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Japanese mushroomThere are many reasons why hyperpigmentation occurs.  The three main causes are:

  • Melasma which occur at any age, but commonly occurs during pregnancy, menopause and with women who take estrogen supplements or birth control pills.
  • Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation as a result of acne, eczema or psoriasis.
  • Sun damage due to over exposure to the sun.

There are many lightening agents on the market with hydroquinone being the most widely known.  Hydroquinone has been banned in many countries because it has carcinogenic properties and should be used for short periods.  Consumers are looking for more natural sources of lightening agents.  Here are some to look for in skin care products:

  • Soy
  • Niacinimide (a form of Vitamin B3)
  • Ellagic acid (derived from strawberries, cherries and pomegranates)
  • Lignin peroxidase (found in wood pulp)
  • Arbutin (a derivative of hydroquinone that can be found in bearberry, blueberries and cranberries)
  • Kojic acid (Japanese mushrooms)
  • Licorice extract (from licorice root)
  • Tara Tree (African potato)
  • English Daisy
  • AlpheGigawite (blend of seven herbs)

For more information on this topic, click on the following link:

Halder, R. (2014). Skin, Inc., “Shining the light on natural ingredients to treat hyperpigmentation”. Retrieved April 23, 2013, from:  http://www.skininc.com/skinscience/ingredients/Shining-the-Light-on-Natural-ingredients-to-Treat-Hyperpigmentation-252483931.html