Pigment spots? Natural solutions!

Curious how pigmentation spots arise? Why is tinted skin more sensitive to it? What you can do to prevent them? And how can you make them less visible? The latest insights in this blog.

How do pigmentation spots arise?

Pigment spots or hyperpigmentation are caused by a disruption of pigment production. Your skin produces more pigment, which is distributed unevenly so that pigmentation spots appear. An important cause of hyperpigmentation is too much sunlight. Other causes are:

  • hormonal fluctuations due to, for example, use of a contraceptive pill or pregnancy,
  • after inflammation, skin irritation or damage to the skin due to acne or eczema, for example
  • disease or vitamin deficiency, or treatments such as chemotherapy

Why does tinted skin get pigment spots faster?

The skin can be divided into six types according to the so-called Fitzpatrick classification, based on reaction to UV radiation (burning quickly or less quickly). Types 1 and 2 are light skin types, type 3 slightly tinted and types 4 to 6 tinted to very dark.

From skin type 3 onwards, the pigment cells contain the so-called Opsin-3 enzyme that reacts to both UV rays and visible (blue) daylight and can cause disruption of pigment production. This can cause pigment spots.

Preventing pigment spots through nutrition

A deficiency of vitamin A, caused by insufficient dietary vitamin A and/or beta-carotene, can trigger hyperpigmentation (1). hyperpigmentation (2) .

So make sure you consume foods with a high content of vitamin A or beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted into vitamin A in the body. Foods such as carrots, sweet potato, green leafy vegetables such as bok choy, kale, endive and watercress, goat cheese, grass-fed butter and liver.

Vitamin B12 is found in animal products such as liver, many types of (fatty) fish and steak. But also in dried seaweeds such as nori.

Hyperpigmentation and sun and daylight protection

We need sun for the production of vitamin D. A super important vitamin that is involved in more than 2000 body processes. A deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, numerous autoimmune diseases and various cancers, among other things.

But UV light from the sun is also a major cause of hyperpigmentation. For people of color, blue daylight also triggers hyperpigmentation. If you want to prevent this, use a sun protection with preferably factor 30 and anti-oxidants. The latter counteract the negative effects of UV radiation.

Preferably choose a sun protection with a mineral filter (zinc oxide and possibly titanium dioxide), because they offer a broader and often longer protection against UV radiation. They reflect UV rays from the skin, preventing them from penetrating. Many synthetic filters do not protect against both UV-A and UV-B radiation and are also not really good for your health.

In addition, consume foods rich in anti-oxidants - as they prevent the production of free radicals, which can damage your skin.

UV radiation, perfume substances and pigment spots

This is a bad combination when it comes to pigmentation. Perfume substances can form pigment spots under the influence of UV radiation.

Reduce pigment spots through nutrition and vitamins

The knowledge that there is now about pigmentation spots was, as far as I know, less in the past. In any case, I really didn't know that if I didn't protect my face sufficiently against UV radiation I could get pigment spots.

Fortunately, I was (and am) a real 'rabbit', fond of carrots. So my vitamin A intake is good. With parents having their own vegetable and fruit garden, we also ate fresh vegetables and seasonal fruit every day. Straight from the garden, super rich in anti-oxidants.

The damage was limited to a pigment spot on the side of my face. This one is already a lot vaguer than in the beginning. Later in this blog you can read what I did for this. First a piece of literature about which nutrients can reduce pigment spots. Getting rid of it completely through food or supplements will probably not work.

  • Nutrition with vitamin A . Vitamin A has also been mentioned above as a vitamin to prevent pigment spots.
  • Nutrition with vitamin C. Vitamin C protects skin cells against free radicals and inhibits melanin production in the skin, which helps reduce hyperpigmentation, brown spots. A lot of vitamin C is found in peppers, black currants, Brussels sprouts, parsley, kale, kiwi, strawberries, snow peas and red cabbage.
  • Food rich in polyphenols . Polyphenols are strong antioxidants that can help counteract the harmful effects of UV rays. You can find them in many fruits, vegetables, herbs & spices, nuts, seeds and legumes. But also in green tea, coffee and chocolate. In this article from ahealthylife.nl you can read more about foods rich in polyphenols.
  • Glutathione - a body's own substance, which renders toxins in the body harmless. However, studies on the effect against hyperpigmentation give conflicting results (3) , (4)

Tip from our practice: We have had good experiences in practice since 2011 with skin supplement SkinProtect from LaVieSage to fade pigmentation spots. And in the sunny months to ensure that pigmentation does not get worse. SkinProtect is power food for the skin, from the inside out. Full of vitamin C, beta-carotenes and anti-oxidants. And builds a protection of SPF 7 from the inside out. Just look at the ingredients list.

Reducing pigmentation through cosmetic active ingredients

With the help of active ingredients you can also reduce hyperpigmentation from the outside. With tinted skin (slightly tinted to Asian and black skin), make sure you gradually build up the concentration of active ingredients. This skin is very sensitive, which can cause skin irritation and therefore pigment spots. And that's exactly what we want to get rid of!

  • Vitamin C (5) . It is important that the concentration of vitamin C in a product that you spread is at least 4%. And stable. Contact with oxygen can reduce the effect. A package with a pump is recommended.
  • Niacinamide (Vitamin B3) . Studies show that niacinamide reduces hyperpigmentation after 4 weeks of use (6) . In this study, a cream containing 5% niacinamide was used. From a concentration of 2%, niacinamide can be used against hyperpigmentation. In addition to reducing pigmentation, niacinamide has many other great properties: it helps against dry skin, against skin irritation, against acne and provides protection against sun damage.
  • Glucosamine (n-acetyl glucosamine). From a concentration of 2% in a cream or other product, glucosamine helps against pigment spots. In combination with niacinamide, this works even stronger. Like niacinamide, it counteracts the formation of melanin. Melanin is skin pigment.
  • Hydroquinone. 'Depigments' the skin, as it were, because it prevents pigment from developing. The disadvantage of hydroquinone is that it quickly causes side effects, including skin irritation and dry skin. Hydroquinone is available by prescription only. You have to use it for at least 5-6 weeks before you see results.


Of course, you can also camouflage your pigment spots. With a good concealer and liquid or powder foundation you can create an even complexion without too much effort. Avoid using products with paraffinum liquidum or bismuth oxychloride. The former can clog your skin and give it a sticky-like feel. Second can irritate your skin. Tip is the powder foundation from INIKA , because it immediately provides natural sun protection SPF 25 through zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.

My experience with lubricating against pigment spots

I have a pigment spot on the side of my face. Perfect for testing what research shows to help against pigment spots, to test yourself in practice. My pigment spot has become a lot vaguer by using Skin Protect from LaVieSage . In combination with daily lubrication for a longer period of time with ampoule active ingredient glucosamine , alternated with ampoule active ingredient niacinamide from Dr Baumann *.

We have an advanced Skin Brightning Serum from Hynt Beauty with a stable form of vitamin C that fades pigment spots, among other things. I haven't tried this one myself yet, but we get positive reactions from users.

For all these products, you have to use them for a while before you see results. Minimum 5-6 weeks.

During the day I always use the Loose Powder Foundation from INIKA with SPF 25 .

*dr Baumann products may only be sold behind a password-protected part of the webshop. As a user of Dr Baumann or after advice from us, you will receive the password.

Sources consulted: LaVieSage, Esthe Sept 2022 - Dr Francis Wu, ahealthylife.nl, sohf.nl, pubmed