I'm New to Investing in Skincare—These 21 Products Helped My Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is one of my skincare concerns. I realize it's never going to disappear due to my hormonal breakouts, but I've learned over time that all hope isn't lost. In between my occasional facial treatments, I can care for my skin at home with products that perform. I love products off drugstore shelves, but recently, I've been leaning into investment skincare options that have stellar reviews—many with clinical studies and science to back them up.

I know that some beauty products can seem unworthy of investment, but like all of our organs, we should care for our body's largest organ from the inside out. Now, you're going to see quite a few products from the same skincare category on this list, but I want to note that I don't use them all at the same time. There's a method to my skincare madness, and each of these products has become a must-have in my beauty closet.

Keep reading to learn more about the products that have helped even my skin tone while preventing breakouts.


(Image credit: @bianca__lambert)

I often rotate balm cleansers in and out of my skincare routine, but this one is here to stay. The balmy formula melts away makeup and dirt without clogging my pores or throwing off the balance of my skin.

Cleansers are a pain point for me because they dry out my skin, causing more breakouts, which means—you guessed it—more hyperpigmentation. This non-foaming cleanser formulated with a blend of antioxidants, organic botanicals, and mild resurfacing ingredients leaves my skin feeling refreshed without the tightness that cleansers can leave behind.

All of my cleansers have one thing in common: They're all about soothing the skin. But what makes this cleansing milk unique is the way it addresses hyperpigmentation while cleansing with a combination of natural extracts—lemon, Scutellaria, and white mulberry—that help to even skin tone over time.

When my skin needs a little extra something to wipe away dead skin cells, I like to use this once a week at night before applying serums. My skin is smoother after one rinse.

There was a time when I was over-treating my skin to the point that I could guarantee a self-induced breakout from over-exfoliating. Now, I use this two-minute treatment once a week (on Self-Care Sunday), and my skin continues to respond well to it. It helps smooth the texture of my skin.

Clay masks can dry out the skin, but this one doesn't. I love that I can see the clay sucking up the oil on my T-zone, but when I rinse it away, my skin still feels hydrated. I can also use it as an overnight treatment to help get rid of hormonal pimples that pop up.

I don't typically buy into the hype around products that everyone says are a must-buy. But this science-backed formula lives up to every single exceptional review. After four weeks of use (along with consistent sunscreen use), I could see my spots, as I like to call them, slowly fading.

Serums make all the difference in my skin routine. They give my skin the hydration it needs without clogging my pores the way some moisturizers do. I love using this one both morning and night just before applying my actives.

Acaderma is a brand I started using in 2018, and the spot corrector became an instant favorite because I could see it working within four weeks of use. With a formula powered by science, this serum soaks right into the skin and does not irritate.

Finding a traditional moisturizer for my combination, breakout-prone skin is a difficult task, but this green smoothie creme is made with my skin in mind. The lightweight formula is infused with 16 greens, superfoods, botanical extracts, and clinical actives. It's perfect to use on the days after a chemical exfoliation treatment. 

I started using this serum in 2019 and haven't been without it since. Because my skin can be sensitive and somewhat problematic, a serum that can brighten—thanks to the saffron in the formula—without overstimulating my skin is a game changer.

I know we're used to treating hyperpigmentation with aggressive formulas, but I stepped off that ride years ago and started paying attention to the clinical data behind products, which is why this collaboration became a part of my skincare routine. Even when my hyperpigmentation is visible, my skin still looks healthy and glowy for hours after I apply this serum—and it has the clinical data to back it up.

This is another treatment that lives up to all of its hype and works well in tandem with my other spot-treating formulas.

You can't have a skincare routine without retinol. But if you have skin sensitivities, finding the right product can be tricky. I have used this one for almost a year, and I love applying the moisturizing formula to my skin every other night. I'm happy to report minimal skin irritation, and I've seen a significant difference in my hyperpigmentation and the overall texture of my skin over the last 10 months.

Now and then, there's a product that makes you say, "Wow." Well, this night balm did just that. Every night that I use this, I wake up to hydrated, non-irritated skin, which was pretty unexpected given the actives—retinol, lactic acid, and glycolic acid—packed into one little round packet.

I love the idea of tools, but using them isn't always at the top of my to-do list. However, I've enjoyed the practice and the results of using this microneedling tool. My serums soak right into my skin after each session.

Keeping my skin calm is one of the most important things I can do for the overall health of my skin and my hyperpigmentation. My skin always responds well to aloe and Allantoin, and this glorious sheet mask has both.

This facial sunscreen has niacinamide, and I can't be without it. It protects my skin and allows it to soak up a nourishing ingredient that evens my skin tone, which is a win-win in my book.

Hyperpigmentation doesn't only affect my face. I can get breakouts on my neck and décolleté, too. These pads are a little too strong for my face, but my neck, décolleté, and shoulders love them.

And on days after a treatment or a mask, when I can see and feel that my skin needs a little something more, tapping three pumps of this onto my skin before applying my actives plumps my skin right up. Also, if you're sensitive to fragrance, this product is gentle.

A girl who's treating her skin with actives can never have too many sheet masks, especially when they deliver.

Next up: This Buzzy Ingredient Will Be Your New Lifeline for Treating Hyperpigmentation

Freelance Contributor