Hyperpigmentation is a common concern that stands in the way of a bright and glowing complexion.
Sun exposure, inflammation and hormonal changes are the most common causes of hyperpigmentation – resulting in either sun spots, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIL) or melasma that seem impossible to fade.
But there are steps you can take to fade hyperpigmentation at home without resorting to peels or laser treatments. I’ve put together this guide to fading hyperpigmentation with Korean skincare products.
What Is Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is extremely common, occurring when patches of skin appear darker than the normal surrounding skin. This can look like spots or dark patches, making our skin tone appear uneven.
Without getting too carried away with the science, simply put – hyperpigmentation occurs when an excess of the brown pigment melanin is produced and deposited in our skin cells as a response to internal or external stimuli.
You’re more likely to acquire hyperpigmentation on your face and hands or other parts of the body frequently exposed to the sun. Although sun exposure is the direct cause of sun spots, it also darkens other types of hyperpigmentation since melanin is produced as a way to absorb harmful UV radiation from the sun in order to protect the skin.
The 3 Types Of Hyperpigmentation
There are 3 main types of hyperpigmentation, all with different causes:
- Hyperpigmentation which is the result of sun damage (such as sun spots)
- Hyperpigmentation which is the result of acne (called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation)
- Hyperpigmentation caused by hormonal changes (melasma)
1. Hyperpigmentation Caused By Sun Damage
Hyperpigmentation directly induced by sunlight is the most common form. The more time you spend in the sun (and the less sun protection you wear) – the more sun damage your skin will have.
This damage usually appears as sunspots which look like areas that are slightly darker than the surrounding areas. Usually, the cheeks are most affected. Sunspots are more visible in Asian and Caucasian skin.
Ingredients that work to break down pigment within skin cells work best for treating this type of hyperpigmentation.
2. Hyperpigmentation Caused By Acne (Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation)
Hyperpigmentation can also be the result of any inflammatory processes (anything that causes trauma to the skin – such as acne, irritating skincare ingredients, eczema and psoriasis).
Generally, the marks left from acne have a brown appearance and are more visible in medium to dark skin tones (due to the skin having more active pigment-producing melanocytes).
The most effective form of treatment for this type of hyperpigmentation would involve products that inhibit the production or transfer of melanin within the skin or those that increase the speed of cell turnover (to reveal newer and brighter skin cells).
3. Hyperpigmentation Caused By Hormonal Changes (Melasma)
Melasma is the most difficult type of hyperpigmentation to prevent because it is most commonly caused by hormonal changes experienced during pregnancy or when starting birth control.
Melasma appears as darkened patches of skin and looks larger and more blotchy when compared to sunspots.
Sun exposure can also worsen melasma. This type of pigmentation is the result of the overproduction of melanin and therefore products which work to break down pigment within skin cells work best.
I experienced melasma with both of my pregnancies. I tried extremely hard to prevent it from occurring during my second pregnancy, but even wearing sunscreen and a hat every day didn’t cut it! However, I am currently 6 months post-partum and I’ve managed to almost fade all the melasma.
Is Post-Inflammatory Erythema (PIE) A Type Of Hyperpigmentation?
Post-inflammatory erythema (PIE) is also caused by acne and other trauma to the skin. It’s not a type of hyperpigmentation, but it can occur together with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
PIE appears as red, pink or purple spots on the skin and it is caused by dilation, inflammation, or damage to the small blood vessels known as capillaries that reside under skin. Cystic acne is the most common cause of PIE.
Lighter skin tones are more prone to post-inflammatory erythema.
Although PIE does eventually fade on its own, unfortunately there is not much evidence yet to say what types of products are most effective in treating this form of hyperpigmentation.
Laser treatment and microneedling are currently the best available treatment options to speed up this process.
The Best Skincare Ingredients That Help To Fade Hyperpigmentation
There are many ingredients which you can incorporate into your skincare routine if you’re wanting to fade hyperpigmentation on your skin.
Here is a list of what I think the best ingredients for fading hyperpigmentation are:
- Vitamin C
- Azelaic Acid
- Kojic Acid
- Alpha-Hydroxy Acids
- Rosehip Oil
- Sea Buckthorn Oil
- Rice Water & Rice Extract
- Licorice Root Extract
All of the ingredients above have scientific research that has illustrated their effectiveness at fading hyperpigmentation or brightening the skin.
