16
Oct

How to properly treat and prevent hyperpigmentation.

I love my skin, we get on well. We hang out every single day, so tight is our bond.

The hyperpigmentation that is perched on it, however, NO. We are not friends. We are enemies, and it is my chief focus in terms of corrective skin care. I wish it a grisly death many times over.

Hyperpigmentation, also known as sun spots, age spots, dark spots, brown marks and ‘the mask of pregnancy’, is so common among Australian women that my statistic calculator broke when I asked it for some numbers. We all have it, and while all skin tones suffer from pigmentation, those with darker Asian, Mediterranean and African skin tones are particularly prone. Especially if they have a lot of sun exposure.

IT’S REAL EASY TO GET.

Just ask any doll who’s spent a week on a beachy holiday only to return with brown smatterings across their nose, upper cheeks, upper lip and forehead and they will tell you just how easy.

pigmentation_face
Standard hyperpigmentation… Look familiar?

This is because hyperpigmentation is (most often) caused by UV exposure. Ysee, UV stimulates the pigment cells (melanocytes) in our epidermis to start making melanin. This is what causes suntans (sooo ’80s) but also hyperpigmentation. Another terrific reason to not to hang out in the sun.

Sadly, most of the hyperpigmentation you’ve got now, you actually probably actually earned 20 years ago. (It takes an average of 10 years for sun damage to translate into brown spots.) It’s just being encouraged and worsened by current UV exposure. Cute!

Other causes:

Heat: Environmental heat can trigger your hyperpigmentation. This is so incredibly shit because even if you are FBI vigilant about your skin care and physical sun protection and hat and sunnies, you can still cop discolouration, because thermal heat encourages those naughty melanocytes to produce melanin.

Hormones: Hormonal hyperpigmentation looks the same as UV hyperpigmentation, but has a bitchier attitude and eats more Tim Tams. It’s generally caused by the pill or pregnancy and is further exacerbated by that big hot witch in the sky.

Injury: Know how when you pick at a pimple, you get that red-browny scar that won’t piss off, no matter how much Vitamin E oil you use on it? That’s because it’s not a scar, it’s post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, which comes about after trauma or injury to the skin. It can also happen after needles, injections, burns or any kind of inflammation.

WHY SHOULD I CARE SO MUCH ABOUT MY PIGMENTATION?

Because, to be blunt, it’s making you look older than you actually are. You see, hyperpigmentation creates uneven skin tone, which I believe is far more ageing than lines and wrinkles. 

I’m not alone in my thinking of this. In the last five years or so, you would have seen a whole bunch of new products pop up that are skin discolouration targeted. They have names like ‘Dark Spot Corrector’ or ‘whitening’ or ‘brightening’ and work to fade that excess melanin to the point where your skin is brighter and in the case of Caucasian and Asian markets, whiter. They are not bleaching products. Most of the time they simply exfoliate the skin to remove the layer of skin cells with the brown spots and therefore give an overall more luminous complexion, and/or they incorporate ingredients and technology to specifically target the site of the melanin production, and put up some stop signs.

If you have hyperpigmentation, you should be using these products.

Trust me on this one. If you focus on removing (or seriously fading) those dark spots, and making your skin look as bright and luminous as possible, you won’t care about any lines and wrinkles you have. I promise! I promise. Such is the power of even skin tone. Think about women in countries that see very little sun: they may have many wrinkles, many creases, but since their skin tone is free of sun spots, they still maintain a look of youth and glow. Compare this to a woman who has spent a lot of her life in the sun, and has a face covered in dark splodges: the skin looks uneven, weathered, aged, uncared for.

FaceBeforeandAfterpigmentation
This woman has had a series of intense laser treatments for her discolouration. (I think it was worth it.)
See how even though she has the same lines and creases in both pictures, she looks far younger in the right?


A study in 2010 brought this to light using photos of middle-aged women that were Photoshopped into two sets: one version with extremely uneven skin tone (“hyperpigmentation”), and one version with an abundance of deep wrinkles. Both sets of pictures were showed to a group of people who had to rate the attractiveness and youthfulness of the women’s faces. Almost unanimously the women with uneven skin tone were voted less attractive (reeeowr!) and much older than their wrinkled compatriots. Clearly we shouldn’t be judging any woman on her ageing process, digitally manipulated or otherwise, any dingus knows that, but what we can take away from this is that our brown spots age us more than our wrinkles.

THE RULES OF FIGHTING PIGMENTATION.

The first rule in Pigmentation Club is that about pigmentation is patience. It took you a while to get that sun damage, it’s going to take you a while to get rid of it. Most products will take at least four weeks until results can be seen.

The second rule is diligence. There is zero point buying and using a mountain of fancy new products and having expensive professional treatments if you then neglect to wear a physical sunscreen every single day, and cover your face thoroughly from the sun when outdoors. Your pigmentation is always, always lingering just under the surface, like a creep, waiting for a chance to come back. Don’t let it.

And I think the third rule is something about not talking about Pigmentation Club.

THE PRODUCTS YOU NEED

A pigment blocker.

There are various types of blockers or inhibitors, each working in their own way to prevent pigmentation triggering in the first place, which means less time spent treating it. There are tyrosinanse inhibitors, (a group which includes famous pigmentation fighters like the controversial hydroquinone and kojic acid, as well as the non-controversial mulberry extract) which work to block the enzyme tyrosinase that’s needed to make melanin. There are also PAR-2 inhibitors, like soy and niacinamide, which can result in reduced melanosomal transfer and distribution, leading to a lightening of skin pigmentation.

Ideally you would use a pigment blocker morning and night on clean skin. I use Aspect’s Pigment Punch (hydroquinone-free) as my serum, and it is exceptional. Lady Dame Brooke Walker at Me Skin and Body in South Yarra put me onto it. Terribly knowledgable lass that one. (She’s been helping me in my efforts of pigmentation obliteration.) Other options include Plunkett’s SuperFade, or for one without hydroquinone try Skin Medica’s Lytera Skin Brightening Complex.

SkinMedica-Lytera-Skin-Brightening-Complex-324-2431_1 ASpect Pigment Punch

An exfoliant.

But not your daggy old apricot scrub. You need chemical exfoliants, in the form of gentle AHAs or BHAs, which will rid the skin of cells with pigment, or the “expression” stage of pigmentation. Look for ingredients like glycolic acid, lactic acid, citric acid and salicylic acid, and retinol if your skin is up to it. Your exfoliation can be in the form of a cleanser, toner,  face cream, a serum, or a dedicated exfoliant, and it’s best to get some professional advice on how often you should exfoliate (especially if you are having professional peels as well) although a good guide for most of us is 2-3 times a week. Let me stare at you for a good minute here and remind you that this is not a case of more is better: milder products used every few days will serve you much better than really aggressive actives used too often… that will lead to inflammation which leads to hyperpigmentation. Oh, what fun.

There are SO many great products out there in this category, and hopefully a bunch of you babes will offer you best and most loved in comments. I am a fan of Alpha-H’s Liquid Gold, Ultraceuticals Even Skintone Serum and Dermalogica’s Tri-active Cleanse.

