The Best Face Washes for Hyperpigmentation

Best Face Washes for Hyperpigmentation featurde photo

The first step to good skincare is making sure you have a cleanser that removes everything from the surface for a clean canvas. But if you have specific skin concerns such as sunspots, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, a specialized cleanser is what you need.

However, with a vast range of products in the market, it can be confusing which one to get, so looking at the ingredients is really the key.

My go-to cleanser, my “HG,” is the CeraVe SA Cleanser. I think it’s one of the best face washes I’ve tried because it packs all the essential ingredients for shedding dirt and dead skin while also soothing and moisturizing. Plus, it comes at a good price point.

That said, there’s not a single product for all skin types. What works for me may not work for you. Fortunately, there are other wonderful options catered to different skin types.

Below, we’ve rounded up some of the best face washes for hyperpigmentation to help you jump-start your skincare routine.

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation is a visible patch or spots that are darker than the surrounding skin. This can range from freckles, sunspots, and melasma, to post-hyperpigmentation (PIH) and is caused by the overproduction of melanin. While the same skin pigment cells are what’s producing the discoloration, they come from different triggers.

Their common denominator is the sun. The UV light can trigger all types of hyperpigmentation due to overexposure to the sun. However, melasma is more complex. This is because its cause comes from a range of factors such as genetics, hormones, certain medications, and stress.

Out of all types of skin discoloration, melasma is the hardest to treat because it’s hard to modify which causes it. It’s easy to remove spots you get from the sun and you can always wait it out and lighten up PIH without doing anything. But melasma takes a multi-pronged approach.

The good news is that there are different treatments for hyperpigmentation. But you can start by choosing the best face washes for pigmentation.

How To Choose the Best Facewash for Hyperpigmentation

There is a vast range of facial washes on the market, but not all of them work the same for reducing skin pigments. Before buying something you can finally call your ‘holy grail,’ there are a few things you must consider.

What’s Your Skin Type?

Your skin type is an important consideration. Knowing your skin type helps you choose the right formulation. For dry skin types, go for a gentle, hydrating cleanser. However, if your skin tends to produce more oil and you have acne-prone skin, you may want to opt for something with salicylic acid or glycolic acid.


What separates facial washes for hyperpigmentation from some other cleansers is the ingredients. When it comes to fading skin pigments, you want something exfoliating. Fortunately, there’s a wide range of products that contain ingredients to brighten and soothe the skin and improve overall dullness.

Here are some of the key ingredients to look for:

Vitamin C – also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that is present in many skin care products. It brightens dark spots and is often used as a lightening agent, especially for sunspots and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).

AHAs & BHAs – alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) such as glycolic acids and beta hydroxy acids (BHAs) like beta salicylate are contained in a variety of face washes. Both are great for exfoliation and promote healthy cell turnover.

Niacinamide – similar to vitamin C, niacinamide has amazon skin brightening properties. It also helps minimize pores, and improve skin texture and overall skin dullness.

Alpha Arbutin – this ingredient helps inhibit melanin formation and brightens the skin.

Azelaic Acid – this acid works well in reducing inflammation and encourages quick cell turnover.

Tranexamic & Kojic Acid – if you really want to fade dark spots, tranexamic acid is a wonderful ingredient to include in your skincare. It helps reduce melasma and other types of hyperpigmentation. Tranexamic acid and Kojic acid do wonders for aging skin as well.


Facial washes come in gel and cream types. Consider this when you buy a cleanser because it can affect how your skin feels after washing. If you have oily skin, a hydrating gel cleanser would be your best option. But if you have a dry skin type, cream-based cleansers are better.


Always check the brand’s reputation to ensure you’re getting the breast face washes for hyperpigmentation. You can check their reviews and compare each product to the other brands.


The best facial wash for hyperpigmentation doesn’t have to be expensive. There are affordable options that are effective and safe. If you have the budget for a higher-end cleanser, then by all means go for it, however, keep in mind that not all expensive products work for all skin types.

Our Top Picks: Best Facial Wash for Hyperpigmentation

  • Skin Type: Normal skin
  • Material Feature: Non Comedogenic
  • Scent: Fragrance free
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Skin Type: Dry
  • Material Feature: Biodegradable
  • Scent: Unscented
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  • Skin Type: Oily, Combination, Sensitive, Normal
  • Material Feature: Fragrance Free
  • Scent: Unscented
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Skin Type: Oily, Combination, Sensitive, Dry, Normal
  • Material Feature: Natural
  • Scent: Unscented
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Skin Type: Oily
  • Material Feature: Exfoliating
  • Scent: Almond
View On Amazon →Read Our Review
  • Skin Type: All
  • Material Feature: Exfoliating
  • Scent: Sage
View On Amazon →Read Our Review

Best FaceWash for Hyperpigmentation: CeraVe SA Cleanser

CeraVe SA Cleanser

When it comes to targeting dark spots, you could never go wrong with CeraVe. Their SA Cleanser is one of the best face washes for hyperpigmentation that packs amazing key ingredients: salicylic acid, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and ceramides.

This may be a great option if you have congested skin because the salicylic acid unclogs pores. It also helps reduce hyperpigmentation and improve skin texture. It gently exfoliates the skin without leaving it dry. However, if you have very dry skin, this may not be a great cleanser for you.

But I love that this gel-type cleanser is non-comedogenic and fragrance-free so it makes a great cleanser for sensitive skin.