Some ingredients are also more effective at fading hyperpigmentation than others (I’d put retinoids, hydroquinone, arbutin, niacinamide, alpha-hydroxy acids and vitamin C in this group).
However, the downside is that some of these more effective ingredients can result in skin irritation (especially when you first start using them).
I haven’t included hydroquinone in this article (although it has been shown to be highly effective at fading hyperpigmentation). It’s simply not a safe ingredient to use without the close guidance of a dermatologist as prolonged or incorrect usage can cause permanent blue-black pigmentation of the skin (called ochronosis).
I’ve given a summary below on how each ingredient works to fade hyperpigmentation and which Korean skincare products I recommend.
1. Vitamin C For Hyperpigmentation
Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) is one of the most popular ingredients when it comes to fading hyperpigmentation.
L-ascorbic acid is a potent antioxidant that has important functions throughout our entire body (it is in fact an essential nutrient that we cannot live without).
It is naturally present in our skin, where it plays a role in photoprotection and skin strengthening.
As we age, the production of vitamin C in our skin starts to decrease, which is why so many people choose to incorporate a vitamin C serum into their anti-aging skincare routine.
How Does Vitamin C Fade Hyperpigmentation?
Vitamin C fades hyperpigmentation by reducing the formation of the brown pigment, melanin in skin cells.
It does this by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase. In a sense, it’s not actually fading hyperpigmentation that is already there, but is preventing new melanin from being deposited, while new skin cells form and old ones shed away.
If you’re on the hunt for a vitamin C serum, L-ascorbic acid is the most researched form of vitamin C and it seems to be the most effective at fading hyperpigmentation. Other forms of vitamin C currently used in skincare products, are:
- sodium ascorbyl phosphate
- ascorbyl palmitate
- retinyl ascorbate
- tetrahexyldecyl ascorbate
- magnesium ascorbyl phosphate
- ascorbyl glucoside, and
- 3-O ethyl ascorbic acid (a relatively new form)
The efficacy of a vitamin C serum is proportional to the concentration of L-ascorbic acid it contains, meaning that the higher the concentration of L-ascorbic acid in a serum – the more effective it is at brightening the skin.
A concentration of 20% L-ascorbic acid has been found to be the most effective for fading hyperpigmentation, however a concentration as low as 5% can also be beneficial in fading hyperpigmentation.
I recommend starting off with a concentration of 5-10% at first if you tend to have sensitive skin (and then work your way up to 20% if your skin is tolerating it well).
You could also try using a serum that is formulated with one or more of the vitamin C derivatives above as these are not as irritating on the skin as L-ascorbic acid.
2. Niacinamide For Hyperpigmentation
Niacinamide (also known as vitamin B3) is one of the most widely-researched skincare ingredients.
It is well tolerated by almost any skin type and through it’s antioxidant capabilities, niacinamide has a broad range of benefits for your skin, including the ability to fade hyperpigmentation.
It also has been shown to be effective at reducing fine lines and wrinkles – making it an all-round fantastic anti-aging skincare ingredient.
How Does Niacinamide Fade Hyperpigmentation?
Niacinamide works differently to vitamin C when it comes to brightening the skin.
Instead of inhibiting the activity of the enzyme tyrosinase, niacinamide reduces hyperpigmentation by preventing packets of melanin pigment from reaching the outer layers of the skin.
It is therefore beneficial to include both Vitamin C and niacinamide in your skincare routine, as you would in effect be reducing the production of melanin (using vitamin C), while also stopping melanin from being deposited in your skin cells.
3. Retinoids For Hyperpigmentation
In dermatological terms, retinoid is an umbrella term for topical vitamin A. Topical vitamin A includes:
- Retinoic acid (AKA Retin-A or tretinoin, which is only available by prescription). This retinoid is the most powerful anti-aging ingredient currently available. It boosts collagen production in the skin (thereby decreasing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles) and it also removes sun damaged skin cells (thereby fading hyperpigmentation). Unfortunately, retinoic acid can be very irritating on the skin when people first introduce it to their skincare routine.
- Adapalene (AKA Differin, which is available over the counter). Adapalene is a derivative of retinoic acid which was originally used to treat acne. However, over the years, research has found that adapalene is an effective anti-aging ingredient and even more promising – clinical trials are showing that it’s effective at fading sunspots.
