What is Hyperpigmentation?

What is Hyperpigmentation?

Characterised by dark spots, discoloured patches, or an uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation is a hyper common skin concern.

To understand hyperpigmentation, we need a bit of a deep dive into the inner workings of the skin. More specifically melanin and the power it holds over your complexion.

What is melanin you ask? Let me elaborate. Melanin is a type of pigment produced by cells called melanocytes and is responsible for giving colour to hair, skin, and eyes in both humans and animals. In the event of excessive sun exposure (which you would never do, right?), melanocytes ramp up the production of melanin to help protect the skin from damage. Excess melanin can form deposits, which create dark spots or patches. The outcome of all this? Our dear friend, hyperpigmentation.

To shine a bit more of a light on hyperpigmentation (hah, get it?), let’s dive into causes, treatments, and of course the ultimate Eminence products to help you manage dark spots and discolouration. 

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

Sun Exposure

From the paragraph above, it should hardly be a shock that excess sun exposure can cause hyperpigmentation. However, and I hate to break this to all you sun-loving beach babes out there, but the number one leading cause of dark spots is sun damage! When exposed to harmful UV rays, melanocytes react by producing melanin to act as a form of protection by absorbing the energy from the rays and redistributing it. Too much sun means too much melanin is produced. Cue the dark spots! Prevention is always easier than a cure so remember: slip, slop, slap anytime you find yourself out in the sun.


When wounded, skin becomes inflamed. During the healing process excess melanin is produced, which then darkens the skin. Officially termed post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, these kinds of dark spots can develop after an injury to the skin like acne, eczema, or an allergic reaction.

This type of hyperpigmentation is common after breakouts. When the skin heals from acne, a dark spot is left behind. The worse the inflammation, the larger and darker the spot can be. You know how we keep telling you not to pick at acne? This is why! 


As hormone levels jump all over the place, one of the most common side effects is a change in pigmentation called melasma. This is why hyperpigmentation is often experienced by pregnant women. Extra hormones can stimulate the production of melanin resulting in patches on the nose, cheeks, jawline, forehead, or chin. For this type of hyperpigmentation, the effects typically cease as the pregnancy ends or when hormone levels balance. 

Treating Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation, although annoying, can be managed! With the right combination of active ingredients in your skin care routine, and potentially a couple of trips to your local salon, skin discolouration can be reduced.

Professional Treatments

To kickstart your treatment we recommend heading down to your local spa or salon and having a chat with a trained beauty therapist to discuss the best course of action for your skin. With lots of exciting options available like chemical peels and laser therapy, it’s best to have your skin assessed by a professional before you dive in too deep. From here you can develop a customised plan perfectly suited to your skin. To find the closest Eminence spa to you, click here

Homecare Routine

For your targeted homecare routine, keep an eye out for products with these key ingredients:

·       Licorice Root

·       Bearberry

·       Natural Hydroquinone

·       Stone Crop

·       Gigawhite™

Some of our Top Picks to Treat Hyperpigmentation:

Finally, and I have said this before and I will say it again, stay out of the sun! Or at least be sun safe when enjoying the great outdoors, please. A great skin care routine and series of treatments will only take you so far. The best way to tackle hyperpigmentation is by protecting your skin from excessive sun exposure. This is important for treating existing hyperpigmentation and shielding against future damage. Make good choices, people!

Do you suffer from hyperpigmentation? Connect with us on social media to share your experience! 

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