How to Decrease Melanin in the Skin

Updated March 23, 2017

The amount of melanin found within your skin determines whether your complexion is fair, medium, olive or dark. Melanin is a pigment present in everyone's skin but ethnicity, age, sun exposure and other factors impact the amount of melanin in the skin. Age spots are an example of hyperpigmentation, a condition in which there is an overproduction of melanin. There are a variety of creams on the market that can correct hyperpigmentation and decrease the amount of melanin in the skin.

Look through the skin cream aisle at your local drugstore for a cream advertised as a "skin brightener," "skin lightener" or "skin bleacher." Examples of over the counter products designed to treat skin discolouration include Porcelana Day Skin Lightening Cream, Neutrogena Tone Correcting Daily Moisturizer, Palmer's Skin Success Eventone Fade Cream, Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Massage Cream and Perricone MD Pigment Corrective Topical Skin Cream.

Scan the ingredient list for hydroquinone, retinoic acid, hydroquinone, azelaic acid, kojic acid or tretinoin. These ingredients are regularly found within products designed to decrease melanin.

Scan the product's description to see if it meets your needs. While some products are designed to subtly brighten the entire face other products are designed to lighten age spots.

Purchase cream.

Read the directions on how to correctly use the cream. Apply cream to dark spots to decrease melanin in the skin as needed.


If you do not have good results with an over the counter product consider using a prescription medication or undergoing a cosmetic procedure to decrease melanin in the skin. For example glycolic and azelaic acid peels can decrease hyperpigmentation.


Consult your dermatologist or physician before starting a regimen to decrease melanin in your skin. He or she may have special recommendations for your skin type. Hyperpigmentation can be the result conditions such as melasma, vitiligo, and albinism.

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About the Author

Based out of Kansas, Holly Smith has been an active writer and reporter since 2003, working primarily in online news. She has written for "Kansas Liberty News" the "K-State Collegian" and worked as an on-air reporter for "Manhattan Matters" and the "Educational Communications Center." She holds Bachelors of Arts in print journalism and electronic journalism from Kansas State University.