- Retinol. This is a gentler form of topical vitamin A, however it generally takes longer to see results. This is because enzymes in our skin must first convert retinol into retinaldehyde and then into the active form, retinoic acid (a two-step conversion). To give you an idea of how much more effective retinoic acid is compared to retinol – products that are formulated with retinoic acid are approximately 100 times stronger than the average retinol serum or cream!
- Retinaldehyde (AKA retinal). This is a vitamin A derivative that is 11 times more effective than retinol because only one conversion step is required to convert retinaldehyde into retinoic acid. Keratinocytes (a type of skin cell) have to be in a particular stage in their development to convert retinaldehyde into retinoic acid. This means that it is much less irritating to the skin as there is a slower delivery of vitamin A to skin cells. The downside however is that it takes longer to see the effects of retinaldehyde.
How Do Retinoids Fade Hyperpigmentation?
On average, our skin cells naturally turn over every 28 days – however, as we age, this process takes longer.
Retinol and other retinoids fade hyperpigmentation by increasing the rate of cell turnover and sloughing away dead skin cells.
When the skin cells on the outermost layer of your skin are triggered to turnover at a faster rate, new cells can generate, which results in smoother, more even and brighter skin.
How Long Does It Take For Retinol To Work For Hyperpigmentation?
Some patience is required when using retinoids, however the results are worth it.
How quickly you see improvements in hyperpigmentation depends on the potency of the formula you are using and also how quickly your skin converts retinol into retinoic acid (if you are using an over the counter serum or cream).
It takes approximately 2-3 months to see results if you are using a prescription retinoic acid.
It takes up to 6 months to see results if you are using an over the counter serum or cream formulated with retinol.
Since dark spots are the most difficult type of hyperpigmentation to fade, it will take longer than 6 months to start seeing improvements. But don’t worry, your skin will be benefiting from retinol’s ability to boost collagen and elastin during this whole time – thickening the deeper layers of your skin and decreasing fine lines and wrinkles!
4. Azelaic Acid For Hyperpigmentation
Azelaic acid is a skincare ingredient that only recently became available to use in skincare products without a prescription. Before that, it was commonly prescribed to treat the papules and pustules of mild to moderate rosacea.
It is derived from whole grains such as rye, wheat and barley.
Azelaic acid is a natural exfoliator and helps to reduce the buildup of dead skin cells, therefore reducing the formation of blackheads and whiteheads. However, it is a versatile (and gentle) ingredient that helps with much more than acne breakouts (including fading hyperpigmentation).
How Does Azelaic Acid Fade Hyperpigmentation?
Azelaic acid works in two ways to fade hyperpigmentation.
It is able to inhibit the activity of hyperactive melanocytes (types of cells that produce melanin pigment). It also inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase, therefore directly reducing the production of melanin too.
It has been found to be especially effective at treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (following breakouts) and melasma (specifically when used at concentrations of 15-20%).
Clinical studies of patients with melasma have shown that topical 20 percent azelaic acid is superior to 2 percent hydroquinone and as effective as 4 percent hydroquinone.
It is tolerated very well by people with all skin types and doesn’t cause photosensitivity (unlike other actives). It also doesn’t damage the skin barrier or cause transepidermal water loss (although it can cause some stinging and dryness upon application).
5. Kojic Acid For Hyperpigmentation
Kojic acid is a fungal product naturally derived from certain species of mushrooms but it can also be created during the sake brewing process from fermented rice. It is an excellent ingredient for fading hyperpigmentation (including sunspots as it has a great ability to penetrate the layers of the skin).
It is also has antioxidant properties and similar to vitamin C, it can help protect the skin from UV radiation.
How Does Kojic Acid Fade Hyperpigmentation?
Kojic acid can be used to fade sun spots, melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. It works by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase – in turn inhibiting the production of excess pigment.
Studies have shown that kojic acid not only works well with, but enhances the effects of glycolic acid and hydroquinone.
However, similar to retinol and hydroquinone, kojic acid can cause slight inflammation and skin sensitivity when you first start using it – especially if you have sensitive skin to begin with. Dermatologists recommend to introduce kojic acid slowly, starting with 2-3 times a week in your evening routine.
