Skincare experts usually link discoloration on the skin to hyperpigmentation. They believe that it isn’t necessarily a medical condition but rather one that describes dark patches around the cheeks, lips, nose, forehead, and eyes. Learn more about why pigmentation comes on face, its types, and how to treat it. 

What is Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition that makes some areas of the skin darker or brownish than others. Excess melanin buildup can also make patches appear gray, red, or pink. It is not a medical condition but a cosmetic concern for many. Several lifestyle changes and treatment approaches can help fade away those dark spots.

Worried about pigmentation? Try Mamaearth’s Bye Bye Blemishes Face Cream that help boost collagen levels naturally to reduce pigmentation.

Types of Hyperpigmentation

There are three different types of hyperpigmentation affecting different parts of the body. 

Melasma: Melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation caused by hormonal changes in the body during pregnancy. It can affect any part of the body but most often appears on the stomach and face. 

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation: This type of hyperpigmentation is an allergic reaction to a skin injury. The most common causes are skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, etc. 

Sunspots: Also called age spots or solar lentigines, sunspots are highly common in people who remain outside in the sun for a long time. Generally, you can see those dark spots on areas exposed to the sun, such as hands and face.

Do you know? The dark brown spots left after a pimple are also caused due to pigmentation in the skin’s layer beneath the acne or breakout.

Why Pigmentation Comes on Face?

The color of your skin is determined by a phototype and the frequency of sun exposure. The area which is left exposed to the sun is darker than the rest of the skin. Melanin is the natural pigment that gives you skin tone or color. It is produced by the skin cells to protect the skin from signs of sun damage. 

Discoloration, uneven skin tone, dark spots, and depigmentation are linked to poor melanin synthesis. When the skin cells are damaged, they are forced to produce more melanin which can accumulate in the cells, causing the area to appear darker. 

There are some causes of skin pigmentation that may lead to discoloration, such as:

  • Adrenal disorders such as Addison’s disease occur when the body cannot make enough hormone called cortisol.
  • Genetics, such as a family with hyperpigmentation or freckles.
  • Injury to the skin (for example, cuts or burns). It is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • Certain medications, such as oral contraceptives, can cause sensitivity to light.
  • Not having enough vitamins in your diet, such as B12 and folic acid.
  • Sun damage.
  • Thyroid disorders.
  • Hormone changes, such as during puberty or pregnancy.

What should you not do with hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is also one of the trickiest skin conditions to treat. It requires time, patience, and the right knowledge to achieve visible results on your skin. Here’s what you should not do when you have hyperpigmentation. 

Don’t: Use products with salicylic acid if you have melasma

Although salicylic acid is the best solution for hyperpigmentation, it won’t yield the same results for melasma. Melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation caused by hormonal imbalances in the body. When used on skin experiencing melasma, it can do more damage than good, says dermatologists. 

Don’t: Go in the sun after visible spots are gone

Even if the darker patches have gone by with the treatment, you should not overexpose your skin to the sun. Hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage is likely to come back over time. This makes it tough to control skin tone, especially in summer.

Tip: You should wear sunscreen that has SPF 30 or more to avoid dark spots from reappearing. 

What ingredients are helpful in the treatment of hyperpigmentation?

We are spoiled with choices of ingredients available to manage signs of aging, including hyperpigmentation on the skin. There are ingredients incredibly good for blemishes and acne spots, which may also help with brownish patches of hyperpigmentation on the face. 

You can try these after consulting your dermatologist:

  • Niacinamide: This form of vitamin B3 is a powerful ingredient clinically tested and proven to help lighten dark spots or hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone. With regular use, you can see visible changes in your skin texture and boost your glow at the same time. We suggest you try Rice Face Wash, which has Niacinamide for absolutely gorgeous skin. 
  • Retinol: This is one of the most talked about ingredients in skin care for its ability to speed up skin cell turnover and reduce hyperpigmentation. You can try our Retinol Face Serum with Bakuchi and Retinol to help minimize signs of aging. In addition, it will also help reduce hyper-pigmentation and make your skin more even-toned.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C’s skin-lightening properties also help fade hyperpigmentation marks. We recommend you opt for our Vitamin C Face Toner, which gently removes impurities from the pores and gives you an even tone. It features Vitamin C, Aloe Vera Extract, Cucumber, and Witch Hazel.  
Recommended Product

Vitamin C Face Toner

Tightens Open Pores | Restores Skin’s pH Balance

  • Licorice Root: The licorice root extracts have an active component called Glabridin which can inhibit 50% of tyrosinase activity. Besides, it also has various beneficial compounds and antioxidants to enhance skin tone. The presence of antioxidants helps lighten dark spots and blemishes. 

5 Dermatologist-recommended ways to tackle hyperpigmentation

Now that you know the skin pigmentation on the face causes, it is important to know what you can do about it. There are several ways through which you can lighten your skin tone and bid adieu to those marks on your face, here are some for your reference:-

1. Protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays

Sun is a source of energy for the body, but overexposure to its UV radiation can induce discoloration. Dermatologists across the world suggest wearing broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or more every day. Even when there is misty or overcast weather outside, use SPF 50-based sunscreen. 

When your skin is constantly exposed to the sun, the cells respond by producing way too much melanin, turning dark spots darker. So avoid stepping outdoors between 10 am and 2 pm (if you can) and wear protective clothing. Following it up with an umbrella or a brimmed hat would also help.