Dermalogica_tri-active cleanseEVEN-SKINTONE-serum

Physical sunscreen.

Less of an option, more of a command. Use a zinc oxide or titanium dioxide physical/mineral sunscreen for your best chance. (As I wrote here, chemical sunscreens can actually trigger hyperpigmentation. Bastards!) Use it every single day, on top of your pigment blocker, and underneath your makeup. This is so crucial, not only to stop UV getting to your skin and starting mischief, but also because as we all know, whenever you use AHAs or BHAs, you MUST wear sunscreen every day, to protect the lovely fresh skin you’ve just exfoliated.

I use O Cosmedics Mineral Pro SPF 30+, Aspect HydraShield and Invisible Zinc Tinted Daywear or ESP.

 

Invisible Zinc ESP OCosmedics mineralpro2

 

It’s also a smart move to ensure there are big wallops of antioxidants in your skin care when dealing your dark spots. Vitamin C, for example, is a stupendously good skin-brightener. Go hard on it.

SHOULDN’T I BE GETTING LASER TREATMENTS OR IPL OR SOME SUCH THING?

Maybe. If you have lighter skin, you will get good results, but the overwhelming feedback from those who’ve had laser to correct their hyperpigmentation is that it came back, or it was a lot of work to maintain. I had Fraxel a few years ago for my pigmentation and I would not recommend it. I tried it in my role as a beauty writer who should try things she writes about so she can authentically recommend them, and dearly wish I didn’t. I long for my pre-Fraxel skin tone. Whether it brought out old hyperpigmentation that was laying dormant, or allowed new hyperpigmentation to settle in, it has definitely made my skin worse. I appreciate that you often have to have a few treatments to get the full and best results, but my keenness was hovering somewhere around minus 74893% after the trauma my skin went through.

Laser toning is one treatment that does get good reviews, (even for darker skin tones) but remember: you have to be willing to basically live as a vampire if you go down the laser route. Because one day in the sun, even a few hours, can mess your skin back up.

IPL is a good, non-invasive solution that over a course of treatments will definitely give you great results, but I can’t go past a good in-salon lactic peel myself. It’s the most gentle of the AHAs and doesn’t irritate, but it does give great, glowing, bright results. I’m on a program of a peel every 2-3 weeks at the moment, combined with my at home stuff and my crazy vigilance with sun protection, hats and sunglasses.

Okay. This is a very long post, and I for one, need a crumpet.

What do you use for your hyperpigmentation?

 

Responses to this drivel: 144 Comments
Responses to this drivel ( 144 )
  • Carisma

    Hi Fruity!

    Does this include traditional freckles? I got badly sunburnt 2.5 years ago on my shins and as soon as the severe sunburn subsided dark freckles appeared and have stayed put ever since!

    • fruity

      This sounds more like it might be post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation? Traditional freckles are usually here and there, not really grouped.

  • Louise

    Hi Zoe, this is great advice. I was wondering if you could do a post on acne scarring. I have scarring from about ten years ago, but after nine years acne free, it has returned, and I am DETERMINED to get rid of the new scarring ASAP. I hear so much different advice, I really don’t know what I should be doing. HELP

    • LD

      Do you mean red post acne hyperpigmentation or actual scars as in dents in the skin? Scarring is classified by Dermatologists as pits or holes in the skin. I think you mean red hyperpigmentation? If so, try Retin-A, lactic peels (this works amazingly well on my post acne hyperpigmentation), avoid the Ultraceuticals eventone serum as it’s utter rubbish (I used it for months without even the slightest change) but my favourite go to prouduct which helps prevent the red marks is the Neostrata Ultra smoothing lotion. It’s amazing and really cheap for a huge bottle. My friends also use this to stop razor burn, ingrown hairs, all over the face and body really. Great stuff. Give that a try for a few weeks. And lactic peels (I did a course every 3 weeks, 6 facials) has amazing results a lot faster.

  • amber

    Hi, Zoe! Thank you for this post. I only just e-mailed my sister yesterday (a beauty blogger, too: https://bearinthere.wordpress.com/) asking for a mask recommendation for my 29-year-old epidermis. I have been struggling with hyperpigmentation for the last couple of years — across my upper lip, which can look quite unfortunately moustache-like, and one splodge on my upper left cheek. It seemed to appear all of a sudden, but I believe now that it was actually a combination of all three precursors: sun exposure + contraceptive pill + post-inflammation. I even forked out $700+ for IPL treatment 12 months ago. This reduced the cheek splodge nicely, but did little to budge the upper-lip problem area, and, like you say, has definitely been difficult to maintain. I have been using that over-the-counter SuperFade product, and it’s helping a tiny bit, but not spectacularly. I did want to recommend a sunscreen, though. I use Banana Boat Kids’ Mineral Protect (SPF 30+, paraben- and fragrance-free). It’s cheap, inoffensive, and effective.

    • Lucy @ Love Luc Blog

      Hey Amber,

      I am currently using Plunketts Superfade Face cream and LOVE it (and having great results). It takes time (as with all treatments), but keep up with it. I promise it is worth it.

      Also, I use the Plunketts UV Day Shield 30 + which is a moisturiser and SPF in one, and recommended for treatment with Superfade face cream. But, I will definitely try the Banana Boat one. I am a BIG advocate for Suncreen (sooo important)!

      Lucy x
      http://www.love-luc.com

      • Danielle

        The face cream is so thick, is the UV Day Shield thinner in consistency?
        I find the face cream quite hard to apply and was hoping I could use the UV Shield during the day and the accelerator with my usual night cream and rose hip oil instead. I have already started to notice my freckles fading but not the pigmentation from the physical skin damage.

  • Sarah

    Writing this from my (shaded) sun lounge in Bali, I also love my aspect pigment punch. I’m convinced it stops my pigmentation getting worse.

    I’m yet to find a product that truly fades it though. I went through 2 bottles of ultraceuticals ultra brightening and saw no change.

    The only thing that lifts my pigmentation is a good chemical peel. I have one booked in a month and can’t wait to blast away another layer. The downtime sucks but it’s worth it.

    The other thing I’ve found is that certain supplements seem to make mine worse. I’m currently taking maca powder (in an attempt to get my hormones behaving pre baby making time) and whilst it’s working, my pigmentation has gotten worse.ip I truly fear I’m going to get the dreaded mask of pregnancy!

  • Mirelle

    Great post Zoe! I have previously used Paula’s Choice Clinical Scar Reducing Serum and Ultraceuticals Even Skintone Serum. I have seen slow, but definitely noticeable results with these. I have just started on Paula’s Choice Vitamin C + E serum, and top that with an antioxidant rich moisturiser and a physical sunscreen (Becca). If I were to use a pigment blocker as well, would I put that on first, then the antioxidants?

    • Karina Rowling

      Hi Mirelle,

      I’ve also just started using Paula’s Choice for skin pigmentation – I’m using the daily 5% exfoliator and the stronger 10% one a couple of times a week – just wondering if you have used either of these products and how you found them?

