The best way to look at your age spots, acne scars, freckles, and skin discoloration is by seeing them as temporary. They’re not imperfections and flaws when you can get rid of them. Am I right? In that case, it’s time to get to know all about the best face washes & cleansers for hyperpigmentation.
Now I won’t deny that face washes and cleansers are not as potent as serums when it comes to treating pigmentation. Nevertheless, they’re an important part of your daily skincare routine. I mean along with oil, impurities, and makeup, you’ll also be washing off your dark spots. And that does make a huge difference both short-term and in the long run.
So here’s a list and reviews of the most gentle yet effective exfoliating cleansers that allow your skin to regenerate. Plus, they have excellent anti-acne and antibacterial benefits too.
Table of Contents
- Best Face Washes & Cleansers for Hyperpigmentation: Top 19 Picks
- InstaNatural Glycolic Acid Facial Cleanser
- Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser
- La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Cleanser
- Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser
- Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Face Wash Exfoliating Cleanser
- Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser
- Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
- Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Daily Facial Cream Cleanser
- Touch 10% Glycolic Acid Face Wash
- SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
- Claridad 12% Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Face Wash
- Olay Regenerist Regenerating Cream Face Cleanser
- Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Eventone Dark Spot Correcting Cleanser
- Dermalogica Age Smart Skin Resurfacing Cleanser
- Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Scrub
- Koji White Pure Kojic Acid Skin Lightening Soap
- Dudu Osun Black Soap
- Shouvy Pure Glutathione Whitening Skin Lightening Soap
- Botanic Hearth Acne Scar Wash
- The Possible Causes of Hyperpigmentation
- Which Deficiency Causes Skin Hyperpigmentation?
- Which Acid Works Best for Treating Hyperpigmentation?
- How to Use a Facial Cleanser for Hyperpigmentation
- The Best Treatment for Skin Hyperpigmentation
Best Face Washes & Cleansers for Hyperpigmentation: Top 19 Picks
InstaNatural Glycolic Acid Facial Cleanser
The first choice on the list is the perfect solution. And I know this because the cleanser is armed with glycolic acid to treat your hyperpigmentation. The deep-cleansing, exfoliating action provided by glycolic acid breaks down the build-up of dullness. It also brightens and softens your skin.
Paired with glycolic acid are arginine and calming extracts. The former supports collagen production and the latter is all-natural. So there’s no negating the fact that this cleanser minimizes the visibility of your discoloration, pores, and even spots and lines associated with aging.
And you don’t even have to belong to any particular skin type category here. As for the remaining ingredients, the list is quite impressive. There’s Vitamin E, willow bark, chamomile, sugarcane, apple, and lemon. So does the exfoliator address the most stubborn skin issues? Yes, it definitely does. The perfect solution, indeed, for a healthy, youthful appearance.
Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser
Effective, gentle, and simple skincare is the ultimate philosophy of the brand here. Mario Badescu is responsible for providing powerful anti-aging and anti-acne treatments in the form of products that suit every skin type. So this glycolic foaming cleanser is no different.
The deep, lathering face wash consists of exfoliating powers unleashed by none other than glycolic acid. So you can expect it to break down unwanted build-up from the surface of your skin. The exfoliation reduces discoloration and leaves the skin feeling smooth and radiant. It’s the true nemesis of congested, dull skin. No doubt!
Apart from glycolic acid that deep-cleans, resurfaces, and exfoliates, there’s chamomile, sage, marshmallow, yarrow, and St. John’s wort. Chamomile and wort calm the skin. Marshmallow and sage smoothen and condition the skin. As for yarrow, it makes the skin looks youthful and healthy.
Needless to say, you’re bound to appreciate every bit of the soothing herbal extracts packed in this formula for hyperpigmentation.
La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Cleanser
Don’t expect every face wash that treats hyperpigmentation to be both gentle and effective. But the truth of the matter is that it should be. So refuse to settle for anything less. In that regard, this Pigmentclar Cleanser by La Roche-Posay is a true gem. It’s got deep cleansing elements that are very gentle on the skin.
