Best skincare products for hyperpigmentation - According to a medical aesthetician
Getting an even tone skin is no longer a pipe dream —Thanks to these hyperpigmentation products.
Hyperpigmentation can be frustrating for those seeking a clear, even skin tone. It is caused by the overproduction of melanin in certain areas of the skin, causing some parts to appear darker than others. It is particularly common among individuals with darker skin tones.
Several factors can contribute to hyperpigmentation, such as sun exposure, pregnancy, hormonal changes, skin inflammation, and certain medications.
When it comes to finding the right product to reduce hyperpigmentation, it can feel like a needle in a haystack with so many options available.
To help save you some time, a certified advanced (medical) aesthetician was consulted for their expertise on the best products for hyperpigmentation.
Meet the expert:
Selisha Abbas is an educator, and a consultant with over 16 years of experience in medical aesthetics and beauty. She is a certified advanced medical aesthetician, esthetician, hair stylist, and nail technician. In addition, Abbas specializes in fibroblast, anti-aging skin rejuvenation, acne treatment, and skincare. She is currently a registered instructor at Spectrum Advanced Aesthetics Institute.
Round up of the top best skincare products for hyperpigmentation:
- Overall best product for hyperpigmentation: Phloretin CF by SkinCeuticals
- Best skincare product for hyperpigmentation without hydroquinone: Discoloration Defense by SkinCeuticals
- Best oil-free skincare product for hyperpigmentation: Phyto A+ Brightening by SkinCeuticals
- Best hyperpigmentation skincare products for nighttime use: MelanoLyte TX and Melanolyte Serum by Epionce
- Best hyperpigmentation product with diglucosyl gallic acid: Even Tone Correcting Serum by SkinBetter Science
- Best fragrance-free skincare product for hyperpigmentation: Brightening Complex and Serum from isClinical
- Best retinol-free skincare product for hyperpigmentation: A-LUMINATE BRIGHTENING Serum by Alastin
- Best skincare product for hyperpigmentation with anti-aging properties: Double-White by Noon Aesthetics
1.Phloretin CF by SkinCeuticals
Phloretin CF makes it to our list as the best product for hyperpigmentation. It is great for people with hyperpigmentation and an uneven skin tone. This product has great skin-protecting ingredients like phloretin, ferulic acid, and ascorbic acid.
Packed with a blend of powerful actives, phloretin CF shields your skin from damage from the sun and diminishes the appearance of fine wrinkles, revealing a brighter, smoother complexion.
With continuous use of phloretin CF, you should notice less skin discoloration and a more even skin tone.
I love this powerful, multi-tasking daytime antioxidant that includes Phloeretin, derived from apples and the bark of fruit trees, and L-ascorbic acid to fight discoloration, free radical damage, and fine lines and wrinkles, Abbas said.
This product is best used once daily in the morning. Remember to apply in soft circular motions, gently massaging the product into your skin.
- Reduced fine lines and wrinkles in addition to reduced hyperpigmentation
- Ideal for all skin types
- Thoroughly cleanses the skin
- Slows down skin aging
- You might experience skin reactions, especially if you have sensitive skin.
2.Discoloration Defense by SkinCeuticals
The discoloration defense dark spot corrector helps reduce skin discoloration in all skin tones. The product is effective in reducing those difficult-to-treat post-acne marks and stubborn brown patches. Hence, it is rated one of the top, best products for hyperpigmentation.
This skin-brightening formula does not contain hydroquinone. Instead, it contains tranexamic acid, kojic acid, and vitamin B3 to achieve a more radiant complexion. It's also one of the few products on the market that contains tranexamic acid.
This serum has tranexamic acid, which helps to even out skin tone and is a gentler alternative to hydroquinone for skin brightening, Abbas said.
For best results, use this product twice daily. It is also advised to pair it with a broad-spectrum sunscreen and to avoid excessive sun exposure while using it.
- Improves the appearance of stubborn brown patches
- Reduces post-acne scars in darker skin tone
- Fragrance and hydroquinone-free
- Ideal for all skin types
- If not stored properly in an air-tight container, the serum may oxidize over time
3.Phyto A+ Brightening by SkinCeuticals
The Phyto A+ is an oil-free, lightweight moisturizer formulated with multiple actives such as azelaic acid, alpha-arbutin, and phyto.
This lightweight moisturizer helps to reduce acne scars and give your skin a smoother texture. It also helps balance the skin, thus brightening and improving skin clarity.
This powerhouse moisturizer has a gel-cream consistency, is lightweight, and has a powerful punch against hyperpigmentation, Abbas said.
Even better is that it's oil-free, and the formula is infused with a potent blend of Phyto botanicals to improve skin clarity.
This product is best applied twice daily after cleansing and toning. If you use this product in the morning, ensure you include sunscreen.
- Works for all skin types
- Ideal for sensitive skin
- It does not clog the pores
- Lightweight and hydrating
- Not fragrance-free, which might irritate your skin
4.MelanoLyte TX and Melanolyte Serum by Epionce
The combined use of MelanoLyte TX and Melanolyte Serum is said to effectively reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation resulting from acne breakouts, melasma, and UV damage.
