Pigmentation 101: Here’s How You Can Treat It

Have you noticed any changes in your skin texture?

More often than not, you may be asking “What are these spots?” and “Why is it happening?” every time you looked into the mirror. 

Let me share it with you. The spots that you see on your skin surface are called pigmentation. We are here to share more info about this skin condition and help you to fix it.

Let’s read more to find out.

So, what exactly is pigmentation?                                           

Pigmentation refers to a skin condition in which patches of skin become darker in color caused by the accumulation of melanin on the skin.

Pigmentation can also be caused by genetics or a variety of factors that interfere with melanin production, allowing skin color to appear unusual.

Melanin is produced by melanocytes and acts as a miniature umbrella to protect skin cells from sun and UV damage.

The pigmentation that occurs on our skin differs. There are several common types of pigmentation that can be found on the surface of our skin.

Types of Pigmentation

 #1 Age Spots

age spots

WHAT – They are known as liver spots, and they usually appear on the face after the age of 40, implying that the skin has begun to age. Age spots are normally oval in shape, vary in size, and are tan, brown, or black in color.

WHERE – Typically found on sun-exposed areas, especially the cheekbones.


  1. Overexposure to Sun – Melanin accumulates on skin areas that have been exposed to UV rays. Countries near the equator like Singapore experience yearlong UV exposure. According to dermatologists, frequent tanning salon visits can also contribute to the development of age spots.
  2. Aging – Adults over the age of 50 are more prone to developing age spots. Age spots are most common in people who spend a lot of time in the sun, especially during outdoor activities.

#2 Melasma


WHAT – A type of dark spot that is more common in people with darker skin tones and is distinguished by a butterfly-shaped mark.

Melasma is also known as chloasma. It is typically characterized by patchy brown discoloration that spreads across specific areas of the face, giving the skin a dull appearance.

WHERE– Melasma on the face is most commonly seen across the upper cheeks. Nevertheless, other areas of the face, such as the forehead, upper lip, and chin, may also be affected.


  1. Genetics – If there is a known family history of melasma, one is at a higher risk of developing it.
  2. Pregnancy – UVA and UVB rays can stimulate the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for the majority of pigmentation issues. According to a study, about 50–70% of pregnant women are said to be affected by melasma, a type of pigmentation problem caused by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light during pregnancy.

#3 Post-Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation

WHAT– One of the most common pigmentation problems in people with Asian skin. It is usually tan, brown, or black in color and develops from inflamed injuries. These can be difficult to cure when a deeper skin layer is involved.

WHERE– This is caused by facial injuries. These wounds can result from razor cuts, burns, or even infected zits from squeezing.


  1. Inflammation or injury to the skin.

#4 Post-Acne

post-acne treatment

WHAT – Reddish and dark in color spots on the skin and usually developed from the healing of acne wounds.

WHERE – It often appears on areas of the skin that is prone to pimple breakouts.


  1. Use of unsuitable skin products – Acne may worsen with the use of overly drying facial cleansers and alcohol-based products. Aside from that, skincare products for acne-prone skin may be too harsh for the skin. When used excessively, the skin may be drier, causing it to create even more oil.
  2. Pimples squeezing – When the extraction is not done properly, the skin and tissue beneath it may be damaged, increasing the chances of wound infection.

Types of Treatment to Remove Pigmentation

It is perfectly normal to have pigmented skin. However, there are always ways for us to fix our pigmented skin. These are the two treatments that you can try:

i) Home Remedies

You only need one of these items for home remedies, and you are ready to go!

