Hyperpigmentation: What Causes It and How to Reduce It

Our body contains a pigment called melanin, which determines the colour of our skin, hair and eyes. The more melanin in the skin cells, the darker the skin tone tends to be. 

When our skin cells are healthy, our skin tone appears normal and even. However, when our skin cells become damaged or unhealthy, extra melanin is produced to help protect our skin.

Sometimes, when the cells that produce pigment are damaged, melanin production in disrupted. This may result in parts of our skin turning lighter (hypopigmentation) or darker (hyperpigmentation).

What causes hyperpigmentation?

There are many causes of pigmentation, or hyperpigmentation:

  • over-exposure to the sun
  • genetics
  • hormonal changes
  • medical conditions and trauma to the skin (such as burns or as a result of spots and picking).
  • Skin ageing

Over exposure to the sun

Excessive sun exposure can cause the overproduction of melanin in the skin, which results to dark spot formation.


Freckles, another form of hyperpigmentation, are mainly caused by genetics, although excessive exposure to harmful UV rays may also cause freckles.


Abnormal hormone levels in the body caused during pregnancy, as a result of ovarian or thyroid dysfunction, the contraceptive pill and some photosensitising medication can also lead to pigmentation

Skin conditions and trauma

Other forms of skin pigmentation may be caused by skin conditions such as acne which can form dark marks after healing especially if you pick your spots. Burns, injuries, drug treatment and cosmetic surgery can also sometimes lead to dark spots.


Skin ageing

Different types of skin pigmentation problems can emerge as you get older. These pigmentation problems mostly appear due to damage in the structure of the skin caused by scratching, chemical peels or excessive exposure to the sun.

How to reduce hyperpigmentation

Skin lightening

Use products containing natural skin lightening ingredients such as vitamin-c-rich lemon and orange peel oils, papaya, turmeric and liquorice. 

Our Antioxidant Peptide Mist contains liquorice and turmeric so is an excellent face mist for helping to reduce pigmentation and Argan Skin Rescue contains vitamin C and orange peel oil which can also help reduce the appearance of dark spots and can repair the skin after over exposure to the sun.


Regular exfoliation helps get rid of dead skin cells and deep-seated dirt which can block the pores and prevent any skin lightening product from working. 

Exfoliation also helps the accelerate the renewal of skin cells and can therefore reduce the appearance of dark spots and pigmentation.

Our Kale Enzymatic Exfoliator contains pomegranate enzymes and perfectly spherical jojoba beads which gently help resurface the skin without causing irritation.


Hydrating your skin can have a plumping effect that boosts elasticity and reduces the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles caused by sun damage. Look for products with hyaluronic acid for effective hydration of sun damaged skin.

If your hands are showing your age with dark spots, our Kale Anti-Ageing Hand Cream is formulated with kale, Rose of Jericho, argan oil and hyaluronic acid to hydrate and reduce uneven pigmentation and age spots.