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Pigmentation 101

Pigmentation 101

Pigmentation is one of those words that’s bandied about, and it can be quite confusing - the different types, what causes it, and if you can (or want to!) treat it. Here we break down some key examples of hyper and hypo-pigmentation. 


Hyperpigmentation happens when the skin produces excess melanin, the pigmentation responsible for its colour. This can lead to patches or areas of skin that appear as darker than the natural skin tone. It is an extremely common skin concern and it’s likely that we will all experience some form of hyperpigmentation in our lifetime.

Examples of hyper-pigmentation

Sun Spots

  • Also known as solar lentigines, liver spots and age spots.
  • Flat brown spots that generally occur on older skins and are due to years of sun exposure.
  • How we may treat it - Real Life Retouching (including AFT laser), Glow and Go (including targeted skin resurfacers) or Ultra Synergy (including microneedling)


  • Also known as chloasma.
  • Larger patches of brown pigmentation, which can occur due to a number of reasons. For example: an imbalance or change in hormones (like around pregnancy and menopause), certain medications, and sun exposure.
  • How we may treat it - Ultra Synergy, Forever You (including ClearLift laser) or Glow and Go.

Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH)


  • Small brown spots on the skin, where more melanin has been produced following sun exposure. Some are more genetically disposed to it than others, especially those with lighter skin.
  • How we may treat it (although there is definitely no need to!) - Real Life Retouching, Glow and Go or Ultra Synergy.

Dark circles

  • Also known as periorbital melanosis / hyperpigmentation.
  • Dark circles around the eye area which can vary in colour, from brown to blue/purple. Usually genetic, but can show more as you age, for example when the skin around the eye becomes thinner.
  • A difficult one to treat, but it can be helped by keeping the area hydrated, using SPF and products to strengthen the skin’s barrier. Lifestyle adjustments can also help, like staying hydrated, and avoiding screen time, alcohol intake, and smoking. Our Skin MOT is perfect for us to assess your skin and discuss your options.


Hypopigmentation are patches or areas of skin that are lighter than your natural skin tone. Hypopigmentation occurs when your skin does not produce enough melanin, the pigment in your skin. Hypopigmentation can be caused by skin injury or can be down to certain conditions such as vitiligo and albinism.

An example of hypo-pigmentation


  • Technically a lack of pigment (melanin) in the skin. It’s a long-term condition where pale white patches develop on the skin.
  • How we may treat it - Our Ultra Synergy microneedling treatment uses the SkinPen, which is FDA approved for inducing the activation and migration of melanocytes (cells that produce and contain melanin) into vitiligo patches.

Products for pigmentation

Antioxidants and UV protection

Antioxidants in your skincare, when paired with sunscreen, help to supercharge your protection against the effects of UV, including hyper-pigmentation. 

How you may ask? Well antioxidants protect the skin from the free-radicals that the sun causes. So, when paired with sunscreen, you'll be getting even better protection, and they can help to repair the skin too!

Here are some of our favourites:

Power serums

These serums are packed with active ingredients (think exfoliators, niacinamide and peptides) which are especially formulated to target the signs of hyper-pigmentation and while helping to even your skin tone.

Here are our favourite picks:

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