Uneven Pigment- Can it be Improved? (Part 1/2)

Seems like once a month I see a new add for a “miracle” cure for uneven pigment problems. Is there really one?  The answer is no; at least not yet.  But …with patience, a good skin care plan and consistency you truly can improve this a lot!

Next week, I’ll do a second post on a regimen for those of you already doing everything below.

A few key points:

  • There is no single product or device that can cure pigment problems. It takes a village. 🙂
  • High zinc sunscreen (10-20% depending on activities) needs to be your BFF forever.
  • In the summer, or on sunny vacations, the goal is to not make it worse.

Comments on the questions:  If you look at Meladerm ingredients, I count 51. Only 6-7 of those are active against pigment. The rest are just acting as a carrier or diluting the actives.  Why not use a different plant based lightener that is more concentrated like our MadisonMD Uneven Pigment Fighter?

In general, it’s better to avoid hydroquinones except for short periods, like 3-4 months, and under the supervision of a doctor. They can be irritating which makes pigment worse, they can cause ochronosis if over used, and they are banned by the European Union now for possible cell altering qualities. Obagi has historically used hydroquinones in many of their products. Check to see if that’s true for Dermesse.

A good regimen to start with:


  • Gentle Cleanser
  • Plant based lightener like those mentioned above
  • Antioxidant like our Triple Antioxidant or CE Ferrulic
  • Moisturizer if needed
  • High zinc sunscreen and a hat


  • Gentle cleanser
  • Plant based lightener like above or your prescription hydroquinone cream
  • Moisturizer if needed
  • Retinol or tretinoin (if not actively in the sun), or if in too much sun reapply the antioxidant or a niacinamide cream

Hope this helps,

Dr. Brandith Irwin

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Uneven Pigment- Can it be Improved? (Part 1/2)

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