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Skin pigmentation

Everything you need to know about skin pigmentation

What is skin pigmentation?

Skin pigmentation, or dark spots, can be frustrating. Especially skin pigmentation on face. Read on to find out what skin pigmentation spots are, and how to get rid of pigmentation. We’ll also dive into some of the most common causes of pigmentation on face, and what creams, cosmetics, and solutions NIVEA has to help.
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What is pigmentation?

What are skin pigmentation spots?

Melanin is the pigment responsible for giving your skin its colour. Skin pigmentation happens when your skin produces more melanin than normal. The excess pigment gives the affected area a darker look than the skin around it leading to uneven pigmentation – otherwise known as hyperpigmentation. 

Uneven skin tone or colour – known as pigmentation or hyperpigmentation – is a common skin condition in which dark spots (often called sun or age spots) or larger dark patches appear on the skin. It can often appear in areas that are exposed regularly to the sun, resulting in skin pigmentation on face, hands, and arms. It can appear in smaller patches, cover larger areas, or even the entire body. Hyperpigmentation can affect men and women of all ages and all skin colours.

What causes different types of skin pigmentation?

What is pigmentation and why does it matter? Well, the way in which skin pigmentation spots appear on your body will have a lot to do with what causes it, your skin type and colour and other factors, including genetics. Later on, we’ll delve into how to get rid of pigmentation. Until then, Here are some examples of different types of skin pigmentation spots:
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Melanocytes are cells in our body that produce melanin. When your skin starts to mature, after the age of 30, the number of melanocytes in both sun-exposed and unexposed skin decreases by 8% to 20% each decade. But the cells that do remain increase in size and ‘hold’ more melatonin. This can cause sun or age spots.
Cellular Luminous630 Anti Dark-spot Day Moisturiser Spf50


Sun exposure is the primary cause of skin pigmentation spots, as UV rays trigger the production of melanin that causes uneven pigmentation. Melanin, the brown pigment that determines the colour of your skin, is the body’s defence against damaging UV rays. The body releases more melanin to protect the skin when overexposed to UV rays. This rise in melanin levels is what causes a tan. So sun spots – also called age or liver spots – are caused by overexposure to the sun. Freckles are also a very common form of sun pigmentation. In some cases, the sun can also cause melanin (the skin pigment) to break down unevenly, i.e. darker patches where its accumulation is greater.  In this case, discoloration may occur not only on the face, but also on the neckline or arms.

Exposure to UV rays also accelerates aging due to the way in which it interrupts complex cellular structures, causing the skin to lose its firmness and elasticity.

The skin of the face is thinner and more delicate than the skin of the body – so the cells are more easily damaged. When they are damaged by exposure to the sun, they’ll often release more melanin.  This leads to the formation of discoloration on the face after sunbathing. They are small and circular in shape. Remember, your face is exposed to the sun every day – not only in summer and not only on the beach. Even if you are not sunbathing, try to use a face cream with SPF – like Cellular Luminous630 anti dark-spot day moisturiser SPF50 – to protect yourself against the harmful effects of UV radiation and the formation of discoloration. 

Also, don’t forget the skin on the rest of your body which may react in a similar way. In the sun, always make sure you’re using a sun lotion suited to your skin type.
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During pregnancy, changes in hormones can create instances of skin pigmentation on face. Melasma – also known as chloasma – is a larger area of skin pigmentation that develops mostly on the face, especially around the mouth and forehead. It can also appear on the stomach. Hormonal changes trigger melasma and it is particularly common in pregnant women affecting as many as half of all pregnant women. In a significant proportion of cases, post-pregnancy facial discoloration disappears spontaneously when the hormonal balance is restored. To prevent skin pigmentation spots during pregnancy, you can use creams with UV filters, which should be applied whenever you leave the house. We also recommend our NIVEA Cellular Luminous 630 ® range, which is safe during after pregnancy.
This kind of pigmentation can also occur during menopause and can affect women using hormonal contraception and hormone replacement therapy. Another cause of discoloration on the skin of the face may be a malfunction of the ovaries, adrenal glands, or thyroid glands. However, in this case, discoloration does not normally occur in small spots but is indicated by a change in the overall skin tone.
woman with cream on her face


Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) refers to dark or red marks or spots left behind after the skin has been damaged or irritated. This can happen in the aftermath of an inflammatory skin condition, such as dermatitis or psoriasis, as well as after acne or a burn – really, anything that has caused trauma to the skin. PIH is also common in eczema sufferers. Avoid scratching or picking at acne, scabs or spots, as this can lead to inflammation and areas of skin pigmentation. If this is something you think you may have, it’s a good idea to seek professional medical advice. 
Nivea Acne Control Face Cream


Skin pigmentation on face can often appear after bouts of acne – especially if a blemish was squeezed or irritated. If you've used particularly strong measures to fight blemishes, they might have affected the biology of your skin, breaking melanin down unevenly, and creating lighter spots in places. 
Unfortunately, acne discoloration can difficult to remove as the scars can be quite deep. Skin pigmentation creams, microdermabrasion ointments, trichloroacetic acid and laser therapy can improve the appearance of acne scars over time. You can find more about acne and scarring here. 
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Medications – including certain antibiotics – can lead to skin pigmentation. This happens due to a reaction with melanin in your skin, resulting areas of skin pigmentation. Again, we recommend seeking medical advice if you think this applies to your particular situation. 

Pigmentation On Face, And Nivea Products To Help You Fight It



The innovative LUMINOUS630® ingredient balances the production of melanin in the skin. And with regular use of the range, you can both lighten and reduce the surface of discoloration. 
•        NIVEA Cellular Luminous 630 ® Anti Dark-Spot Even Tone Night Cream,
•        NIVEA Cellular Luminous 630® Anti Dark Spot Day Moisturiser SPF 50
•        Cellular Luminous 630® Anti Dark-Spot Face Treatment Serum
•        Cellular Luminous 630® Anti Dark-Circles Eye treatment cream

The entire series is designed even for sensitive skin, for all complexions and for all skin types.

The specially designed serum is a great skin pigmentation treatment and has even been proven to  reduce discoloration by as much as half in just two months.



The skin on your face and neck is extremely delicate. Plus, it’s usually the most exposed part of your body. That’s why most skin pigmentation on face and neck can actually be attributed to UV rays.
girls at the beach


As they say, prevention is better than cure. That’s why it’s so important to properly protect your skin against solar radiation. So it’s vital that you apply products designed to block harmful rays. 

While finding the right sunscreen for your skin type is important, your application technique can affect your results too. Click here for our top tips on how to apply sunscreen.

Sunscreen should be applied 30 minutes before you plan to head outside – and you need to repeat the application process every 2 hours for the best results.

While not all forms of skin pigmentation can be prevented, limiting your exposure to and protecting yourself against damaging UV rays is the most effective way of reducing your chances of developing skin pigmentation. 

Try using sunscreen daily – not just on the beach or by the pool – as it is essential in helping to prevent pigmentation and hyperpigmentation. Choose a ‘broad spectrum’ sunscreen, which means it will protect against UVA and UVB rays. Get into the habit of wearing sunscreen regularly to protect yourself from skin pigmentation.  
What helps fight against pigment spots?

Home remedies to remove pigment spots on the face

Ready to find out how to get rid of pigmentation? Looking for a good skin pigmentation treatment? We have some wonderful home remedies that you can try.
girl with a home made beauty mask on


Are you struggling with the problem of facial discoloration? Try homemade masks! They are very easy to prepare and – most importantly – effective. 

Some natural ingredients, like turmeric, help to reduce skin discoloration, treat acne, and  can even have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties (which helps to reduce post-inflammatory discoloration). To make a mask like this, you’ll need turmeric, lemon juice, honey, yogurt and olive oil. Mix the ingredients together, apply to your  face for 20 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly with warm water.

