JH Skincare Clinic

IPL Laser, Electrolysis, Medik8® Peel, lightfusion™, Dermatosis Papulosa Nigra, Skin Tags, and Red Veins in London

137 Kirkdale, Sydenham, London SE26 4QJ

T: 020 8699 1998
E: info@jhskincareclinic.co.uk

The health and well-being of our employees and clients is a priority, we look forward to giving you a fabulous treatment within a COVID-19 safe environment. For further information, and our important Covid Clinic Checklist, please see our COVID-19 Information page.

Hyperpigmentation for European skin types

Hyperpigmentation is caused by a darkening of an area of skin due to the overproduction of a pigment in the skin known as melanin. It is relatively common and usually harmless. Pigmentation affects people of all skin colour including: Black, Asian, Olive and European skins.

What are the causes of hyperpigmentation?

There are various causes of hyperpigmentation, including:

  • Sun exposure – is the number one cause of hyperpigmentation, as it is sunlight that triggers the production of melanin in the first place. Melanin acts as your skin’s natural sunscreen by protecting you from harmful UVA (ageing) and UVB (burning) rays, allowing the skin to develop a tan in the sun. But excessive sun exposure can disrupt this process, leading to hyperpigmentation. Skin colour is key, the darker your skin, the higher the melanin content, which means you’re more likely to develop hyperpigmentation. Fortunately, we are now all informed about the harmful effects of sun damage, skin cancer and the high mortality rate of melanoma. Very few people now lie or sit out in the sun, however even a walk to the shops or driving in the car, you will still be exposed as 50-60% of UVA passes through glass and is constant all year round, affecting the elastin in the skin. This leads to sun induced skin ageing, for example deep wrinkles, thickening leathery appearance and brown pigmentation. There is no such thing as “Safe Sun!”
  • Heredity – pigmentation is heritable, being regulated by genetic, environmental, and endocrine factors that modulate the amount, type, and distribution of melanin in the skin.
  • Acne Excoria – an incessant desire to pick or squeeze spots, which creates trauma on the surface of the skin, therefore creating hyperpigmentation (especially on Black, Asian and Olive skin types).
  • Hormonal – influences are the main cause of a particular kind of hyperpigmentation known as Melasma. It’s particularly common amongst women from the ages of 20 to 50, as it’s thought to occur when female hormones, oestrogen and progesterone, stimulate the overproduction of melanin when skin is exposed to the sun. This can result in symmetrical, blotchy, brownish facial pigmentation especially found on the cheeks, chin and forehead, which can lead to considerable embarrassment and distress. Cholasma is primarily due to high amounts of female hormones circulating in the blood when a woman is pregnant, and is also known as “Pregnancy Mask” – it is especially visible on darker skins.
  • Menopause – melanocytes are cells produced by oestrogen, which manufacture the pigment melanin. As menopause advances, the number of melanocytes in the skin decline. Due to this reduction in melanocytes, we produce less of the protective melanin and our skin appears lighter. Menopausal skin is, therefore, more at risk to sun damage and the development of Hyperpigmentation/Age Spots or Lentigoes, which can occur on the face, neck, hands, arms and chest in many women. This is due to melanin synthesis increasing as a result of lack of oestrogen. As women enter their 40s and 50s, they are highly likely to start seeing menopause skin changes as new patches of pigmentation may appear on their skin.
  • Medications – such as antibiotics, contraceptive pill, HRT, hormone treatments, and anti-seizure drugs can cause medication-induced pigmentation which represents 10 to 20% of all cases of acquired hyperpigmentation. The medication-induced pigmentation can vary depending on the type of medication and can involve an accumulation of melanin, sometimes following a nonspecific inflammation and is often worsened by sun exposure.
  • Last but not least: Skin cancer – Refer to our Skin Cancer and Sun Damage page.

Clinic treatment plan for hyperpigmentation

  • Initially, a course of Elizabeth Arden PRO Peel 30% AHA treatments are recommended as an intense basis of one Peel per week to help reduce the condition. Depending on the hyperpigmentation, a second course may be recommended, and we would then need to see the client for bi-weekly Peel treatments. Once the hyperpigmentation improves, and the results are visible, we would then recommend monthly Peels as maintenance.
  • Having regular skin Peels will help lift the hyperpigmentation and brighten the skin. We also recommend homecare to use in between Clinic Peels.

Homecare treatment plan for hyperpigmentation

  • Applying a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 in the morning and reapply in the middle of the day, avoiding sun exposure during peak times, is crucial in preventing hyperpigmentation. Refer to our Skin Cancer and Sun Damage page.
  • Exfoliate twice weekly to slough off the build-up of dead dry skin, which will help minimise hyperpigmentation. We recommend our Gatineau Activ Eclat Gommage.
  • Use a Tyrinase inhibitor – this helps prevent the overproduction of the enzyme tyrinase , and prevents hyperpigmentation of the skin. This can be found in our Gatineau Skin Lightening Serum.

Homecare we recommend for Darker skin types:

Homecare we recommend for European skin types:


In order for you to have the Elizabeth Arden Pro at the clinic, you will need to prepare your skin at home for two weeks prior to your first peel, with either Perfection Serum or Moisturizing Facial Cream – both of these can be purchased from the clinic.