Forget the Appointment… And Fade Your Dark Spots From Home

Written by Dahvi Shira

Small, dark spots – no more.  We know – and our founder, Molly really knows – how tough living with hyperpigmentation can be.  It can affect your self esteem, make you pack on the concealer or foundation throughout the day, and begin an endless search to find a solution.  That was her battle before starting YSE.  Post-pregnancy, she dealt with a handful of skin issues, but melasma and hyperpigmentation affected her the most.

And often, people are told these dark spots call for intensive, expensive laser treatments that, in her words, can make it look worse, before it gets better.  So, to forget all of this, she started YSE Beauty – for all of us to hide a little less and feel more beautiful in your own skin.  Because these pesky spots should not be the reason you’re not out and living.  However, we know how defeating it can feel – So,  what if you could learn how to get rid of hyperpigmentation without all the intense procedures?

Common Causes of Hyperpigmentation

One of the major causes of hyperpigmentation is from your skin overproducing melanin as a result of  UV ray exposure . Other factors, like hormonal changes during pregnancy, acne scars and even certain illnesses can also lead to these dark spots starting to show.

It’s normal for sun spots and freckles to form on our skin as we go through life, but if they’re becoming a concern, there are steps you can take to improve their appearance and prevent new spots from forming. 

To start, melanin is the natural pigment that gives skin, hair and eyes their color. When melanin clusters together it forms dark spots and discolored patches in the form of the below types of hyperpigmentation.

  • Sunspots: This is the most common type of hyperpigmentation, and is caused by a high amount of sun exposure, which causes the body to produce excess melanin as a means to protect us against the harmful UV rays.
  • Melasma: This is caused by hormones and is usually due to pregnancy, the birth control pill or hormone treatments. 
  • Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation: This is often caused by inflammation in the skin due to injury or skin conditions like acne or eczema.

Which Ingredients Fade Hyperpigmentation? 

If you’re battling these patchy spots, know there are ingredients within skincare products that can target hyperpigmentation. Remember, everyone’s skin is different with different sensitivities, so we always recommend doing spot tests with new products to see which best suits your skin type.


As we dive into what can reduce hyperpigmentation, let’s start with Niacinamide. Otherwise known as vitamin B3 or vitamin PP, this is a tried-and-true favorite in the clean beauty industry. It’s naturally derived from nicotinic acid, and found in brewer’s yeast and many cereals. Its properties and high tolerability on all skin types have made it a standout skincare ingredient. 

Areas of hyperpigmentation and uneven skin tone are caused by an excess amount of the skin pigment called melanin appearing under the surface of the skin. Niacinamide has a twofold effect on this by breaking down existing areas of excess melanin and helping prevent more areas from appearing.  Our Last Call Retinol Serum and Skin Glow SPF 30 Primer are two product formulations containing Niacinamide that will gently work to improve dark spots and photo-damaged skin.

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Glycolic Acid

Up next, glycolic acid.  While we do consider it the best acid for hyperpigmentation, it’s important to note that it is a stronger ingredient, so we recommend using with caution and implementing slowly into your routine.  Glycolic acid works to loose and lift dead skin cells from the face by removing the outer layer of dead skin cells to reveal more even, brighter skin.

There are a slew of over-the-counter and DTC products that get the job done, but if you want a product that works on sensitive skin (and has won awards!) turn to our Favorite Ex™ Exfoliating Pads.  This leave-on exfoliant combines glycolic acid, PHAs and Ectoin to retexturize, brighten and refresh the skin for optimum skin renewal. These are made to exfoliate only the epidermis  – the outer layer of the skin – which means they’re suitable for sensitive skin.

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Vitamin C

Vitamin C in skincare – everyone’s current favorite buzz-worthy word in the beauty industry.  This efficacious ingredient works to brighten and lighten the skin to reduce the appearance of dark spots for an overall more luminous complexion.  

Sometimes called ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is an antioxidant that combats free radicals.  These are harmful molecules, like UV rays, which can damage skin and can cause hyperpigmentation. Vitamin C neutralizes these to prevent further damage to the skin, while also working to reduce melanin production in the skin, which stops more dark spots from appearing, and lightens the appearance of existing discolouration.  Want a triple threat?  Check out our Morning Cocktail Vitamin C Serum, which contains 3 forms of stabilized vitamin C in a gentle formulation that dare we might say, turns back time.

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Licorice Root Extract

However, maybe you’ve tried all of the above more common “solutions” and the hyperpigmentation is not being relieved.  Well, that’s why our founder, Molly Sims, designed the Problem Solver Brightening Treatment – her holy grail and personal “baby” of our collection, because of its gentle, yet strong efficacy.

The Problem Solver is developed with licorice root extract, which naturally contains glabridin, which reduces the production of melanin in the body. Without as much melanin, it's harder for the skin to create new dark pigmentation and therefore prevents further discoloration.  Licorice Root Extract also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that protect the skin from damage, repair its barrier and brightens the overall complexion.

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Pomegranate Seed Oil 

Whether you’re seeing signs of hyperpigmentation, uneven skin, rough patches or overall discoloration, pomegranate oil could also be the answer.  Studies show pomegranate oil can encourage the production of keratinocytes, which stimulates cell renewal in the skin, finding it very beneficial in resolving melasma skin issues.  

Additionally, the naturally high reserves of vitamin C, punicic acid, and phytosterols found in pomegranate seed oil help stimulate collagen production and cell regeneration to reveal softer, smoother skin.

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Hyperpigmentation and discoloration on the skin can be quite challenging and feel defeating, but it’s not incurable – especially with a little help from YSE.  Molly developed this brightening skincare line to target pigmentation issues and uneven skin tone, so you can target these dark spots and embrace your beautiful, bare-faced skin.