A mask created from honey and egg yolks can be an equally effective skin pigmentation treatment. The honey exfoliates the epidermis, brightening the skin and stimulating its regeneration processes. And the egg yolks are an excellent source of nutrients – even when applied topically to skin. To prepare this mask, combine the honey and egg yolks, apply to your skin, and rinse thoroughly after 15 minutes. 
lemon and sugar


These are homemade remedies too. When you ask how to get rid of pigmentation, lemons should be on your list. So much so, that we thought the great lemon deserves its own little section!

Mix lemon juice and a spoonful of mashed papaya. Apply to a clean and dry face and leave for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly, and for best results, use this concoction 3 times per week.

Another way to treat skin discoloration is a baking soda and lemon face mask. To enhance the whitening effect, you can add a little hydrogen peroxide (but be careful). Mix the ingredients together until combined and apply to your face.  Leave for about 10 minutes and rinse thoroughly with cool water afterwards. 

A word to the wise: after using baking soda, the skin may become a little red. If this happens, make sure to apply a protective cream, and a sun cream before going outside. Make sure you don’t use  baking soda skin treatments more than once per week.

Another way to use lemon juice as a skin pigmentation treatment is to simply rub the juice of this fruit into the skin of your face. After about 10 minutes, wash with warm water. You can also add lemon juice other face mask you use or prepare a toner with lemon juice. A simple recipe: mix lemon juice with boiled water in a 1: 1 ratio.
Nivea Facial Fresh Hydro Gel


This is an easy one. We’ve all seen people using cucumber slices on their eyes – and they do it for good reason! It’ll help fade skin pigmentation. Just slice a cucumber and apply it to previously cleansed face skin for about 15 minutes. To enhance the effect of the cucumber, sprinkle a little lemon juice over it. This vegetable also has a moisturising and refreshing effect. What's more, it can even soothes irritations and reduces redness.
girl with pink face mask on


Yoghurt is great at helping with skin discolouration. Simply put a little on your skin. After 20 minutes, rinse with warm wate. Interestingly, yogurt has exfoliating properties, and what's more, moisturises the skin, tightens pores and disinfects wounds.
You can also try a honey and almond paste to lighten skin pigmentation. Mix honey and ground almonds in a 2:1 ratio, apply for ten minutes, and rinse thoroughly for a radiant complexion. Delightful. 

Professional treatments for facial discoloration

If you’re searching for how to get rid of pigmentation, there are also professional skin pigmentation treaments at cosmetic salons. Some of the most popular are microdermabrasion and targeted facial peels. But for those of us who aren’t aestheticians, what do these treatments really do?

two girls with beauty masks on their faces

Microdermabrasion is a skin pigmentation treatment procedure involving the removal of a mechanical layer of the epidermis. For this purpose, special diamond or corundum crystals are used. 

Various types of medical chemical peels and treatments based on the use of vitamin C and fruit acids are also very popular.

The most effective skin pigmentation treatment tends to be laser therapy. It’s extremely versatile and can be used for all types of skin pigmentation. For this treatment to be effective, you’ll need several sessions. In the vast majority of cases, discoloration is no longer visible after 3-5 visits to a beauty salon.



You should always discuss treatments with a licensed professional in order to find the best one suited to your skin and pigmentation concerns. 

Try makeup for a quick fix

While not a skin pigmentation treatment, a well-matched concealer is a good way to quickly mask skin pigmentation on face. We often recommend concealers in shades at the other end of the colour scale to conceal pigmentation properly. A product in a green shade will effectively hide red acne scars appearing as a result of acne lesions.


It can also be used by women struggling with reddening of the skin.


If your pigmentation spots are a darker brown in colour, look for a violet concealer. If you have purple bruise-like discoloration, use a yellow concealer.
A full coverage foundation on top of these will help you conceal any skin pigmentation you’re trying to cover.

Nivea Cellular Luminous Anti Spot