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Hyperpigmentation Explained

Posted by on 4th Oct 2018

Your skin type and Hyperpigmentation

Your skin is as individual and unique as your personality, but keeping your skin looking and feeling at its best can be a bit of a challenge for some skin types. Hyperpigmentation can affect any type of skin, but the best way to treat it can vary depending on a number of factors.

What is hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is, quite simply, the darkening of an area of the skin due to the body producing more melanin than necessary. It can also affect your nails. It can be caused by too much sun, acne scars or certain skin conditions and injuries to the skin. Hyperpigmentation also tends to become much more common as we get older.

How do I know if I have hyperpigmentation?

There are 3 main types of hyperpigmentation: post inflammatory, melasma and sun damage.

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation

If you've ever suffered from acne, eczema, psoriasis or another skin condition, you may find that there are darker patches on your skin left over from the healing process. The darker patches can also be due to an iron pigment which may be deposited when older blood cells die. Medically speaking, these are nothing to worry about, but particularly if they are on your face, you'll probably want to treat them.


Thought to be caused by certain hormones, melasma are dark or tan patches of discoloured skin, usually found on the forehead, nose, lips and cheeks. Again, these are nothing to worry about and are particularly common in pregnant women and pre-menopausal women. Because they usually occur on the face, most women choose to treat these patches, which can often look unsightly.

Sun damage

Often referred to as sun spots, age spots or liver spots, hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage is the most common form. By the time they reach their 30s, most people will have some sun spots due simply to years of sun exposure. Sun spots are also similar to freckles, but should not be confused with them. Freckles are genetically inherited, although they too can darken with exposure to the sun. Unlike sun spots, which stay dark, freckles often fade in the Winter.

Who is affected by hyperpigmentation?

Anyone, of any age can be affected by hyperpigmentation, but some skin types are more affected than others.

Light and medium skin tones:

Those with a light or medium skin tone are more susceptible to sun damage and, if you have a lighter skin, you will probably have found that you burn more quickly in the sun than others. You will also probably have taken the precaution of a higher factor sunscreen to save your skin from damage, but it's unlikely that you will have got away without a single sun spot however well you've looked after your skin.

Darker skin tones:

Those with black, Mediterranean, Asian, Indian, Hispanic, Middle Eastern, or mixed race skin types are more susceptible to post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Darker skin types are also more likely to pigment and scar after an injury or other skin blemish.

What is the best way to treat hyperpigmentation for my skin type?

The best way to treat your hyperpigmentation will depend on whereabouts on your body the skin correction is needed, and the extent of the problem. Whilst your skin type can make your more susceptible to different types of hyperpigmentation, most treatments are suitable for any skin types.

What different treatments are available for hyperpigmentation?

There are quite a few ingredients that battle hyperpigmentation very effectively, but you are unlikely to get good results from a single ingredient. That's why getting your hands on a specially formulated product, made up of a blend of the right ingredients, is the best way to treat your hyperpigmentation. All treatments contain an ingredient or combination of ingredients which inhibit the pigmentation process in some way. They may also contain vitamins, especially vitamin C, together with a number of botanical extracts such as liquorice. Most contain moisturisers such as shea butter and nearly all will contain antioxidants which improve your general complexion.


Supplements such as Nutrifade and BrightX are a good way to tackle hyperpigmentation and are suitable for all skin types. They work by brightening the overall skin tone and fading darker spots. Because they are packed with vitamins and natural ingredients, they are completely safe to take and help you look and feel healthier, inside and out. As an added bonus, the same nutrients can give your hair a lovely shine and bounce.

Spot treatments

For small, discrete areas of discolouration, you may find a spot treatment such Megafade Dark Spot Corrector works well. Spot treatments tend to be more concentrated than other skin treatments which are more suitable for spreading over wider areas. These more concentrated treatments are also suitable for use on any skin type.

Facial treatments

If hyperpigmentation is affecting your face, choose a treatment specifically formulated for the more delicate skin of this area such as Supaskin's Premium Skin Lightening Cream . As well as lightening darker areas, facial creams like this will provide protection and nourishment for the skin of your face, leaving it supple, soft and smooth.

Body treatments

For use over the whole body, skin creams like Novaclear's Strong Body Lightening Cream and also  Megafade Exfoliating & Brightening Treatment For Dark Spots provide a good way to achieve an even skin tone all over your body. With most products being suitable for any skin type, these treatments work to reduce dark patches and enrich the skin.

Lighter, brighter and healthier skin

No matter what skin type you have, it's perfectly possible to restore your skin to its natural beauty. It's helpful to know what caused your hyperpigmentation, as you may be able to prevent further damage through measures such as sun protection, but this is unlikely to affect how you treat it. Consider whether a supplement or a skin cream would work better for you and check out the active ingredients to get an idea of how it will suit your skin. Choose from Skinlight's wide range of hyperpigmentation treatments to reduce blemishes and enjoy revitalised, beautiful skin.