Nothing ruins a no-makeup makeup look (or your mood) quite like hyperpigmentation. Those stubborn dark spots are relentless, and the condition is super common— and harder to treat— in melanated skin. One study found hyperpigmentation is one of the top five most commonly diagnosed skin conditions in Black people. And according to Healthline, the condition lasts longer and is often more extreme for us.
Tackling hyperpigmentation head-on starts with understanding what it actually is. “Skin hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition that refers to areas of the skin that become darker to excess melanin production,” says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Michelle Henry. Flare-ups are typically triggered by “anything that damages the normal skin barrier and surface,” or other factors like “UV light, hormones, and medications.”
When it comes to treatment, Dr. Henry says a diverse routine is imperative. “The best way to tackle hyperpigmentation is to incorporate numerous skincare ingredients that halt the production of excess melanin,” she explains. The good news is there are tons of products and tools out there to help keep your dark spots in check. Dr. Henry recommends going for products that have “Vitamin C, azelaic acid, [or] retinoids,” like Eadem’s Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum which includes niacinamide and amber algae in its formula, or Beauty Stat’s Universal C Skin Refiner, which contains the stabilized L-ascorbic acid— the purest form of vitamin C. Another must-try is Murad’s Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum— its ingredients harness the resorcinol technology included to fade the look of discoloration.
Stronger treatments are also game changers when treating your hyperpigmentation.
“Performing a chemical peel monthly can remove the top layer of the skin and accelerate the resolution of hyperpigmentation,” Dr. Henry shares. Microneedling can help too— GloPRO’s Microneedling Regeneration Tool makes it DIY-friendly.
As an LED light therapy, Shani Darden’s PRO LED Light Mask has 238 LED lights with wavelength combinations that help even your skin tone, and Solawave’s Advanced Skincare Wand with Red Light Therapy is a great on-the-go option.
Keeping your skin hydrated and happy plays a big role in maintaining an even skin tone. Epi Logic’s beloved Collagen Renew Growth Factor Serum is formulated with a cocktail of ingredients to improve your skin health. And sun protection is key, whether you have hyperpigmentation or not. Fenty Beauty’s Hydra Vizor Invisible Moisturizer Broad Spectrum SPF 30 Sunscreen will protect you from the sun’s rays, and fade the look of dark spots.
There’s one more thing you’ll need when treating hyperpigmentation: patience. “This process may take a few months to show results, which is why it’s important to be patient when dealing with hyperpigmentation,” Dr. Henry shares.