'I've had post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation for years. Here's how I finally cleared my skin.'

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation is also known as PIH. But I like to refer to it as 'the dark purple/brown ghost that a pimple leaves behind as its last act of vengeance'. If you're not familiar with it, PIH occurs when the skin has experienced trauma and overproduces melanin, hence the dark discolouration. 

These dark spots can take months to get rid of; they’re stubborn, hard to conceal, and can really take a toll on your confidence. 

Now, in order to reduce the likelihood of PIH occurring, it’s best to not cause any extra inflammation to the skin through picking and squeezing. BUT I know that many of us can’t stay away from the temptation of picking at a spot. 

As someone who tests an insane amount of skincare products and devices to review, I can tell you that not all of them work as well as they claim to. 


These ones however, have lived up to the hype and have personally done wonders for my PIH.

1. SPF.

Use: Morning time.

Any SPF, really. This is a non-negotiable, especially if you’re living under the same beating hot Aussie sun, like I am. Find an SPF that suits your skin type and that you like enough to apply every morning.

Although PIH is caused by the initial inflammation of the blemish, exposing your PIH to the sun can worsen the appearance of it, so protecting your skin with a good SPF is vital. 

2. The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5%, $12.40.

This is the perfect alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) chemical exfoliant to add to your routine if you have dry, sensitive skin or are a beginner to the world of acids (I promise they’re not as scary as they sound). 

AHA’s help to gently exfoliate the top layer of your skin, safely removing any dead skin and therefore brightening your overall skin tone. 

Lactic acid in particular, is also super hydrating and gentle, making it the perfect AHA for beginners. Not to mention, this one from The Ordinary is also super accessible and affordable. Winner, winner!

3. Alpha-H Liquid Gold, $75.

Use: Night time, two to three times a week.

A step up from The Ordinary, this one from Alpha-H uses 5 per cent glycolic acid, which has a bit more exfoliation power than lactic acid. An award-winning formula with a cult following (myself included), it helps to minimise the appearance of pores, fine lines, and wrinkles, while also evening out skin tone.

I find this one is also amazing for active acne; sometimes I’ll even use it as a cheeky spot treatment on active spots when it's not my exfoliation night. 


Just make sure with any chemical exfoliant, not to overdo it!! Keep it to two to three nights a week, max.

4. Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, $138.

Use: Morning time, daily.

To say I’m obsessed with this one is a bit of an understatement. Personally, my skin doesn’t tolerate ascorbic acid vitamin C very well, so if you’re the same as me, this formula will work wonders for you.

This one from Caudalie is non-comedogenic, oil-free, dermatologically tested, and uses something called viniferine as their powerhouse brightening ingredient; a patented ingredient which promises to deliver 62 times more effective results than vitamin C.

I use this one in my morning routine every day, and I’ve repurchased it three times already. (I told you, I’m obsessed)

5. Qure Microinfusion, $99 (for a one month supply).

Use: Night time, one to two times a month.

I’ve seen wonderful results from topical products like the ones listed above, but nothing has blown my mind more than the Qure Micro Infusion device. It’s a dermastamping tool made with 24k gold hollow needles which helps to more effectively deliver its EGF (epidermal growth factors) brightening serum to the skin directly. 

Unlike traditional dermarolling, the stamp mechanism allows for you to be precise with what areas of the skin you treat, which means you can avoid any sensitive areas or active acne. 

The set also comes with a new serum vial and needle head for every use, ensuring that each Micro Infusion session is sterile and safe for home use. 

This device isn’t cheap, but results don’t lie! 


PIH can be super frustrating to deal with, especially when there are thousands of products on the market and you don’t know where to start. Hopefully this short list of my favourite products will help you make a start!

Don’t forget, everyone’s skin is different. Don’t introduce too many products at once and slow and steady wins the race.

Do you struggle with pigmentation? What are your go-to treatments? Share with us in the comment section below.

Feature image: Instagram/@thisisniss.

Calling All Skincare Enthusiasts! Complete this short survey now and go in the running to win one of four $50 gift vouchers!