Pairing kojic acid with other skin-brightening ingredients such as glycolic acid also increases the likelihood of skin dryness or irritation.
6. Arbutin For Hyperpigmentation
Arbutin is a hydroquinone derivative, that is derived from the dried leaves of a number of different plant species, including: bearberry, blueberry, cranberry and pear trees. Bearberry plants contain the highest concentration of arbutin.
Arbutin can be found in a variety of skincare products aimed at fading skin pigmentation as it has been shown to lighten dark spots, fade acne scars and also even out skin tone in general.
Various forms arbutin are used in the cosmetics industry, including:
- Alpha-arbutin (α-arbutin)
- Beta-arbutin (β-arbutin)
- Deoxyarbutin (an arbutin derivative)
- Arbutin undecylenic acid ester
Beta-arbutin is the form that is naturally found in various plants, whereas alpha-arbutin, deoxyarbutin and arbutin undecylenic acid ester are synthesized by chemical and enzymatic methods.
Some studies have demonstrated that α-arbutin is more potent than β-arbutin when it comes to fading hyperpigmentation.
Two arbutin derivatives (deoxyarbutin and arbutin undecylenic acid ester) have been shown to be more potent than both α and β-arbutin.
How Does Arbutin Fade Hyperpigmentation?
Arbutin works in a similar way to the two other naturally-derived ingredients: kojic acid (derived from mushrooms) and licorice root (derived from the licorice root) – by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase.
Arbutin is simply a hydroquinone with a sugar group attached. It is the hydroquinone group of the arbutin molecule that gives it the ability to inhibit tyrosinase, thereby preventing the production of melanin pigment.
Although arbutin contains a hydroquinone group, it doesn’t carry the same harmful side effects and risks as hydroquinone does. This is because once arbutin is absorbed into the skin, enzymes within the body slowly cleave off the sugar group from arbutin – preventing the skin from being exposed to too much hydroquinone at once.
7. Alpha-Hydroxy Acids For Hyperpigmentation
Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) encompass several different types of naturally-occurring organic acids, most of which are present in many foods and milk sugars.
Korean skincare products are most commonly formulated with the following types of alpha-hydroxy acids:
- Glycolic acid (derived from sugarcane)
- Lactic acid (derived from sour milk)
- Malic acid (derived from apples)
- Mandelic acid (derived from bitter almonds)
Alpha-hydroxy acids (along with other skincare acids) are known as chemical exfoliants. They have the ability to exfoliate the top layers of the skin by dissolving the bonds that stick dead skin cells together.
Sloughing away these dead cells on the surface of the skin results in increased radiance, a smoother skin texture and a decrease in hyperpigmentation.
In addition to exfoliating the skin, some alpha-hydroxy acids have been shown to increase collagen production, while others have hydrating and antioxidant properties.
As is the case with many active skincare ingredients, the effectiveness of AHAs is dependent on the concentration used in skincare products and exposure time (in the case of chemical peels). Higher concentrations are more effective, however since AHAs are an exfoliant – higher concentrations also come with increased skin irritation and sensitization.
For this reason, it’s important to choose a product that is suitable for your skin type, and start by introducing any AHA slowly and increasing the frequency of use once your skin can tolerate it.
Additionally, studies have also shown that AHAs increase sensitivity to UV light, so it is extremely important to wear a high quality sunscreen every day and re-apply every two hours.
How Do Alpha-Hydroxy Acids Fade Hyperpigmentation?
Unlike some of the other ingredients I’ve mentioned so far, which work by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase – thereby decreasing the production of melanin – AHA’s fade hyperpigmentation by exfoliating the top layer of pigmented skin cells, revealing younger and less pigmented skin cells underneath.
Glycolic acid is considered the most effective alpha-hydroxy acid as it has the smallest molecular size and can therefore penetrate deeper and faster into the skin.
Lactic acid and mandelic acid don’t penetrate as deeply into the skin as they have a molecular size, making them somewhat gentler and preferred by people with sensitive skin.
8. Rosehip Oil For Hyperpigmentation
Rosehip oil is widely used as part of people’s skincare routine for it’s ability to brighten and even out skin tone.
But that’s not all – rosehip oil also has anti-aging, anti-acne and skin healing properties. It’s also been shown to help keep the skin hydrated (due to it’s emollient properties), reduce oil production and improve skin barrier function.
