Waxing hyperpigmentation: Will hyperpigmentation from waxing go away?

For people who wax, close-to-nothing beats the feeling of freshly cleaned wax on a spa day, but how do you deal with the hyperpigmentation associated with such a relaxing experience? In this piece, we get to find out.

Waxing picture: A woman lying on a spa bed, getting her legs waxed

Key takeaways

  • Waxing is a form of hair removal that involves using a sticky solution to remove the hair on the skin from the roots. It can be carried out at home or by a professional. 
  • Hyperpigmentation is a condition in which the appearance of the skin becomes darker than usual due to internal or external factors.
  • The trauma created on the skin during waxing sometimes causes injury to the waxed area, and the trauma can cause melanocytes to release melanin, causing the affected spot to appear darker.
  • Using sunscreen with SPF 30 or more for sun protection, wearing protective coverings, and products that contain glycolic acid, niacinamide, retinoids, kojic acid, azelaic acid, alpha arbutin, and so on to lighten the affected area may be a progressive way to improve waxing hyperpigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation is a common skin disorder in which the skin darkens due to internal or external factors that cause the body to produce extra melanin. This skin pigment is responsible for the body's dark tone. There are numerous factors that might cause hyperpigmentation, but one of the most overlooked is waxing.

Waxing is a method of hair removal that involves applying sticky substances that strip the hair from the root. Hair removal procedures fall under two categories: depilation, which entails the removal of the visible part of the hair that sticks out of the skin(shaving is an example), and epilation, which involves pulling the hair totally from the root (plucking, waxing, and sugaring).

Although hair removal is a cosmetic procedure that leaves the skin feeling smooth, its side effects, including hyperpigmentation, are rarely discussed.

Does waxing cause hyperpigmentation?

Yes, waxing can result in hyperpigmentation. During waxing, a lot of force goes into trying to pull out the hair, which sometimes causes trauma and injury to the skin. Additionally, this trauma may cause your melanocytes to produce melanin (the skin pigmentation that gives the skin its color), which sips into the skin, causing the affected area to appear darker than other areas of the body.

Will hyperpigmentation from waxing go away?

Waxing hyperpigmentation, like any other skin problem, can disappear with time if appropriately managed. First and foremost, it is critical to protect the skin from sunlight by using suitable protective covers, sunscreen with SPF 30 or more, and products that help lighten the affected areas. 

So, if this is your primary issue, it is not a problem to be worried about. A dermatologist or medical aesthetician can help treat the waxing hyperpigmentation.

Are freckles the same as hyperpigmentation?

Freckles are not the same as hyperpigmentation. Rather, freckles are a type of hyperpigmentation commonly found on the arm, face, neck, and chest.

Freckles is a simpler term for ephelides and are caused by overexposure of certain skin parts to sunlight, causing the skin to develop an excess of melanin in the exposed area, resulting in tiny pigmented spots all over the affected area. 

Other causes of hyperpigmentation

Aside from waxing, some other possible causes of hyperpigmentation may include:

  • Excess exposure to sunlight
  • Age 
  • Hormones
  • Medical conditions (for example, Addison's disease, which is an adrenal disorder)
  • Hereditary factors
  • Skin injuries or inflammation
  • Acne
  • Certain medications
  • Melanoma (A type of cancer that develops from melanocytes)
  • Melasma (a tan or dark skin discoloration)

Does hyperpigmentation get darker before it fades?

In some cases, hyperpigmentation may become darker before it fades. If you are treating hyperpigmentation, it is essential to understand that this process increases cell turnover and brings pigmented cells to the skin's surface before gradually eliminating them. So, it is normal if you notice your hyperpigmentation getting darker initially. However, if you remain consistent with the hyperpigmentation treatment, you will most likely see a significant improvement.

How to treat hyperpigmentation from waxing

Clearing hyperpigmentation caused by waxing requires perseverance and persistence. Although hyperpigmentation can occasionally disappear on its own over time, here are some more ways to treat it.

1. Topical treatments

Topical treatments, such as creams and gels, can help to reduce hyperpigmentation. Hydroquinone, alpha arbutin, Azelaic acid, niacinamide, glycolic acid, kojic acid, and retinoids are effective ingredients for lightening hyperpigmentation. But before using these products, consider seeking professional guidance from your dermatologist. 

2. Chemical peels

Chemical peels are another effective method for fading waxing hyperpigmentation. They function by removing the topmost layer of skin, exposing a fresh new layer. The Jessner solution (14% salicylic acid, 14% Lactic acid, 14% resorcinol in alcohol solution), tretinoin peels, salicylic acid peels, and glycolic acid peels are some chemical peels to incorporate. Using peels requires particular caution, requiring the assistance of an aesthetician. 

3. Laser therapy

Waxing hyperpigmentation usually clears on its own, but if yours is stubborn, you may need laser therapy carried out with the assistance of a trained dermatologist. This involves using equipment that sends radiation to damaged portions of the skin, lightening the area.

How to avoid hyperpigmentation after waxing

Fading out hyperpigmentation can be challenging. However, there are things you can do to avoid or reduce the chances of having hyperpigmentation after waxing, including:

  • Exfoliate your skin before a waxing treatment.
  • If you have sensitive skin, use cold wax instead of hot wax.
  • Be cautious of dark spots.
  • Incorporate products with lightening properties, such as vitamin C and glycolic acid.
  • Use sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher, and reapply every 2 hours. 
  • Moisturize the waxed area well.


It is always a good feeling to book a wax appointment and get it done, but the idea of having hyperpigmentation after a good wax may freak you out. But that shouldn't be much of a concern anymore because using sunscreens for proper sun protection, wearing protective coverings, and using products that lighten areas affected by hyperpigmentation will save your skin from side effects like hyperpigmentation.  

If you are uncertain about the best treatment for your hyperpigmentation, you may want to consult your dermatologist.