      • Mirelle

        I haven’t used either of those, but I have heard they are good! I have used a gel cleanser from her before which worked effectively, and I just bought the 10% AHA body lotion to try out.

  • Ira

    Hey Zoe! I love love love knowing how to reverse the pigmentation, but can you recommend a routine for those of us who have (hopefully) not already damaged our skin? Is it too early to use the Pigment Punch to prevent?

    I am ultra careful about sun, a dedicated sunscreen wearer.

    As a cleanser obviously the AHAs or BHAs are too much for younger skin, yes?

    Anything you recommend as a serum? Currently on the rosehip oil bandwagon… Love it!

    • Ira

      I should clarify age, I am 25 years old.

      • James Vivian AKA The Travelling Peelsman

        Like they say, an once of prevention is worth a pound of cure, however, not everybody is prone to hyperpigmentation so you may not need to jump on the pigmentation bandwagon – now or never. You are already diligently using your first line of defence against pigmentation, your sunscreen, but please make sure it incorporates some in-organic ingredients, such as zinc oxide or titanium dioxide. As a therapist, I think it is really important that people have their skin assessed by a trusted professional so they can focus on exactly what concerns they have, rather than what they think that may have. As a young 25-year-old with no visible hyperpigmentation, you may be better off using a Vitamin C serum to not only fight against potential hyperpigmentation, but also help the skin bright and kick start the production of collagen. Aspect Dr have a wonderful Vitamin C Serum called Active C Serum. It’s a great place to start…

    • Brooke

      Pigment Punch is a great preventative product and is suitable for all skin types and all ages. It is a water based serum and has a high concentration of vitamin C! Young and old, oily or dry if pigmentation prevention is high on your list of priorities then this is the product for you! Also, it is safe for use during pregnancy and I actually advise all of my clients to start on it once they conceive :)

  • Lizzy

    Yes! Fruity you’re back!

  • Devo

    SOB…I have an opposite problem – a white spot!

    I suffer from advance grey hairs – had my first few at age 12! I’m 33 now, and they’ve started to appear in my brows! Well 3 so far in one brow…strangely it happened overnight just 2 weeks ago, and stranger still – the small patch of skin behind the grey hairs is white. This patch of pale skin is tiny – but is so notable. These hairs are at the top of my arch, so the pale bit of skin is really evident as it’s against forehead (which happens to have the darkest skin, because you know…it’s closer to the sun and all)

    Is this pigmentation – or lack of? Is there anything I can do Zoe?

    • amber

      Hey, Devo!

      I am also quite devastated to be approximately 10% grey at the tender age of not-quite-30. I started to get white hairs (dead white — very noticeable when your natural hair colour is darkest brown, almost black) when I was about 25 and beginning to suffer from some health problems. I have tried all sorts of vitamins and supplements to try to reverse it, but nothing has helped. I ended up cutting my hair into a pixie, and I dye it every week. Yes. Every single week. My hairdresser and I have discussed going gradually lighter so that my regrowth is less and less obvious.

      ANYWAY.

      I wondered if your pigmentation problems were due to vitiligo? I recently read some research about a substance called PC-KUS that scientists have developed specifically for sufferers of hypopigmentation (the opposite of hyperpigmentation):

      ‘A new landmark study has revealed that a substance called PC-KUS may mean the end to both gray hair and the skin condition vitiligo, which causes patches of pigment-less skin.

      Human hair often turns white or gray when hydrogen peroxide begins to accumulate in hair follicles as a result of oxidative stress, affecting most people as they move into middle age and beyond. The hydrogen peroxide essentially acts as a bleaching agent on the “new” hair growing from the follicles.’

      I don’t know when it will be available for consumers to readily buy, but I hope it’s soon! Until then, we’ll just have to fake it ’til we make it…

      • Devo

        I just read this now…thank you SO much, I’m going to look into it right after this.

        I’m sure you look beautiful with your pixie cut..I wish I could get away with that! x

  • crimmy

    I’m one of those people who has tried everything to reverse hyperpigmentation – and have only seen real results this year since changing from a chemical to a physical sunscreen in June. I don’t think my results are typical, but I’ve gone from wearing a medium-coverage foundation to work everyday, to my moisturiser + tinted Invisible Zinc and a light powder over the top (it’s a bit sticky, even for my bone-dry skin). So another vote for patience and diligence here!

  • Katia

    Ohmygod a whole post on pigmentation! I have longed for this moment. My twins seriously stuffed up my skin (and various other body parts) and I’ve tried many things but not the triple whammy listed above. Thanks a million, I’m sending virtual crumpets your way.

  • SK

    I have suffered from really bad pigmentation thanks to the pill. I tried many many creams but nothing was working. I went to my dermatologist and he made me a nice little potion which I had to dab on my skin and it was gone within a few weeks.

    • J

      What was in this magic potion or who was the derm?! I would LOVE to know :) All these things they don’t tell you about the pill when you go on it…

      • SK

        I know! It looked like I had a moustache from the pigmentation above my lip. I even got pigmentation on my thighs too …

        It was a compounded cream. He has to write a script for it and the pharmacy sent it away to be made up. It’s pretty strong, left my skin a bit red, you just dab it on at night before you go to bed. My dermatologist is on the Central Coast … Professor Alan Cooper – he’s great.

  • Prudence

    Yess.. I recently decided to take all my makeup off and confront my bare skin infront of a magnifying mirror which I had placed infront of my bathroom window… OMG… what a total reality check. it was a pigmentation bonanza of the red and browny kind which I did not see coming. I’ve always suffered from acne and currently use Dermalogicas Medibac overnight clearing gel (2% salicylic) at nightime Or if my skin is particularly bad Benzac 5% topical treatment, I also purchased Philosophy Microdelivery wipes which i’ve started introducing once or twice a week- My question is: How can I target pigmentation and exsisting acne at the same time? Do I have to clear up my acne first before I can begin to think about my pigmentation? hmmm quite the conundrum. One things for sure I’m booking in for my first lacic peel tomorrow. Ta Fruits, any advice?

    • fruity

      Hi Prudence, happily a lot of the treatments for acne and hyperpigmentation (peels, essentially) double up, so I recommend going to a good salon and having a consultation on what is best for you.

      • James Vivian AKA The Travelling Peelsman

        Fruity is 100% correct, however, your prescribed homecare should focus on the acne as further blemishes can produce post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation which can lead to further pigmentation. Good luck.

  • Kiss & Make-up

    I suffer from melasma, and so far no treatment has helped. In summer it got really bad again. It’s starting to get better again now though, like every autumn and winter. But I bet that once summer hits I will be cursing my brown spots again :-(

    • fruity

      Laser toning is supposed to be good for Melasma… but like all laser treatments, it is very likely to sneak back in as soon you have get any UV exposure. Oh, the fun…

      • James Vivian AKA The Travelling Peelsman

        This is why a long-term approach is SO important. Zoë has given some sensational suggestions as to how to care for hyperpigmentation long term. You will need to continuously flood the skin with pigment blocking ingredients and also have any pigment being produces being released through regular chemcal-based exfoliation all year round. You may be doing this already, but many skin professionals go straight for the treatments, such as laser, and fall short on the after care.