The formula, even though soft foaming, purifies your skin from all debris and dirt. As for its effectiveness against dark spots, there’s lipo-hydroxy acid in here for that, the non-bead kind. What this does is encourages dark cells to shed and clears away dullness.
The product currently under the spotlight is highly recommended by many dermatologists too. They claim it’s safe to use even if your skin type is sensitive. And this is no false claim.
If you use the cleanser on a daily basis, your skin is bound to look more radiant and your skin tone more balanced. Enhanced skin clarity and instant deep cleansing are the two positive takeaways.
Neutrogena Pore Refining Exfoliating Cleanser
For reducing the size of your stubborn pores, nothing works better than this exfoliating cleanser by Neutrogena. The pore refining solution is so effective it shrinks the size by half in only a week.
It’s a dermatologist-tested facial cleanser with beta and alpha formulas. The exfoliating action of the beta-hydroxy acid microbeads improves skin tone, removes dead cells, and smoothens uneven, rough patches. As for the alpha-hydroxy ingredient, it penetrates deeper for eliminating dirt and oil that often tend to enlarge and clog your pores.
What’s also worth noting here is that the cleanser is soap-free and non-comedogenic. When skincare products are non-comedogenic, you can rest assured knowing that they don’t clog pores and aggravate them. So your skin is in safe hands but hyperpigmentation has to go.
Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Face Wash Exfoliating Cleanser
It’s time to include the best organic anti pigmentation face wash into your daily skincare routine. The exfoliating cleanser by Botanic Tree is not any regular face wash that only cleans surface dirt. This glycolic acid-equipped formula contains potent ingredients that go deeper for cleansing your skin thoroughly.
The use of 100 percent organic extracts is the star of the show. These include shea butter, bamboo, willow bark, peppermint, tea tree, lavender, and seaweed. Apart from glycolic acid of course!
These organic, natural ingredients penetrate deeper into the pores for getting rid of grime while also smoothing and nourishing your skin. It also reduces sun spots, dark spots, age spots, discoloration, acne scars, and premature aging. And your skin type can be sensitive or oily and still benefit from this exfoliating cleanser.
If a dull complexion is what you have and wish to brighten, Botanic Tree is the perfect solution for that.
Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser
A cleansing and refreshing face wash works best for getting rid of hyperpigmentation. The fact that this exfoliating cleanser contains glycolic acid says a lot about its effectiveness against clogged pores and acne.
The ingredients and their functions are worth discussing. There are natural jojoba wax beads for exfoliating your skin gently. They remove all dead skin cells along with oil and dirt. Then there’s kojic acid as well. It’s what deals with pigmentation by evening out and brightening your skin tone.
The combination of natural oils is another very powerful characteristic. These oils include tea tree, rosehip, and olive oil. Together, they moisturize and nourish your skin. The result of which is a younger-looking and radiant surface.
Needless to say, the list of such robust ingredients is enough to prove that the face wash reduces dark spots and age spots along with skin discoloration. It’s surprising how just a single facial cleanser can do so much!
Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
The current pick comes from a brand that believes every aspect in life is connected to the cells of your body. This includes how your skin feels and looks and how you take care of it. The brand is dedicated to designing skincare products that activate youth with the help of cellular level hydration. And that’s the beauty of the Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser.
It’s an anti-aging formula that delivers intensive exfoliation. The face wash eliminates impurities and dullness with the help of 3 very powerful agents. These are glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and lactic acid. Combined with jojoba beads, they make your complexion look smoother and younger.
The 3 acids also promote cell turnover. As for the jojoba beads, they smoothen and polish the surface of your skin.
To sum it up, it’s a very effective yet gentle AHA/BHA facial cleanser that improves the texture while also penetrating deep to treat pigmentation and acne.
