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Hyperpigmentation is a condition that causes patches of skin to darken in color. It is usually harmless and can affect all skin tones. There are various products that can help fade patches of dark skin, and they may also have other skin benefits.

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This article discusses hyperpigmentation in more detail and some products that treat dark areas on the skin. It also lists some frequently asked questions.

Learn more about hyperpigmentation here.

Hyperpigmentation occurs when the skin produces more melanin — the skin’s natural pigment. The affected areas may also appear as freckles or age spots.

According to the National Cancer Institute, some factors that can lead to hyperpigmentation include:

Acne.org mentions some ingredients that can help to fade dark spots, such as:

  • Azelaic acid: Doctors usually prescribe azelaic acid for people who have acne, but it can also slow down melanin production. It suits all skin tones, but it may take up to 6 months for an individual to notice improvements.
  • Retinoids: These include tretinoin, adapalene, and tazarotene, and people can use them with hydroquinone to treat hyperpigmentation. An older study found that a daily retinoid treatment lightened dark skin patches in most participants.
  • Hydroquinone: It can take around 12 weeks to treat hyperpigmentation. People who use ascorbic acid, or vitamin C, with this treatment may have a reduced chance of developing side effects, such as redness and itching.

A person looking for a product that addresses hyperpigmentation may consider various features, including:

  • Skin type: People should choose a product that is suitable for their skin type. Some brands offer items that work on all skin types and tones.
  • Ingredients: The American Academy of Dermatology Association (AAD) recommends that individuals with darker skin tones look for products that contain vitamin C, kojic acid, or azelaic acid.
  • Review photos: Some brands have before and after photos on their website that show how the skin may respond to treatment and how it may look after a person applies their product.

The products available for hyperpigmentation come with several advantages and some disadvantages.

Please note that the writer has not tested these products. All information is research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Various products are suitable for people with hyperpigmentation. Some of them follow below:

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA

Best alcohol-free

Pricestarting from around $9
Volume30 milliliters (ml) and 60 ml
Main ingredientspurified alpha-arbutin and hyaluronic acid

This cruelty-free product claims to help reduce the appearance of aging spots and improve skin tone.

It is vegan, gluten-free, and does not contain alcohol or silicone.

The company recommends that people apply a few drops to their face in the morning and evening, and avoid using it around their eyes.

A person should also consider carrying out a patch test before including this product in their skin care routine, and they should see a doctor if they develop an irritation that does not improve.

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA is available to purchase online.

SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum

Best for all skin types

Pricearound $155
Volume60 ml
Main ingredientstranexamic acid, phenylmethyl resorcinol, marine extract blend, and phytic acid

SkinMedica’s serum claims to correct the appearance of hyperpigmentation, improve skin texture, and prevent new dark spots from developing.

According to SkinMedica’s website, Lytera 2.0 works on every skin type, and people may notice results within 2 weeks.

Individuals can apply one pump in the morning and evening to their face, neck, chest, or other areas. They can do so before cleansing and toning the skin, and before applying moisturizer and sunscreen.

SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum is available for purchase online.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Serum

Best non-irritating

Pricearound $40
Volume1 fluid ounce (fl oz)
Main ingredientsniacinamide, licorice root, golden kiwifruit, and undecylenoyl phenylalanine

This First Aid Beauty product may suit individuals who have dry, normal, combination, or oily skin types, and those who have dark spots or uneven skin tone.

The formulation claims to help soothe the skin, restore texture, and make the skin appear more even-toned.

It is vegan, gluten- and cruelty-free, and does not contain artificial fragrance.

First Aid Beauty recommends that a person applies three or four drops to their fingertips to then spread on the affected area. They can use the serum in the morning and evening after cleansing the skin.

First Aid Beauty Facial Radiance Serum is available for purchase online.

MELE Even Dark Spot Control Serum

Best hydrating

Pricearound $10
Volume1 fl oz
Main ingredientsniacinamide, hexylresorcinol, and retinyl propionate

The ingredients in this serum may help reduce dark spots and even skin tone. The formulation is free from parabens, alcohol, and mineral oils, and there are no phthalates.