Melanolytes TX is made from plants, so it is safe for long-term daily use. This product also brightens your skin without the irritation caused by lightening formulas.
This product is specially formulated to minimize the appearance of dark spots on the face, neck, décolleté, and hands.
The Melanolyte TX and serum uses a powerful blend of botanicals, is kojic acid- and hydroquinone-free, so it’s wonderful even for sensitive skin! Abbas said.
This product is best used at night.
- Ideal for all skin types
- Paraben and sulfate free
- Packaged in a way that makes dispensing a little difficult.
5.Even Tone Correcting Serum by SkinBetter Science
This lightweight, multi-action Even Tone serum helps to improve the appearance of brown patches, hyperpigmentation, and discoloration.
It also improves the look of the yellow patches that hyperpigmentation brings.
This product contains diglucosyl gallic acid, which helps improve the look of uneven skin tone.
This is a lightweight, multi-action, hydroquinone-free serum that works hard to fight brown and yellow discoloration, sun damage, and more, Abbas said.
This product can be part of your morning and evening skincare regimen. However, remember to use sunscreen if you apply this product during the day.
- Dermatologist tested
- Paraben free
- Hydroquinone free
- Difficult to access as it is only available through authorized physicians
- Not tested in pregnant women
6.Brightening Complex and Serum from isClinical
Brightening Complex is a unique formula that contains a blend of brightening agents and botanical products to help brighten and reduce the appearance of uneven skin tone.
This product is also believed to have anti-aging properties and reduces the appearance of wrinkles.
The SkinBetter Science Even Tone Correcting Serum is great for addressing discoloration and sun damage. It’s lightweight, hydroquinone-free, and dermatologist-tested. It’s also paraben- and fragrance-free, which makes it a great choice for those with sensitive skin, Abbas said.
This product is best used in the morning.
- Deeply hydrates and moisturizes the skin
- Provides controlled exfoliation
7.A-LUMINATE BRIGHTENING Serum by Alastin
The A-luminate brightening Serum helps improve uneven skin tone and provides anti-aging benefits. In addition to this, it reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation, age spots, and dark spots.
This product uses a special technology that helps prevent new pigmentation and protects against future damage with regular use.
This fabulous antioxidant serum helps minimize the appearance of all forms of (unwanted) discoloration, Abbas said.
What is better is that it is hydroquinone and retinol free and helps reduce erythema (redness) associated with hyperpigmentation, She added.
You can use this product in the morning and evening after cleansing. In the morning, remember to apply sunscreen after using A-LUMINATE.
- Gentle exfoliation
- Does not irritate the skin
- Very pricey
8.Double-White by Noon Aesthetics
Double-White by Noon Aesthetics is specifically designed to target and reduce the appearance of all forms of hyperpigmentation, including melasma, sunspots, age spots, and post-acne hyperpigmentation, giving you a brighter, more even skin tone.
The Double White serum is great for anyone seeking to improve the appearance of their skin. It is a highly effective serum that features a blend of Vitamin C, Azelaic Acid (Azelaic 20), and Alpha Arbutin. This strong combination helps diminish discoloration, balance skin tone, and shield the skin from harmful free radicals, Abbas said.
To use this product effectively, apply a thin layer of the vitamin C serum and then a thin layer of the Azelaic acid serum up to two times daily. Ensure you use sunscreen if you use this product during the day.
- Effective for post-acne hyperpigmentation
- Not available in every location and not easily accessible
What to look out for when purchasing products for hyperpigmentation
- Look at the active ingredient
Certain ingredients like vitamin C, alpha-arbutin, and azelaic acid are great for treating hyperpigmentation. If you are concerned about the side effects of the ingredients, you might want to opt for hydroquinone-free or plant-based products.
always look for products that are hydroquinone-free; my go-to’s are antioxidants that also contain pigment-fighting ingredients. Alpha-arbutin and azelaic acid are less sensitizing and are generally tolerated well. Retinol is also highly effective for discoloration and anti-aging, but it requires preconditioning the skin, says Abba.
- Presence of multiple actives
Products that combine multiple ingredients are usually a good option, as each ingredient works together to reduce hyperpigmentation while also brightening or reducing acne breakouts.
If you are pregnant or trying to be pregnant, you might want to opt for products tested during pregnancy. For example, azelaic acids have been found to be safer in pregnancy than retinoids. Always consult your doctor before adding any product to your skincare regimen if you are pregnant or trying to be.
What to avoid in products for hyperpigmentation
- Avoid products that irritate your skin. Before using any product, always perform patch tests to make sure your skin is compatible with the ingredients in the formulation.
- Avoid products that make your skin more sensitive to the sun, as this can worsen hyperpigmentation. Some of these products include retinol, alpha hydroxy acid, and vitamin C. If these products are part of the active ingredients in your hyperpigmentation product, then make sure you always wear sunscreen when going out.
- It is best to avoid perfume and fragrance in your product as they can irritate your skin.
Uncovering your perfect skin care match is a journey of discovery. Everyone’s skin is unique, so what works for someone else may not necessarily work for you.
Do not be afraid to try out these suggestions to find out which is best for you. However, before you throw a product in the trash can thinking it does not work, first give your chosen product time to work its magic. Remember, results often take several weeks or even months to appear.