Neutrogena Naturals Purifying Daily Facial Cream Cleanser
Pores need to be detoxified if you want your skin to look clean and healthy. This is why Neutrogena came up with the Purifying Daily Facial Cleanser. The face wash produces rich, creamy lather for gently removing impurities. It does an excellent job of improving your complexion as well.
The formula penetrates deep for thorough detoxification and dirt/oil removal. And while doing so, it doesn’t even clog your pores. So what’s in it? Only natural-derived ingredients like salicylic acid. I say natural because it comes from willow bark. And salicylic acid is known for its exceptional detoxifying properties.
Expect no chemical sulfates, phthalates, parabens, and other such harsh agents. To top it off, the facial cleanser is also non-comedogenic and hypoallergenic. In short, the formula doesn’t clog pores. It clears your complexion in the healthiest, safest, and most natural manner.
Touch 10% Glycolic Acid Face Wash
Let me begin this review by asking a question. What is the most common problem associated with exfoliating facial cleansers? That they’re ineffective or they dry out the skin. So if that’s your concern here, expect no such unfavorable results from the Touch Glycolic Acid Face Wash.
The formula, unquestionably, is non-drying. It’s got 10 percent glycolic acid to deliver the gentle yet effective exfoliating kick. This is the best face wash for dark spots, wrinkles, pores, dullness, blackheads, hyperpigmentation, acne, and uneven skin texture/tone.
There’s a blend of chamomile, green tea, and aloe vera for soothing and protecting your skin. The green tea, in particular, is the most beneficial as it provides powerful antioxidants to prevent skin damage.
But it’s the potent alpha-hydroxy acid content in here that steals all the limelight. And that’s because these free acids are directly responsible for reducing blemishes and cleansing hyperpigmentation. All this without drying out your skin, no matter what type it is.
SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser
Straightforward question; what’s so special about the SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser? The fact that it contains both beta-hydroxy acid and alpha-hydroxy acid. The combination is what provides thorough skin exfoliation and a youthful appearance.
Both the BHA and AHA acids are naturally derived. And when paired with jojoba spheres, they help exfoliate your skin and minimize the visibility of wrinkles. Along the way, your skin texture also improves.
What about hyperpigmentation? How does the cleanser take care of that? The exfoliating face wash scrubs away all your dead skin cells and dark spots. So an improvement in the texture of your skin is inevitable.
What you’re looking at is a brightening product perfect for fading even severe discoloration. While also removing dirt, environmental pollutants, and makeup. So it goes without saying that this may be one of the most effective pigmentation removal face washes.
Claridad 12% Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Face Wash
Here’s presenting the best medicated face wash for pigmentation. When only medical-grade components are used, you can expect faster and more effective results. And that is, in fact, true. The exfoliating face wash’s strength is four times greater than any over-the-counter skincare product.
The foaming cleanser is equipped with glycolic acid. It’s an anti-aging facial wash that targets your acne and wrinkles. Exfoliation helps in eliminating dullness. And no other ingredient does this better than glycolic acid. It even banishes blackheads.
There’s yucca extract in here that balances out uneven skin tone. It’s an antioxidant, after all, so the natural ingredient fades acne scars, age spots, sun spots, and blemishes. As for the source of glycolic acid, that too is natural. It comes from the plant of sugarcane.
So wrinkle elimination, spot reduction, and pore cleansing are the kind of results you should expect from this cruelty-free Claridad face wash.
Olay Regenerist Regenerating Cream Face Cleanser
Don’t you think every skincare list is incomplete with an Olay product? In that case, here’s the Regenerist Cream Face Cleanser by Olay. There’s no denying that it exfoliates and smoothens the texture of your skin. It travels deep into your skin layers to improve skin tone with the help of natural regeneration.
Amino-peptides are added to the formula for anti-aging action. The exfoliants in here deliver instant detox. And they make your skin feel refreshed without drying it out. Speaking of which, the cleanser is suitable for all types of skin. Including excessively oily and dry!
