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Posted by Vivant Skin Care

What Your Clients with Hyperpigmentation Need to Know

Hyperpigmentation can range from freckles to blotchy dark patches that cover the face.

Chances are that hyperpigmentation, known clinically as melasma when it occurs on the face, is a condition your skin care practice deals with often. Darkened areas or spots on the skin can be quite distressing to deal with, but there are effective treatments for this condition that can bring even skin tone and smooth skin. These results will keep your clients coming back to you.

How Does Hyperpigmentation Occur?

When one area of the skin produces too much melanin, the pigment responsible for skin's color, hyperpigmentation occurs. This condition can occur on any part of the body, but it is most noticeable on the face. Hyperpigmentation affects women more than men and is most common for darker skin types, although it can affect people of all skin types and skin color.

Though it is often caused by environmental factors like sun or acne damage, certain medications, or hormonal changes that affect your skin (sometimes during pregnancy), hyperpigmentation can also occur for no known reason. No matter what causes the problem, it can be treated successfully.

Effective Treatments for Hyperpigmentation

Common skin treatments for hyperpigmentation include chemical peels, hydroquinone, and bleaching treatments. Some of these treatments may work, but they can also cause discoloration of the skin, particularly for darker skin tones. Retinols and glycolic acid have also been reported to cause skin discoloration by some users.

Mandelic acid is an AHA that has proven to gradually fade skin spots caused by hyperpigmentation. It is gentle enough to even skin tone without causing the problems hydroquinone or bleach can, especially for darker skin. Mandelic acid is gentler than other AHAs, such as glycolic acid. With regular use, improvements in hyperpigmentation can be seen in 6 to 8 weeks, with continued improvement over several months. Let your clients know they need to be patient when treating hyperpigmentation as it takes time to see improvement.


It is important to protect hyperpigmented skin from sun exposure both during and after treatment.
It is important to protect hyperpigmented skin from sun exposure both during and after treatment.

Although hyperpigmentation can't always be completely reversed, great improvement can occur, allowing patients to have a much more natural look (as opposed to wearing heavy makeup at all times).

It is important to advise clients to avoid exposure to sunlight both during and after treatment of hyperpigmentation. Mandelic acid and other treatments make skin more sensitive to sun exposure, and hyperpigmentation can come back even after successful treatment because one of its main causes is sun exposure. Wearing proper clothing, hats, and sunscreen, as well as limiting time in the sun can keep the sun from ruining newly lightened or evened skin.

Vivant Skin Care has mandelic acid treatments ranging from a 3% cleanser to a 15% serum. Starting with a weaker solution may help minimize the skin irritation that some with sensitive skin might experience. Skin will build up tolerance to mandelic acid so that stronger solutions can be used if needed.

Vivant Skin Care has a number of aestheticians on staff who you can call to consult. These skin care experts are familiar with common skin conditions like hyperpigmentation and can help you customize a skin care regimen that will work for your clients. 


Call: 1.800.9.VIVANT (1.800.984.8268)
Fax: 305.470.1187
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