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.

skin discoloration

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.

skin discoloration

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.

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C E Ferulic®

$165.00

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

Sign up to receive a complimentary sample of our award-winning antioxidant, C E Ferulic Try It Now

skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Sensitive
protect
Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50

$34.00

A tinted sunscreen fluid with 100% mineral filters provides broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, while promoting natural radiance and a more even skin tone
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Combination
  • Sensitive
correct
Metacell Renewal B3

$110.00

A comprehensive daily emulsion formulated to improve the appearance of early signs of aging
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
  • Sensitive
prevent
Phloretin CF®

$165.00

A daytime vitamin c antioxidant face serum that delivers advanced environmental protection and diminishes the appearance fine lines and discoloration
skin types
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
correct
Retexturing Activator

$80.00

This oil-free serum simultaneously exfoliates skin and replenishes moisture for radiant, smooth, skin
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
  • Sensitive
correct
Retinol 0.5

$64.00

A concentrated pure retinol cream for face diminishes the appearance of multiple signs of aging simultaneously
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
correct
Retinol 1.0

$76.00

A high-concentration pure retinol cream for experienced retinol users to refine and improve multiple signs of aging simultaneously
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
cleanse
Gentle Cleanser

$34.00

Mild cream cleanser removes impurities and excess oil, while soothing and calming dry or sensitive skin
skin types
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  • Normal
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  • Combination
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AOX+ Eye Gel

$94.00

An eye serum-in-a-gel that provides advanced environmental protection while reducing the look of puffiness, visible signs of fatigue, and under eye circles
skin types
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  • Normal
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  • Sensitive
moisturize
Renew Overnight Dry

$61.00

A nighttime skin-refining face moisturizer enhanced with a hydroxy acid blend for gentle exfoliation and hydration
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
protect
Physical Fusion UV Defense SPF 50 125ML

$65.00

Limited edition super-size! A groundbreaking, weightless broad spectrum sunscreen featuring color-infused sunscreen technology that provides a universal tint and boosts daily radiance
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Combination
  • Sensitive
correct
Phyto +

$86.00

A hydrating botanical serum to help diminish the appearance of discoloration
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
correct
Phyto Corrective Gel

$66.00

A hydrating, soothing gel serum with botanical ingredients ideal to calm and hydrate skin while improving visual redness
skin types
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  • Normal
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Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50

$34.00

A weightless 100% physical sunscreen that provides broad spectrum protection with a transparent finish
skin types
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
  • Sensitive
cleanse
Micro-Exfoliating Scrub

$30.00

Smoothing exfoliating scrub with hydrated silica effectively cleanses pores and exfoliates to hydrate, soften, and improve skin texture
skin types
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  • Normal
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  • Combination
cleanse
Simply Clean

$34.00

Pore-refining gel cleanses, exfoliates, and soothes normal, combination, or oily skin
skin types
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
correct
Advanced Pigment Corrector

$90.00

A daily multi-action lightweight lotion that reduces the appearance of stubborn skin discoloration and improves skin tone
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
  • Sensitive

Ultimate UV Defense SPF 30

$40.00

Nourishing UVA/UVB cream
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
protect
Ultimate UV Defense SPF 30

$40.00

Nourishing UVA/UVB cream
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
prevent
C + AHA

$135.00

A two-in-one daytime antioxidant serum that provides environmental protection and exfoliation
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
moisturize
Renew Overnight Oily

$61.00

A nighttime skin-refining face moisturizer for oily skin formulated with a gentle hydroxy acid blend to hydrate and help decongest skin
skin types
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
protect
Physical Matte UV Defense SPF 50

$34.00

A broad spectrum 100% physical tinted sunscreen with an oil-absorbing base that leaves a long-lasting matte finish
skin types
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
tone
Conditioning Solution

$34.00

Exfoliating and conditioning toner with hydroxy acids to remove impurities
skin types
  • Normal
  • Oily

Neck, Chest & Hand Repair

$70.00

Body treatment brightens the appearance of skin with age spots.
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
  • Sensitive
correct
Neck, Chest & Hand Repair

$70.00

Body treatment brightens the appearance of skin with age spots.
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
  • Sensitive
protect
Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50

$30.00

A 100% mineral, tone-enhancing tinted sunscreen formulated for the delicate eye area.
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
  • Sensitive
prevent
Serum 20 AOX+

$120.00

A daytime antioxidant serum that provides environmental protection with the maximum concentration of pure vitamin C proven effective on skin, while improving the appearance of wrinkles
skin types
  • Normal
  • Oily
protect
Sport UV Defense SPF 50

$40.00

A broad spectrum sunscreen specially designed for active and extreme conditions including full marathons.
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
protect
Sheer Physical UV Defense SPF 50 125ml

$65.00

Limited edition super-size! A weightless 100% physical sunscreen that provides broad spectrum protection with a transparent finish
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Combination
  • Sensitive
protect
Physical UV Defense SPF 30

$34.00

A broad spectrum 100% physical sunscreen for post-procedure, sensitive skin, and very dry skin
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Oily
  • Combination
  • Sensitive
prevent
Phloretin CF Gel

$165.00

A daytime topical vitamin C gel provides advanced environmental protection and diminishes the appearance of skin discoloration and fine lines, for overall tone improvement and smoothness
skin types
  • Normal
  • Combination
  • Sensitive
tone
Equalizing Toner

$34.00

Fragrance-free and alcohol-free toner to gently remove excess residue
skin types
  • Dry
  • Normal
  • Combination
  • Sensitive