Best Hyperpigmentation Cream for Dark Skin
The best hyperpigmentation cream for dark skin is the one that helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots, even out skin tone, and promote a more radiant complexion with the right formulation. The formula of such cream should contain ingredients that act as tyrosine inhibitors, chemicals that directly or indirectly inhibit the production of melanin in your skin. Some of those ingredients are cysteamine, kojic acid, tranexamic acid, alpha arbutin, niacinamide, vitamin C, or retinoids. The formula also shouldn’t contain ingredients like denatured alcohol, fragrance, and essential oils.
In the text below you can find creams with ingredients that are suitable for treating hyperpigmentation, the way to include that cream in your routine, and detailed benefits and downsides of those ingredients. To find out more about ingredients that are effective in treating hyperpigmentation and what other products you can include in your routine, make sure to check out my e-book “Skin of Color: Hyperpigmentation”.
Creams To Treat Hyperpigmentation
Urban Skin Rx HyperCorrect Intense Fading Cream
The HyperCorrect Intense Fading Cream from Urban Skin Rx is a potent antioxidant pre-cleanse that reduces the appearance of severe hyperpigmentation, including melasma-related discoloration and uneven skin tone. This lightweight cream, a crucial initial step in your daily skincare regimen, protects your skin from environmental stresses with antioxidants while reducing the appearance of rough texture and promoting even, bright skin tone. The manufacturer claims that 87% of people agreed that the cream fades the appearance of dark spots, based on the independent study of 102 participants that used the cream nightly.
This antioxidant-rich HyperCorrect Intense Fading Cream reduces the appearance of hyperpigmentation, smooths fine lines and wrinkles, and evens the look of skin tone. To find the best hyperpigmentation cream for dark skin you have to investigate the key ingredients of the cream. It is made with essential ingredients including 5% Cysteamine, 1% Niacinamide, and Vitamin E. Perfect for people with melasma, post-acne scars, uneven skin tone, rough texture, or aging issues including fine lines and wrinkles.
How to use this cream?
Use just before cleaning once per day. On dry skin, apply a thin layer and let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes. They claim that some slight tingling or heat feeling is typical. Rinse off completely with the cleanser that is best for your skin type. Apply moisturizer next. The manufacturer suggests using a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher if applied in the morning, but I would recommend SPF 50 for dark skin. Use Cysteamine alone for the first week without Benzoyl Peroxide, high doses of AHAs or BHAs, or Retinol/Vitamin A to prevent irritation.
What benefits do all of those ingredients have for the skin?
Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is a popular ingredient in skincare products and is beneficial for various skin types and concerns, including dark skin. Here are some reasons why niacinamide is considered good for dark skin:
Niacinamide has been shown to help reduce hyperpigmentation, including dark spots and uneven skin tone. It works by inhibiting the transfer of pigment to the skin cells, thereby reducing the appearance of dark patches and promoting a more even complexion. Dark skin is prone to certain skin conditions like eczema, dryness, and sensitivity. Niacinamide strengthens the skin’s barrier function, improving its ability to retain moisture, protect against external aggressors, and reduce transepidermal water loss. This can help alleviate dryness and maintain overall skin health.
Niacinamide possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm irritated skin and reduce redness. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with dark skin who may experience increased sensitivity and reactivity. People with dark skin often have more active sebaceous glands, which can result in excess oil production and a higher likelihood of acne breakouts. Niacinamide can regulate sebum production, reducing the occurrence of breakouts and helping to keep the skin clear and balanced.
Niacinamide has been shown to boost collagen production, improve skin elasticity, and reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. These anti-aging properties can benefit individuals with dark skin, helping to maintain a youthful and healthy complexion.