  • Extract from green tea
  • Aloe Vera gel
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Red Onion

If you already have one of these, all you have to do is apply one of the items to the pigmented area of your skin for 15 minutes every day. You will be able to feel and see the results after two weeks. Trust me, I am sure you will be surprised at how well these items help your skin recover.

ii) Professional Medical Treatment

There are several treatments available in Singapore to remove pigmented skin. Among the treatments are:

  • Facial treatments which normally tailored to the intensity of the pigmentation issue while taking the individual’s skin type into consideration. Depending on the pigmented skin condition, this type of treatment may cost $50 to $300 per session.
  • Laser peel treatments which reduce the pigmentation in our skin by using targeted light beams. The treatment, which normally costs $150 per session, can be completed in as little as 15 minutes, depending on the treatment area.
  • Microdermabrasion treatments which use a minimally abrasive tool to rejuvenate the skin and replenish the overall tone and texture of the skin. The cost of this treatment usually varies from $80 to $250 per session, depending on the state of the pigmented skin.
  • Chemical peels perform by exfoliating the top layer of the skin, as well as the dark spots, with glycolic acid and salicylic acid, accelerating the skin lightening process. This type of treatment can cost between $128 and $238 per session.
chemical peels treatment

It is important to note that all of the treatments listed above are always performed by a professional dermatologist. All of the treatments tend to have the same post-effect treatment such as redness in the treated skin area.

But do not worry! The redness will go away in a few days.

In short, pigmentation can be fixed by a few remedies as listed in the article, and a proper skincare regime.


Uneven Skin Tone: Causes, Treatments & How to Fix It Naturally

Growing up made me realize that one thing most women always crave for is to get a smooth, glowing and even skin tone. However, most people have uneven skin tone to some degree, be it some slight darkening around the mouth or nose area, or highly pigmented spots or patches on the cheeks. 

Not to mention, being born in a typically tropical climate, our skin is easily exposed to the direct UV sunlight and humid temperature all year round. However, is this the only cause of uneven skin tone? 

uneven skin tone

Let’s read more to find out. 

But first, what (exactly) is uneven skin tone? 

Generally, uneven skin tone differs for everyone as every individual’s skin type, texture and colour are unique. It consists of various signs such as hyperpigmentation, inflammation and slowed skin recovery. The reality is that most people will experience it at some point in their life. 

Uneven skin tone can also be further affected by other skin conditions like breakouts, cuts, scars, age and access sebum production. It can also be caused by an underlying health condition such as eczema and rosacea

One of the ways to treat your uneven skin tone is by first understanding it and how you can tackle it. So here are some of the most common causes of uneven skin tone and what you can do about it. 

Causes of Uneven Skin Tone 

causes of uneven skin tone by UV rays
  • UV Rays: It is a well-known fact that frequent exposure to the sun is one of the major causes of uneven skin tone, especially in sunny Singapore. Excessive sun exposure or unprotected sun exposure can lead to sunspots and uneven skin tone. This could occur because the body produces excess melanin to protect itself from the rays.
  • Hyperpigmentation: Hyperpigmentation refers to an irregular darkening of the skin and it usually occurs when there is an overproduction of melanin. The appearance of hyperpigmentation on the skin – typically on the cheeks – becomes more prominent when they are older.
  • Hormonal changes: An increase in hormone stimulation can also cause uneven skin tone and the common signs of skin effects from hormones are melasma and rosacea. 
  • Scarring: Scarring from cuts, or acne scars can also cause uneven skin tone. Scars commonly appear as dark spots in the affected area due to inflammation caused by acne scars or scratching or popping our pimples. 
  • Ageing: As we age, some dark patches caused by sun damage tend to darken over time and are most noticeable when we are older. These dark patches are also known as age spots, which are commonly seen in people with lighter skin colours. It usually appears as increased pigmentation in small spots or patches in areas that have been most exposed to the sun over many years such as on the cheeks, shoulders, hands, arms, and chest. 

The road to even skin tone and texture starts with the right treatment; be it from home remedies, cosmetic treatments or skincare with the right ingredients.

spots on face

Below are a few tips to treat or fix the uneven skin tone that you can try starting today! 

