Does Exfoliating Help with Hyperpigmentation?

Exfoliation is an essential step in any skincare routine, no matter your skin type. While cleansing, moisturizing, and sunscreen are all equally important, exfoliation will ensure that your skin is the healthiest it can be.

When you exfoliate your skin, you are removing dead skin cells from the skin’s surface. Exfoliating scrubs are able to regenerate skin cells faster, allowing the skin to look smoother rather than rough or dry. By successfully completing this process, your pores will become unclogged, releasing fresh cells and opening a pathway for skincare products to penetrate deeper into the skin.

While exfoliation achieves all of these skincare solutions and more, did you also know that exfoliating the skin has been known to help with hyperpigmentation? If you feel you have tried everything and don’t know where to turn, keep reading below to find out how you can remove those blemishes once and for all.

girl applying serum for hyperpigmentation

What is Hyperpigmentation/Causes

Hyperpigmentation isn’t classified as a skin condition, but it can usually show up as a symptom from other medical conditions that need to be addressed. When your skin is showing excess pigmentation, it can appear in large patches, small areas, or even over the entire body.

A major cause of hyperpigmentation is from an over production of melanin in the skin, which is the pigment that provides the skin its color. Skin cells called melanocytes are in charge of producing this pigmentation. Various medical conditions, injuries, and even medications can cause too much melanin to be produced.

The most common types of hyperpigmentation are melasma, sunspots, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Melasma is often caused by hormonal changes in the body. This condition can also occur during pregnancy. These changes can show up over any area of the body, but are most commonly found on the face or stomach.

Sunspots are also referred to as “liver spots” or “solar lentigines.” They are quite common and given their distinction, are caused by excess sun exposure over time. They are most likely to show up on areas that are most often exposed to the sun, such as the hands or facial area. However, they can appear over any area of the body that gets excess exposure.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is most frequently a result of an injury or skin inflammation. People who are prone to have acne often experience this medical condition.

keep reading below to find out how you can remove those blemishes once and for all.

Exfoliation’s Role in Hyperpigmentation

By incorporating exfoliation into your skincare routine, it can lessen the symptoms of hyperpigmentation and often clear up your skin altogether. Exfoliation’s primary role in this process is to reduce excess melanin by breaking up pigmented cells and shedding dead skin cells faster.

Pigmentation often accrues as we get older and our skin isn’t able to shed dead cells as frequent as when we’re young. This is only part of what causes us to show aging signs such as dark spots and wrinkles.

Now that you’re aware of the benefits of exfoliation, how do you know if you’re doing it properly to see the best results?

How to Properly Exfoliate

In general, it takes roughly a month (30 days) for the natural cycle of skin renewal to occur. This includes the generation of new cells and these cells rising to the skin's surface before dying and sloughing off.

Home exfoliation remedies such as sugar scrubs or professional skin facials can help with hyperpigmentation. When using at-home scrubs, you should look for smooth scrubs that contain micro-exfoliating acids. When using these products, you shouldn’t scrub your skin, as that can further irritate the skin you are trying to soothe. Gentle exfoliation is always recommended.

It’s recommended that these scrubs be used 1-2 times per week if you are prone to dry and sensitive skin. Incorporating toner into your routine can help refine your pores even further, clearing away dirt and makeup that was not removed thoroughly.

Seeing how we can’t get enough of retinoids, they provide resolutions even when it comes to hyperpigmentation symptoms. Pigment is rooted deep in the skin, which is part of why the natural process can be slow. Retinoids help to speed up this process and get rid of dead skin cells, leaving your skin softer and smoother.


Conclusion : Does exofilating help with pigmentation

If you’re not sure about what the primary cause of your hyperpigmentation is, it is always wise to consult a dermatologist to get a definite answer. At home solutions such as exfoliating scrubs can temporarily resolve the situation or clear it up entirely. When using these products, you should always begin with treatments that contain the lowest concentration of active ingredients.


Be sure to test these remedies on a small portion of your skin before moving onto the rest of the body or where your dark patches are located. A few days should be long enough to see if there are any harsh reactions, such as skin inflammation.

In general, hyperpigmentation is nothing to be concerned about and isn’t usually harmful to your health. With proper sun protection, the dark spots may even fade away on their own without the need of a consultation or treatments. Each person’s situation is different and it may take some trial and error to find the best method that results in smoother and brighter skin.