It seems to happen suddenly, doesn’t it? All without warning. One day, your skin is an even tone. The next, hyperpigmentation has reared its ugly head, forcing you to slather on plenty of foundation and concealer to smooth things over.
And yes, it’s happened to me. It’s happened to many of us. And it happens for many reasons.
Sometimes, it’s a dark spot left as a reminder from a nasty blemish. Other times, it’s damage from the sun. And you can also get it thanks to hormones. Pregnant women often have this gripe though some birth control pills can also cause hyperpigmentation.
No matter what caused it, we can all agree it’s cause for annoyance. The cells that create your skin’s color start loading extra pigment deeper into your skin and that’s why you see discoloration. What’s more, it’s very hard to get rid of. Generally, when you have any kind of hyperpigmentation, it takes time and patience to treat it.
However, there are some awesome skin-loving ingredients out there that can help lighten your skin and create a harmonious, even tone all over again. Hyperpigmentation makes us look older so finding the best skin lightening cream that deals directly with banishing it is just what you need should you find a dark mark on your otherwise lovely skin.
At the dermatologist or med spa, you can choose laser treatments and get customized prescriptions that use high doses of scientifically-proven skin lighteners like vitamin C, kojic acid, and hydroquinone.
Of course, that’s the more expensive option, however if your hyperpigmentation is severe or doesn’t improve with an over-the-counter option, it’s definitely worth considering to feel confident in your own skin again.
Over-the-counter skin lightening creams should be the first thing you try. They’re readily available and may be able to restore your skin to a unified tone on their own. You’ll find them in serums and creams in a variety of price brackets.
I’ll be going over 10 of the best skin lightening creams to battle hyperpigmentation below. However, before you scroll down, I want you to take what I’m about to say next seriously if you want your skin to look beautiful and youthful even into old age…please don’t ever forget sunscreen.
I mean it. You have to protect your skin from now on. Sun exposure without protection is the leading cause of hyperpigmentation. You can buy all of these skin lightening creams I’m about to review for you and it will do no good if you continue to expose your skin to the damaging rays. Protect your skin while you restore it to an even skin tone and you will thank yourself later!
10 Best Skin Lightening Creams for Hyperpigmentation
Skincare is one of the biggest industries on the planet, and for good reason.
We all want to look our best. Our skin is an outer reflection of our inner health. Taking care of it by eating right as well as nourishing from the outside while protecting from the sun is the best way to have stunningly beautiful skin.
Now, let’s handle your hyperpigmentation problems, shall we? These 10 best skin lightening creams for hyperpigmentation are all excellent choices!
I adore Dermalogica. For Christmas last year, I got a wonderful gift set with Pure Night in it.
It’s a lovely and indulgent overnight cream treatment for hyperpigmentation. The ingredients include the best of the best as far as skin brightening is concerned.
You have vitamin C and niacinamide to help stop hyperpigmentation along with skin smoothing and nourishing ingredients that work together for better skin overall.
It was definitely youth-enhancing, leaving me with a nice, luminous look.
I’d had some dark spots form after a breakout and this couldn’t have been a more perfect gift. It took a few weeks, but they faded completely away. I’m glad I got it for a gift because this stuff is expensive, but it really works so I’d say it’s worth it!
Ok, now let me treat you to my favorite bargain buy. The reasonable price tag of BeautyRx by Dr. Schultz definitely makes you feel comfortable giving it a chance. I know because that’s what happened to me.
I had read reviews about it but wanted to see for myself. What I found was a nice, creamy texture that pumps out so there’s no way to contaminate the contents. While it’s a little thick, it’s not greasy or heavy, and it has a fresh yet light scent.
After just one use, I found my skin looked visibly improved by morning. It looked smoother, plumper, and just healthier. But over time, it looked brighten, more clarified, and with an even tone.
I knew it was a good option when a friend asked me if I’d just had a facial because “your skin looks amazing.” This is a great choice if you’re trying to stick to a budget, one that will give you awesome results.