The Regenerist has the ability to immediately improve the texture of your skin. So you don’t have to wait for weeks for your hyperpigmentation to fade away. Its capacity to accelerate natural changes in the skin tone is the most exceptional quality. After all, Olay is a brand that works toward transforming your skin and making it look and feel younger.
Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Eventone Dark Spot Correcting Cleanser
As advertised, this Dark Spot Correcting Cleanser is gentle and produces a luxuriously rich lather. When it comes to adopting a skin tone correction method of treatment, you’re in safe hand with Palmer’s.
The face wash targets your most vulnerable dark spots. Even your skin type doesn’t matter here, which is great news because it means you can use the cleanser even if you have sensitive or acne-prone skin.
On daily use, you’ll notice your skin tone getting brighter and looking more balanced in terms of complexion. At the same time, the formula doesn’t leave the skin feeling dry. It makes your skin feel moisturized and fresh after every wash.
The chances are you might stop wearing makeup because of this Dark Spot Correcting Cleanser. Meaning all the pigmentation, dark spots, and blemishes you try so hard to conceal won’t be present on your face in the first place. So no more concealing and hiding them away. It’s time to eliminate them entirely!
Dermalogica Age Smart Skin Resurfacing Cleanser
I’m not exaggerating when I say that this Skin Resurfacing Cleanser by Dermalogica is packed with dual-action. The exfoliating face wash re-texturizes your aging skin. So your skin can look and feel ultra-clean and smooth. And by dual-action, I mean it’s an exfoliator and cleanser.
The one ingredient in here that makes the most impact is lactic acid. It’s what re-texturizes the damage and spots of aging. Lactic acid also removes dullness and speeds up the process of cell turnover.
On top of that, rose flower oil brings in all the antioxidants for refreshing your senses. You’re free to use the cleanser on a daily basis for drastically improving skin texture.
Not many exfoliators plus cleansers have the ability to brighten, hydrate, and also accelerate skin cell turnover. So if getting rid of hyperpigmentation, discoloration, or dullness is a priority, you can rely on this Dermalogica cleanser. Its benefits are far-reaching, no doubt.
Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Scrub
Here’s a new type of face cleanser for hyperpigmentation. But just like the others, it’s got glycolic acid. So how is it new? The face wash is a 3-in-1 exfoliator. The 3 ingredients here are glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and grapefruit.
As you already know, glycolic acid gets rid of dead skin cells while also polishing your skin. Salicylic acid is known to penetrate deep into the layers of your skin to unclog those pores. So it reduces blemishes, spots, and even combats long-standing blackheads.
As for the grapefruit ingredient, this fruity element is added for awakening and energizing your skin. Plus, it smells delicious.
All the 3 components work toward helping your skin glow. But more importantly, they fade scars and fine lines while preventing the formation of future blackheads and acne.
It’s labeled as a scrub but the thing feels more like a creamy wash. Just a single application is enough to believe that it has the ability to smoothen and soften your skin.
Koji White Pure Kojic Acid Skin Lightening Soap
Now here’s a first. A face cleanser in the form of soap? Is that effective? The answer, quite surprisingly, is YES. The Koji White Skin Lightening Soap is created for more even, brighter skin. It helps you deal with hyperpigmentation, uneven skin texture, and sunspots.
What’s quite obvious here is that the soap contains kojic acid. But what’s not so obvious is that hyaluronic acid and coconut oil are also included. Together, all these ingredients lighten your skin tone and provide hydration.
The soap even works toward reducing scars left by acne and damaged skin. It’s suitable not just for women but men too. And to make matters even better, the manufacturer has not added any parabens or SLS. Even animal testing is not done.
As someone dealing with hyperpigmentation, you should be relieved to know that the soap cleanser is armed with kojic acid. Not only that, it’s got hyaluronic acid and coconut oil. Both get into the skin deep enough to hydrate and nourish skin cells for a youthful, fresh glow.
