Two Ways To Fight Hyperpigmentation

by Gio

Just because you’re called The Sunscreen Company, it doesn’t mean that you only have to stick to making sunscreen. You can also make products that fight all the nasty side effects of sun exposure, like dark spots, for example.

Talking about dark spots, how annoying are they? It seems like, whatever you do, they won’t budge. And, if they do decide to leave, they always do it way too slowly for your own liking.

Your best bet? Attack them on multiple fronts. If one treatment doesn’t do the trick, bombard them with two. This is the approach Cyberderm recommends, too.  They make two weapons against dark spots. Here’s all you need to know about them:

Exfoliant Reveal 8% Glycolic Acid Treatment

The fastest way to get brighter skin? Exfoliation, baby.

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you know I’m having a fling with glycolic acid at the moment. It wooed me because:

All exfoliating acids can get rid of dead cells like that, but GA is one of the very few that go the extra mile. Its moisture-magnet and collagen-boosting properties make it a must for dry or sun-damaged skin.

The catch? Too much exfoliation irritates skin and GA isn’t the gentle acid out there, anyway. Moderation is the key word here. Once your skin has gotten used to its new friend, you can try using it daily. Until then, meet up only a couple of times a week. At night. This stuff makes skin more susceptible to UV rays and the damage they cause.

But, is Cyberderm Exfoliant Reveal 8% Glycolic Acid Treatment the right GA for you? Let’s find out!

The treatment has a super lightweight, clear consistency that dries quickly onto your skin. I apply it before going to bed and, when I wake up in the morning, my skin is all smoothed out. My fine lines look smaller. My skin feels softer all over. My complexion has taken on a radiant glow.

I don’t have any pesky dark spots at the moment, but if you do, this’ll help fade them faster, too. Needless to say, the more you use it, the better the results. But, don’t overdo it. That’ll just turn you into an irritated lobster!

Emblica Light And Bright

The other way to brighten your skin? Stopping the production of melanin in its tracks.

Here’s the deal: melanin is the pigment that gives colour to your skin. It’s also the skin’s first defence against aggressors. That’s why your skin tans when you’re in the sun too long. It’s the alarm sign to get the heck out of there fast!

When your skin is overreactive or has become too much damaged, your skin darkens. It may be melasma. It may be sun spots. It may be something else. But it all starts with too much melanin. So, how do you keep the pesky thing under control?

Hydroquinone’s the traditional gold standard. But it can be too harsh for some people, so new treatments are popping up all the time. Emblica Light and Bright uses a new peptide called B-White.

By the way, you won’t find it on the ingredient list. What you’ll see there is Oligopeptide-68 and Hydrogenated Lecithin. In layterms, this peptide is encapsulated in lecithin so that it can penetrate through the skin’s barrier.

Once inside, it inhibits MITF (microphtalmia-associated transcriptional factor), the main culprit in the production of melanin and the following hyperpigmentation. If you want to get a bit more sciencey, this stuff inhibits the activity of the enzyme tyrosinase as well as melanin synthesis and decreases the proteins involved in the pigmentation process.

The catch? I can’t find independent studies confirming it works yet. And, as I’ve mentioned, I don’t have dark spots yet, so I can’t vouch for it personally, either. What I can tell you is that it’s a very interesting and new approach to fighting dark spots. 

Of course, when it comes to fighting dark spots, there isn’t a magic bullet. Using this treatment with a glycolic acid exfoliant, for example, will give you better results.

What else? It has a yellowish, lightweight consistency that sinks quickly into the skin, leaving no sticky residue behind. Brightening peptides aside, it also has Indian gooseberry extract (emblica officinalis fruit). This one has been proven to have powerful anti-inflammatory properties that soothe inflammation.

If your sensitive skin can’t usually tolerate brightening treatments, this one may well be the exception to the rule.

To recap: love the glycolic acid exfoliant (but you already knew that). I’m on the fence re the brightening treatment. Given the high price tag, I’d like to see more research done on it, but I think sensitive skin will like it (but, don’t take just my word for it. Do a patch test first. You know how unpredicatble your skin is.)

Price & Availability: Exfoliant Reveal, $34.00 and Emblica Light and Bright, $70.00 at The Sunscreen Company


Exfoliant Reveal 8% Glycolic Acid Treatment Ingredients: Aqua, Glycolic Acid, PVP, Arginine, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycerin.

Emblica Light & Bright: Aqua, Propanediol, Cetearyl Olivate, Sorbitan Olivate, Hydrogenated Coconut Oil, Emblica Officinalis Fruit, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Sodium Oleate, Oligopeptide-68, Tetrahydrodiferulooylmethane, Sodium Hydroxymethylglycinate, Glycerin, Sclerotium Gum, Xanthan Gum, Caprylhydroxamic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Butylene Glycol, Disodium EDTA

PR Samples. Affiliate links.



Jennifer May 19, 2017 - 3:57 am

I, like a lot of my friends, grew up when just about the only sunscreen was a T-shirt. now my face has the dark spots to prove it.
Could you please tell me the best produts, AM and PM to get my dry skin “healthy”.
I have spent hours reading your pages. Thanks for all the wonderful info.

Gio May 21, 2017 - 9:56 am

Jennifer, I’d start with a vitamin C serum that also has vitamin E and ferulic acid in the morning. This combo can boost collagen production and the effectiveness of your sunscreen. Skinceuticals CE ferulic is the original product with CEF, but you can also go with Timeless vitamin C serum, Paula’s Choice C15 Booster, Drunk Elephant C serum… There are many dupes around.

A couple of nights a week, use a retinol serum. Start with a small concentration and work your way up, both in terms of concentration and frequency.

After a month or so, introduce glycolic acid. Alternate it at night with retinol (for example, one night retinol, next night glycolic, next night give your skin a break). Again, start with a small dose a couple of nights a week and work your way up slowly.

Like all powerful weapons, glycolic acid and retinol are double-edged: they do wonders for your skin but they can also irritate it. That’s why you have to start small and increase gradually.

If this doesn’t fade dark spots fast enough, it’s time to look for more powerful skin-lighteners, like hydroquinone or kojic acid.

Hope this helps.

Selene Li June 21, 2017 - 7:38 pm

Hi Gio,

Can you please write a post comparing the most commonly used ingredients, e.g. kojic acid, HQ, niacinamide, Tranexamic Acid, VC, etc. in skincare product for treatment of hyperpigmentation? I’m suffering from dark spots, acne scarring, freckle, and rosacea, and my skincare line consist of VC, niacinamide, retinol, and some other prescribed ointment for rosacea. But I always seek for more powerful ingredients to treat my face. I would love to learn more, and since you are the expert. Please feed me more. Thank you!! 🙂

Gio June 24, 2017 - 8:28 am

Selena, hi! Sure thing, I will but it may take a while cos there is so much to cover. I like your skincare routine. How are these products helping you so far? If you aren’t happy and want to switch to something more powerful, I recommend either azelaic acid or hydroquinone used in 4 months cycles (HQ for 4 months, kojic acid or something else for 4 months, back to HQ for 4 months etc). Hope this helps. 🙂


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