Hyperpigmentation, although not always directly sun-induced, is the height of a patchy tan. Whether you're experiencing hyperpigmentation caused by acne, hormonal changes, or UV exposure, the treatments are the same.
Three types of skincare treatments fade hyperpigmentation marks fast:
You can choose products from one or more of these categories to create a lightening skincare routine that works for you. Let's take a look at each group of products so you can decide which approach is best suited to your situation.
1. Physical Exfoliants To Fade Pigmentation
The key to effective fading of brown spots is to use products that speed up your skin's natural exfoliation rate. It takes 30 days on average for skin to renew itself completely. That's how long a skin cell generally lives.
When you develop hyperpigmentation, the melanin pigment that creates them is also naturally exfoliated over time. However, the time it takes for these marks to disappear depends on the severity and cause of your condition.
Acne-induced hyperpigmentation may take a handful of months to lighten. On the other hand, melasma requires treatment of the underlying trigger, which is usually hormonal.
To fade brown marks more quickly, you can integrate products that increase skin's exfoliation rate. Physical exfoliants are one type of product that can achieve these results.
Physical exfoliants to try:
Clarisonic Mia 2 Skin Cleansing System - White
Dermalogica Skin Prep Scrub
Discover more great products in our guide The 7 Best Facial Cleansing Brushes for Better Skin
When used appropriately, these products are safe for sensitive skin, even daily. Physical exfoliants are most effective at treating the top layers of skin.
On the flip side, physical exfoliants can't reach the deeper layers of skin where hyperpigmentation originates. Brown marks will continue to surface through months of skin cell turnover. However, you can speed up the exfoliation of these areas by using a chemical exfoliant.
2. Chemical Exfoliants To Reverse Hyperpigmentation
Chemical exfoliants are highly effective at treating hyperpigmentation. Their actives penetrate deeply into skin over time, encouraging cellular turnover through several layers.
To achieve this enhanced sloughing, pick an exfoliant containing gentle skincare acids such as:
Glycolic acid, best for dry and mature skin types
Salicylic acid, best for oily and combination skin types
Try adding one of our favourite chemical exfoliants to your skin-lightening routine:
Pixi Glow Tonic 250ml, is a brightening facial toner containing 5% Glycolic Acid to help brighten and firm skin.
EmerginC Triple-Threat Peel, containing a potent, pigmentation busting cocktail of Salicylic and Fruit Acids as well as Retinol and Vitamin C
Alpha-H Liquid Gold, a best seller for a reason. This much loved anti-aging exfoliant harnesses the power of Glycolic Acid to smooth and brighten skin.
3. Vitamin C Serums To Reduce The Occurrence Of Hyperpigmentation
You may have heard that vitamin C is highly effective at brightening skin. Those same benefits make this vitamin an excellent treatment for hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin C ingredients help to brighten skin in a variety of ways:
Increases skin cell turnover, or exfoliation
Hinders production of melanin, the pigment responsible for skin darkening, by inhibiting an enzyme called 'tyrosinase'
Increases the skin's supply of two antioxidants that shift the swing of melanin production from brown/black to red/yellow
Not to mention that vitamin C itself is also a powerful antioxidant that defends against UV-induced damage, which stimulates hyperpigmentation.
To add a dose of vitamin C to your skincare routine, try one of our most-reviewed serums:
SK-II Whitening Source Derm-Brightener
Medik8 Super C30+ Intense Potent Vitamin C Antioxidant Serum 30ml
La Mav Vit-C Advanced Nightly Repair Nectar
Vida Glow Active Vitamin C Serum 30ml
When treating areas of existing hyperpigmentation, it’s helpful to acknowledge that your skin type may always be prone to this condition. If this describes your complexion, you can learn the most effective ways to prevent dark spots.