Juice Beauty is another organic-loving brand that takes science and nature and infuses them. With the Stem Cellular Moisturizer, I had the chance to try a sample when I splurged with online shopping one day.
As the name suggests, it has a nice blend of fruit stem cells plus it boasts vitamin C and resveratrol, two star ingredients for more youthful skin.
The vitamin C brightens while resveratrol smooths fine lines and wrinkles. It’s a nice choice for anyone who has skin concerns that go beyond the hyperpigmentation, as many of us do.
So, how did I like my sample? Well, it was lovely and nourishing, though it felt like it soaked in so fast that my skin could use another drink. But my skin felt more elastic, looked smoother, and brighter too.
The lemon scent might be a teensy bit overpowering for some of you, though I didn’t mind it. I felt it was kind of refreshing.
After using it, I received lots of compliments about how my skin looked. My own mother asked me if I got Botox! No, Mom, I did not.
There is one thing I’d like to mention though. I know I had a sample but it was like a mini of the full-size. The innovative top makes it easy to push and only get what you need, however, I discovered there was quite a bit of product remaining inside even after it seemed empty when pushing on the top.
So, make the most out of yours by opening up the whole container when it does that. Also, the price will give you a bit of sticker shock, but it is one of the best skin lightening and aging creams around!
Onto one that I feel is really great for aging and mature skin. BeautyStat Skin Refiner Serum is pretty much a miracle in a bottle.
You can even ask my mom who grew up in a generation where sunscreen wasn’t promoted as robustly as it is now.
The big thing with this formula is it has a patent on the 20% pure vitamin C content. Combined with only natural ingredients, it delivers as it promises.
Since I write about beauty, I often spend many hours just reading up on the science behind the ingredients in these products. Vitamin C was, is, and will always be one of the best brighteners for your skin.
Of course, it is wonderful for your health and immunity in the foods you eat. But applied topically in a 20% concentration like this, it really delivers.
The proof was in how my mom’s skin looked after she started using it. It was absolutely amazing how her sunspots looked like they’d been erased.
She’s been ecstatic, to the point where she thinks all the boys my age are in love with her, but I have to admit she definitely doesn’t look (or act) her age.
The price is probably the only thing that may stand in your way, but after seeing what this stuff did for my mom, you won’t be sorry if you splurge.
Murad is another luxury-science brand with products that seem to back their claims. This one is interesting because it’s a peel you can do at home.
In fact, I used mine in the shower, applying it at the beginning so it has time to work its magic.
The formula focuses on vitamin C and glycolic acid to gently buff skin to a prime and unified skin tone. I also love using it when I notice blackheads. My skin looks and feels utterly refreshed after using it.
Dare I say it even brightens my mood? There’s just something about it that makes me feel like a whole new me. I use this one once a week.
The price isn’t as obscene as some other brands plus since you’re not using it every day, it will last you a while so it’s worth it.
6. Civant Meladerm Skin Lightening Whitening Bleaching Cream
If you have melasma or extreme dark spots, Civant’s Meladerm Skin Lightening Cream is something to consider. I have not used it myself, but my lovely friend Anise was happy to share her experience with me. After having her twins, she found herself with melasma.
She wanted to try to get rid of it on her own before spending a fortune on laser treatments and said that her own dermatologist had recommended trying it before stepping up to prescription-level creams.
“It definitely took several months of continual use, but the results I got brought me to tears. Nothing else took care of my melasma.
Everything I’d tried before my derm recommended it did help with those little sunspots I had. But my melasma wouldn’t go away.
Now it’s almost completely faded away and I feel confident even without makeup for the first time in a year,” Anise told me.
This formula uses 10 different ingredients to tackle hyperpigmentation. Hydroquinone isn’t one of them though which might make it more approachable to those of you that would rather steer clear of that ingredient.
Hefty price tag on this, but if you have melasma or even dark acne marks, it’s life-changing.
Do you have acne-prone skin? My friend Cara had a big problem with cystic acne that just kept cropping up and leaving dark marks.
In addition to being blemish-prone, Cara also has sensitive skin so keeping the balance between moisture without it going dry is critical for her skin type to restore harmony all over.