Dudu Osun Black Soap
If you want your black spots to fade quickly, why not consider using the Dudu Osun Black Soap? The soap has the ability to tackle pimples even. And it just takes 2-3 days for the results to start kicking in.
Sometimes getting rid of hyperpigmentation and acne scars seems like an impossible task. It may be a difficult one to achieve but it’s certainly not impossible. Not as long as you have such black soaps at your disposal. Once you start using it, hyperpigmentation and acne scars begin to clear up. Also, your skin starts to feel less oily.
As for the size of the soap bar, it’s pretty big to last for a very long time. The results take form quickly. You’ll notice visible improvements within the chemistry of your skin. That’s the beauty of this black soap.
Shouvy Pure Glutathione Whitening Skin Lightening Soap
The next soap comes from a brand that manufactures skin care products that naturally and effectively whiten skin tone. And that’s because all of them are equipped with kojic acid and glutathione. These two ingredients help in reducing the production of melanin. So your skin looks brighter and clearer, meaning less hyperpigmentation.
This whitening soap also contains Vitamin C and Vitamin B. It moisturizes the skin and makes your surface look more radiant. Even wounds heal faster and aging becomes slower. There’s Vitamin B3 in here as well. So it goes without saying that daily use leads to younger and firmer-looking skin.
It’s a gentle, cruelty-free formula for those who prefer all-natural skincare products. It exfoliates your dead skin cells to get rid of dark spots quickly. So your skin can shine brighter and damaged cells can renew better.
Botanic Hearth Acne Scar Wash
Botanical ingredients have a way with the skin. You simply cannot deny that! Products like this Acne Scar Wash for Hyperpigmentation by Botanic Hearth are the cream of the crop. This sulfate-free, organic formula contains organic geranium. What this particular ingredient does is eliminate hyperpigmentation and scars.
What’s also commendable is the inclusion of plant oils. They go a long way when it comes to maintaining the integrity of your skin. And this happens without destroying the natural protective barriers.
And the list goes on. Oregano, tea tree, and lavender do the job of eliminating bacteria responsible for causing acne. Then there’s antioxidant-rich Vitamin C and collagen-producing burdock and Gotu kola.
Repairing skin damage is also what this cleanser for hyperpigmentation does. That’s because its ingredients travel deep into your skin for thorough cleansing. At the same time, the face wash is gentle enough for daily use. It’s gentle yet powerful enough for garnering results.
The Possible Causes of Hyperpigmentation
The most common cause of the skin condition under the radar here is too much melanin production. But what is melanin? It’s a pigment responsible for providing color to your skin. Skin cells known as melanocytes produce melanin. There are many factors and conditions in the body that affect melanin production.
Apart from that, hormonal changes during pregnancy can also bring about a change in your melanin levels. Then there are certain medications that cause hyperpigmentation. Along the same lines, even chemotherapy produces the same side effect.
I would also like to point out that Addison’s disease has the ability to give rise to hyperpigmentation too. Even though this endocrine condition is rare, it can produce pigmentation in the hands, neck, and face. Basically, the areas exposed to the sun. Including areas of friction like knees and elbows.
In the end, it all boils down to an increase in the hormone level directly responsible for elevating melanin synthesis. This is how hyperpigmentation takes form. Even excessive or unprotected sun exposure raises your levels of melanin.
Which Deficiency Causes Skin Hyperpigmentation?
When it comes to DNA synthesis, Vitamin B12 surely plays a major role. The deficiency of Vitamin B12 causes neurologic, cardiovascular, hematologic, psychiatric, and gastrointestinal problems. But you and I are not concerned with such manifestations now, are we? The primary concern here is the deficiency giving rise to skin hyperpigmentation.
The treatment usually involves intramuscular Vitamin B12 injections every other day or every day for 1-2 weeks. After that, monthly injections go on for around 3 months. And after that, one injection every 3 months for as long as it takes.
But if you’re deficiency is the result of the lack of proper nutrition, then oral tablets should suffice after the course of the initial injections.
