Best Methods For Skin Lightening

Nature of Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation, what is it?
Although hyperpigmentation affects women of all races, it’s more visible in people with a light skin complexion. This is because the darker skin pigment distinctly contrasts the natural fair complexion of the surrounding skin. Skin discoloration is usually black or dark in color. However, in some people, it’s brown or gray. This skin condition is typically characterized by pigmented irregular patches on different parts of the body, especially on the face.

Preventing Hyperpigmentation

Using sun protection is one of the best ways of preventing hyperpigmentation. It’s important to note that the sun rays are responsible for the formation of pigmented skin. Even on cloudy days, it’s still important to wear sun protection. So, if you are in menopause or post-menopause, make sure that you wear sun protection daily. If you already have a pigmented skin, you still need to wear this a protector to reduce the skin discoloration.

An SPF 30 product is effective for protecting the skin against UVA and UVB rays, which cause pigmentation. Additionally, it’s important to apply moisturizing creams to keep the skin moist. Note that some of these creams also enhance the production of collagen. So, you will end up gaining double benefits. When choosing sun protectors and moisturizing creams, avoid chemicals that may cause skin irritation.

Best Skin Lightening Methods

Skin lightening is a medical alternative that you can use to lighten your skin. Generally, the doctor will recommend a treatment method depending on your skin type. Some of the best and most common treatment options include:


Retin-A is the most common type of treatment for hyperpigmentation. It’s also safe for older women who are in menopause or even those who have passed this phase. Retin-A is a type of topical skin lightening cream which contains high amounts of Vitamin A. It helps to reduce the dark skin patches by safely exfoliating the skin. Additionally, it also speeds up the growth of new skin cells. This cream is generally used in combination with other skin lightening products.

Hydroquinone Creams:

These are bleaching agents which help to reduce the production of high amounts of melanin. It’s worth noting that during and post-menopause, the body of women naturally increases the production of melanin. So, these lightening creams help to slow down this effect by significantly reducing the over-production of melanin.

Chemical Peels:

This treatment option involves the use of salicylic acids and glycolic acids. It helps to treat skin discoloration by exfoliating the skin.

Intense Pulsed Light:

IPL is a type of laser treatment that involves the use of high-intensity pulses. The pulses are usually directed on the affected area of the skin. It effectively removes hyperpigmentation. The best thing about using Intense Pulsed Light is that it doesn’t leave scars. Additionally, there is no recovery period. It is one of the best skin lightening methods.

Laser Resurfacing:

This procedure involves the use of a laser to evaporate the top layers of the pigmented skin. Laser resurfacing leaves a clear skin that’s evenly toned. Note that this method of treating hyperpigmentation usually is used after treatment options such as chemical peels and hydroquinone creams.


This is a non-invasive form of skin treatment that involves exfoliation of the damaged skin. Microdermabrasion is a technique where tiny and rough grains are used to remove the top layer of the skin. This layer contains damaged and dead skin cells. However, this method of lightening the skin is not highly recommended for women in and post-menopause. This is because it is highly aggressive, and it disrupts the surface of the skin.

Home Remedies for Hyperpigmentation

It’s possible to lighten your dark spots with natural home remedies. These treatment options are suitable for long-term use and users need to exercise patience. Some of the natural treatments that can reduce skin discoloration include:

Green Tea

Green tea has high amounts of antioxidants. Besides that, it’s rich in anti-inflammatory. Applying green tea can help to reduce hyperpigmentation and increase the speed of skin lightening. Evidence suggests that it minimizes the side effects of sunburns and melasma.


Glabridin is a licorice extract that can lighten pigmented skin. It contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and bleaching properties. Note that the skin-whitening property of licorice has made it a popular ingredient in skincare products for hyperpigmentation.

Aloe Vera

Aloe Vera contains aloesin, a natural compound that can lighten pigmented skin. Note that aloesin works effectively to reduce the overproduction of melanin. You can use aloe vera by applying the gel directly on the skin.

17 Ways To Prevent Hyperpigmentation during Menopause

Melasma, or hyperpigmentation of the skin, is a common condition that affects women about nine times more often than it affects men. Hyperpigmentation during menopause can be caused by genetic predisposition, inflammation or damage and hormonal changes, and is most often attributed to ultraviolet exposure from sunlight.  First we’ll explain the what happens to the skin to cause hyperpigmenation during menopause, then we’ll give you 17 things you can start doing to combat it.

An accumulation of sun-damage in women’s skin becomes more visible around the same time as menopausal hormone-related melasma. Menopause affects women in several ways, but one of the most outward signs a woman has reached the end of her child-bearing years, is hyperpigmentation.

