Hyperpigmentation is a very complex skin condition caused by an increased production of melanin in the body, which then gets deposited in the form of patches on the surface of the skin. Melanin is the pigment that imparts dark color to our hair, eyes, and skin. Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area on skin caused by increased melanin production. Excess production of melanin can be triggered by various factors such as exposure to harsh rays from sun, inflammation, hormonal imbalance, excessive sugar in the blood stream. It’s relatively difficult to get rid of hyperpigmentation, but we are here to help. Please read on to find out what causes hyperpigmentation, how to prevent, detailed treatment plans, and also 25 Best Pigmentation Creams for hyperpigmentation.
What Causes Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation results because of an excess production of the pigment melanin produced by melanocytes. There are a lot of factors and triggers that cause hyperpigmentation – prolonged and continuous sun exposure is the most common culprit. Stepping out in the sun, even if it’s for two minutes, without proper sun protection can cause a lot of damage to the skin. Other factors such as injuries, inflammation of skin, acne, hormonal imbalance (caused by PCOD, hypothyroid), and pre-diabetic or diabetic conditions can lead to hyperpigmentation.
Types of Hyperpigmentation:
- Freckles: Freckles are small patches of light brown color on the skin which get further exacerbated by exposure to sun. They are caused by overproduction of melanin and get aggravated by exposure to sun’s uv rays.
- Solar lentigines: They are patches of dark skin which are also called as age spots or liver spots. They are mostly seen in people over 40 years of age. These spots are enhanced by exposure to sun.
- Melasma: Melasma, butterfly patches, or “mask of pregnancy” can be usually seen in women after their pregnancies and are usually seen on their nose and cheeks. Birth control pills, hormonal imbalance, sun exposure, and pregnancy can all trigger melasma patches.
- Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation: Inflammation on the skin such as injuries, allergic reactions, acne, surgery, chemical peels, can cause an inflammatory reaction in the body, which in turn, leads to overproduction of melanin and development of black patches on the skin.
Clinical Treatments to Get Rid of Hyperpigmentation:
- Cosmelan peel
- Chemical peel
- Q switch laser.
- CO2 laser
How To Prevent Hyperpigmentation:
It’s imperative to wear a good sunscreen while venturing outside. In more than 90% of the cases, hyperpigmentation is trigggered by exposure to the sun, so it’s important to tackle this factor. As we have mentioned earlier, even two minutes of sun exposure can cause extensive sun damage. A good sunscreen with broad spectrum protection, that is UVA and UVB protection, should be chosen. Choose a sunscreen with at least SPF 50 and PA+++ protection. Our suggestions would be Suncros and La Shield. Also remember to wear to protective clothing like hat and scarf while venturing outside. Also, it’s a good idea to include AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids) like glycolic acid toners in skin care routine to reduce skin congestion.
Look For These Ingredients in Creams if you have Hyperpigmentation:
- Mandelic acid: It’s an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) that is gaining popularity in the treatment of hyperpigmentation. Mandelic acid is derived from almonds and works in depigmenting marks.
- Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid is used for treating acne, acne scars, melasma, and age spots. It’s an exfoliating ingredient that sloughs away the upper layer of skin.
- Alpha arbutin: This occurs naturally in plants, most commonly bearberry plants. It brightens up skin and fades hyperpigmentation marks without any side effects.
- Kojic acid dipalmitate: Kojic acid dipalmitate is the most commonly used depigmenting agent that works effectively to reduce the appearance of pigmented spots.
- Hydroquinone: This is a controversial yet a very effective ingredient to get rid of hyperpigmentation. It works relatively fast in reducing hyperpigmentation. Most commonly a combination of hydroquinone 2% along with tretinoin and mometasone is prescribed to get rid of patches.
- Kojic acid: It’s a naturally-derived ingredient that is a popular skin lightening agent.
- Lactic acid: It is used to treat hyperpigmentation, age spots, and dull complexion.
- Azelaic acid: Azelaic acid is an under-rated skin lightening agent. Azelaic acid in a percentage up to 20% not only clears up acne, it can work on reducing hyperpigmented skin.
- Niacinamide: Vitamin B3, also called as niacinamide, is popularly used in skin brightening creams to treat hyperpigmentation.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C helps to inhibit tyrosinase which helps to prevent melanin product, and hence brightens complexion and clears hyperpigmented patches.
- Rosehip oil: Rosehip oil contains retinoid acid which improves the appearance of dark patches.
- Glutathione: It’s a super antioxidant which can brighten and lighten complexion.
- Glycolic acid: Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that can diminish the appearance of hyperpigmented patches.
- Liquorice: Liquorice is a herbal extract which is used in Ayurveda to brighten complexion.
- Retinoids: Retinoids increase cell turnover, stimulates collagen, and erase pigmentation marks with regular use.
