Skin
Discoloration

Advanced Skincare for Skin Discoloration

Skin discoloration is the result of excess melanin -- natural pigment that gives color to skin -- often caused by chronic UV exposure, pollution, hormonal fluctuations, past acne blemishes, and natural aging. SkinCeuticals skin discoloration products improve the appearance of discoloration by exfoliating dead skin cells to reveal brighter, more radiant skin and protecting the skin from environmental damage caused by free radicals and UV exposure.

What is Skin Discoloration?

Skin discoloration, sometimes referred to as hyperpigmentation or dark spots, appears in the form of dark patches. It is a common skin concern and can be isolated or diffused. Uneven skin tone is mainly caused by years of accumulated sun exposure and can appear on exposed areas, including face, neck, chest, hands, and arms. The discoloration of skin can result in a prematurely aged appearance.

What causes skin discoloration?

Skin Discoloration Explained

Skin contains melanin, a naturally-occurring pigment that gives skin color. Its purpose is protective, which is why skin becomes darker when exposed to the sun without sunscreen. Melanin can also be produced in excess as a protective response to insults or attacks on the top layer of skin.


While sun exposure is the primary cause of skin discoloration, a variety of factors can contribute such as genetics, hormonal fluctuations, acne, localized skin irritation, and other environmental aggressors such as pollution-induced free radicals. Regardless of the cause, skin discoloration can be present as dark patches, isolated spots, or an overall darker facial appearance. It is often difficult to treat and prevention is key for managing skin discoloration in topical skincare. This requires diligent use of sunscreen and an effective topical vitamin C antioxidant.

Ingredients to Look for in Skin Discoloration Products

There are many ingredients that claim or have been shown to reduce the appearance of skin discoloration and brighten the skin’s complexion. Well-studied ingredients include pure vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid) and phloretin, potent antioxidants both featured in Phloretin CF and Phloretin CF Gel. Retinol is another key ingredient shown to be effective in skin discoloration treatments and is often recommended by dermatologists. Kojic acid and arbutin are two well-documented ingredients that work synergistically together to improve the appearance of unwanted discoloration. SkinCeuticals Phyto+ features both kojic acid and arbutin in a hyaluronic acid base enhanced with calming botanicals. SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 features niacinamide, another important ingredient in addressing discoloration. Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, helps reduce the appearance of discoloration and blotchiness.


Hydroquinone is also a common ingredient used primarily by physicians, but is available at lower percentages without a prescription. Many physicians recommend alternatives to hydroquinone due to its side effects. Sunscreen filters are also essential for discoloration concerns because they protect skin from UV damage.

How can I update my skincare regimen to help target skin discoloration?

The most comprehensive solution for improving the appearance of skin discoloration is prevention and correction. Incorporate an effective topical vitamin C antioxidant such as Phloretin CF or Phloretin CF Gel every morning to prevent against UV- and pollution-induced free radicals. A broad spectrum sunscreen is also a necessity to shield skin from the UV rays that can prompt pigment-producing cells to create new (and unwanted) melanin. Lastly, combining with targeted corrective solutions formulated to reduce the appearance of existing discoloration and brighten skin will optimize results. SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector is a daily multi-action lightweight lotion that helps reduce the appearance of stubborn skin discoloration and improves overall skin tone. Reducing the appearance of discoloration takes time, be patient and diligent with a regimen.

Are there any in-office skin discoloration treatments to help improve discolored skin?

Physicians and skincare professionals are invaluable partners in treating discoloration. They offer a variety of treatments that can quickly and effectively reduce the appearance of skin discoloration. Options include lasers, intense pulsed light (IPL), and chemical peels. They will recommend the best course of treatment according to skin tone, discoloration severity, and tolerated downtime. Lasers and IPL treatments use light to target and remove melanin clusters in skin. Chemical peels use a variety of acids to exfoliate and reduce the appearance of discoloration. SkinCeuticals Advanced Corrective Peel is a medically exclusive chemical peel for comprehensive skin texture refinement and improvement of the visible signs of discoloration. Your SkinCeuticals skincare professional will also recommend at-home skincare products to complement your treatment.

What is post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation?

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) is a type of dark spot that can occur after an acne blemish injury to the skin. It can also be caused by heat associated with sun radiation, waxing, laser treatments, or other in-office procedures. PIH is more common in darker skin tones.

