Dark spots on your face — whether they’re caused by sun exposure, hormone changes or something else — are visible flaws that many wish they could unsee. Uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation are oft-cited skin concerns and the skincare industry has identified a host of ingredients to help combat them.
Skin Tone Brightening Ingredients
While it may feel like one day you just woke up with dark spots and hyperpigmentation, the biological process of producing pigment in the skin takes multiple steps—meaning skincare ingredients can help with preventing or reducing the appearance of dark spots at different phases of melanin production cycle.
The following are some common ingredients that can brighten skin tone, help prevent new hyperpigmentation and reduce the appearance of existing hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin C, commonly seen as ascorbic acid or L-ascorbic acid in skincare, is an essential ingredient that neutralizes free radicals and works in tissue repair and protection. As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin C helps prevent future hyperpigmentation. In part, this is because it blocks tyrosinase, an enzyme your body uses to produce melanin.
Kojic acid is another skincare ingredient with antioxidant benefits and the ability to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Coming from fungi, kojic acid also helps block tyrosinase and therefore melanin production.
Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3 that promotes the production of ceramides and elastin to support the skin’s barrier. A study published in the British Journal of Dermatology found that niacinamide produced a 35-68% inhibition of melanosome transfer—which is the process of melanin appearing in the skin as keratinocytes.
Phytic acid is a gentle alpha hydroxy acid that can exfoliate skin but also acts as a melanin inhibitor. Like many of the skin tone brightening ingredients on this list, phytic acid provides antioxidant benefits, making it a natural choice for products designed to brighten pigmentation.
It seems there is little retinol can’t do, so of course it appears on a list of ingredients to brighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Retinol is a kind of catch-all phrase applied to topical applications of retinoids, derivatives of vitamin A that have powerful skincare benefits. Retinol works by supporting collagen production and cellular turnover. Because retinol increases cellular turnover, skin can naturally exfoliate melanin that has been produced at a higher rate.
Salicylic acid may be an ingredient you remember from your teenage acne days, but it can also help improve skin tone. This beta hydroxy acid (BHA) penetrates the skin to help increase stratum corneum—the outermost layer of skin—turnover. This, in turn, improves texture and feel and sloughs away old, pigmented skin.
While dark spots and hyperpigmentation can be caused by a variety of factors including hormones and inflammation, it’s often a result of sun exposure over time. Making sure to use sun protection for daytime skincare is one of the first steps of defense against melanin production that can cause hyperpigmentation.
Brighten Skin Tone With Biopelle Brighten
Biopelle Brighten products use a combination of ingredients to help interrupt melanin production at various phases of its cycle. This can both help repair and prevent hyperpigmentation and help promote a brighter, more even skin tone.
The Brighten collection takes a two-pronged approach to helping keep your skin luminous and youthful-looking. XCP serum is used in the morning to help prevent hyperpigmentation, while KNR serum is used at night for both prevention and to help repair damage you may have already incurred.
XCP serum features:
- 10% L-Ascorbic Acid
- 2% Phytic Acid
KCP serum features:
- 2% Kojic Acid
- 4% Niacinamide
- 0.15% Retinol