Is Your Face Darker Than Your Body? – Causes, Treatments, And Remedies

Written by Arshiya Syeda

Have you tried every possible way to make your face glow but in vain? Are you wondering why your face is darker than your body? There are many factors that can make your facial skin darker than your body. Thankfully, there are some simple treatments and home remedies that can help you get back your original facial skin color. In this article, we have discussed the causes of facial skin darkening and how you can treat it. Take a look!

Why Is Your Face Darker Than Your Body?: The Possible Reasons

1. Overexposure To The Sun

Did you know that your facial skin experiences more damage than other parts of your body due to the sun’s rays? The harmful UV rays from the sun are responsible for skin darkening. You can observe this color change when you are out in sunlight for a few hours. UV rays can deeply penetrate your skin layers and stimulate melanin (pigment) production.

Melanin is responsible for your skin color. It also protects your skin from UV damage. However, your skin produces more melanin when you are exposed to the sunlight (1). This is one of the main causes for your face being darken than your body. It can also cause age spots that appear as tan, brown, or black marks on your skin  (2).

2. Hormonal Issues

An increase in estrogen levels in the body may lead to increased skin pigmentation. This condition is known as melasma. You usually notice it in women who are on oral contraceptive pills or hormone replacement therapy and pregnant women.

This skin disorder mainly occurs due to sun exposure, hormonal changes during pregnancy, photosensitizing drugs, and steroids (3). You can observe brown patches on the skin that look similar age spots. Also, genetics play a key role in the case of this skin disorder. That means you are likely to have melasma if people in your family have melasma.

Abnormal cortisol level is also said to cause estrogen imbalance in the body (4). This then increases melanin production which, in turn, causes darkening of the skin (5).

3. Irritating Cosmetic Products

Most of the skin care products that you put on your face contain harmful chemicals that are harsh on your skin. These chemicals may cause dry patches, age spots, and discoloration. They may also contain some ingredients that are susceptible to darkening in the sun. Also, some cosmetic products cause acne outbreaks and make your face even darker.

4. Autoimmune Diseases

A few autoimmune diseases can cause inflammation in your facial skin. Diseases like lupus can change your skin color (6). Discoloration can also be the first symptom of diabetes (7). Also, if you have any kidney-related disease, your skin color may turn dark (8).

5. Medications

Intake of certain medications can cause hyperpigmentation on your face. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory, antimalarial, and cytotoxic drugs may cause skin discoloration (9).  They can impart a gray tone to your skin.

These are the reasons for facial skin darkening. Are you looking for natural ways to improve your facial skin color? Here are home remedies that you should try.

Home Remedies You Should Try

  1. Aloe Vera: Aloesin, a compound derived from aloe vera, is effective in treating pigmentation issues (10). This active compound works as a depigmenting agent and inhibits melanin production. You can apply it regularly to your face.
  2. 2. Tea Tree Oil: Tea tree oil is considered to be effective in treating pigmented skin. The antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties of tea tree oil reduce the severity of acne lesions (11). You can use it regularly to see results.
  3. Orange Peel: Orange peel contains an active compound called hesperidin that lightens the skin (12).
  4. 4. Vitamin C: Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are a good source of vitamin C. Vitamins can treat several skin problems like skin darkening (13). It protects your skin from UV damage and free radicals while reducing hyperpigmentation  (14).  You can opt for over-the-counter creams or serums that contain vitamin C.

There are several treatment options to address this skin concern. Scroll down to know more!

Best Treatment Options To Improve This Condition

1. Retinoids

Retinoids are derivatives of vitamin A. They are used to treat many skin issues, like acne and signs of aging. Retinoids are an effective topical treatment for melasma (15). They help to reduce age spots by improving cell turnover. Also, they are used to treat post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

2. Kojic Acid

Kojic acid is used for skin lightening. It is used to treat skin hyperpigmentation, melasma, and wrinkles (16). It lightens the skin by inhibiting the production of tyrosine (an amino acid) that is responsible for the production of melanin. You can find kojic acid in many cosmetic products such as gels, creams, and lotions.

3. Hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is a standard depigmentation and skin-lightening agent used in many medicated creams (17). When applied to your skin, it regulates melanin production, reduces dark spots, and lightens your skin tone.