Her dermatologist gave her a few samples to try out and one of them was EltaMD AM Therapy Face Moisturizer. I asked her to tell me what she thought of it, and she couldn’t have been happier.
“I loved it so much that I was sold. After using up the sample, I ordered it immediately with express shipping. The texture is soothing and smoothing, and as I’ve used it, my acne scars have faded. My skin behaves better and it seems my days of bad breakouts are going to be a thing of the past. Definitely love this stuff!” Cara had sent me this in a pm.
Surprisingly, EltaMD isn’t outlandishly expensive for a top-tier brand. And since Cara’s own dermatologist recommended it, it’s probably a good bet, especially if you have problematic skin.
Next up, Luminate by Protégé, which has outstanding clinical test results. In trials, most users (95% actually) saw lightened skin, even with really dark spots.
The formula contains kojic acid and arbutin which team up to repair damage caused by environmental factors like the sun and pollution.
If you want something that works that doesn’t have hydroquinone, this is a nice choice.
It’s a bit science-y which I like of course as it keeps darkening pigments from ganging up and causing hyperpigmentation, encouraging lighter skin cells to proliferate.
It’s a really great product that works to lighten skin. Great price too. My only gripe is that it comes in a tub with nothing to scoop it with.
I really dislike it when products come in tubs. Yes, it’s easy to access but also, it allows air in which can make any product go bad faster.
And with tubs, you need to keep your fingers out of there or you could spread bacteria into it. I get around this with a little scoop and you can too, but it would be something I’d change if I were in charge.
PCA Skin is another brand to watch for innovations in science and skincare. With this Pigment Gel, you can spot-treat all hyperpigmentation problems.
It uses 2% hydroquinone which definitely makes a difference to fade away the dark spots that have made you feel self-conscious.
This is one I’ve used before to tackle random spots that have sprouted up. I like that it’s a spot treatment for this purpose.
However, it is very drying so you will need to keep skin hydrated with a good moisturizer (perhaps one of these other ones on my list to keep your skin luminous!).
The price is a little expensive, but considering it’s a spot treatment, you’ll have it for a while. Give it a few weeks and you’ll notice fading on the spots you treat.
My friend Vanessa had some age spots come in around her eyes. She went to her dermatologist to ask about laser treatments, but the doctor refused because it was too dangerous since it was so close to her eyes.
So, she was told to try Alpha Skin Care’s Dual Action Skin Lightener.
The formula uses hyaluronic acid, one of my personal favorite skincare ingredients because it instantly plumps up and hydrates skin.
It’s like your skin takes a big drink of water. So refreshing!
Anyway, while that’s an awesome ingredient for healthier, more youthful skin overall, this formula also uses 2% hydroquinone plus 10% glycolic acid.
It’s paraben-free and came with the blessings of Vanessa’s dermatologist. He had told her that because this formula was set at a pH balance of 3.5 that it would help her skin get back to good health overall and bring balance to her complexion.
“I was skeptical at first, especially since there are bigger brands that cost a lot more. But a doctor would know better than me, right? I applied this twice a day, and by the end of week 2, I noticed a major difference in those age spots. After a month, the difference was even more impressive. Now it’s been 3 months, and it’s like those spots were never there. I am so happy!” Vanessa had relayed to me.
It has all the ingredients you need that science has shown to work for lightening skin. And the price is perfect for anyone on a tight budget!
You don’t have to be stuck with hyperpigmentation in the form of age spots, dark spots, acne scars, melasma, or sunspots. You don’t have to shell out big money for laser treatments or other med-spa procedures either, at least not yet.
With many hyperpigmentation situations, you can try over-the-counter products like the best skin lightening creams on my list first.
With a variety of price ranges and formulations for skin types, I know you’ll find the one that works best for you.
Also, I’d like to add that you should give every product time to see results. Skin lightening takes time and you won’t just use it once and wake up to no hyperpigmentation.
Use it for 3 weeks to a month and photograph your results so you can see the change.