Skin routine for hyperpigmentation - Skinora
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Skin routine for hyperpigmentation


Hyperpigmentation is a very common skin concern and condition. It is characterised by the darkening of skin colour than the normal surrounding skin. The change in skin colour is caused by excess production of melanin (the brown pigment responsible for skin colour). Hyperpigmentation can affect the skin color of any gender, race or age. Whether its sunspots, post-inflammatory hyperpigementation or melasma, with the right guidance and skincare routine we are confident you can address hyperpigmentation to achieve your skin goals.

Have you heard of Melasma?

This common skin condition causes brown patches across the face – especially the cheeks, bridge of nose, forehead, and upper lip. It tends to affect women more than men, and it is more common in darker skin. The cause of melasma is not clearly known but we are aware of a few triggers such as hormonal changes (pregnancy, birth control pill) and overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. Although there is no cure for melasma we’ve got you covered with the best skincare treatments and advice to help improve the appearance of melasma.

How about Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH)?

Dark patches can occur after an injury to the skin (cut or burn) or once a blemish has healed. You can improve the chances of the dark patches getting better by avoiding too much sun exposure and not picking your spots.

Skincare Routine

Check out our routine for those with skin hyperpigmentation




Morning Routine


In the mornings wash your face with a brightening cleanser to gently clean and removes dirt, oil and any other impurities from the skin.  Aim for cleansers containing ingredients such as vitamin C, niacinamide, glycolic acid, mandelic acid or lactic acid.


NeoStrata Enlighten Ultra Brightening Cleanser


SkinCeuticals Glycolic Renewal Cleanser

NeoStrata Refine Clarifying Facial Cleanser

Vitamin C Serum

Vitamin C is powerful antioxidant that helps to keep our skin cells healthy by shielding the skin from harmful aggressors such as pollution and UV exposure that can lead to free radical damage. It can be found naturally in fruits and vegetables or synthetically manufactured. In addition, the skin brightening ingredient improves the appearance of discoloration to even the skin tone.

Apply 4-6 drops to your fingertips then press gently into the face and neck, massage until well absorbed. Apply daily in the morning only to a dry face after cleansing.

Skinceuticals Phloretin CF serum

ZO Skin Health Self Activating Vitamin C


Hyperpigmentation Serum/Cream

Niacinamide (vitamin B3) is a widely used cosmeceutical ingredient. It can effectively reduce pigmentation, erythema and enhance the epidermal barrier, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, and improve skin elasticity

Some studies have shown tranexamic acid to be beneficial in treating melasma and also prevents UV-induced pigmentation.

Licorice extract works as a skin brightener by inhibiting the production of melanin, dispersing excess melanin and has anti-inflammatory qualities.

Kojic acid inhibits the production of excess melanin to improve discolouration and also offers antioxidant production.

Alpha arbutinin is a skin brightener extracted from bearberries, blueberries and cranberries. It inhibits tyrosinase activity to reduce melanin production in the skin. Alpha arbutinin is great for lightening dark spots and helps to even out skin tone.

Phloretin is an antioxidant found in apples and has the ability to reduce discoloration, fine lines and uneven skin tone.


NeoStrata Enlighten Pigment Controller

NeoStrata Enlighten Illuminating Serum

Exuviance Optilight Brightening Serum

ZO Skin Health Brightalive®


Aim for lightweight moisturisers that are non-comedogenic (do not clog pores leading to further breakouts) and contain ingredients such as ceramides and fatty acids to strengthen and maintain the skin barrier.ZO Renewal Créme


NeoStrata Enlighten Skin Brightener SPF25

CeraVe AM Facial Moisturising Lotion



Chose lightweight broad spectrum (protects against UVA and UVB) sunscreens that do not leave the skin feeling greasy and shiny. In the UK, use SPF 30 and above. It is important to use sunscreen daily to prevent overexposure to UV light that can worsen hyperpigmentation, reduce the risk of skin cancer and premature ageing of the skin. If you are using alpha and beta hydroxy acids, and vitamin A ingredients to manage your hyperpigmentation, these ingredients tend to make the skin more sensitive to sun. There are some sunscreens that contain additional active brightening ingredients such as tranexamic acid, resveratrol and vitamin c.  For those with sensitive skin it is better to use a mineral sunscreen.


Obagi 360

SkinCeuticals Advanced Brightening UV Defense SPF 50




Use the same cleanser in the morning and consider double cleansing to remove excess oil, makeup and sunscreen as well as increase the likelihood of products penetrating the skin layers deeper.


Dual action exfoliators are very useful for managing hyperpigmentation as they combine physical and chemical exfoliants to exfoliate dull uneven skin, leading to brighter, smoother, and a more radiant complexion.

Exuviance Glycolic Polish

ZO Dual Action Scrub

Hyperpigmentation serum

You can use the same product as the morning serum as long as you do not use it at the same time as the vitamin A products in evening to reduce the risk of irritation to the skin.

Vitamin A product

Retinal, retinol or tretinoin are derivatives of vitamin A. They work at a deeper cellular level, where they help to boost collagen and elastin. They are also highly effective at reducing acne as they unclog pores and help to improve  hyperpigmentation. They can be quite drying and irritating to begin with. We advise using these products at night after cleansing twice a week to begin and increase if the skin tolerates it well.


ZO Retinol Skin Brightener 0.5% Retinol

Skinceuticals Retinol 0.5

NeoStrata Skin Active Retinol+ NAG Complex

Medik8 Crystal Retinal 10

About the Author: Lucinda Appiah

Dr Lucinda Appiah studied Medicine and Haematology at Imperial College London from 2003-2009. She later went on to attain her postgraduate certification in Aesthetic Medicine at Queen Mary University in London with merit and trained with some of the top plastic surgeons and aesthetic medicine practitioners in the country. Dr Appiah also continues to practice as a GP and has extensive experience in treating a range of skin conditions. She has an empathetic approach to all skin concerns and has also had her own skin journey managing post inflammatory hyperpigmentation. She is passionate about working with brands that deliver results backed by science, empowering clients to explore new ingredients and grow their self confidence.

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Last update: July 9th, 2021

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