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How to Deal With Hyperpigmentation?

Have you come across patches of discolored skin and are wondering what they are? It is likely a natural, harmless, and common skin condition called hyperpigmentation. Keep reading to find out what is hyperpigmentation on the face, its causes, and a few professional and non-professional treatments.


What is hyperpigmentation?

woman touching skin

Hyperpigmentation is defined as the darkening of the skin. Varying in size and tone, there are three general types of hyperpigmentation: melasma, sunspots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or dark spots/age spots. 


  • Melasma: Speculated to result from hormonal changes, melasma typically involves a symmetrical discoloration on the face. 
  • Sunspots: Commonly known as liver spots, sunspots are caused by excess sun exposure and are frequently observed on the face and hands.
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation/dark spots: Dark spots, often confused with sunspots, generally involve injury or inflammation of the skin. A common example of dark spots is acne scarring.

To learn more about dark spots, make sure to check out our post about sunscreen.


What causes hyperpigmentation?


The answer is melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. When production of melanin exceeds necessary levels, the skin darkens. Conversely, when melanin production fails to meet necessary production levels, the skin lightens. 


As stated earlier, melanin production can be influenced by many factors, including excess sun exposure and/or hormones. In fact, due to the high significance of hormone changes on melanin production, pregnant women with melasma even have their own name for the condition — “the mask of pregnancy.” Additionally, as a result of the cyclical hormonal fluctuations, increases in melanin production are also more common in women overall. Ultimately, hyperpigmentation is also more common for women than men as well.


In terms of sun exposure, UV rays cause the pigmented skin cells to multiply, which leads to a melanin build up and therefore darker skin. As such, it’s crucial to wear SPF, particularly a broad spectrum sunscreen to ensure maximum protection. 


Unfortunately, prevention can only go so far, and we’re all likely to get at least one sunspot in our lifetime. But don’t fear! There are several easy at-home or professional treatments to solve this.


What are hyperpigmentation treatments?

For easy solutions, simple kitchen ingredients like aloe vera, green tea, and honey will help fade sunspots. One at-home remedy, taken from Healthline, instructs the following:

  1. Mix 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 tablespoon plain yogurt, and 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  2. Leave on for 10 to 15 minutes

For more intense treatments, on the other hand, many people turn to laser resurfacing, chemical peels, or microdermabrasion. Finally, if you are looking for a prescription topical treatment, continue reading to the next section.


How to deal with hyperpigmentation?


As stated earlier, there are many prescription and non-prescription products to help reduce hyperpigmentation. For topical prescription medication, the skin-bleaching agent hydroquinone is a strong candidate. However, as helpful as hydroquinone is, it is as equally harmful due to its adverse effects when overused. Thus, I recommend strictly following the directions written on the packaging or instructions by your dermatologist.

For retail goods containing hydroquinone, the hydroquinone concentration is much lower, and can therefore be used more freely. But like everything in life, it should be used in moderation.


A similar topical agent to hydroquinone is retinoid, or the weaker over-the-counter form retinol. Due to its high cell turnover rate, retinoids are extremely helpful for fading dark spots. However, because of their drying nature, retinoids should not be used in conjunction with other drying agents like benzoyl peroxide and strong exfoliators. 


Given that the cell turnover rate is so high,  there is a necessary period of adjustment. Thus, it’s important to avoid irritating the skin and not overusing the product. In order to gain the full benefits of the profit, I recommend applying retinoids in the evening with a Vitamin C and sunscreen during the day.


Wish Formula’s Solution – Deepigma 7 Alpha Cream

Infused with wine extract, niacinamide, and a high cell turnover rate agent, AHA, WishFormula’s Deepigma 7 Alpha Cream is an enriching product sure to even skin tone, brighten complexion, and reduce hyperpigmentation. Compatible with even the most sensitive skin types, Deepigma 7 Alpha Cream lightly exfoliates the skin and dissolves melanin waste accumulated in the outermost layer of the skin, the epidermis. It truly is the best face cream for hyperpigmentation.


Within a few days, your skin should have noticeable differences in the weight of your hyperpigmentation. Additionally, here are some tips for Deepigma 7 Alpha Cream’s product use to ensure you get the most.

  • To maximize the benefits of the Deepigma 7 Alpha Cream, apply after WishFormula’s Enzyme Washing Powder and Fermented Hydra Essential Toner
  • Use this product during your night skincare routine and a Vitamin C and sunscreen in the daytime
  • If used during the daytime, make sure to use sunscreen


Final Thoughts

Hyperpigmentation is a relatively harmless and easily treated condition. However, on the rare occasion that you do notice concerning hyperpigmentation, it is important to consult your physician immediately. 


Additionally, do not forget that the best way to treat hyperpigmentation is through prevention. Although you do not have the ability to control your hormone levels, sun exposure control is easily within your grasp. So make sure you are getting your daily dose of sun protection by wearing sunscreen to prevent potential sun damage!


To learn more about K-beauty and the latest skincare products, make sure to read our last post.