4. Salicylic Acid

Salicylic acid prevents acne formation by disrupting cellular functions and stimulating natural exfoliation (18). This skin-lightening acid peels off the outer layer of your skin and allows new skin cells to be regenerated.

5. Niacinamide

Niacinamide is a form of vitamin B3. It can improve the appearance of aging facial skin and hyperpigmented spots on the face (19). It reduces the sebum production on the face and works as an excellent treatment for acne (20).

6. Alpha Hydroxy Acids

Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) are natural water-soluble acids that exfoliate the skin to reduce comedone formation (18). They reduce the appearance of acne scars, age spots, and minimize discoloration.

7. Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid peels work to exfoliate your skin by removing dead skin cells from your face. It lightens your skin tone and decreases the risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (21). If you are taking any topical medicines, avoid using glycolic acid.

You can also opt for laser treatments that can speed up the process of removing the outer layer of your skin. However, laser therapies are expensive compared to the other options mentioned above.

You can prevent your facial skin from getting dark. Find out how in the next section.

How To Prevent Your Face From Getting Dark

    1. Always use skin care products that are suitable for your skin type to avoid any unwanted skin problems.
    2. Use any skin-lightening cream that is suitable for your skin type.
    3. Don’t forget to apply sunscreen whenever you go out. Also, try to wear a hat, scarf, or sunglasses while going outside. They will protect your face from tanning and harmful UV rays.
    4. While buying any cosmetic product, do check the product label. Also, avoid products with harsh chemicals that can damage your skin.
    5. Make sure to remove your makeup every day before you go to sleep. Otherwise, it can lead to rashes or other skin issues.


Your facial skin may get darker than the rest of your body due to many reasons like hormonal issues, too much sun exposure, autoimmune diseases, and medical conditions. But, you can solve this problem with simple treatments and home remedies. Try the simple yet effective methods listed above to reduce the mismatch between your facial and body skin color.

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Articles on StyleCraze are backed by verified information from peer-reviewed and academic research papers, reputed organizations, research institutions, and medical associations to ensure accuracy and relevance. Read our editorial policy to learn more.

    1. Sun-Exposed Skin Color Is Associated with Changes in Serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D in Racially/Ethnically Diverse Children
    2. Aging spots – should you be concerned?
    3. Melasma: a clinical and epidemiological review
    4. Cortisol abnormality as a cause of elevated estrogen and immune destabilization: insights for human medicine from a veterinary perspective
    5. The Role Of Estrogens And Estrogen Receptors In Melanoma Development And Progression
    6. Lupus
    7. Cutaneous Manifestations of Diabetes Mellitus
    8. A prospective study of cutaneous abnormalities in patients with chronic kidney disease
    9. Drug-induced skin pigmentation. Epidemiology, diagnosis and treatment
    10. 10. Are Natural Ingredients Effective in the Management of Hyperpigmentation? A Systematic Review
    11. Melaleuca alternifolia (Tea Tree) Oil: a Review of Antimicrobial and Other Medicinal Properties
    12. Hesperidin Suppresses Melanosome Transport by Blocking the Interaction of Rab27A-Melanophilin
    13. Split-Face Study of Topical 23.8% L-Ascorbic Acid Serum in Treating Photo-Aged Skin
    14. The Roles of Vitamin C in Skin Health
    15. Topical Treatment Of Melasma
    16. Depigmenting Effect of Kojic Acid Esters in Hyperpigmented B16F1 Melanoma Cells
    17. Hydroquinone
    18. Over-the-counter Acne Treatments
    19. Niacinamide: A B vitamin that improves aging facial skin appearance
    20. The effect of 2% niacinamide on facial sebum production
    21. Glycolic acid peel therapy – a current review
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Arshiya Syeda is an editor and certified counselor. Ever the lover of the written word, she served on the editorial boards of her school and college newsletters. Writing articles on hairstyles, hair care, and nutrition helped her combine her love for reading, writing, and research. As an editor, she helps her team members deliver polished and meticulously researched content. Arshiya is fluent in English, Urdu, and Hindi and aims to become a multilinguist by learning German and teaching herself American Sign Language (ASL).