However, it’s best to speak to your doctor about this if you think your hyperpigmentation is the outcome of Vitamin B12 deficiency in your body. It’s always advisable to have a word with a medical professional to know the actual cause and correct treatment method.
Which Acid Works Best for Treating Hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is the dark patch that forms on your skin after blemishes heal. Needless to say, these dark spots aren’t harmful. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do anything to get rid of them.
In terms of treatment, there are many over-the-counter creams that speed up the fading process. And they do so only because of the inclusion of any one of the following skincare acids:
It’s an alpha hydroxy acid made using almonds. Mandelic acid is often used with ingredients responsible for treating an uneven tone and texture of the skin as well as wrinkles. It works best as a part of the anti-acne treatment too.
The one thing azelaic acid is popular for is its anti-inflammatory properties. So it’s very effective against hyperpigmentation and active acne. This particular ingredient also works very well for any raised brown marks or spots you might have.
However, azelaic acid comes with a drawback, which is only applicable if you have a dark skin tone. It tends to increase your chances of developing hypopigmentation.
Kojic acid is derived from fungus. It’s a natural-quality bleaching agent often a part of treating age spots. So it’s only logical to assume that the stuff helps in getting rid of brown-colored hyperpigmentation left by acne.
More often than not, skin lightening creams are equipped with kojic acid. They keep your melanin production in check to even out the complexion. And some of them even help in preventing future breakouts.
How to Use a Facial Cleanser for Hyperpigmentation
It goes without saying that the best face cleanser for hyperpigmentation should be a gentle formula. This means you need to stay away from potentially irritating or harsh ingredients. Make sure your face wash doesn’t contain any “extra” skin whitening or brightening agents.
There are many cleansers out there with such “extra” features. They do sound tempting but end up irritating the skin or causing severe sensitivities. So it’s important to keep your skin clean and balanced with only active ingredients responsible for clearing the spots.
As for how to use a facial cleanser properly, here’s the answer to that:
- Even when using foundation or concealer specifically created for hyperpigmentation, it’s necessary to remove your makeup with the help of a good oil-based facial cleanser. But what if your skin type is acne-prone? Then go for non-comedogenic oil-based facial cleansers.
- After removing the makeup, wash the remaining dirt and impurities with one of the best face washes & cleansers for hyperpigmentation I’ve reviewed in the article.
I have shortlisted only the top picks that are suitable for and gentle on all skin types. So you don’t need to worry about your oily, acne-prone, dry, or combination skin.
The Best Treatment for Skin Hyperpigmentation
In this section, I’m going to name all the ingredients that have proven to be incredibly useful in treating skin pigmentation. So the terms don’t sound alien to you at the time of choosing the best face wash for hyperpigmentation. You can expect the cleansers to contain some of these since they are very effective.
Topical treatment methods include components like azelaic acid, tretinoin, trichloroacetic acid, corticosteroids, GA, and hydroquinone. Skin whitening creams are almost always a part of treating post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. Such products manage skin melanin production, no doubt about that.
There are many soy-based skincare products as well with serine protease. These are inhibitors that deliver therapeutic effects on hyperpigmentation. Along the same lines, Vitamin C is also another very popular natural ingredient known to treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Apart from all this, broad-spectrum sunscreen also plays an important role. And when none of these work, dermatologists recommend combining this kind of therapy with laser treatment as well as cutaneous bleaching using hydroquinone and tretinoin. Such an approach works quite effectively for dealing with skin hyperpigmentation in a select few stubborn cases.
There’s no harm in starting the treatment by using the right face cleanser for hyperpigmentation. When you use an effective, gentle exfoliating cleanser on a daily basis, you can expect an improvement in the color of your skin.
And when there are powerful ingredients like Vitamin C, glutathione, kojic acid, etc. to brighten your skin tone, then why not make the most of them!
The moral of the story here is that hyperpigmentation takes a while to heal. So you have to be patient and keep at it. Every little step also matters and produces long-term results.