Rosehip oil has no side effects and is generally suitable for all skin types, including sensitive and oily/breakout prone skin.
It is a pressed seed oil derived from the small fruit that sits beneath the rose and it contains many antioxidants (vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin C and vitamin E) as well as a high concentration of linoleic acids (omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids).
Note though, that rosehip oil is not an essential oils. Essential oils are extremely sensitizing for your skin and can even cause allergic reactions and contact dermatitis.
How Does Rosehip Oil Fade Hyperpigmentation?
Rosehip oil is a great natural option for anyone wanting to fade mild hyperpigmentation or brighten their skin. It’s gentle, affordable, works well with other skincare ingredients and has many other benefits for the skin.
It is the natural compounds found in rosehip oil that gives it it’s ability to fade hyperpigmentation, in particular trans-retinoic acid (vitamin A) and vitamin C. These mostly work by increasing cell turnover and protecting the skin from dark spots and sun damage by fighting free radicals.
9. Sea Buckthorn Oil For Hyperpigmentation
Sea buckthorn oil is derived from the berries of the sea buckthorn shrub (Hippophaes rhamnoides) by cold pressing.
Scientific studies have found that the extract of the sea buckthorn fruit (and seeds) has anti-aging, brightening, moisturizing, wound healing and skin regeneration properties. This is because it contains over 190 active compounds that are beneficial for the skin, including antioxidants, a wide range of fatty acids and polyphenols.
How Does Sea Buckthorn Oil Fade Hyperpigmentation?
The main vitamin found in sea buckthorn berries is vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid). In fact, these little orange berries contain 15 times more vitamin C than oranges!
As I mentioned earlier, Vitamin C is a good ingredient for fading hyperpigmentation as it inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase which is required for the production of melanin.
Sea buckthorn also contains the antioxidants epigallocatechin and gallic acid (both of which have been found to inhibit melanin production in the skin).
10. Rice Water & Rice Extract For Hyperpigmentation
Rice is a popular ingredient in the world of K-beauty. Rice water has actually been used in Asia for hundreds of years in traditional cosmetics and medicine for its skin brightening, anti-aging and hydrating properties.
It is therefore an excellent ingredient for people who have dry skin and would like to address anti-aging and hyperpigmentation concerns.
Research has shown that rice water (obtained from boiled rice) exhibits antioxidant activity comparable to vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid).
It’s best to use skincare products professionally formulated with rice ingredients, as rice water cooked at home doesn’t contain preservatives and spoils quickly (making it unsanitary to use on your skin).
There are many skincare products containing rice to choose from, however those containing fermented rice (AKA rice ferment filtrate) are considered especially effective.
This is because the fermentation process creates new substances (amino acids, organic acids and antioxidants) that are beneficial for the skin and also helps your skin to absorb nutrients more easily and quickly.
How Does Rice Water & Rice Extract Fade Hyperpigmentation?
Research has shown that it is the phenolic compounds found in rice that are most likely responsible for this popular ingredient’s brightening effects.
The following compounds are found in rice and have been shown to brighten the skin by inhibiting the production of melanin in human skin cells:
- p-Coumaric acid
- ferulic acid, and
- caffeic acids
11. Glutathione For Hyperpigmentation
Glutathione is a strong antioxidant that is naturally present in almost every cell in our body. It is a “free radical scavenger”, meaning that it defends cells against environmental damage (such as UV radiation).
Interestingly, the amount of gluthathione naturally present in our body declines as we age, which may be one of the factors which leads to outward signs of aging.
It’s ability to brighten the skin was accidentally discovered during its use as a detoxifying treatment for some medical conditions and procedures.
It is now quickly becoming a popular anti-aging and skin-brightening ingredient in both Western and Korean skincare products.
However, although glutathione’s popularity is growing around the world (and it is considered a safe and low risk ingredient), it’s important to note that a lot more research is still needed.
For example, glutathione in aqueous solution is highly unstable (it decomposes easily) – which is the main reason why clinical studies involving topical glutathione haven’t been conducted.
However, there is some evidence that oxidized glutathione is more suitable for use in liquid form as it converts to glutathione in the skin and is less susceptible to decomposition in aqueous solution.
How Does Glutathione Fade Hyperpigmentation?