Including vitamin E in your routine can be very beneficial. Vitamin E is a natural emollient, which means it helps to lock in moisture and keep the skin hydrated. Dark skin tends to have a higher risk of dryness and moisture loss because of the naturally lower levels of ceramides, and vitamin E can aid in restoring and maintaining optimal hydration levels, promoting soft and supple skin. Also, it would be smart to include topical ceramides with fatty moisturizer, to avoid drying out of the skin. Dry skin means a damaged skin barrier, so there is a higher risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
UV exposure can still lead to oxidative stress and damage the skin even though dark skin contains more melanin, which provides a certain degree of natural protection against harmful UV rays. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, helping to neutralize free radicals and protect the skin from UV damage which includes sunburn, premature aging, and hyperpigmentation.
As previously mentioned dark skin can be more susceptible to inflammation and sensitivity, often resulting in skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, or razor bumps. Vitamin E possesses anti-inflammatory properties that can help calm irritated skin, reduce redness, and alleviate discomfort associated with inflammatory skin conditions.
L-cysteamine prevents the production of melanin. Cysteamine has an unpleasant sulfur odor which is also present in this cream, which should not be a problem because it is a wash-off product. According to certain studies, Cysteamine reduces skin pigment by tyrosinase and peroxidase inhibition (chemicals that directly or indirectly inhibit the production of melanin in your skin), dopaquinone scavenging (A compound involved in melanin production), and elevating glutathione levels inside cells (acts as a major antioxidant and high glutathione levels are required to maintain stem cell function).
It’s important to note that skincare products containing cysteamine should be used according to the manufacturer’s instructions or under the guidance of a dermatologist. It’s always recommended to consult with a skincare professional to determine the most suitable treatment options for your specific skin concerns, including hyperpigmentation. Additionally, other factors such as sun protection, lifestyle choices, and a comprehensive skincare routine can contribute to achieving healthy, radiant skin. Since this is a relatively unknown ingredient here is the link, you can visit to find out more about it.
FIXDERMA 10% Tranexamic Acid + 2% Kojic Acid + 1% Arbutin SKARFIX
FIXDERMA 10% Tranexamic Acid + 2% Kojic Acid + 1% Arbutin SKARFIX is a cream that can help to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, melasma, PIE, and PIEH that is suitable for long-term use. Aside from previously mentioned ingredients it also contains vitamin E.
How to use this cream?
Apply it to the affected skin region by lightly tapping it on the skin after a thorough cleaning. Spread the Skarfix-TX cream evenly, and then give your skin time to absorb it. Apply your moisturizer in the morning and evening for best results, then use sunscreen during the day. It is important to note that this cream contains kojic acid which has exfoliating properties. So, you should be careful with the rest of your routine to avoid over-exfoliation.
Because a lot of people have problems making a pump work, here are the instructions. Take a firm hold of the bottle’s pump part and pull slowly until it pops out. If you look inside the bottle, you’ll notice a little hole in the middle of a circular dip where the pump that you just removed used to be. You could even be able to see the cream’s leftovers right there. Find a cylindrical item that fits the opening, like a small diameter pin to even out the pressure or, to use the technical term, break the seal and enable the pump to function. After that reposition the pump in the bottle by pushing it in.
What benefits do all of those key ingredients have for the skin?
Tranexamic acid is a skincare ingredient that helps to address various skin concerns, that are common in black or dark skin. Studies have shown that tranexamic acid helps to reduce hyperpigmentation, including melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), and other dark spots. This acid works by inhibiting the production and activity of melanocytes, the cells responsible for producing melanin, to help to even out skin tone and reduce the appearance of dark patches.
Other studies suggest that it can help reduce the effects of UV radiation on the skin. There is a misconception that skin of color doesn’t need sunscreen, but that is away from the truth because UV exposure can exacerbate hyperpigmentation and lead to sunburn, premature aging, and skin damage. Tranexamic acid’s previously mentioned potential to inhibit melanin production may help reduce the impact of UV radiation on the skin.
There have been many studies on tranexamic acid that showed that it has anti-inflammatory properties, which can be beneficial for individuals with black skin who are more prone to inflammation-related skin conditions such as razor bumps, folliculitis, or acne. That reduction of inflammation helps to calm the skin, alleviate redness, and improve overall skin health.
Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a common concern in individuals with dark skin that appears from acne, eczema, or other forms of skin irritation. Tranexamic acid can help in reducing the intensity and duration of PIH by inhibiting the melanin production that occurs during the healing process.
To find the best hyperpigmentation cream for dark skin you have to pay attention to the concentration of the ingredients in the products. This cream contains high concentrations of tranexamic acid, so it is important to note that it may be irritating if you have sensitive skin. It would be best to do a patch test or even start with a lower concentration in the form of another product and gradually increase it if needed. The such product you can find in the text below with tranexamic acid of 5%. A concentration of 10% tranexamic acid is relatively high, and it may be more suitable for individuals with specific concerns or under the guidance of a skincare professional, but definitely needs to be careful if it is the first time using this ingredient.
2% Kojic acid Dipalmitate is a modified form of kojic acid that is often used in skincare products and it is b is a better version for dark skin. It is a more stable and less sensitive ingredient compared to pure kojic acid, which can be irritating for people with dark skin. While there is limited research specifically on kojic acid dipalmitate for black skin, it is believed to offer similar benefits as kojic acid, so it is worth trying out.
Kojic acid dipalmitate is known for its ability to inhibit tyrosinase activity, which is involved in melanin production and leads to reducing melanin production, lightening and reducing the appearance of hyperpigmentation, including dark spots, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). Similar to kojic acid, kojic acid dipalmitate can contribute to overall skin brightening, so targeting areas of hyperpigmentation and promoting a more even skin tone helps to create a brighter and more radiant complexion.
Kojic acid dipalmitate also possesses antioxidant properties that can help protect the skin from oxidative stress caused by environmental factors like UV radiation and pollution, and that fact is beneficial for black skin, which is still susceptible to the damaging effects of UV rays, despite having more natural protection due to higher melanin levels.
One advantage of kojic acid dipalmitate over pure kojic acid is its stability. It is less sensitive to pH and light, making it a more stable ingredient in skincare formulations, so it has a longer shelf life and better efficiency.
Like all of the ingredients mentioned above alpha arbutin is a significant ingredient of the best hyperpigmentation cream for dark skin because of its ability to reduce melanin production, which helps to fade dark spots, melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), and other forms of hyperpigmentation. It is also one of the tyrosinase inhibitors, which is involved in melanin production, which makes it a great ingredient for treating hyperpigmentation. It helps to reduce the signs of UV damage such as premature aging and it is a gentle ingredient which makes it a great option for dark skin that cannot risk any inflammation.
Naturium Multi-Bright Tranexamic Acid Treatment 5%
This cream is a great alternative to the previously mentioned FIXDERMA 10% Tranexamic Acid, because it contains a lower concentration of Tranexamic Acid (5% which is more studied and recommended), so it can be a great starting point. It also contains encapsulated kojic acid and alpha arbutin, so the cream completes all the criteria for the best hyperpigmentation cream for dark skin. Naturium skincare is formulated with both potent natural ingredients & advanced synthetic ingredients, and it is cruelty-free, paraben-free, vegan, gluten-free, fragrance-free, and dermatologist tested.
The cream can be used in the morning and as a part of the nighttime routine. You can easily interpret it into your routine, followed by moisturizer and sunscreen in the morning.
Paula's Choice Radiance Renewal Night Mask
Another great product you can use is Paula’s Choice Radiance Renewal Night Mask which has a very interesting formula that is suitable for all skin types. The mask’s formulation contains arbutin and magnesium Ascorbyl phosphate (a non-irritating form of vitamin C) and without alcohol, parabens, and fragrance works to improve the skin’s tone, softness, and plumpness for a youthful glow. It also enhances hydration, boosts a more even-looking skin tone, and soothes and refines the skin’s surface. To find out more about this mask make sure to check out my article about the best skincare routine for black skin