Disclaimer: Please consult a doctor before you pick any cream or medicine. Only a certified doctor is authorized to prescribe a medicine/cream/ointment after examining the patient. Self medication is dangerous and should be avoided.
25 Best Pigmentation Creams for Hyperpigmentation:
1. O3+ Dermal Zone Meladerm Brightening and Whitening Cream: This Meladerm whitening cream boosts density, vitality and comfort in skin and protects the skin from external environmental aggressions. This cream improves the texture of the skin, helps lighten acne marks, fades marks with regular use.
2. O3+ Agelock Vitamin C Booster Serum: This vitamin C serum helps in brightening and whitening the skin.
3. Retino A 0.025% cream: This is a vitamin A derivative that unclog pores, boost collagen production, reduces fine lines, and increases cell turnover to even out discoloration and smooth out skin.
4. The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rose Hip Seed Oil: This product’s main ingredient, rosehip oil, moisturizes and fade signs of sun damage with organic, cold-pressed rosehip seed oil. It helps nourish skin and improves the texture of the skin.
5. Ban A Tan: The main ingredients in this cream are depigmenting agents like arbutin, liquorice and mulberry extracts.
6. The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% in Squalane: This product reduces the appearance of age spots and improves the appearance of skin.
7. The Ordinary Ascorbyl Tetraisopalmitate Solution 20% in Vitamin F: Vitamin C is an effective antioxidant, brightens the skin tone and reduces signs of ageing. It makes skin soft, brightens skin, and reduces pigmentation.
8. Fresh Peony Spot-Correcting Brightening Essence: This is a highly effective brightening blend proven to brighten skin tone, clarify, lighten, and reduce the appearance of age spots and imperfections.
9. Dr. Reddy’s Revibra Pure Vitamin C Cream: It has pure vitamin C in vegi capsule form that brightens, lightens and clears pigmentation.
10. Triluma: The main ingredients in this cream, hydroquinone 2%, Fluocinolone acetonide 0.01%, and tretinoin 0.025%.
11. Dermalmd Lightening Serum: This lightening serum with licorice, vitamin A, vitamin C, cucumber fruit extract, alpha arbutin, and aloe vera works well to remove hyperpigmentation patches.
12. VLCC Depigmentation Serum: Clears dark patches, makes skin tone even, and brightens up complexion.
13. Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution: This product with vitamin E, vitamin C, salicylic acid is a fast-acting serum that diminishes dark spots and visibly evens skin tone. It also prevents the formation of future dark spots and other skin discolorations with continued daily usage.
14. Carofit Ultra: This cream has depigmenting agents Arbutin 1 %W/W+Kojic acid 2 %W/W+Lactic acid 10% that work together to lighten dark patches.
15. Xinbest: This cream has licorice extract along with niacinamide and help to get rid of hyperpigmentation.
16. Cosglo gel: This cream has Allantoin 0.4 %W/W+Arbutin 1.5 %W/W+Kojic acid 2 %W/W+Niacinamide 5 %W/W+Octyl methoxycinnamate 7.5 %W/W+Pine bark extract 2 %W/W+Vitamin E 1 % in a unique blend that treats dark patches of hyperpigmentation effectively.
17. Pixi Glow Tonic Exfoliating Toner: Though this is not a cream per se, it’s a good exfoliating toner with 7% glycolic acid that clears out bumps on the skin and exfoliates the superficial layer of skin to reveal healthy and glowing skin. Regular use reduces the appearance of patches.
18. Exazel-N: The composition of this cream with Allantoin 0.2 %W/W+Azelaic acid 20 %W/W+Glycerin 8 %W/W+Niacinamide 4 %W/W helps clear out hyperpigmentation and brighten up dull complexion.
19. Britelite: This cream has glycolic acid and kojic acid which work well together on hyperpigmentated areas.
20. Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment: This hydrating treatment with key ingredient of lactic acid works on fine lines to reveal brighter, renewed skin, and support natural circulation to create a smooth, vibrant complexion.
21. Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum: This product has hydroquinone in a balanced formula to clear dark spots, age spots, and freckles.
22. Chanel Le Blanc Day/Night Intensive Spot Treatment: A duo of brightening pens for day and night that is considered as the ultimate solution to address dark spots.
23. Kaya Pigmentation Reducing Complex: Contains natural acids to work on pigmentation and evens out skin tone.
24. Estee Lauder Enlighten Dark Spot Correcting Night Serum: It has multiple skin lightening ingredients like turmeric, grapefruit extract, saliyclic acid, rice bran extract, vitamin C that show visible difference in the appearance of dark spots and acne marks.
25. Sebogel: This cream comes in a clear gel form that quickly gets absorbed into the skin and has salicylic acid 2% along with vitamin B6 to clear out dark patches and congestion of skin.