Up to 40% of our country’s population is struggling with hyperpigmentation. This should be enough of a guide to let you know you are not alone in this battle. While pigmentation depicts skin’s natural color, it is hyperpigmentation you should be worried about. Medically, it means the darkening of your skin in uneven patches. Skin or face pigmentation haunts most people for years, giving them hard times in their skin journey. 

Skin pigmentation refers to naturally occurring coloring pigment in our body cells that give our skin, eyes, and hair their characteristic colors. In addition, specialized skin cells (known as melanocytes) often dictate the amount and type of melanin. Therefore, any shift in melanin production may cause pigment disorders, such as hyperpigmentation, hypopigmentation, and depigmentation.

Hyperpigmentation is a skin condition where the skin develops dark patches due to excessive melanin in the skin. This skin condition doesn’t ail any particular age group but is mostly found in people of Mediterranean, Asian, or African origin.

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As a natural phenomenon, it affects various parts of the body, especially the face, neck, and hands. Through this blog post, we will explore more about pigmentation meaning, its causes, prevention, and treatment.

What is Pigmentation on face?

Pigmentation is a skin condition that forms dark patches in some areas. Excessive melanin deposits cause these darkened spots. The excess production of melanin in the skin often leads to the formation of hyperpigmentation. In addition, some external factors such as genetics or sun exposure contribute to special cells which eventually form dark patches. 

These factors can add to certain skin irregularities and may give rise to several skin conditions. For example, hyperpigmentation is spreadable and keeps clustering in patches, causing dark spots in different face areas. Besides, the dark spots can get worse due to the climate condition of excessive sun exposure.

While environmental stressors play a critical role in forming dark patches, pregnancy can also be a major trigger. In addition, birth control and menopause are underlying reasons women become prone to hyperpigmentation.

There are two key types of melanin:

  • Eumelanin:

It is brown and black in color, which protects your skin. It is responsible for limiting the amount of harmful ultraviolet rays that penetrate the skin and pick up reactive oxygen radicals. Restricting the number of UV rays penetrating the skin may protect your DNA from damage. However, if it is not controlled, it may lead to chronic health conditions like Cancer.

  • Pheomelanin: 

It is found in two colors which are yellow and red. Unlike eumelanin, pheomelanin is capable of providing little protection from UV rays. It is said to act a bit differently from eumelanin. It contributes to producing reactive oxygen radicals and, thus, supports the damage they cause.

So, how our skin appears is determined by the balance of these types of melanin present in our skin. Depending on the hormone levels, genes, and interactions with other cells, it may vary from person to person. 

Did you know? The number of melanocytes present in your skin is predetermined by genetics. However, hyperpigmentation and tanning are two skin conditions involving melanosome transfer. Melanosomes are organelles that contain melanin. 

Types of Pigmentation on skin 

Pigmentation on the skin can occur in different forms, as outlined below.

  • Melasma 

Melasma or Chloasma also goes by the ‘mask of pregnancy.’ It results in brown patches on the forehead, cheeks, etc. It mainly occurs in pregnant women who often get nasty with a lack of care.

  • Solar Lentigines or Sun Damage

Also known as silver spots or age spots, they are many caused due to excessive exposure to the sun. These spots usually erupt on the face, arms, chest, shoulders, and upper back.

  • Freckles or Ephelides

Freckles are mainly caused by ultraviolet rays or may be inherited from a family member. Freckles may get stubborn with time due to environmental aggressors and lack of treatment.

  • Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) :

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is mainly the after-effects of a skin injury. However, it can also erupt after a traumatic skin treatment and get aggravated by using harmful chemical-enriched products. 

Reasons for Pigmentation on face 

1. Excessive use of harsh chemical products

Sometimes fancy skin products make your skin suffer and you always wonder why. It is because of the involvement of harsh chemicals which are not supposed to be put on our skin. Products such as hair removing cream, wax, etc., can contribute to forming Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation. 

2. Prolonged Sun Exposure

Excessive sun exposure may lead to hyperpigmentation, resulting in skin inflammation. In addition, the harmful UV rays can stimulate melanocytes, also known as melanin-generating skin, causing dark patches of the skin. Moreover, stepping into the sun without wearing SPF makes you prone to attract severe skin discoloration.

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3. Hormonal changes

Whether the consumption of oral contraceptive pills or hitting menopause, hormonal changes always take a toll on our bodies. Women in their pregnancy, post-partum, and menopause are more likely to get caught up with such skin concerns. Disturbing your body’s chemical balance can invite many skin troubles, mostly melasma.

4. Medication

Sometimes certain medications remain the reason for pigmentation on the face. In most cases, medications used in hormone treatments, non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs, antibiotics, and anti-seizure drugs, may increase melanin levels. They are powerful medications that often result in skin discoloration, leading to dark patches on the skin.

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1. Bye Bye Blemishes

Bye Bye Blemishes cream has marked its prominence as a rescuer for those searching for solutions to manage their dark patches. Crafted with a lightweight formula, it soaks up the extra oil from the skin without causing any disruption to the moisture barrier. 

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It is a natural blend of powerful ingredients such as Daisy Flower Extract, Mulberry Extract, and Vitamin C. With anti-aging qualities, this face cream effectively fights hyperpigmentation and combats premature aging.

2. Retinol Face Serum 

Whether you are a well-versed enthusiast or unfamiliar with skincare, there is no chance you haven’t heard of retinol. Retinol is a wondrous ingredient that tackles skin concerns like premature aging, unevenness, hyperpigmentation, etc.