29 products
Filter Back to list
Sort Back to list

Sort By:

Bestsellers Newest Lowest Price Highest Price Top Rated Alphabetically (A-Z) Alphabetically (Z-A)
prevent

C E Ferulic®

A daytime vitamin C serum that delivers advanced environmental protection and improves the appearance of lines and wrinkles, loss of firmness, and brightens skin's complexion

$165.00

protect

Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50

A tinted sunscreen fluid with 100% mineral filters provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, while promoting natural radiance and a more even skin tone

$34.00

prevent

Phloretin CF®

A daytime vitamin c antioxidant face serum that delivers advanced environmental protection and diminishes the appearance of fine lines and discoloration

$165.00

protect

Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 125ML

Limited edition super-size! A groundbreaking, weightless broad spectrum sunscreen featuring color-infused sunscreen technology that provides a universal tint and boosts daily radiance

$65.00

correct

Retinol 0.5

Highly concentrated refining night cream to diminish the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and skin discoloration

$64.00

protect

Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50

A weightless 100% mineral sunscreen fluid that provides broad spectrum protection with a transparent finish

$34.00

correct

Retinol 1.0

A refining retinol cream for pre-conditioned skin that improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, and skin discoloration

$76.00

correct

Retexturing Activator

This oil-free serum is formulated to simultaneously exfoliate skin and replenish moisture for a smooth, radiant complexion

$80.00

cleanse

Simply Clean

Pore-refining gel cleanses, exfoliates, and soothes normal, combination, or oily skin

$34.00

correct

Phyto +

A hydrating, soothing gel with botanical ingredients to help diminish discoloration

$86.00

cleanse

Micro-Exfoliating Scrub

Gel scrub with microbeads to smooth and polish skin

$30.00

protect

Ultimate UV Defense SPF 30

Nourishing UVA/UVB cream

$40.00

correct

Advanced Pigment Corrector

A daily multi-action lightweight lotion that reduces the appearance of stubborn skin discoloration and improves skin tone

$90.00

prevent

AOX+ Eye Gel

An eye serum in a lightweight gel that provides advanced environmental protection around the eyes while reducing the look of puffiness, visible signs of fatigue, and under eye circles

$94.00

correct

Metacell Renewal B3

A comprehensive daily emulsion formulated to improve the appearance of early signs of aging

$110.00

moisturize

Renew Overnight Dry

Nighttime skin-refining moisturizer with fruit acid blend to hydrate and smooth skin

$61.00

protect

PHYSICAL MATTE UV DEFENSE SPF 50

UVA/UVB protection oil-absorbing base with a matte finish

$34.00

correct

Phyto Corrective Gel

A hydrating, soothing gel with botanical ingredients ideal for sensitive or problem skin types to calm and hydrate skin

$66.00

protect

Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50

All mineral UVA/UVB eye base to enhance skin tone

$30.00

moisturize

Renew Overnight Oily

Nighttime skin-refining moisturizer with fruit acid blend to hydrate and decongest skin

$61.00

tone

Conditioning Solution

Exfoliating and conditioning toner with hydroxy acids to remove impurities

$34.00

prevent

Phloretin CF Gel

A daytime topical vitamin C serum provides advanced environmental protection and diminishes the appearance of skin discoloration and fine lines, for overall tone improvement and smoothness

$165.00

correct

Neck, Chest & Hand Repair

Body treatment brightens the appearance of skin with age spots.

$70.00

protect

Sport UV Defense SPF 50

Broad spectrum, UVA/UVB lotion for active use

$40.00

prevent

Serum 20 AOX+

A daytime antioxidant facial serum that provides environmental protection with the maximum concentration of pure vitamin C proven effective on skin, while improving the appearance of fine lines

$120.00

prevent

C + AHA

A two-in-one daytime antioxidant serum that provides daily environmental protection and exfoliation for skin

$135.00

protect

Physical UV Defense SPF 30

Provides broad spectrum protection for sensitive, very dry, and post-procedure skin

$34.00

protect

Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50 125ml

A weightless 100% physical sunscreen that provides broad spectrum protection with a transparent finish

$65.00

tone

Equalizing Toner

Fragrance-free and alcohol-free toner to gently remove excess residue

$34.00

Learn more about SkinCeuticals
The key to optimal skin maintenance and improvement is dermatologist skincare.
Doctors have access to powerful, medically based products that are formulated with pharmaceutical-grade ingredients and more likely to undergo extensive clinical testing that proves the products deliver on their claims. SkinCeuticals was among the first brands to offer dermatologist skincare, and today our clinically proven products are available through a variety of skincare professionals, including dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and aestheticians.

At SkinCeuticals, our skincare philosophy is based on three basic pillars: Prevention, Protection, and Correction. Years of research and testing have shown it is essential to prevent the cellular changes that lead to signs of aging as well as skin cancer. SkinCeuticals Prevent antioxidants are specially designed and clinically proven to provide the most advanced protection from environmental aging. For the ultimate prevention, antioxidants should be paired with sun protection, and our innovative Protect sunscreens have put SkinCeuticals at the forefront of the dermatologist skincare category for years. Our Correct products are formulated with cutting-edge technologies and advanced ingredients to address changes that have already occurred, and prevent further progression of symptoms. Together, Prevent, Protect, and Correct work synergistically to optimize the health and appearance of skin.