Man with hyperpigmentation

Acne and Hyperpigmentation


Let’s face it. Acne is a pain. It’s frustrating and embarrassing. It’s one of the most common skin conditions , affecting up to 50 million people annually. It’s caused when there’s excess oil along with dead skin cells and debris that get clogged in the pores.  You might also have triggers that can cause breakouts, such as certain foods, lifestyle habits, or certain  skincare products.One problem that a lot of people with acne face,  is hyperpigmentation or post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Here’s what you need to know about it.

What is Hyperpigmentation


After your blemishes are gone, they might leave dark spots or patches on your skin.  This happens when the skin makes way too much melanin. Melanin is what gives the skin its color.  This is the body’s natural response to an injury and inflammation.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, or PIH, can affect both men and women of all ages. People  with medium and darker skin tones are more at risk.  

How do I get rid of it

To be honest, you can get rid of hyperpigmentation, but it may take a while. There are plenty of products on the market today that can treat it. They can help exfoliate the skin and lift away some of the hyperpigmentation and also decrease melanin production, having a brightening effect. Some ingredients that can help are: 

Azelaic acid is a naturally occurring acid that is antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory. It helps exfoliate the skin and reduces melanin production , making scarring and hyperpigmentation less visible.

Mandelic acid is a gentle alpha hydroxy acid that exfoliates, and slows down the production of melanin.

Arbutin is an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. It decreases hyperpigmentation by inhibiting tyrosinase.  Tyrosinase is an enzyme that’s necessary to produce melanin.

Kojic acid can have anti-aging properties. It can lighten sun damage, age spots, or scars.  It lightens the skin by inhibiting the formation of tyrosinase.

Vitamin C is  also known as ascorbic acid.  It has many benefits for your skin.  Besides being anti-aging, it evens out skin tone. It reduces hyperpigmentation by slowing down tyrosinase activity. 

Retinol is a form of Vitamin A. It exfoliates the skin and helps promote skin renewal.  It helps to fade hyperpigmentation by sloughing off the dead skin cells, making the skin look brighter. 

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that reduces hyperpigmentation by exfoliating the skin and evening out your skin tone.  It can fade dark spots from acne, age spots, and melasma.

Licorice extract is anti-inflammatory and has many other health benefits in the body.  It has an ingredient called glabridin that prevents the production of tyrosinase, causing a brightening effect of the skin.

Bonus Tips

Try not to pick your blemishes.  That will leave a mark and your skin will look worse. Ice it a couple of times a day for a few minutes.  Sometimes a sulfur spot treatment may help.

Wear your sunscreen.  The sun can actually make any existing hyperpigmentation darker and harder to get rid of.

Here are some favorite products to tackle hyperpigmentation:


Glymed Plus Facial Hydrator is a lightweight, hydrating, and anti-aging serum. It has 10% glycolic acid that exfoliates the skin and supports cell renewal.

Glymed Plus Derma Pigment Skin Brightener.  Thirty days to clearer, brighter skin.This serum fades pigmentation without the use of hydroquinone. Ingredients include Glycolic Acid and Vitamin C.

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