freckles super cute, and many of us at HB HQ embrace ours – our tip is to go over friggs with a moist beauty mixer after the foundation to get redundant product and help them peek through – we often get questions about pale freckles, and there are some treatments you can consider if you want to do that.

The best treatment: Fraxel laser, chemical peel is performed by your dermatologist, and counter-the-counter ingredients like retinol, vitamin C and niacinamide.

Moles or birthmarks

"These are common and can happen anywhere on your body from the scalp to between the toes. They are not the same as hyperpigmentation and should be immediately displayed to your dermatologist if they are new or change because they are at risk of becoming or becoming skin cancer, says Dr. Day.

Treatment of hyperpigmentation:


In terms of ingredients, Dr. Lancer, "Hydroquinone is by far the most effective. There are other ingredients that are slightly effective lighter / lighter such as Kojic Acid, Azelaic Acid, Licorice Extract, Tretinoin Help and Vitamin C, so try to look for these ingredients in your skin care products (we have listed Our faves below.) The new Dr. Lancer Corrective Lightening Treatment, launched in January, contains 2% hydroquinone (the maximum% no prescription) and skin-staining peptides to pale the appearance of pigmentation. "

Dr. Day recommends that "appeal options include ingredients like niacinamide, retinol, vitamin C, licorice extract, tea extract, sepia-white". She also adds that "Careful use of glycolic acid and salicylic acid that helps skin cell turnover can also be useful, but they can also be annoying so it's important to pay attention to your skin and go slowly if needed." But she insists "The most important message is to avoid unprotected exposure to UV radiation as much as possible, minimize the sun's exposure in the middle of the day when the sun is at the top, wear a hat, use an SPF 30, and be sure to apply it in a few hours and never go to the tanning salon. "

Our favorite products


Source: La Roche-Posay, Pure Skincare, Drunk Elephant

  • Clean Skincare Ready Steady Glow Daily AHA Tonic, $ 32: Lactic acid and azelaic acid precursors, which are usually only available on prescription, make this tonic ideal for hyperpigmentation.
  • Kiehl's nightly refining microscale concentrate, $ 60: This nightly shell supports cell turnover and leaves a new layer of skin in place.
  • Drunk Elephant's C Company Day Serum, $ 80: This serum is a cool classic for a reason: it contains antioxidant rich vitamin C vitreous that helps to alleviate all dark spots and correct uneven tones.
  • La Roche-Posay Ultra-Light Anthelios Face Sunscreen SPF 60, $ 30: The most important thing to do every day when it comes to treating and preventing hyperpigmentation is to apply sunscreen – even if it's cloudy!
  • Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Extra Strength Daily Peel, $ 88: This potent shell contains both glycolic acid and salicylic acid, which helps to exfoliate the skin and encourage skin cell renewal.

With your dermatologist

Gentle Waves unit: "The Gentle Waves Unit has been very helpful as an addition to melasma treatments and has made treatments faster, helped red improve faster and generally improves skin as a whole. It is very effective and safe for all skin types," Dr. Day.

Chemical scales: "It may also be helpful to have glycolic acid or salicylic acid saline done by your dermatologist to help speed up the process. It is very important to note that all these treatments are worthless if you do not maintain a strict sunscreen system," said Dr. Day .

Laser: Dr Lancer recommends Halo Laser as "It is a hybrid laser that has both ablative and non-ablative function: Ablative treatments remove the outer layer of the sun damaged skin, stimulates collagen production and wound healing, resulting in harder and rejuvenated skin. The non-ablative treatment function heats Carefully remove the surface (without damaging it) resulting in faster healing time. There is a standstill of about five to seven days, and it is repeated. This procedure is not recommended for LES III-V [medium to dark skin tones] because they can hyperpigment. "

The most important thing to remember is that almost everyone will experience some form of hyperpigmentation in their lives, so you're not alone, and that's not something you should feel the need to cover or get rid of. If that's something you're interested in, you hope you've found this and will tell you if there are other skin problems that you'd like to afford in the comments below.