10 Tips to Fix Uneven Skin Tone

Home Remedies – DIY Facemasks! 

tomato facial ice cube

#1 Tomato Facial Ice Cube 

This is the easiest home remedy that you can try and it works for many of us. All you need are 2 ripe tomatoes and honey or aloe vera gel (optional). 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Take 2 ripe tomatoes and blend it to a smooth paste. 
  2. Add in 1 tbsp of honey and mix it well (you can skip this part if you want). 
  3. Pour the mixture into an ice cube tray and freeze it for hours. 

Take an ice cube and rub it on the face and leave it on for 5 minutes. Wash it off with cold water and see how your face glows, reduce bloating and over time, you can see major improvements in your skin tone. 

You can also add some honey or aloe vera gel for added benefits to the skin. 

Make sure to wrap the tomato ice cube with a cloth or kitchen towel before you rub it on your face to avoid direct contact with the ice. 

#2 Yogurt & Turmeric Face Mask 

The old but gold home remedy. I bet you’ve heard of this face mask year ago. And it would be such a waste if you have yet to try this DIY face mask. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Mix ½ teaspoon of turmeric powder, 1 teaspoon of yoghurt and 3 drops of lemon juice. 
  2. Mix it all to form a smooth paste. 
  3. Apply to a clean face and leave it on your for 10-15 minutes. 
  4. Wash it off with warm water. 

#3 Tomato, honey and lemon juice face pack

Another tomato DIY home remedy! 

For this one, you only need one ripe tomato, juice from ½ a lemon and 2 tablespoons of honey. 

Here’s how to do it: 

  1. Blend one ripe tomato and add in the juice of ½ a lemon. 
  2. Add 2 tablespoons of honey into the paste. 
  3. Mix it well and apply it to your face for 10 to 15 minutes. 
  4. Wash it off with cold water and see how this powerful face pack treats your uneven skin tone! 

#4 Potato Flesh 

This powerful one ingredient pack has natural skin lightening properties that can help to correct your uneven skin tone. 

Here’s how to do it:

  1. Cut a ripe potato in half and rub it over the blotchy areas on your face. 
  2. Allow the potato juice to remain for 10 to 15 minutes. 
  3. Rinse with warm water. 

#5 Milk, Flour and Baking Soda Face Pack 

The flawless white! Here’s how to do this face pack: 

  1. Take 3 tablespoons of flour and 1 teaspoon of baking soda. 
  2. Add in some milk to prepare a paste. Any kind of milk will do, but I would suggest fresh milk. 
  3. Apply the paste to a cleansed skin and let it dry for a few minutes. 
  4. Wash it off with warm water and see how your face brightens over time. 

Cosmetic Treatments: 

#6 Laser Treatment 

There are two types of laser treatments: ablative and nonablative. 

Generally, ablative lasers are types of powerful lasers that cause controlled vaporization of skin cells and make our skin responds to brighter and younger-looking skin. 

Nonablative lasers are gentler than ablative where it works by directing the energy much lower into the deeper tissue. If you’re okay with getting slower results over a longer period of time and undergoing more sessions, this is the laser for you. 

It is advisable for you to consult your dermatologist before you proceed with any laser treatment. 

#7 Chemical Peel 

For this procedure, a chemical solution is used to remove the upper layer of the skin through gentle exfoliation which in turn, it helps to improve our skin texture and the appearance of the skin. 

Change Your Lifestyle 

#8 Sunscreen, sunscreen and sunscreen! 

use sunscreen

If you have not realised it, it is vital to include sunscreen as part of your morning skincare routine. Sunscreen should be at the last part of your skincare routine, and before you put on your make-up. 

Even though you may have chosen a moisturizer with some SPF or your foundation is infused with SPF, you still have to put on sunscreen. Frequent usage of sunscreen also helps in keeping the age spots at bay.

My tips: Use it after moisturizer every morning and reapply every 2 to 3 hours or as needed. 

#9 Stay hydrated! 

stay hydrated

Drinking at least eight glasses of water helps to keep your skin glowy, replenishing the skin and reducing the early signs of ageing. 

