The Best Products For Beating Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is something that affects most of us at some stage. Professional treatments such as laser and IPL can address it effectively, but a targeted at-home care routine can help too, or so says SL beauty contributor Georgia Day – you just need to be patient. Read on for her pick of the best topical products to try…
By Georgia Day

All products on this page have been selected by our editorial team, however we may make commission on some products.

Professional Grade IPL Dark Spot Concentrated Serum, £99 | Dr Dennis Gross

One of the best ingredients to prevent hyperpigmentation is hydroquinone, but it can cause irritation for some skin types. This silky serum uses a cocktail of non-sensitising hardworking ingredients such as pure L-ascorbic acid, AHAs, lactic acid, alpha tocopherol, and liquorice root to effectively rival the effects of hydroquinone without causing the usual problems. After a few weeks of using it both morning and evening, dark spots will have faded and skin will be better protected against future damage.

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1% Retinol Booster, £51 | Paula’s Choice

To prevent dark spots showing up on the surface of the skin, you need a product that contains melanin transfer-inhibiting ingredients, like retinoids. These work by reducing the transfer of melanin from the melanocytes up to the keratinocytes in the top layer of the skin’s surface. Retinoids also increase cell turnover to deliver newer, fresher-looking skin. This serum is suitable for all skin types and uses 1% retinol – plus a host of skin soothing ingredients to negate any irritation. It also contains ceramides and peptides to strengthen and support skin’s moisture barrier in the process.

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Super C Ferulic Potent Vitamin C Brightening Serum, £59 | Medik8

Given its reputation as the ultimate skin brightener, it’s little wonder that a good vitamin C product should be top of the list when it comes to your anti-hyperpigmentation kit. Its high antioxidant content boosts skin’s resilience and blocks tyrosinase, making melanin harder to form in the first place. This daily serum contains a huge 30% quota of stabilised vitamin C to bolster brightness and break up stubborn dark spots. 

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CrystalLED Mask, £550 | Angela Caglia

Treating pigmentation isn’t one of the most indulgent beauty tasks out there, but this LED mask from celebrity facialist Angela Caglia certainly helps it feel that bit more luxe. Combining calming rose quartz crystal with cutting-edge LED technology and clinically proven red and blue light to help break up excess pigmentation and promote collagen synthesis. As an added bonus, the quartz stimulates acupressure points as you wear it – and the mouth opening has been designed so it’s wide enough to enjoy a glass of wine at the same time. A daily ten-minute blast over 12 weeks should yield brighter, clearer skin.

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Phyto A+ Brightening Treatment, £75 | SkinCeuticals

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a type that usually occurs after a skin trauma or injury. Although all skin types can get PIH, it is more prevalent in people with darker skin tones. Containing a hefty dose of azelaic acid and arbutin to reduce dark spots, this deeply hydrating moisturiser reduces the look of them by interfering with melanin production. It’s great for anyone who suffers from acne or rosacea, as well as those with sensitive skin who want to address their pigmentation problems but can’t tolerate high-strength treatments like retinoids.

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Cold Plasma Plus+ Concentrated Treatment Sheet Mask, £89 for 6 | Perricone MD

If you have milder discolouration issues, incorporating a mask into your routine once or twice a week is an easy (and relaxing) way to tackle them. As well as containing the brand’s proprietary vitamin C ester (a highly stable form of vitamin C) it uses copper peptides to even out skin tone and tackle the kind of inflammation that can cause hyperpigmentation. Phospholipids are included to draw moisture into the skin to ensure it is deeply hydrated, too.

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Anthelios UVMune 400 Invisible Fluid SPF50+, £13.50 | La Roche-Posay

Almost all changes that you can see in your skin are down to UV damage, and that includes excess pigmentation. While it’s hard to completely reverse existing dark spots, it’s reassuring to know that you can take charge of skin ageing and help prevent further problems by using a good SPF of 30 and above every day (even on cloudy days). This excellent SPF uses the same ground-breaking technology that features in the brand’s bestselling Anthelios range and includes filters to protect against long UVA rays and reduce abnormal pigmentation patterns. 

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Pigmentation Correcting Ampoules, £155 | MZ Skin

An intensive course is a great way to start the fight against dark spots. This handy (and portable) 14-day treatment contains ingredients that have been proven to work to diminish hyperpigmentation. As well as vitamin C, each ampoule contains ingredients like arbutin and tranexamic acid which inhibit tyrosinase, an enzyme responsible for the first step in melanin production. Although these will work at any time of year, they’re especially effective at rejuvenating the skin after you’ve been in the sun.

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