Hyperpigmentation — whether caused by acne scarring, sun exposure, or something else — can really step in the way of our skin-care goals. It also can affect nearly any part of the body, including your armpits.
Additionally, hyperpigmentation can really throw off a flawless makeup look. After all, the best beauty beats start with a smooth, even canvas. If you're dealing with hyperpigmentation, then welcome to the club! Have yourself a seat and get comfortable because we're going on a hunt for the top-rated hyperpigmentation products ranging from splurge-worthy to shockingly affordable.
From face masks to cleansing pads to serums to creams — there is definitely something to help you even out your skin tone in this roundup.
Sunday Riley Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream ($65, Dermstore)
This water cream includes Alpha-Arbutin in its ingredients list, which improves the appearance of hyperpigmentation. This cream also reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles by intensely hydrating and plumping the skin.
Per the reviews, this product smells great, moisturizes well, and works to make the skin look more even-toned. People also shared in the reviews section that this water cream doesn't have a greasy, heavy feel.
E.l.f. Brighten Up Peel Pads ($10, E.l.f. Cosmetics)
These brightening pads are a quick way to tend to your hyperpigmentation even when you're on the go. The pads are meant to exfoliate the skin but also contain vitamin C, which brightens and evens out your skin. Sixty pads come in one pack.
Several reviewers who used these pads noticed brighter skin after consistent use.
Tatcha Violet-C Brightening Serum 20% Vitamin C + 10% AHA ($88, Sephora)
This brightening serum was released by the Tatcha brand in January 2019. Its formula is heavy on the vitamin C, which is an ingredient commonly used to lighten dark spots and even out the skin tone.
The serum is also good for smoothing your texture, moisturizing the skin, and removing the buildup of dead skin cells. People of every skin type can use this product because it's vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free. The serum is also without silicone, oil, and fragrance!
Per the Tatcha description, you could start seeing a more evened-out skin tone within four weeks of use.
Tarte Blemish Bully Acne Spot Treatment ($16, Sephora)
A lot of people deal with hyperpigmentation after an acne breakout. Even when pimples go away, the scars they often leave behind are almost just as inconvenient. This is like two products in one because it helps to make the pimple disappear even faster while also reducing the hyperpigmentation and redness that can come afterward.
Sephora shoppers who bought this spot treatment raved about how well it reduced acne blemishes as well as older scars.
Ren Glycol Lactic Radiance Renewal Mask ($56, Sephora)
The REN renewal mask has four AHAs (alpha hydroxy acids): glycolic acid from pineapple, lactic acid from passion fruit, citric acid from lemon, and tartaric acid from grapes. Together, these acids help to exfoliate and reduce hyperpigmentation.
Just apply a small amount to your face and neck, leave it on for 10 minutes, and then wipe it off gently with a damp cloth.
Reviewers who used this peel raved about how smooth it made their skin over time, and also noted that there is a slight tingling sensation when you apply it. One person shared that it was gentle on her sensitive skin.
L.A. Girl Pro Concealer ($5, Ulta)
While you work on reducing hyperpigmentation with your skin-care products, it's also understandable that you may want to cover it up for the time being. The L.A. Girl brand makes incredibly affordable concealers in 43 shades, which include several corrector colors.
Reviewers say these concealers provide full coverage, last a long time, and are easy to apply.
Neutrogena Rapid Tone Repair Dark Spot Corrector ($23, Ulta)
This Neutrogena dark spot corrector is perfect for drugstore beauty lovers who want to balance out their skin tone without spending a ton of money. The key ingredients in the formula are retinol and vitamin C, which both work to minimize hyperpigmentation and improve texture.
Shoppers who used this corrector saw their dark spots lighten (but not become fully erased) in just a few days. A few noted that this product works just as well as higher-end brands like Clinique and Lancôme.
Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser ($16, Ulta)
You don't have to only use dark spot-correcting creams. Instead, upgrade your entire skin-care routine with beauty products that address your hyperpigmentation issues. This Mario Badescu cleanser is glycolic acid–based, which is meant to reduce old acne spots and age spots.
Use this cleanser up to three times a week and pair it with your spot corrector consistently if you really want to see a reduction in hyperpigmentation over time.
Reviewers who used this cleanser noticed a difference in a few weeks after consistent use. The brand recommends that this cleanser be used only up to three times a week as opposed to daily.
Urban Skin Rx Dark Spot Essentials Travel Kit ($54, Urban Skin Rx)
If your hyperpigmentation is a little more intense, then you should first visit an actual dermatologist. In addition to the help you receive from a professional, you can also transform your entire skin-care routine with this travel set that features everything you need to get your skin tone to even back out.
The set includes an even-tone cleansing bar, a mattifying moisturizer with SPF 30, an even-tone night treatment, and a brightening serum.
Per the reviews, this set works well, but it's NOT for people with sensitive skin.
Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector & Optimizer ($50, Ulta)
This correcting product not only diminishes dark spots but also strengthens the skin to prevent it from darkening again. This is a decent option for anyone with sensitive skin since it is fragrance-free and allergy-tested.
People who use this say it is lightweight, non-greasy, and effective.
Feeling Beautiful Brightening Seaweed + Pearl Sheet Mask ($2, Ulta)
Surprise! You can focus on evening out your skin tone even when you're having a "face mask and chill" kind of day! This mask contains a serum that brightens dark spots over time, and it's under $3!
While Ulta says this face mask is for all skin types, this one has fragrance in its ingredients list, so people with sensitive skin may want to avoid this option.