Pigmentation & Dark Spots


That’ll Do HyperPIGmentation

Our Skin Pigmentation

The pigment of our skin is based on our genes and helps to tell the story of our family history and where we came from. Our varying skin tones show the diverse beauty of humankind. At times our skin can develop pigmentation issues that are not dangerous, but can make us feel less than beautiful and can take a toll on our self confidence. Pigmentation disorders are generally categorized as either hypopigmentation or hyperpigmentation. Hypopigmentation is a lack of pigment and is seen in people with vitiligo and albinism. Hyperpigmentation is an excess of pigment resulting in dark spots, which are also known as age spots (senile lentingo) or sun spots (solar lentingo). Unlike hypopigmentation, the dark spots of hyperpigmentation can be helped with certain skincare products at home. Let’s chat about the causes, how to help prevent it, and ways to reduce the appearance of it!

Causes of Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation spots have an increased production of melanin compared to surrounding skin. Melanin is the pigment that provides color to our skin, hair, and eyes. While the causes of this increase in melanin are still being researched, there are several known factors that can contribute to the malfunction of melanin production. Sun exposure is the most common cause of hyperpigmentation. A percentage of both UVA and UVB radiation can reach melanocytes, the cells responsible for melanin production and skin pigmentation. The UV rays cause oxidative stress creating ROS (reactive oxidative species). This process can cause our skin cells to release signals that induce hyperpigmentation. This is why dark spots are mostly seen on the face and hands, two of the places that are most often exposed to the sun. 

The natural process of skin aging is also a cause of hyperpigmentation. As we age there is a natural increase in senescent skin cells. Senescent cells are sometimes referred to as zombie cells because they no longer perform their regular functions but they do not get recycled by our body’s immune system. Studies have shown that pigmented age spots contain a higher percentage of senescent fibroblasts

Fibroblasts are a protein producing skin cell and senescent fibroblasts play a role in aging pigmentation issues because they no longer produce proteins that are needed for cellular communication between melanocytes and surrounding skin cells. This lack of communication causes melanocytes to overproduce melanin in certain areas of the skin. Along with the issue of cellular communication, the activity of melanocytes decreases at a rate of 8% to 20% per decade. This decrease in melanocyte function results in uneven skin pigmentation in aging skin.

Our skintone can also look uneven due to dry patches of skin cells that have not been through our body’s natural shedding process called desquamation. This regenerative process happens constantly as we shed the outermost layer of our skin allowing for layers underneath to rise to the top. A well functioning desquamation process helps to keep our skin looking healthy. As we age, this process becomes less and less effective and can cause our skin to look uneven with dull spots. 

Prevention and Treatment of Hyperpigmentation

Preventing hyperpigmentation caused by UV radiation can be pretty simple and will not add too much time to your daily routine. Wearing a daily sunscreen product with an SPF of 30 or higher will help protect your skin from UV induced oxidative stress. It should be reapplied every two hours that you are in the sun and reapplied after you sweat or swim. Additional protection from the sun includes wearing protective clothing like non sheer long sleeve shirts, pants, and a hat. Who says style can’t be functional?!

Even with our best efforts at trying to prevent the signs of aging like dark spots, they can still occur and cause us to not feel the best about our skin. Luckily we can use skin care products to help reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation allowing our skin tone to look more even and radiant. Our Earth & Sea Illuminating Serum has been formulated with Himanthalia Elongata Extract which comes from a brown algae harvested in Brittany, France. 

This algae has been proven to fight against the cell senescence and re-establish the communication between melanocytes and their surrounding cells. This brown algae extract has been clinically tested on a wide range of skin tones. The hyperpigmented spots of the volunteers showed a significant decrease in melanin content without lightening the skin. This targeted process allows for dark spots to be diminished without affecting our skin tone!

Our Fruit & Honey Clarifying Mask uses gentle fruit enzymes and beet derived betaine salicylate to gently exfoliate your skin. Exfoliating the skin will increase your skin’s natural shedding process and ultimately help to decrease the appearance of dark spots.


Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition that can be caused by a variety of factors. While dark spots and uneven skin are not a sign of bad health, they can make us feel less than beautiful and can take a toll on our self confidence. There are many causes of hyperpigmentation and utilizing products with ingredients that fight those causes is the best way to prevent and reduce the appearance of dark spots. Viriskin’s products have been formulated to help even your skin tone and help you regain your confidence!


— What is hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is an area or spots on the skin that is darker in color than the surrounding skin.

— What causes hyperpigmentation?
Hyperpigmentation is caused by an increase in melanin (the pigment that provides color to our hair, eyes, and skin) production in the affected area. This increase in melanin can be caused by overexposure to UV rays or aging cells that are malfunctioning.

Can I prevent hyperpigmentation and dark spots?
Dark spots caused by UV rays can be prevented by protecting your skin when you are out in the sun and avoiding tanning beds. When out in the sun, you should wear at least an SPF 30. Long sleeves, pants, and a hat can help too!

— If I have hyperpigmented spots already, how can I get rid of them?
Dark spots can still occur even if we do our best to protect ourselves. The plant actives formulated in Earth & Sea Illuminating Serum have been proven to target areas with increased melanin production and visibly reduce the appearance of dark spots and even your skin tone.


Maddodi, Nityanand et al. “Shining Light on Skin Pigmentation: The Darker and the Brighter Side of Effects of UV Radiation” Phytochemistry and Phytobiology vol. 88, 5 1075-1082. 10 Mar. 2012, doi:10.1111/j.1751-1097.2012.01138.x Available online.

Yoon, Jung Eun et al. “Senescent fibroblasts drive ageing pigmentation: ​A potential therapeutic target for senile lentigo.” Theranostics vol. 8,17 4620-4632. 9 Sep. 2018, doi:10.7150/thno.26975. Available online.
Farage, Miranda A et al. “Characteristics of the Aging Skin.” Advances in wound care vol. 2,1 (2013): 5-10. doi:10.1089/wound.2011.0356. Available online.