You should also avoid or consume less carbonated and sugary drinks as both can cause pimples and build-up oils. 

Healthy Diet 

#10 Food to Include VS Foods to Avoid 

  • Yes, please! 

To get a healthy and glowing skin, it is advisable to drink green tea once a day or as much as needed as green tea is rich in antioxidants. You can also consume large quantities of fresh fruits and vegetables that heal your skin from within. Citrus fruits such as oranges and tomatoes reduce pigmentation and repair your skin cells. 

  • Little to NO.  

Please avoid or consume less greasy or overly processed foods, spicy foods and foods that are high in refined sugars. You can also avoid dairy products if you have acne-prone skin. 

It is also best to avoid alcohol as it dries out the skin and can lead to a flushed face. 

pigmentation story header

Understanding Hyperpigmentation with 28Cubed

What is pigmentation?

Pigmentation is what gives your skin its colour and is caused by the presence of melanin. Melanin is the pigment responsible for the colour of our skin, hair, and eyes in all humans and animals- thus, darker skinned individuals have more melanin in their skin as compared to lighter skinned individuals.

Your skins’ pigmentation levels may be affected by a variety of different factors – genetics, your exposure to the sun, hormones, or even inflammation. When this occurs, your skin may become darker, referred to as hyperpigmentation, or lighter, hypopigmentation.

Understanding hyperpigmentation

An example of hyperpigmentation (cr: medicalnewstoday)

Hyperpigmentation occurs when your skin starts to produce an excess of melanin, resulting in a darker skin tone, or patches of unevenly darkened patches of skin around your face or your body. Melanin is a brown pigment, produced by melanocytes which are found in the bottom layer of the epidermis and give us the colour of our skin.
Listed below are the most common forms of hyperpigmentation:

Pigment spots/ age spots/ liver spots

Age spots are often described as flat spots on the skin which are darker in colour – usually dark brown, gray, or black. They develop on areas of your body or face which are more exposed to the sun. It is also believed that skin aging and high levels of exposure to the sun and UV rays are likely causes of age spots.

People most likely to develop such spots are those:

  • Older than 40
  • Those with fairer skin
  • People who spend extended periods of time in the sun
  • Frequent sun bed users

You may keep in mind that these darker spots are not dangerous and do not cause any health issues – however, if you believe that a particular dark spot may be an indication of something more severe, do visit a medical professional.

Melasma/ Cholasma

Also known as ‘the mask of pregnancy’, melasma usually occurs on the forehead, cheeks, and around the mouth area. These dark patches often appear on both sides of the face in a similar pattern. It is associated with hormonal changes and typically lasts until the end of the pregnancy. Women who consume birth control pills may also experience these dark spots from the changes in hormone levels. The chances of you developing melasma may be elevated if you spend extended periods of time in the sun. This is because ultimately melasma are darkened spots of pigmentated which is produced when melanin producing cells are triggered by sunlight or UV rays

People prone to melasma are:

  • Pregnant women
  • Women who consume birth control pills or any other forms of medication that might interfere with hormone levels  

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

A temporary form of pigmentation normally occurs when a skin injury heals, or when the skin is triggered by an inflammatory disorder ( e.g. dermatitis, or infections). When this happens, this inflammation and damage to the epidermis or dermis trigger melanocytes to produce excess melanin, forming dark pigmented spots that remain on your skin long after the wound has recovered. This is also known as scarring. It is recommended to apply sunscreen to the affected area to minimise darkening within the pigmented spot.

How does The Lightening Serum help you target hyperpigmentation?

The Lightening Serum by 28Cubed helps you achieve a brighter, more even skin tone by targeting the process of excess melanin production within your skin. This way, your darker spots are corrected from within, using our unique, patented blend of active ingredients – Po3™.

Po3™ works from the inside out, based on the skin’s 28 day rejuvenation cycle, instead of bleaching the skin using acids or peels. This ensures that the surface of your skin remains undamaged and healthy.