Hyperpigmentation can come from any number of things: acne, rashes, bug bites—you name it. If you're willing to drop a few thousand dollars on Fraxel Skin Resurfacing Treatment, you can treat hyperpigmentation at your dermatologist's office. But if you're just not ready for that kind of investment, a few hyperpigmentation serums are the next best thing.
"Pigment-fighting serums block abnormal pigment production or enhance cell turnover to shed pigment," says dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD. "Ingredients like vitamin C, Kojic acid, arbutin, and licorice root extract all work in the same pathway of pigment production. Alpha hydroxy acids and ingredients like retinol enhance cell turnover."
Below, Dr. Zeichner offers up his go-to hyperpigmentation serums. Keep this one timing note in mind, though: "I usually recommend antioxidants and other pigment blocking ingredients in the morning and products that enhance cell turnover in the evening before bed," he says. Make sure you're applying your ingredients-of-choice at a suitable time.
The 3 hyperpigmentation serums to add to your beauty shelf, stat
"Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that interferes with excess production," says Dr. Zeichner. "It also calms inflammation in the skin to help right now and even skin tone."
"Soy extract brightens excess pigmentation and even skin tone," says Dr. Zeichner. And the best news of all? You can buy this pick at the drugstore.
With a slightly higher price tag, this serum is an investment. But Dr. Zeichner says it's well worth every penny. "This serum combines vitamin C with licorice root extract and other botanical skin brighteners," he says.
A dermatologist's full routine:
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