  • Jess

    Has anyone tried a purple peel to treat pigmentation? It’s been recommended to me to treat melasma caused by the contraceptive pill, in conjunction with microdermabrasion and Skinstitute products. Anyone tried it?

    • Sarah

      Yep, I’ve had 2. The first one was awesome, it probably lifted 80% of my pigmentation.

      With the second one, the salon didn’t use enough coats, so it was like the pigmentation lifted to the surface but didn’t entirely peel away.

      As I said below, I’ve been taking supplements that have played around with my hormones so my dark spots have come back a bit – so I have another purple peel booked.

      My advice would be to make sure you’re very clear about the prep work you new to do in advance. If you don’t do t right, your skin will react too quickly and they wot be able to build up the layers of the peel and that’s why you want to get rid of the pigmentation.

      But in short – yes, it’s works for me!

  • Hannah

    Hi Fruity!

    I have recently become unhealthy obsessed with you blog- thank you!

  • Angela

    Hi Zoe! This is probably a dumb question but in which order should I use all of the products? I always used the basics of cleanser, toner and moisturiser but have recently started using rosehip oil as well. And now, I also want to start using a pigment blocker and a physical sunscreen. Obviously cleansing and toning would still be first and moisturising would be last (I think?) – but in which order should I do the rosehip oil, pigment blocker, and physical sunscreen?? Your help is much appreciated!

    • fruity

      Not dumb at all!
      As a rough guide…

      DAY
      Cleanse
      Pigment blocker (serum)
      Moisturiser
      Physical Sunscreen (I use one with moisturiser in it to skip a step)
      Makeup

      NIGHT
      Cleanse
      Exfoliant (2-3 times a week)
      Pigment blocker (serum)
      Any other serums (AKA rosehip oil)
      Moisturiser

      You may want to just stick to one serum for ease, and go back to your rosehip oil later.

  • Ez

    What about broken capaillaries? Any suggestions for treatment that works? They are all around my nose, covering them up is getting more and more difficult. I’m pretty good with sunscreen on my face, but I think my super hot showers and pale skin have been the issue.

    • James Vivian AKA The Travelling Peelsman

      Hi Ez. Your most direct treatment method for dilated capillaries is Laser Vein Therapy. The nasal area is the most common place that capillary damage take place. As a treatment, it is so satisfying as the capillaries vanish before your eyes (when performed with a good machine and laser operator). They are caused by UV-damage and heat (as you mentioned), and also due to repetitive pressure from blowing the nose!

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  • Whitney

    Hey Zoe,

    Can you recommend any exfoliants with AHAs and BHAs? I currently use Aesops Primrose Facial Cleansing Masque after I scrub. I am unsure whether the ingredients have AHAs or BHAs? I feel as though the ingredient list purposefully avoids the word ‘acid’ to seem more natural… Can anyone help me out?

    • fruity

      AHAs are easy to remember as they are the ‘ics’ … lactic, citric, glycolic, malic, tartaric acid.
      BHAs are salicylic only.

      • James Vivian AKA The Travelling Peelsman

        Hi Whitney. If you LOVE Aesop, their Purifying Facial Exfoliating Paste has lactic acid AKA and AHA. Also, their Parsley Seed Facial Wash and BCCC includes lactic acid.

        Personally, I LOVE Cosmedix Defy. It is loaded with l-lactic acid and other fruit-based acids to really get a good amount of cell turnover occurring, which will release pigment from the skin faster.

  • Chester

    Hmm I think this is what I need! My skin has finally stabilised from it’s teenage rebellion and is in fairly good shape since I started attacking it with Mario Badescu and rosehip oil (I’ve finally calmed it down to only hormonal breakouts!) But I still don’t want to go makeup free because
    1. super pale, so if I’m tired I go grey
    2. crazzzzy huge dark bags under my eyes (thanks insomnia!)
    3. i just don’t like my skin… I think I have hyperpigmentation- it’s not horrible but it just doesn’t feel even and FRECKLES! wah
    Pretty sure I’ll be going out to get some pigment punch asap! Thanks

    • fruity

      Makeup free is the goal, isn’t it. (“Yes.”) Definitely add some power peels/masks/creams to your routine as well as pigment punch for best results.

      • Chester

        I went mask shopping over the weekend (too much flying makes me feel a lil murky) but just got overwhelmed because there are literally (yes, literally) a thousand MB ones…. If I was any whiter it’d be transparent… but is a whitening mask a good idea for the mess of freckles/hyperpigmentation?

    • Carisma

      I think you and I may be the same person. With addition of blackheads on chin & nose

  • Diana

    Hi Zoe,
    Can you please recommend treatments for freckles on the face? Is it the same treatment as hyperpigmentation?

  • Antoinette

    I love this post Zo and thanks so much for your sheer brilliance. Whilst pregnant I suffered from dreaded pigmentation. The majority disappeared (thank god) soon after delivery, but alas, I still have some on the side of my face! I too have used the Pigment Punch and like you, love it! I love in more due to the fact that it doesn’t contain any nasties that can potentially create more problems other than pigmentation. Interestingly enough I have discovered some significant concerns with Hydroquinone and Kojic acid…. Read this for scary facts… 1. Hydroquinone is suspected to be carcinogenic, 2. In the US the FDA ruling due for 30 Dec 2006 on imposing a ban on Hydroquinone 3. Japanese dermatologist suspect Kojic acid may be carcinogenic and as a result the Japanese and Korean government ordered to stop using Kojic acid until investigations end 4. Switzerland has banned Kojic acid. Scary stuff I say… I just wish the Australian TGA were up with the times!

    • fruity

      Read that everyone?
      Hydroquinone and Kojic Acid are not our friends….

      • James Vivian AKA The Travelling Peelsman

        Such a good point Antoinette. The good news is that in Australia hydroquinone is Class 4 scheduled drug and therefore cannot be purchased over the counter.

        Hydroquinone works within the skin by shutting off the production of the pigmentation cells, as opposed to regulating its action as per a product such as Pigment Punch (read: much safer!)

        Beyond Antoinette’s concerns listed above, there is also evidence to show that hydroquinone possesses cytotoxic effects, meaning that it can potentially damage pigment cells permanently, resulting in hypopigmentation or a loss of natural skin colour (read: Michael Jackson!).

        There were a few posts above speaking about creams that were compounded by a pharmacist as a result of a doctor’s prescription. These often contain hydroquinone and can only be applied for a limited amount of time. I am always banging on about the long-term approach to pigmentation so I feel like these prescription-based approaches are limited in their success, as pigment can and often does return.

    • Chester

      Hmm.. I literally just got home from spending too much money at Mecca Maxima where I brought, among other pretty things, the Mario Badescu whitening mask and just checked and it has Kojic acid listed as an ingredient- I think I might have to do some googling before I use it- thanks!

  • Elizabeth

    Actually John Plunkett’s makes an amazing glycolic exfoliator – John Plunkett Glyco Peel. I use it 2-3 times a week and love waking up with new skin and a refreshed face!

