• Actives
  • Aging
  • Skin biology

Hit the Spot

Understanding & Treating Hyperpigmentation

There is great diversity in the color of human skin across the globe. From the very pale color of Celtic skin to the very dark skin tones present in Sub-Saharan Africa. But across all arrays of skin colors, all being beautiful, all are also subject to hyperpigmentation. 

What is hyperpigmentation?

According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, hyperpigmentation is a common, usually harmless condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin. (1) Other sources may say that it’s not really a condition at all but more of a term that describes skin that appears to be darker. Hyperpigmentation can occur in small patches, cover large areas, and affect the entire body. And while increased pigmentation usually isn’t harmful, it can be a symptom of another medical condition. (2)

Hyperpigmentation is primarily due to melanogenesis – the production of melanin. Melanocytes located at the bottommost basal layer of the epidermis are cells that produce melanin which is then transferred to neighboring keratinocytes. Other physiological mechanisms may allow melanin to even enter the dermal layer of skin. And when this happens, it takes much longer for hyperpigmentation to fade away if it can. Many hyperpigmentation disorders exist, including melasma, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), and sunspots, also known as age spots, liver spots, or solar lentigos.  Fortunately, Gattefossé has a handful of ingredients that can address these concerns.

Gattefossé targeted solutions

Emulium® Illustro

When it comes to preventing hyperpigmentation, UV protection is the best primary approach. According to Harvard Health Publishing, tinted sunscreens can help with skin conditions like hyperpigmentation and melasma because they can offer a color base to even out the skin tone while protecting the skin from UV rays. When it comes to sun protection and cosmetic coverage, Gattefossé has the perfect ingredient – Emulium® Illustro – our 4-time award-winning, natural W/O emulsifier specifically engineered for pigmented formulations, like makeup or suncare, as used in our Good Day Sunshine. Or better yet, why not a hybrid foundation sunscreen, much like our Natural CC Cream?

Check out its excellent pigment dispersing properties:

Gatuline® Renew

If you’re already experiencing hyperpigmentation, chemical peels can be another technique to improve the appearance of the skin on the face, hands, and neck. This is where a chemical solution is applied to the skin, causing it to exfoliate and eventually peel off the layers of skin that show signs of hyperpigmentation.  Gattefossé can offer Gatuline® Renew, a natural alternative to a chemical peel, derived from Japanese cedar buds, and rich in energetic phytochemicals.


It acts on all steps of the epidermal cell renewal process, especially boosting KLK-5 enzymatic activity, a protein that plays a major role in desquamation to remove dead cells from the skin surface to reveal smoother, healthier, more radiant skin. 

Gatuline® Spot-Light

And for those with visible age spots, Gatuline® Spot-Light will take a global approach to target all the possible causes throughout the skin:

  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative action throughout the skin
  • Exfoliating, anti-tyrosinase, and melanogenesis inhibition activity in the epidermis
  • Anti-glycation and inhibition of MMP degradation in the dermis. 

With the tagline “Age Spot Corrector,” this natural active fades age spot appearance, reduces their visibility and numbers and lightens the overall skin tone. Try our Fake Paint formulation as a mask or a targeting spot treatment. 

For more information or samples on the featured ingredients,click here.


(1) https://www.aocd.org/page/Hyperpigmentation

(2) https://www.healthline.com/health/hyperpigmentation#_noHeaderPrefixedContent