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Retinol face serum

Minimizes Aging Signs | Reduces Hyperpigmentation

At Mamaearth, we offer our Retinol Serum that comes enriched with Cottonseed Oil, Bakuchi, Linseed Oil, and Retinol. It nourishes the deeper skin cell while repairing and hydrating the epidermis. It also firms the skin, calms its sensitivity, and boosts collagen. Our whole retinol products range is just amazing for skin and treats it with natural ingredients.

3. Hydragel Sunscreen  

Layering your skin with a generous layer of SPF is the most assured way to avoid most of the damage. It provides holistic protection from UV rays and helps delay multiple signs of aging.

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Prevention of Pigmentation on face

1. Antioxidants 

Add antioxidants to your daily diet if you wish to manage your hyperpigmentation. So, say ‘yes’ to those bright, colorful, antioxidant-rich foods like grapes, berries, green veggies, etc. Antioxidants are believed to be the savior when it comes to fighting hyperpigmentation. So, ditch the junk and add antioxidants to your routine to see affirmative results.

2. Balance Hormones

If you are stressing over how you manage your stress, here are some simple tips you may follow. Pregnancy, heavy stress, or pills cause hormonal fluctuations and imbalance, making you more susceptible to developing dark patches. We recommend doing physical exercises, yoga, and reading. Besides, find out what makes you happy and start doing that. Again, one step at a time. 

3. Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun rays

It might have been advised a million times and it’s your wake-up alarm to cling to your SPF. Prolonged sun exposure can harm your skin and make it susceptible to dark spots. So if you love basking in the summer sun (well, we don’t blame you), keep high-performing SPF.

What precautions can you take to avoid UV rays?

  • Always carry wide-brimmed hats and sunglasses if you need to venture in peak sun hours.
  • Always keep a scarf, hat, and sunglasses, which you can wear anytime.
  • You may carry SPF spray to reapply it every few hours and avoid stepping out in scorching temperatures.

How to quickly lighten hyperpigmentation?

Under the supervision of a dermatologist, you may try chemical peels or laser treatment to manage your hyperpigmentation. Other methods, such as microdermabrasion and IPL, can also give better results.

Should you try chemical peel on pigmentation?

The procedure of chemical peels involves peeling off the outermost layer of skin, allowing newer skin cells to stimulate. By doing this therapy, it can reduce dark spots by eliminating the amount of excessive melanin from the skin.

  • Laser pigmentation: In this procedure, the laser targets the pigmented lesion in the skin without causing any harm to the skin around it. As a result, it safely reduces the appearance of pigmentation without harming the skin.
  • IPL: It effectively treats brown spots by selectively heating the pigment and lifting the damaged area to the skin’s surface. Removing the damaged or discolored area promotes the body’s natural exfoliation process.

In the nutshell 

In regular microdermabrasion, the treatment is done to sun-damaged skin. The procedure involves carrying out unwanted pigment spots or dark regions from the face. It is considered one of the most common pigmentation treatments to manage skin discoloration due to sun damage. However, the success of treatment purely relies on the individual’s skin type and tolerance. In addition, it is also majorly affected by how dedicated they are to improving their skin condition. 

Apart from understanding these factors, it is important to stick to the regimen even if your skin condition is healed. This is because hyperpigmentation can easily creep up back by creating little spots on the skin. It is thus important to understand deeply about your treatment and do the post-care.

Which ingredient is best for pigmentation?

Topical treatments will include ingredients that lighten the skin, such as:

  • Azelaic acid.
  • Mulberry extract
  • Kojic acid
  • Licorice Extracts
  • Squalane
  • Bakuchi 
  • Retinoids, such as tretinoin.
  • Tea Tree 

While hyperpigmentation may sometimes heal, it’s not always easily manageable. Beauty is subjective, and developing a sense of comfort in your skin is ideal. However, it is undeniable that lack of care is the main reason pigmentation occurs on face. 

Whatever goal you have set for yourself, remember to make consistent changes to upgrade your way of living. So, you don’t have to worry if you develop any signs of hyperpigmentation or skin discoloration. If the problem is severe, let professionals handle it. However, if the concerns are developed due to lack of care, try to tweak your lifestyle and skincare.

At Mamaearth, we incorporate healthy, pure, and effective ingredients to wipe out all your skincare worries from your life. From being plastic-positive to including the care of nature in our products, we strive to ease your skincare journey. So, take the skincare path and make informed decisions to tackle your skincare problems. Happy and informed skincare!


  1. What is pigmentation?

    Pigmentation implies skin color. However, hyperpigmentation is a skin disorder that causes changes in skin color. It is a skin condition due to excessive melanin production, leading to skin darkening. As a result, our skin grows certain dark patches on the skin, which may become stubborn with time. Pigmentation, on the other hand, means an excessive deposition of bodily pigment.

  2. Which is the best cream for pigmentation?

    You should always check the product's ingredient content when searching for pigmentation. Some ingredients help manage pigmentation. Ingredients proven helpful are Retinol, Tea Tree, Bakuchi, Vitamin C, Licorice Extract, Mulberry Extract, Squalene, etc. So, face creams that are made of such high-end ingredients are considered ideal for managing pigmentation and hyperpigmentation. 

  3. How can I reduce my skin pigmentation?

    You can manage your skin pigmentation by properly caring for your skin health. It involves including vitamin C-, Retinol-, and Licorice-based skincare products and using sunscreen (of SPF 30 or more) every day. It would be helpful if you addressed your concerns at the initial stage of such a skin condition. However, if it is severe, you may ask for an expert opinion and take a thorough analysis of your skin health. 

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