  • Michelle Behringer

    Where can I buy pigment punch online. Can’t seem to find it anywhere. Thanks

  • kirsty

    loveing this post and all the great replys, includeing yours zoe…have freckles and some sun spots and am slowly getting them sorted with aha’s and vit c…not hitting the mark so am lapping up all the advice…just something on laser treatment…saw recently in ‘Emergency”[am a nurse] a women whose face was burnt/swollen to the point she could’nt open her eye’s from laser therapy for ‘sun spots’!!!…SO BEWARE ….Anyway, all the above sounds much better and far less harrowing!!…
    as an adjunct, what about a post on how to use bronzer/highlighter for those of us with pigmentation…have tried and tried but just looks wierd…any suggestions beauty bloggers??

  • GK

    Does anyone have recommendations for a reasonably priced serum loaded with vitamin c? I’m 25 and looking for more prevention than treatment and don’t want to fork out too much. Thanks

  • James Vivian AKA The Travelling Peelsman

    Wow, Zoë. What a well written and researched summary of hyperpigmentation. As a therapist working in Australia, I care for hyperpigmentation concerns on a daily basis. Whilst it is often possible to remove or significantly reduce these concerns, hyperpigmentation can, for some, be a lifelong affliction. I urge everyone to make an appointment with a skincare professional that they trust so that they can get the most appropriate advice for THEIR skin. As you mentioned, pigmentation can arise for a variety of different stimuli, so it is important to get to the bottom of its cause, rather than a one-size-fits-all approach.

    One piece of advice I give to all my clients is to not focus too greatly on aspects of the skin such as hyperpigmentation. When you have a healthy, bright complexion that is glowing from ear to ear, some of the small imperfections are no longer visible to you because you can say ‘Wow, my skin really does look fantastic. Sure I have sustained a little hyperpigmentation during my pregnancy, but it sure was worth it!’

  • Lucy Damin

    Hi Zoe, our shining beacon of beauty knowledge!
    Many articles, just like this one: http://www.lucytravers.com/lucy-travers-h9b1squarespacecom/journalformatrss/2013/10/15/is-your-deodorant-dangerous really freak me out about antiperspirant! And because I hate being a stinky cat! Well of course I use one! Is it really harming me? I need your wise wisdom! Love, Lucy x

  • Alex

    Another vote for the Plunkett Fade cream. Yes I know it has small amounts of hydroquinone and I understand that this is carcenogenic but I used it just one the spots where it was needed for a period of weeks and it worked better than the $1000 I spent on lasers. The spots went and stayed went. I haven’t needed to top up the treatment and its been two years now. So ultimately, less carcinogenic than a burnt sausage.

  • Nikki

    can I add something here… I have learned this year that what you put IN your body is as effective as what you put on it alot of the time. I’ve started drinking green smoothies for breakfast – with loads of antioxidants and nutrients and alkaline-forming goodies – and BIG salads for lunch, and my skin has never looked better. I still use Inv.Zinc daily, and rosehip oil & a vitamin serum, but making a conscious effort to eat much more greens has been the wild card for sure.
    turns out mum was right, greens are good for you… the crusts=curly hair thing I’ve still investigating : )

  • Yasmine

    This is a great post. very informative. I love finding other beauty bloggers to find inspiration from. http://yasminesbeautifullife.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/tips-and-tricks-for-growing-long-and.html

  • Falyn

    Lancôme Dreamtone. It’s been fantastic and really improved the quality of my skin.

  • Leah

    Why hasn’t anyone here mentioned Retin A? I don’t have hyper-pigmentation but I do use Retin A for other issues and I know it is proven to be effective in reducing hyper-pigmentation!

  • Kate

    I missed this post until today so I’m probably too late but just in case anyone is still listening….I am booked in to ave Fraxel in two weeks for my pigmentation/melasma. Mine is on my forehead and cheeks. It has a mottled look – white spots in darker patches. Mine was from being on the pill for years, then two babies. I’ve been waiting desperately to have fraxel until I was off the pill for good and had finished having kids. Now I’m not so sure whether to go ahead after Zoe’s experience. Has anyone had good results from fraxel for their pigmentation???

    • Allison

      You will initially see results after the fraxel. However, the hyperpigmenration comes back. Plus, your skin gets thinner since it removes a layer of skin.

  • Stacey

    Aah fruity, but what about all those products that are supposed to do it all? You know, block, encourage renewal and serum all in one. Like clinique’s dark spot corrector, philosophy, clarins etc etc. There are heaps! You don’t recommend??

  • fruitybeauty | Liquid illuminator: Should thoust be using one? How? Which one?

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  • Alex

    Hi zoe,
    I notice you recommend John Plunketts superfade but i know it has hydroquinone. Should we be avoiding products with this in it?
    Regards,
    Alex

  • Stacey

    Fruity! I am also on a pigmentation mission! I trialling Korea’s foremost skincare brand Sulwhasoo’s Snowise pigmentation product. No hydroquinone. I’ll keep you posted if it works!

  • melinda lyons

    I have been using ultra brightening serum by ultraceuticals and have found the pigmentation has faded from parts of my forehead but I now have it on the side of both of my cheeks! I have been to see another consultant about hyperpigmentation and she has told me to use Lytera by skin medica
    my question to all is what is the better producty to use for melasma/hyper – pigmentation?
    lytera (skin Medica)
    or
    Ultra britening serum (Ultraceuticals)
    HELP CONFUSED……

  • Laser Cell Therapy -Can Offer a Solution for Hyperpigmentation | Best Laser Treatments

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  • Annie

    Hi Zoe,
    I’ve just read this post with great interest, as pigmentation is starting to become an issue for me. (Note to self: use suncream daily! I do realise that’s probably beauty 101). I loved the side-by-side image you shared of the lady (with some wrinkles) but pre and post pigmentation. I didn’t realise how much of an effect dark spots made!
    Have you tried or do you have any comments on Lancôme’s Dreamtone?
    Thank you.

  • fruitybeauty | Everything you need to know about pregnancy beauty.

    […] I wrote a huge post on this recently, which I urge you to read if you haven’t already. Hyperpigmentation can become a real bitch during pregnancy, due to hormonal changes and an increased sensitivity to UV. Your best chance is to use a pregnancy-safe pigment inhibitor, followed by a physical or mineral sunscreen, (zinc or titanium dioxide based) each and every day. Also, a wide brim hat, and sunglasses. IT’S WORTH IT. It’s only going to be harder to shift once your hormones return to normal, so you may as well try to keep a lid on it now. Tight lid. Screw top. Vacuum sealed. Sticky tape on the sides. […]

  • Lyn

    Hi Zoe, thankyou for the detailed post.

    I’m only 17 and after reading many articles about hyperpigmentation because I noticed I had puny pits/dents on my face. Being a teenager I don’t think any girl would want such scarring, especially because I’m asian and many other other teens, have beautiful natural skin. I was considering clinic/spa treatments to help my skin renew itself before treating the pigments, would you recommend? The last time I checked I thought I had oily skin, but the clinic girls told me it was dry skin producing oil to compensate.