  • Clears pores, brightens skin, and improves skin texture
  • Exfoliates without leaving skin dry
  • Non-comedogenic and fragrance-free
  • Great for sensitive skin


  • Can be drying due to salicylic acid

Best Splurge: Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

Murad AHA BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

It’s hard to find an exfoliating cleanser that hydrates the skin at the same time. The Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser should do the trick. Plus, you don’t need to lather up a lot of this product on your face because it’s so foamy.

This cream cleanser contains a proprietary blend of BHAa and AHAs ingredients that target hyperpigmentation such as salicylic, lactic, and glycolic acid. These ingredients together remove impurities from the skin without causing irritation.

The cleanser also suits all skin types. However, since it has exfoliating ingredients, it may not be a good choice if you have sensitive skin. It’s also in the more expensive price range but might be worth a try if you want to start strong on investing in a good skincare regimen.


  • Removes skin impurities while moisturizing
  • Foamy formula
  • Suits all skin types


  • Not suitable for sensitive skin
  • Pricey

Best Fragrance-Free: La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Cleanser

La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Cleanser

If you’re prone to hyperpigmentation and you have super sensitive skin, you’re in for bigger trouble. In the hunt for a good product that doesn’t irritate while still doing its job, I would put my money on La Roche-Posay Toleriane Purifying Cleanser.

It is a fragrance-free gel cleanser that is formulated to clear skin of impurities while protecting your moisture barrier. This cleanser contains ceramide-3 and glycerin to moisturize the skin. It also has niacinamide to improve uneven skin tone.

One special ingredient that intrigued me is the Prebiotic thermal water. It is said to soothe the skin as it maintains the moisture barrier. At first, I was hesitant to get this because it might just be another marketing scheme. But it’s actually good. So good that I had to buy the Toleriane Double Repair Moisturizer to pair.

However, it’s hard to rinse off completely. A thin film of the product can still linger on your skin, so there’s that.


  • Soothes and brightens skin and protects the moisture barrier
  • Fragrance-free; great for sensitive skin


  • Hard to wash off

Best for Acne-Prone Skin: COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser

If you’re into Korean skincare products, the COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser could be a great holy grail to include. Well, COSRX is one of the best brands out there when it comes to all things Korean skin care. Plus, this one is so affordable.

The cleanser is indeed a good way to kick-start the day. I love the smell of it because it has tea trees, But if you’re not a fan of scents in skin care, again, the above options are great. Honestly, I generally don’t like fragrance on my skin too. But this cleanser is an exception.

It contains tea tree oil, which is great if you have acne-prone skin. The BHA also exfoliates the dead skin, revealing a clearer complexion. It’s a soothing face wash and can leave you feeling refreshed without the irritation. Plus, it’s suitable for all skin types.


  • Exfoliates and soothes skin
  • Non-irritating and suitable for all skin types
  • Affordable


  • It has fragrance

Budget Pick: Bioré Witch Hazel Pore Clarifying Face Wash

Bioré Witch Hazel Pore Clarifying Face Wash

If you’re looking for a more affordable option, the Bioré Witch Hazel Pore Clarifying Face Wash might be a viable choice. If you have an oily skin type, this could easily excavate the dirt and oil from your pores as if you just got out of your facial appointment.

You can also use this all over your body. It contains salicylic acid to help shed dead cells from your skin and improve uneven skin tone. This ingredient also reduces inflammation so it’s a good option if you have active acne. The witch hazel offers a soothing and cooling sensation.

However, that cooling sensation and scent are just too menthol-y. I wouldn’t really recommend using this on your face if you have sensitive skin.


  • Clears pores and sheds dead skin
  • Offers a soothing and cooling sensation
  • Can be used as a body wash
  • Cheap


  • Not recommended for sensitive skin type

Good To Consider: Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser

Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser

If you want a simple facial wash for hyperpigmentation, this Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser might be worth checking out. It’s foamy and a gentle gel cleanser and can serve as a great product for double cleansing.

This cleanser contains glycolic acid that targets discoloration and improves overall skin dullness. It deeply penetrates to give you a more refined skin tone. What I like about this product is that it contains herbal extracts like chamomile and sage to soothe the skin.

However, you might experience some burning as other users did with the product. You may want to cycle this with a gentler formulation.


  • Improves discoloration and overall skin
  • Foamy and soothing


  • Risk of skin burning if used often

Can Cleanser Remove Hyperpigmentation?

Facial washes are not designed to directly clear hyperpigmentation of the skin. However, they are a crucial part of a skincare routine. A good facial cleanser can wash away excess oil, dirt, and dead skin cells. If you get a product that targets dark spots, it can help improve your skin over time with consistent use.

Which Face Wash Is Best for Melasma?

Anything with brightening ingredients like vitamin C, BHAs, and AHAs can be good for melasma. You should opt for something with calming properties so that it doesn’t irritate your skin. Some of these ingredients are too harsh for certain skin types.


A good cleanser can up your skincare game. For hyperpigmentation, you need a heavy-duty facial wash to improve the appearance of dark spots without irritating your skin. Checking the ingredients of your cleanser is the key to finding one that fades discoloration and improves overall skin dullness.

My favorite is the CeraVe SA Cleanser because it does wonders in brightening my skin and I love all the moisturizing and soothing ingredients in the bottle.

You can also check out the rest of the products on my list and see which cleanser works best for you. Good luck!