Hypermigmentation: There Are Ways To Prevent It

The upkeep of the cells that make melanin (protective skin pigment), is controlled by estrogen, which goes into a natural decline as a woman moves toward menopause causing these melanin-making cells, or melanocytes, to degenerate as women age. Menopausal skin with fewer melanocytes leads to less protective melanin, causing a woman’s skin to lighten and make it more prone to sun damage.

Because estrogen’s control of melanin production reduces as a woman goes into menopause, melanin synthesis increases, as it’s no longer regulated, and this can also result in hyperpigmentation, or, “age spots” as they’re commonly called. So if you’re menopausal, and you’ve noticed darkening patches of skin showing up across your forehead, your cheeks, the bridge of your nose, and especially your chin and jawline, you’re probably noticing the effects of both hormonal melasma, and photoaging.

Extra-facial melasma affects areas of skin on the arms, the neck, and the chest, and is much less common, however, it is the hyperpigmentation often associated with menopause.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), in their up-to-date comprehensive review of melasma, found that combination treatments including oral, topical, and procedural therapies that target different mechanisms of the condition, were the most effective at reducing hyperpigmentation. Not re-exposing your skin to UV-rays (re-triggering) after treatment, led to a longer-lasting result.


1. foundation or a moisturizing product that includes sunscreen, you’ll be protecting your skin from both the harm of UV-rays and the cumulative effect of sun damage. Re-applying sunscreen every two hours when outdoors is also important, even on cloudy days, and especially when swimming or sweating. But sunscreen by itself isn’t the best option.

2.Wearing protective clothing such as a wide-brimmed hat, or a long-sleeved shirt with a tight weave, in addition to sunscreen, will keep you fully protected. Some clothing even comes impregnated with UV-ray protection. Garments with UPF-rated clothing labels signify that the fabric has been tested in a laboratory. The level of sun protection listed on the label is based on the fabric’s construction, materials, weight, and even the color of the fabric, and it shows how much UV can penetrate it.

3. A healthy diet can also help combat hyperpigmentation in menopause. By consuming lots of Omega 3s you can help protect the skin from sun damage. A healthy diet full of vitamins will also help restore and refresh your skin.


After protection, the best treatment for menopausal skin with melasma is the use of medication in the form of topical creams or gels containing agents that either disrupt or inhibit melanin production.

Topical Medications

1. Hydroquinone

Skin correcting products can contain a percentage of hydroquinone at 2% for over the counter, and 4% for prescription. Hydroquinone works by disrupting the production of melanin and lightens the skin when applied.

2. Retinols and Tazorac

Another few ingredients in topical creams that help combat melasma and the effects of photoaging are Retinol (Vitamin A) and other retinoids like Retin A and tretinoin, and Tazorac (Tazarotene). These compounds lighten the skin and exfoliate combat the effects of photoaging.

3. Natural Compounds

In the last few years, naturally occurring compounds have been studied for their therapeutic usefulness against hyperpigmentation.

Niacinamide, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), kojic acid, azelaic acid, azelaic acid, beta-carotene, and Bearberry extract have all shown promise. When used in combination with another therapy that worked on a different mechanism, the result was even better.

There have also been a few other topical natural compounds tested in small studies to treat hyperpigmentation. Lignin peroxidase, arbutin, and soy have all shown favorable results.

4. Corticosteroids

Corticosteroids can be a helpful addition to a skin care regimen for hyperpigmentation because the work to both suppress the production of melanin and calm inflammation.

5. Alpha hydroxy and glycolic acids. Using these acids exfoliate the skin which allows skin lightening products to penetrate the skin more effectively.

Product Recommendations

Some skin care products that include a combination of these ingredients and work well are:

  • Meladerm by Civant Skin Care 
  • Tommy Timmy Intensive Skin Corrector
  • Peter Thomas Roth’s 10% Glycolic Solutions Moisturizer 
  • C-12 Pure Bright Serum from Dermalogica 

Oral Medications

One of the newer treatments for melasma is the off-label use of oral Tranexamic acid, which is an anti-plasmin agent. There is limited investigation as to the efficacy of this drug, but new possibilities are on the horizon.

Procedures Can Be Added

Micro needling


Chemical peels

Light therapies, including laser therapy

These are all good options for treatment of melasma in conjunction with topicals. These therapies, however, should only be performed by a trained professional or a dermatologist, so see a licensed esthetician or a dermatologist if you’re considering one of these processes.

It’s important to note that the combination of more than one of these therapies is the best way to prevent hyperpigmentation during menopause. Hormonal hyperpigmentation plus accumulated sun damage is difficult to correct once estrogen levels during menopause drop precipitously and the body can no longer control melanin production.

The best way to keep your skin looking even is with prevention through diet, and limiting sun exposure, but later in life when hormones affect the way our skin looks, there are several products available to help fade and reduce age spots. Procedures can even be added in as a third line of action to reduce the visibility of aging skin.