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Hyperpigmentation. The low down on all things pigmentation

The Lowdown On All Things Pigmentation

A lovely sprinkle of freckles across the cheeks and nose can be “oh so cute”… but when anything larger and darker begins to show its grizzly face it’s time to get serious about a pigmentation treatment.

A couple of crucial facts before we begin our journey:

  • #1 Sun Protection – we all know what to do… So, do it!
  • #2 Commitment – yes commitment can be scary, but this will be worth it.
  • #3 Patience – it won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

What is hyper pigmentation?

Hyper-pigmentation is caused by an increase in melanin. Melanin is the natural pigment that gives our skin, hair and eyes their colour. A number of factors can trigger an increase in melanin production, but the main ones are sun exposure, hormonal influences, age and skin injuries or inflammation.

There are a number of different type of pigmentations:

Post inflammatory pigmentation

This type of pigmentation happens when the skin surface is damaged which results in darker reddish patches. The most common cause of post-inflammatory pigmentation is breakouts and acne. It will usually fade over time and can be helped along with appropriate skincare and treatments.


Age or sun spots

These are darker patches that will appear on the skin as we age. They can be a result of too much time in the sun, pollution or even lifestyle, i.e. smoking. Unfortunately, these can be tricky to avoid as are just part of the ageing process, however, it can be slowed down by always wearing hat and sunscreen when outside and leading a healthy lifestyle with a good diet. A good source of Vitamin C can assist in lightening this type of pigmentation.


Melasma (hormonal pigmentation)

Hormonal pigmentation triggered by oestrogen is the hardest to treat but can be managed. While it is difficult to make it ‘disappear’, melasma can be managed with a good skincare regime and even in salon treatments. The most important thing to remember is that if you are going to undertake a regime for pigmentation you must be vigilant with sun care! Otherwise, you will get nowhere.

What helps?

Depending on the type and severity of pigmentation there are ingredients that you can use at home that will help with lightening these darker patches. Finding an active serum that contains a blend of several different skin lightening ingredients is the best way to help to lighten skin and prevent your pigmentation from becoming darker.



Never underestimate the power of an enzyme exfoliant containing AHAs. Choose gentle AHAs that you would use a couple of times per week. An exfoliant is not only great for removing dead skin cells and skin smoothing but can also increase cell renewal. As we age, the time it takes for our fresh new cells to come to the skin’s surface starts to slow down. Adding in a resurfacing AHA treatment to your routine can help to speed up this process – not to mention will leave your skin glowing!

Powerful skin lightening ingredients

Vitamin C

Vitamin C has the incredible ability to help lighten existing pigmentation and hyperpigmentation (acne scars). Vitamin C can speak to the cells and prevent these patches from becoming darker and, unlike nasty harsh chemical lighteners or retinol, this natural powerhouse won’t leave your skin barrier compromised – no dryness, peeling or flaking as a result. It also gives the complexion a lovely bright appearance.


Kakadu Plum

Kakadu Plum is believed to contain the most Vitamin C of any food on earth! It contains so much more Vit C than oranges, making it an excellent ingredient to help the appearance of dark spots. It also contains other important vitamins such as Zinc and Vitamin E which work together with the Vit C in helping to lighten the skin.



Bearberry Leaf extract is a natural skin lightener that works by reducing melanin production.



Great for brightening and a powerful anti-oxidant. Liquorice is high in anti-inflammatories – making it great for post-inflammatory pigmentation.

Pomegranate Brightening Serum

esmi Pomegranate Brightening Serum 



There have been studies to show that Niacinamide or Vitamin B3 can help to lighten pigmentation by stopping the transfer of melanin at a cellular level.Hydrating Hyaluronic Serum

esmi Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum

(If using these products together, use the Pomegranate Brightening serum followed by the Hyaluronic Hydrating Serum)


As with everything prevention is better than trying to find a cure so it’s important to PROTECT your skin – as delightful as it is to lay in the sun, it will only produce more pigmentation and make existing pigmentation become darker. So, invest in a good quality physical sunscreen (watch this space) and a lovely wide brim hat! Commit yourself to a good skincare regime that will help to brighten and lighten, and have yo’ skin glowin’ gurl!