Hyperpigmentation can be caused by pretty much anything — the aftermath of a pimple, eczema, the sun or even a mosquito bite. And the most annoying part? They can take FOREVER to go away!
While lasers are the most effective form of treatment, skin care products with ingredients that brighten and speed up cell turnover can also help minimise these dark spots. Here, we’re breaking down some of the most popular Korean skin care ingredients you should be adding to your routine to target hyperpigmentation:
A form of Vitamin B3 that boasts a heck-of-a-list of benefits, niacinamide is not only great for brightening, but also clearing the skin! This ingredient can help regulate sebum production without causing dryness, so it’s perfect for those who are oily, acne-prone and also looking to erase the hyperpigmented scars of breakouts past!
Talking about a heck-of-a-list of benefits, one product that truly describes this is our cult-favourite Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Rx! With niacinamide as its third ingredient, this essence help brighten, smooth, hydrate, firm, repair damaged skin and even out your skin tone in just a few weeks.
2. Vitamin C
By far the most well-known brightening ingredient in the skin care world, vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps combat free radicals that can contribute to hyperpigmentation, while also stimulating collagen production. This means that this ingredient does not only reduce the appearance of dark spots, but also fine lines!
Check out the Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop, which contains only 5% ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), making it a gentle option for newbies or anyone with more sensitive skin types. If you're looking for something a little more powerful, the Neogen Real Vita C serum contains 22% vitamin C to effectively get rid of dark spots!
Related article: 5 Tips for Fading Dark Spots Fast
3. Licorice Extract
The root of the licorice plant has been used for thousands of years to treat everything from stomach ulcers to diabetes. And when it comes to age spots, acne scarring or sun damage, this ingredient has a fantastic ability to both prevent skin hyperpigmentation and fade existing hyperpigmentation!
The Jumiso All day Vitamin Brightening & Balancing Facial Serum is a brightening serum containing a powerful cocktail of hippophae rhamnoides fruit extract (also known as sea buckthorn!), ascorbic acid and licorice root extract to even out your skin tone and improve skin's elasticity.
You may have heard about hydroquinone, a brightening agent known to be one of the strongest in skin care. And while it’s true that it’s powerful and effective, some dermatologists are concerned about its side effects and long-term effects from use, as it has been heavily restricted in some countries as well.
Arbutin is a naturally occurring derivative of hydroquinone. This organic compound is derived from berries and provides the same powerful brightening effects as hydroquinone, without some of the risks. Arbutin is also gentle enough to be combined with other potent products without any added irritation.
The Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream and our best-selling Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack uses arbutin in conjunction with our favourite snail mucin to help repair skin, brighten dark spots and acne scars!
Related article: Why You Should Slather Snail Mucin on Your Skin
5. Alpha-Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
This favourite exfoliating ingredient really needs no further introduction. By increasing skin turnover, AHAs work by gently exfoliating the top layer of dead skin cells to reveal healthier, smoother skin that's free of hyperpigmentation.
The Blithe Patting Splash Mask Energy Yellow Citrus & Honey is a quick in-shower treatment formulated with a lactic acid (AHA) blend, citrus extracts and honey to target hyperpigmentation and energise dry, dull and tired skin!
Do you have any other favourite brightening ingredient to fight hyperpigmentation? Share them with us!
Do you recommend a combination of products or are they best used stand alone?