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Skin discoloration is the result of excess melanin -- natural pigment that gives color to skin -- often caused by chronic UV exposure, pollution, hormonal fluctuations, past acne blemishes, and natural aging. SkinCeuticals skin discoloration products improve the appearance of discoloration by exfoliating dead skin cells to reveal brighter, more radiant skin and protecting the skin from environmental damage caused by free radicals and UV exposure.

Skin has excess pigment

Malanocytes overproduce melanin

Learn more about Skin Discoloration>

Learn more about Skin Discoloration


Discoloration, sometimes referred to as hyperpigmentation or dark spots, appears in the form of dark patches.
It is a common skin concern and can be isolated or diffused. As discoloration is mainly caused by years of
accumulated sun exposure it can appear on exposed areas, including face, neck, chest, hands, and arms.
Discoloration can result in a prematurely aged appearance.


What causes skin discoloration?

Skin contains melanin, a naturally-occurring pigment that gives skin color. Its purpose is protective,
which is why skin becomes darker when exposed to the sun without sunscreen. Melanin can also be produced
in excess as a protective response to insults or attacks on the top layer of skin.

While sun exposure is the primary cause of skin discoloration, a variety of factors can contribute such as genetics, hormonal fluctuations, acne, localized skin irritation, and other environmental aggressors such as pollution-induced free radicals. Regardless of the cause, skin discoloration can be present as dark patches, isolated spots, or an overall darker facial appearance. It is often difficult to treat and prevention is key for managing skin discoloration in topical skincare. This requires diligent use of  sunscreen  and an effective  topical vitamin C antioxidant.

What ingredients should I look for when purchasing products targeting skin discoloration?

There are many  ingredients  that claim or have been shown to reduce the appearance of skin discoloration and brighten the skin’s complexion. Well-studied ingredients include pure  vitamin C  (l-ascorbic acid) and phloretin, potent  antioxidants  both featured in Phloretin CF and Phloretin CF Gel. Retinol is another key ingredient shown to be effective in treating discoloration and is often recommended by dermatologists. SkinCeuticals  Metacell Renewal B3  features niacinamide, another important ingredient in addressing discoloration. Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, helps reduce the appearance of discoloration and blotchiness.

Hydroquinone is also a common ingredient used primarily by physicians, but is available at lower percentages without a prescription. Many physicians recommend alternatives to hydroquinone due to its side effects. Sunscreen filters are also essential for discoloration concerns because they protect skin from UV damage.

How can I update my skincare regimen to help target skin discoloration?

The most comprehensive solution for improving the appearance of skin discoloration is prevention and correction. Incorporate an effective topical  vitamin C antioxidant  such as  Phloretin CF  or  Phloretin CF Gel  every morning to prevent against UV- and pollution-induced free radicals. A broad spectrum sunscreen is also a necessity to shield skin from the UV rays that can prompt pigment-producing cells to create new (and unwanted) melanin. Lastly, combining with targeted corrective solutions formulated to reduce the appearance of existing discoloration and brighten skin will optimize results. SkinCeuticals  Advanced Pigment Corrector  is a daily multi-action lightweight lotion that helps reduce the appearance of superficial discoloration and improves overall skin tone. Retinol creams can also be quite effective in improving the look of skin discoloration. SkinCeuticals Retinol 0.3 is a targeted facial exfoliator that accelerates cell turnover to improve the appearance of skin tone and texture. Reducing the appearance of discoloration takes time, be patient and diligent with a regimen.

Are there any in-office treatments than can help improve skin discoloration?

Physicians and skincare professionals are invaluable partners in treating discoloration. They offer a variety of treatments that can quickly and effectively reduce the appearance of skin discoloration. Options include lasers, intense pulsed light (IPL), and chemical peels. They will recommend the best course of treatment according to skin tone, discoloration severity, and tolerated downtime. Lasers and IPL treatments use light to target and remove melanin clusters in skin. Chemical peels use a variety of acids to exfoliate and reduce the appearance of discoloration. SkinCeuticals Advanced Corrective Peel is a medically exclusive  chemical peel. Your  Skinceuticals skincare professional  will also recommend at-home skincare products to complement your treatment.

What is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a type of dark spot that can occur after an acne blemish injury to the skin. It can also be caused by heat associated with sun radiation, waxing, laser treatments, or other in-office procedures. PIH is more common in darker skin tones.

Are there different types of skin discoloration?

There are many types of skin discoloration, including but not limited to sun spots, post acne marks, and excessive pigmentation. Skin discoloration can be mild, moderate, or severe in nature. Skin discoloration can occur in various skin types and may be attributed to environmental exposure, genetic makeup, or changes in hormones. Depending on the type of skin discoloration, always consult with your  skincare professional  to discuss a personalized regimen for your specific skin needs.

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Gentle Cleanser

Gentle Cleanser

Mild cleanser with allantoin softens skin while efficiently removing impurities and long-wear makeup

Gentle Cleanser

Skin Ceuticals

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