2. Use moisturizer to boost skin cell turnover

A good nourishing moisturizer can do a lot when it comes to lightening dark spots. Look for moisturizing agents like hyaluronic acid or retinol to boost skin cell turnover. Skin cell turnover is a continuous process in which dead skin cells are subsequently replaced with younger cells. 

This process is crucial to creating new skin cells and helping you eliminate signs of premature aging. A good face moisturizer can also restore the skin’s barrier, preventing environmental stressors from stressing the skin’s deepest layers. 

3. Explore skin-lightening or brightening options

To lighten skin pigmentation, start with ingredients such as turmeric, vitamin C, glycolic acids, licorice extracts, and retinoids. These ingredients help reduce melanin buildup in the skin cells by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme that forms melanin. However, you should abstain from using bleaching agents that irritate your skin. You can use a face scrub to slough off dead skin cells. 

4. Avoid picking acne and breakouts

You should not give in to the temptation of squeezing blackheads and acne. Doing so can leave the skin inflamed, and may make the local skin cells discolored. In addition, the more you mess with your skincare hygiene, the worse it gets. 

5. Other steps to prevent discoloration

Besides sun protection and treatment processes, there are measures you can always adopt to prevent future dark spots. If you have acne-prone skin, use anti-acne skin care products that are easy on the skin. Acne leaves marks and scars behind, so always know what your skin needs.

Tip: It is best to save yourself from skin-darkening triggers such as harsh chemicals used in peeling treatments. They may cause allergic reactions, thus leaving the skin inflamed and prone to discoloration. 

Mamaearth Best Selling Products for Pigmentation

Hyperpigmentation can appear on different areas of the skin. So keeping that in mind, here are some of our bestsellers that you will love for hyperpigmentation:-

1. Bye Bye Blemishes Face Cream

Blemishes, acne scars, and fine lines steal the skin’s natural radiance, making it look dull and tired. Our Bye Bye Blemishes Face Cream features an effective formula made of ingredients like Mulberry Extract, Licorice Root, Daisy Flower Extract, and Vitamin C. All the ingredients work together to target hyperpigmentation and blemishes by restricting melanin buildup. 

Recommended Product

Bye Bye Blemishes Face Cream

Evens Skin Tone | Non-Greasy | Reduces Dark Spots

The anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties of these ingredients also help to ensure that your skin remains clean and dirt-free. This dermatologically tested pigmentation cream can be used on different skin types. The product has no harsh chemicals, SLS, parabens, or mineral oils and can be used without worry.

2. Aloe Vera Face Serum

Aloe vera is quite an ingredient for dark patches and uneven skin tone. Its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help soothe irritation, giving you hydrated and well-toned skin. In addition, this Aloe Vera Face Serum restores your skin’s moisture balance and improves collagen production. 

Enriched with nourishing ingredients like Niacinamide and Tangerine peel, it helps reduce hyperpigmentation and boost radiance, resulting in younger-looking skin. And it’s MadeSafe-certified, which means it contains no toxins or harmful chemicals, just the goodness of nature. 

3. Rice Sleeping Face Mask

If you haven’t been a fan of sleeping face masks, now is the time to start using one in your skincare regimen. Our overnight Rice Sleeping Face Mask is a refreshing formula that gives you glass-like skin. While you doze off into the land of dreams, this sleeping mask boosts your skin’s hydration and works on signs of premature aging. 

Recommended Product

Rice Sleeping Face Mask

Gives Glass Skin | Reduces Pigmentation

Enriched with Niacinamide, a proven ingredient that helps lighten hyperpigmentation, the sleeping mask gives you translucent radiant skin that glows from within. It also features Aloe Vera, which helps calm the skin while reducing inflammation. And it’s MadeSafe Certified too!

4. Vitamin C Underarm Mask

Your underarm skin should be similar to the rest of the skin. If it is darker, you should opt for skin-lightening ingredients for that specific area. Introducing you to the goodness of Vitamin C that helps you get brighter and softer underarms. This MadeSafe Certified mask reduces dark patches, minimizes the pores, and gives you brighter-looking underarms. 

Formulated with Vitamin C, Licorice Root, Mulberry Root, and Turmeric, it effectively reduces discoloration. And because of our no toxins philosophy, you won’t find silicones, parabens, mineral oil & dyes in our Vitamin C Underarm Mask. 


Sometimes the skin produces excess melanin, which can result in hyperpigmentation. You may also experience dark spots or darker patches on the skin surrounding lips, cheeks, forehead, neck, and arms. We understand that hyperpigmentation can make you feel self-conscious but rest in the knowledge that many people have it. 

Fortunately, hyperpigmentation is still treatable, but you have to be patient with any skincare product or treatment you’re up to. In some cases, dark spots may go on their own with sun protection or treating the underlying pigmentation caused on the face. Besides, lifestyle changes can also help ward off those patches on the skin. Always wear SPF in your AM skincare routine, even at home. 

At Mamaearth, we have an extensive range of skincare products that help subside all your skin problems. To care for your skin, we blend nature and science. So rest assured, you can shop from the comfort of your home for all your skin needs or loves. We have everything from face cleansers to face gel and sleeping masks for your skin. 


  1. Which deficiency causes pigmentation?

    According to dermatologists, having an inadequate consumption of proteins, vitamin D, iron, vitamin B12, and folate can cause hyperpigmentation or dark spots on the skin. 

  2. What causes skin hyperpigmentation?

    It'll happen due to the deficiency of vitamins in your diet, such as B12 and folic acid.

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