    I’m at the point where I don’t know what to do with my skin, or what products to use except starting to use spf everyday.
    Please help, thankyou.

  • AB

    Hi – really, really glad for your honesty on Fraxel. My beauty salon keeps trying to get me to do various laser treatments and I’ve held off until now (partially because my beauty therapist will whisper “don’t listen to them downstairs – you don’t really need it” – love her!). But this definitely clears up any uncertainty over it.

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  • Sara Tan

    Hi Zoe, I have been using Ultraceuticals Brightening Serum (which is similar to Ultraceuticals Eventone serum but better in my opinion) and falls into the “Exfoliator” category in your blog. After reading your blog, I now want to start using a “Pigment blocker” such as Aspects Pigment Punch while I continue using Ultraceuticals Brightening serum. Do you think I need to start using Aspects Pigment Punch in conjuction with Ultraceuticals Brightening serum as they both claim to “reduce & prevent future pigmentation”? I am worried about overuse of products as Ive become more sensitive to AHAs over time and have previously had reactions due to AHA overuse.

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  • Carla

    Hi Zoe,
    Where can I buy the O Cosmedics sunscreen?

  • Gambling Paradise

    It’s very trouble-free to find out any topic on web as compared to books, as I found this
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  • Lizzy

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!!
    I’m so glad you and Fruity Beauty are back.

    You’re advice on pigmentation is so refreshing, I’ve been looking for a good regime for a long time, and in fact have had good results from the Alpha-H’s Liquid Gold, Dermalogica’s Tri-active Cleanse and Dermalogica’s Extreme C. I’ve also given up the Contraceptive Pill – no point paying for the magic treatments, when the root cause is still in place.

    Despite this, I’ve just got back from 3 weeks holiday in the sun, so now the pigmentation-busting-regime will begin again.

    I’m keen to give the Aspect Pigmentation Punch a try – any help with sourcing it in the UK would be great.

    Thank you! Again!
    Lizzy

  • Sarah

    Hey Zoe,
    Thanks so much for another great post. I’m just starting my war against post pregnancy hyper pigmentation and was thinking of trying Alpha H liquid gold. They have a few products, do you mean liquid gold radiance? Also, if I used this every night, would I also need an exfoliant 2-3 x week? Thanks xoxo

  • indy22

    I spent thousands on laser treatments for melasma (dark spots on skin due to sun and hormones). The laser helped but the Made from Earth Skin Correcting Mist eliminates. I use it twice a day – morning and night.

    I also used to use Retin A, but again the Made from Earth Correcting Mist worked so much better. Dark spots gone in 2-3 weeks.

  • fruitybeauty | Serum layering: It’s very much allowed.

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  • grace

    nice and useful information shared about skin diseases..this will be very helpful for the people who are suffering from pigmentation,skin infections or any other skin disease.

  • fruitybeauty | Stuff I’m loving, using and doing as a pregbot.

    […] many pregbots will be gifted with a lovely face of hyper-pigmentation during their 9-10 months of baby-carrying and you can either let it take over, and shrug and watch […]

  • Luisa

    Hi Zoe, How do I know if a BB cream with SPF in it is physical or chemical?

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    […] exfoliation properties, e.g: their ability to diminish lines and wrinkles, retexture the skin, fade pigmentation and brighten the […]

  • Rose

    Such a favorable post for how to treat and to prevent hyper pigmentation problem!

  • Earle

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  • Diane

    Hi-
    Can you recommend the best uv hyper pigmentation products for dry, sensitive skin? I know that they are pricey so I want to buy the right ones.  
    I have red cheeks due to broken capillaries and uv sun damage.
    Thank you!

  • Jen

    Hi Zoe! Can you recommend anywhere in Sydney for lactic peels? Thanks 

  • Jennifer

    I am 50, fair to medium skin tone and struggle with hyperpigmentation.  Never took The Pill, and wasn’t an avid sunbather but had my fair share of time outside.  Have diligently used AHA’s with my skin regimen since I was in my 20’s. A year ago I had a laser treatment done on my whole face.  I had 3 bad dark spots, about the size of a dime that I couldn’t get rid of…..Boy do I wish I could go back in time.  I now have a brownish mask everywhere the laser hit.  It. Is. Horrible!  So confused as to what I should use.  Terrified I will make it even worse.  Any advice?

  • Elizabeth

    Zo this is just what I needed! I’m 22 and recently I’ve noticed my sun damage on my face has increased a ridiculous amount. I have always been quite vigilant with sunscreen and staying out of the sun, but I fear my teenage years of laying out in the sun have caught up with me. It has only become really noticeable to me these last couple of months. Is pigment punch my answer? There is no longer a day I go without sunscreen so hopefully I can halt any further sun damage.

    Also, I was lucky enough to meet you a few years ago in Sydney and you so kindly said how lovely my skin looked, so hopefully with some assistance from pigment punch, my skin can start to look amazing once again. Elizabeth.

  • sarah

    Hi Zoe, Now this is a bit out there I know but I couldn’t help but post it since I have seen the results before my very own eyes. Coffee enema! My mother’s best friend (since they were in their 20s) had very very bad hyperpigmentation spots on her face for as long as I remember. I think she got them from pregnancy and they got worse and worse in her late 40s and early 50s. Now she is in her mid 50s and pigmentation free because of the coffee enemas she has been doing for the last 2 yrs! she started on the regime for her migraines (which are now gone too) and the wonderful side effect of the treatment was that her hyper-pigmentation also disappeared. I am 100% sure she did not use any other treatment for the pigmentation, it was definitely the coffee enemas that worked the magic. So i’m going to try it myself as I suffer from adult acne and mild hyperpigmentation. Here is the recipe she gave me the other day: 
    3tsp of Aldi Organic ground coffee
    1L boiled filtered water

    Boil for 3 minutes and simmer for 20mins

    Strain and cool, top up water back up to equal 1L.

    Pour coffee into enema jug and let out air from hose before you insert enema. 

     Lay on your right side, lube up the hose and insert. 

    Once you’ve taken in the 1L of coffee, remove the hose and lay on your back and then arco onto your shoulders.

    Retain for 15mins.

    Then sit on toilet for aprox 1hr to expell all contents. 

    It is recommended to drink a freshly pressed juice (carrot, beet, celery, ginger, green apple) before and after the enema for best results.

    Do this once per week till pigmentation is gone. Then practice a maintenance treatment once per month.

    eeep, this seems scary, but I’m going to try it, they results on my mum’s bestie are amazing!

    (this comment is like a blog post in itself, oops)

    Xx Sarah

  • NiciN

    I first learned about the amazing benefits of rosehip oil almost a year ago, and I have tried almost all the rosehip oil products on the market – and the best one is the Made from Earth Rosehip & Hibiscus Serum. It has a high concentration of rosehip oil – without being too oily – this was important for my sensitive skin. I use it twice daily, in addition to my regular moisturizer, as it is very dry here in Colorado and my aging skin needs all the help it can get. 

    My wrinkles are less noticeable than when I used Botox years ago. Try the Made from Earth Rosehip Serum, as its the best rosehip seed oil on the market – and it has no hamrful chemicals in it. Its the only thing I can use with my sensitive skin. 