Scientific evidence suggests that glutathione brightens the skin via more than one pathway.
We know that glutathione works in a similar way to other antioxidants such as vitamin C, in that it inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase – thereby preventing the formation of melanin. However, it also has the ability to switch from eumelanin (dark pigment) to phaeomelanin (lighter pigment) production.
As I’ve already mentioned, more research is needed to work out exactly how glutathione brightens the skin and also what concentration and duration of use is the most effective.
12. Licorice Root Extract For Hyperpigmentation
Licorice root extract (and its active constituents) is fast becoming a favorite plant extract in Korean skincare products. It is derived from a group of perennial flowering shrubs with woody horizontal underground stems (the species name is Glycyrrhiza glabra).
However the use of licorice root extract as a skin-brightening ingredients is a little bit controversial due to some conflicting results across scientific studies.
Nevertheless, I have decided to include licorice root extract in this post as this ingredient may still have some mild ability to fade hyperpigmentation and it is actually a fantastic soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredient for the skin.
How Does Licorice Root Extract Fade Hyperpigmentation?
The main components of licorice root extract don’t have any major skin-brightening properties, however licorice root extract also contains flavonoid compounds (in smaller concentrations) that have been shown to have skin-whitening properties:
- Glabridin, and
- Liquiritin (plus chemically-similar compounds, including isoliquiritigenin and liquiritigenin)
Glabridin is localized only in the cork layer and the decayed part of the roots, and it is responsible for most of the skin-brightening properties of licorice root extract.
Numerous studies have found that glabridin is able to prevent UVB-induced melanin synthesis by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosinase. Research even suggests that glabridin is more effective than kojic acid at inhibiting tyrosinase.
However, to date, all the studies conducted on glabridin have been in vitro only (test tube experiments) and the concentration of glabridin used in these studies has typically been around 0.5%. Sadly, current extraction methods have not been able to obtain a higher concentration than 0.35%.
Licorice root extract also contains liquiritin which has been shown to be a promising ingredient for fading hyperpigmentation.
For example, research conducted in Pakistan showed that a solution containing 2% liquiritin was significantly more effective at fading melasma than a 4% hydroquinone solution when applied topically for 8 weeks.
HOWEVER! This is where it all starts to get a little bit controversial, because some other studies have found that as the concentration of liquiritin is increased, it actually starts to increase melanin formation (to the point that the authors suggested that liquiritin may make a great natural tanning agent!).
But, it’s important to note that these studies used higher concentrations of liquiritin than what is naturally present in licorice root extract.
Why You Should Never Forget SPF When Fading Hyperpigmentation
I’ve given you a lot of really good ingredients to add to your skincare routine so that you can start fading your hyperpigmentation.
However, I don’t want to send you away without mentioning the most important thing!
And that is that all your skincare effort (and money) will be wasted if you don’t apply SPF every single day.
This is because exposure to UV radiation will result in your skin cells producing more melanin – which as we know by now is the pigment responsible for hyperpigmentation.
The skincare ingredients I talked about above work either by inhibiting melanin production or by increasing cell turnover rate.
So when fading hyperpigmentation, we aren’t “bleaching” or removing pigment from our skin cells. Instead we are removing old (and dead) pigmented skin cells, revealing unpigmented new skin cells underneath and THEN preventing those new skin cells from becoming pigmented by melanin.
I always recommend on choosing an SPF no lower than 50+ and reapplying throughout the day. If you are spending a lot of time in the sun, I also recommend wearing a broad-brimmed hat as sunscreen is often not enough. This is especially the case if you are trying to prevent or fade melasma (such as during or after pregnancy).
Why You Need To Be Patient To See Results
Lastly, I wanted to mention that it does take some time to fade hyperpigmentation – it’s simply not possible to get rid of hyperpigmentation in a week or two.
This is especially the case for sun spots, since the pigmentation can be quite deep and not just present in the very top layer of the skin.
It will take time to slough away old pigmented skin cells and although ingredients such as AHAs and retinol speed up this process, you can only apply so much before you start causing irritation (and also more hyperpigmentation as new skin cells are more prone to UV damage).
My best advice is to stick to your skincare routine every day and never forget SPF. You will begin to see some really good visible changes by the 3 month mark, but it can take up to 6 months to see the improvements you are after.