Individuals can apply this serum in the morning or at night, after cleansing or toning their skin. According to reviews, the serum feels light on the skin and people can use it as a moisturizer.

MELE Even Dark Spot Control Serum is available for purchase online.

SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense

Best for acne marks

Pricearound $100
Volume1 ounce (oz)
Main ingredientstranexamic acid, kojic acid, niacinamide, and hepes

This SkinCeuticals product claims to help brighten the skin by correcting dark spots and difficult-to-treat areas. These include darker patches and post-acne marks.

The formulation of this serum may suit those with dry, normal, oily, or combination skin types, and a person can apply three to five drops twice per day to their face.

The company recommends using SkinCeuticals vitamin C and a sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 50 or higher after applying this serum in the morning.

Also, many people adding product reviews advised that the formulation is lightweight and helped fade acne scars.

SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense is available for purchase online.

BeautyStat Universal C Skin Refiner

Best for fine lines and wrinkles

Pricestarting from around $80
Volume30 ml and 50 ml
Main ingredientsvitamin C

This serum suits any skin type, with the formulation containing vitamin C that claims to help firm, brighten, and retexture the skin. It may also help reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

According to BeautyStat’s website, this product can make the skin appear bouncier.

The serum is fragrance-free and individuals can apply it in the morning and at night after cleansing their skin.

BeautyStat Universal C Skin Refiner is available for purchase online.

Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Grade IPL Dark Spot Correcting Serum

Best lightweight

Pricearound $90
Volume1 oz
Main ingredientslactic acid, kojic acid, and arbutin

The manufacturer claims this correcting serum’s formulation is good for all skin types, and the ingredients it contains may help fade dark spots, firm the skin, and even out tone. The lactic acid helps remove dead hyperpigmented cells located on the skin’s surface.

The company states that individuals can apply this serum in the morning or evening when their skin is dry.

Reviews note that this correcting serum is lightweight and quickly absorbed. Those who are ages 60 years and over have also noted its effectiveness at correcting sun spots on the hands and forearms.

Murad City Skin Overnight Detox Moisturizer

Best non-greasy

Pricearound $75
Volume1.7 fl oz
Main ingredientsmarrubium plant stem cells, sunflower, cucumber and barley botanical blend, and vitamin C

This product may benefit individuals with combination, dry, or sensitive skin types.

The company claims it plumps the skin to help reduce fine lines and wrinkles and reverses dehydration that develops from pollutants.

Reviewers note that this moisturizer is not greasy and leaves the skin feeling smooth.

Revision Skincare C+ Correcting Complex 30%

Best for redness

Pricearound $160
Volume1 fl oz
Main ingredientsvitamin C, sodium carboxymethyl beta-glucan, and diglucosyl gallic acid

According to Revision Skincare, their product suits all skin types and can help firm the skin, make it appear brighter, and reduce the appearance of fine lines.

There are no dyes, fragrances, parabens, or sulfates in the formulation.

According to the company’s website, individuals should use this product on cleansed skin in the morning and evening. They should also use it before applying moisturizer.

Below, we look at some commonly asked questions around hyperpigmentation.

What do dermatologists recommend for hyperpigmentation?

The AAD recommends that people use sunscreen to help clear dark spots and prevent new dark areas from forming. It is best to choose a sunscreen that offers broad-spectrum protection and offers SPF 30 or higher.

Individuals can also check that the product contains titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, and that the formulation does not clog pores, as this may prove problematic for those with oily skin.

Learn more about choosing a sunscreen here.

How do you quickly fade hyperpigmentation?

Acne.org states that individuals should wear sunscreen and limit the time they expose their skin to the sun.

They should also avoid picking at acne lesions, as this can worsen pigmentation.

How long does it take for hyperpigmentation to fade?

The AAD explains that dark spots can take 6-12 months to fade, and if the darker pigment is deep into the skin, healing may take years.

However, using the right treatment can help speed up the healing process.

Many companies stock products for people with hyperpigmentation and some may also help address other skin problems, such as redness, dryness, and acne.

However, a person who is interested in purchasing a hyperpigmentation product should consider various factors before committing to a purchase. These include customer reviews, skin type, and ingredients.