  • Renee Albera

    So glad you brought up the fact that Asian women, African American women & Mediterranean women are all prone to hyper-pigmentation.  Aside from protecting themselves from the sun while outside, these women should pay particular attention to shielding themselves during the curing of gel manicures and gel pedicures.  As each service is equal to approximately 40 minutes of sun, it will only be a matter of time before the skin on the hands and feet will be damaged.  Shielding the skin is essential!!!

  • orangeAmy

    I am an older woman, and have older scars on my body, alot of it due to hyper-pigmentation and I have suffered with it for years. Throughout the years, I have purchased alot of expensive scar removal remedies and nothing worked for me. I decided to buy the Dr Max Powers Scar Serum and I cannot believe the scars are fading and barely visible. I still need to use a little concealer, but I feel I can face the world better now. It does take some time, but is does work. If you have a new scar, use the Dr Max Scar Serum right away and it will fade fast. For older scars like mine, it may take months, but it does work. I encourage you to give it a try.

  • Sophie

    Hi Zoe, could you do a post on the effect of inhibiting melanin as the skin’s primary defence against UV? I’ve tried to find some studies this one here indicates that when melanin is inhibited by chemicals skin cells are more likely to die when exposed to UV (obviously you would wear sunscreen but is that really enough in Australia?) http://www.bmbreports.org/jbmb/jbmb_files/%5B42-3%5D0903311707_%28178-183%29BMB178%2808-269%29.pdf

  • Nirupama Alan

    VC 15 vitamin c serum is a good stretch mark removal cream. I am using it for more than a year. Now it is available in India also.

  • Emma

    Hi, I am 24 years old and have struggled with pigment on my upper lip for years, now thinking back I believe it to have been linked to when I started the pill! I have been to a dermatologist and after using a cream that I cannot remember the name of annoyingly it didn’t really help! I don’t want to spend as much as I have done before with little results :( Just wanted reassuring that this will work – what exactly should I buy??? Thanks, Emma

  • Ruci

    Great post, thank you! I’ve just bought the pigment punch and also the glycolic acid 10% gel from Peter Thomas Roth. I know you’ve said layering serums is ok, but wonder if using the two of these at the same time is a good idea? I have very bad pigment and have for years. 

  • sonal

    im suffering from hyperpigmentation on forehead from last 3 months where all wounds have healed bt it left 2 dark spots which are very embrassing..i asked plastic surgen bt she adviced me not get done surgery otherwise it will make condition worse..while she said that topical creams will fade dark spots completely..
    what can i do now..?
    does scars of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation becomes permanent..?

    • sonal

      im suffering from hyperpigmentation on forehead from last 3 months whereall wounds have healed bt it left 2 dark spots which are very embrassing..i asked plastic surgen bt she adviced me not get done surgery otherwise it will make condition worse..while she said that topical creams will fade dark spots completely..what can i do now..?does scars of post inflammatory hyperpigmentation becomes permanent..?

  • Dimpled

    Thank you for this great post. Gives me great enciuragement to fight my annoying dark spot.  I read that heat is bad for dark spot, so then hot yoga is bad then? please share your thoughts. thank you

  • Katherine

    Hi, I have a sun spot ( from what i believe it looks like), on the side of my face. I live on the east coast, and i am always subjected to the sun. 
    I recently started using Murad Active Radiance Serum. I hear it is better to apply it to your whole face, but i naturally have freckles ( and LOVE them). I do not want them to disappear but i see an unevenness in my skin pigment. 
    I want to get ride of my large sun blotches and even out my skin tone but keep my freckles. 

    Please help. 

  • Thoko

    Hi, Im very interested in a product that will help me clear dark blemiishes on my face. please help me in finding it.

  • Crystal

    I have the best, (little pricey) brand to use for not only cleansing, but to take really good care of your skin, and help diminish discoloration, and its the Serious Skin Care line.. I have been using the Glycolic Retexturizing products, and its amazing.. The wife of Sylvester Stallone is the creator of all of the SSC products.. I would highly recommend using them. I also have the Vitamin C line as well, which is a big ingredient our skin lacks everyday.. Feel free to email me if you have any questions.. 

    • Thelma

      Hi Crystal  I just say your post on here and was wondering what kind of SPF you use on your face the chemical or physical?  Seems as if on this blog the chemical only makes our pigmentation worst..I am greatly confused even though Paula Begoun recommends both but actually physical and chemical  are good for our skin but physical better for sensitive skin. I have dried doing both  exfoliating and Retinol as well as SPF but nothing seems to work for me.
      Thanks so much,
      Thelma

  • Cecilia

    What a great blog! Awesome information. I a going to try your method to get rid of my hyperpigementation. I have ordered Aspect Punch. Which of the Alpha-H’s Liquid Gold, Ultraceuticals Even Skintone Serum and Dermalogica’s Tri-active Cleanse do yo think is the absolute best? Also, any particular professional peels you can recommend?
    Thanks heaps

  • Dari

    Hi all, i want to add, it’s super clear that hyperpigmentation is a hard thing about life, there is no cure for it. Though it’s easier for women to kind of cover it (then a male with make-up). When you really want to get rid of it, and keep it that way, using a good whitening treatment which is PH neutral, Fragrance free and above all 100% Natural is really a must. Otherwise you will have to stop using the product because of drying out the skin or other skin problems someday.

  • sam

    Does Running trigger the pigmentation? becoz when i do running my all face gets red and it feels like my cheeks are on fire. so please do let me know that is running good or should i stop it till my pigmentation goes..

  • ellie

    This is no wonder miracle serum!! You just have to try everything until you find something that works for you and then keep using it. I am using the Lady Soma Renewal Serum because I have seen benefits after using it for 10 days – it has smoothed out my skin and slightly reduced the pigmentation on my cheek. The two KEY ingredients in the Lady Soma Renewal Serum are (1) Vitamin C – helps to create younger, firmer skin while fading signs of sun damage and post-acne marks. (3) Hyaluronic Acid – a superior moisture binder that retains over a 1000 times its weight in water within the cells of skin, making it an excellent moisturizer.

    it works for me, and I am sticking with it ! 

  • Julie Greco

    Hi, I had IPL done on my legs to remove dark spots. The technician burned me and I had first degree burns on my calfs .. zebra stripes. They have now healed but I’m left with some hyperpigmentation …although it looks like it’s fading. Could you please let me know the name of a good brightening cream I could use? Also would you recommend laser or other treatments? Thank you,

  • Lisa

    Hi Zo. I have hyper pigmentation and I cannot get rid of it. It’s particularly really bad above my lip, but I pretty much have it all over my face. Please recommend some products that will provide results. If you could give me a name of a cleanser, serum, hyper pigmentation blocker, sunscreen, whatever regimen that would help, I’d be forever thankful!!

  • Francheska

    Hi there!

    I’m so happy I came across this website, when doing some searching on sunscreens & hyper pigmentation.

    I’m 30 years old, and have been taking care of my sensitive skin trulsince I was 21 years old. I’m overall happy with my skin, but my mom has had hyper pigmentation after having me. My sister also started getting it in her face around 42. 
    With that backstory, I want to know what are the safest serums or vitamin c’s to use. And can either of these trigger hyper pigmentation? My mom is always telling me, don’t do anything new in your routine, just stay true to using sunscreen, (“these serums/oil can ruin your face”, she says) but I’m ready to add a serum. I’ve done the preventative care in my 20’s and have read that your 30’s is when it’s time to use anti-aging products as well as a serum. 

    • Francheska

      Oh, I should mention my current routine. I use Kiehls anti-aging moisturizer, their eye cream, and I just threw out their sunscreen, after reading your post about chemical vs. physical sunscreen! Are the physical sunscreens you mentioned above safe for a simple routine such as mine?

  • Syl

    As someone else already wrote what you eat makes a huge difference, I tried everything for melasma, it started around 5 years ago, got worse with pregnancy and now I’m 8 months pregnant and having green smoothies for 3 months, I can see the melasma getting smaller and my skin improving, people also comment that my ankles are not even swollen and I have no fluid retention or gained much weight!
    I had a bad tummy bug that I needed to go to hospital and get tested for listerua and stopped the green smoothie for 3 days, my ankles swollewed a lot and I had a lot of fluid retention and gained 3 kilos even though I was not eating!
    Back to the green smoothies and my skin still glowing and my body is coping with pregnancy superbly well, normal size ankles, weight is back to normal e everything is going well.
    I was melasma free after hydroquinone which I started after spending thousands at the beautician and also tried lots is creams and serums, peels etc
    Rich antioxidant diet with green smoothies, physical sun protection and a supermarket moisturiser are doing miracles.
    Althought after pregnancy I will also incorporate the high strength prescription vitamin a cream!
    Good luck ladies

  • Brad

    I’ve been using the Citrus Clear Sensitive Moisturizer for 6 months now. It’s the only moisturizer that doesn’t break me out. The liquorice root has also helped to get rid of the hyperpigmentation on my face. Try it – it works for hyperpigmentation. 

  • Colleen

    Hello.
    I have just purchased the pigment punch by Aspect, and am wondering if anyone could inform me on how to use this product. I usually use a cleanser, moisturiser and eye cream (day and night) and sunscreen during the day. Where do I fit this product into this regime? I don’t want to be using in the wrong order and it not to be working.
    Thank you

  • robbi768

    DO NOT USE LASER for lyperpigmentation!! Its too strong and will make it worse!! These treatments are very expensive.

    Since we have sensitive skin anyway, what works is using products with glycolic acid as that is gentler and will take away the hyperpigmentation over time without BURNING it off (which wil leave scars). I use two creams for my hyperpigmentation and I have seen results in one month of daily use. (1) the Made from Earth Pure Aloe Vera – I use this on my body, and (2) the Lady Soma Renewal Serum – I use this on my face.

    Aloe is a safe, gentle and effective method of treating hyperpigmentation, while the Lady Soma Renewal Serum has gentle gycolic and hyaluronic acid that takes the pigment away without the laser burning.

  • Alva

    This is the best article I’ve ever found on pigmentation! Thank you! I have serious hyper pigmentation caused by Addison’s disease. I’ve got the ‘tan tash’ , the blotchy cheek bones, dark dull skin, crazy old looking forhead. I’m from Ireland and have never heard of any of these products. I guess there’s not a whole lot of demand here with our rainy Irish weather. Problem is these products seem to only be available in Australia and I can’t find anywhere that ships them. Any ideas on websites that ship internationally? Go Aussies with your year round sunshine and pigmentation research! You’ve really helped, hopefully I’ll be able to get the products somehow.

  • Julie

    Hi, I’ve been using Meladerm cream and it’s been great for lightening my Melasma. It takes a while but I took a before and after photo after a month and notice a significant improvement.
    Thanks for all the info.

  • Kanika

    Thanks for the wonderful post 
    Do I have to use all these products which you mentioned or any one of these will be ok ?????

  • jacky

    I had sunburn 2 years ago, two sides of forehead have black. totally face going too black the lower part of neck. it is a big color difference.

    Even now using whitening cream and sun protection  cream, no use

    Can you give me good advise?

  • Sandy

    I had laser treatment for freckles they burn my skin & I got pigmentation on face.

  • Martina

    I only really have pigmentation around my eyes. I have a home ipl machine i bought for hair removal (too much work, ended up getting laser) could i use the machine on my face?

  • Kerry Lennox

    Hi Zoe, 

    This post is super helpful thank you! 
    I live in London at the moment so not sure I can buy any of the products you have recommended over here. Would you know any products in London that I can buy that are similar?

    Thank you
    Kerry 

  • Kim

    After many treatments of Spectra Laser, Cyklokapron, vitamin c, Kojic acid etc, my dermatologist has prescribed a lotion of azalaeic acid, hydrocortisone and Kojic acid. I haven’t started using it because I’m scared it’s going to make my skin more suseptible to browning. Do you know anything about this ? Can you advise me please. Nothing has worked today – all I have done is shed lots of money

  • David Gomes

    I think by solvaderm brand product ACE- Ferulic you can prevent hyperpigmentation problem. ACE-FERULIC is an advanced rejuvenating serum that promotes dermal restoration and provides a powerful defense against skin aging due to sun exposure and environmental stressors.It Complements skin’s natural sun defense system to effectively fight multiple signs of photo aging, and noticeably lightens hyperpigmented areas.

  • Sharifah

    Does makeup cause the worsenning of hyperpigmentation or could it hinder the effectiveness of your skincare? Like idk Im growing imaptient because Im so grossed out by my hyperpigmentation that even if I want to trygo bare in public I cant because I feel too naked on my face and gross, like no one needs to be looking at it. I dont want to look sleazy. :(

  • Mary

    Hi Zoe, this post is amazing! Has helped lots. Can u tell me do you think hyper pigmentation treatment is exactly the same as plane old freckles. I am covered! Most of them since my early teens as I quickly became very self conscience of them and have avoided the sun for years, but they still hang around. (Def faded but def still there) have tried creams/lasers/peels. No major change with any! I’m now 30 years old and it really does get me down, without sounding vain. I would just love a clearer complexion, to be able to go out without a ton of makeup

  • soney

    you have did a great work and i am thankful to you for that.

  • Blackheads on chin

    Ohh!!!!its really amazing. And I greatly surprised about this information. I really enjoyed. Thank you for sharing such a great thoughts with us. 

  • Ema

    Hello Zoe, Nice Article. A month back I was also facing Hyperpigmentation. It was getting worse and worse day by day and one of my friends recommended me to use Cysteamine Cream. After using it I felt very good the pregnancy mask, dark spot, lentigo & hyper-intensive whitening were reduced after few weeks. I highly recommend you to use it.

  • Sam M

    Hi Zoe,

    What’s your take on Vitamin C Serums?

    I have been using a Vitamin C serum for my spots and it has given me good results. I cleanse and tone my face, allow my skin to dry and apply the serum. Allow it to dry and apply a moisturizer afterwards.

    Can I do anything better?

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