Here we provide a rationale for our choices for the Best Skin Care Product for Dark Spots.
You always see adverts about skin care for wrinkles – but what about dark spots?! It’s almost like it’s a taboo subject, but it befalls many of us, be it due to old age or pregnancy, or just born with it.
There are solutions out there however, and we will take you through our Top 5. We also have room for an FAQ section at the end.
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Best Skin Care Product for Dark Spots – Comparison Table
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Best Skin Care Product for Dark Spots – Reviews
Our Top Pick
This natural and effective serum works deeply in the skin to lighten and reduce dark spots, hyperpigmentation, melasma, and uneven tones on the face and body. With regular use skin can become up to 3 times lighter.
The stand out feature of this serum is that it’s very powerful despite not featuring hydroquinone, which means its more gentle on the skin than products that do have it, and is free of any nasty side effects. It’s also fragrance free and paraben free. It’s so gentle you can even use it on more sensitive areas.
Instead it’s main active ingredient is kojic acid. Kojic acid is a natural skin lightening agent that comes from the Reishi mushroom, and it works by affecting a protein in the skin called tyrosinase, which catalyses melanin production and dark spot formation.
There are other skin lightening ingredients included too, such as arbutin, which inhibits production of tyrosinase, and fullerene, which is a powerful antioxidant.
Find more great products like this by checking out our guide to the best skin care products for menopausal skin.
This is an ultra potent brightening serum – and after 8000 reviews on Amazon.com it still comes out with a fantastic rating!
At 2%, it contains the highest concentration of hydroquinone allowed without a prescription. This is the active ingredient designed to help brighten skin and fade dark spots, hyperpigmentation and melasma. The acids in the formula gently peel dark spots to reveal the brighter skin underneath.
It’s considered to be more effective than other hydroquinone products and melasma treatment creams, due to its super effective ingredients. Besides Hydroquinone, it’s also got Salicylic Acid, Azelaic Acid, Lactic Acid & Vitamin C.
The important thing to note about this product is that after using it consecutively for 60 days, you will need to give your skin a break from the product for 30 days.
We have also reviewed the best face wash to minimize pores, so check them out as well.
Now here’s a brand we all know and trust – and a great product too!
Every good skin care routine necessitates a moisturizer, and if you’ve got dark spots, then you should make this your go to moisturizer. It corrects dark spots by illuminating the skin to produce a more even skin tone.
Customers see an improvement in their appearance in just one week with skin looking more even and luminous, and this becomes better again with prolonged use, with the fading of dark spots in just 4 weeks.
It has been Dermatologist tested for gentleness and is Non-Comedogenic, meaning it doesn’t tend to clog your pores.
What we really love about it is that it provides SPF30 sunscreen protection, so it protects your skin from the sun’s influence on your skin’s pigmentation, decreasing the likelihood of gaining more and larger dark spots. It also saves having to put sunscreen on separately.
Check out our review of the best face wash for seborrheic dermatitis for our more picks.
Here we have another powerful serum. By day, EnaSkin Dark Spot Corrector Serum helps defend against the damage that can cause future spots, and amplifies the skin’s natural luminosity. By night, the serum works naturally with skin’s rhythm and begins to significantly reduce the look of dark spots, sun spots, post acne marks, dullness and redness.
Its all natural formula consists of 4-Butylresorcinol, Kojic Acid, Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and Morinda Citrifolia extract, which all work together to inhibit the production of melanin, which causes the pigmentation which can lead to dark spots and melasma.
What sets this product apart from the others is that it contains 4-Butylresorcinal, which has actually been proven to be more effective than hydroquinone in inhibiting tyrosinase and improving the appearance of dark spots.
It has other handy ingredients too, namely Kojic Acid, Lactic Acid, Salicylic Acid, and Morinda Citrifolia extract, which all work together to decrease melanin production and lessen the appearance of dark spots.
The ingredients penetrate deep into the skin, removing acne scars, dark spots, age spots, freckles, and sun spots, leaving you with an even, bright skin tone.
In addition to this, the serum also moisturizes and nourishes the skin, and makes it more smooth and supple.
For those among you who are more drawn to natural skin care products, we simply had to include this baby in our Top few! It’s a vitamin C serum, that also includes jojoba oil to, vitamin E and extracts from geranium and dandelion flowers.
The really critical ingredient here is the vitamin C. Not only does it’s antioxidant properties mean that it helps with dark spots and evening out skin tone, it also reduces the appearance of wrinkles, and stimulates collagen growth, to leave the skin feeling soft and supple. All without any harsh chemicals.
The vitamin C also lightens the dark circles under your eyes, and helps defend against further skin damage too.
We love how it contains gentle hyaluronic acid too, to really moisturize your skin to its optimum level. The jojoba oil kills bacteria, fights breakouts, shrinks pores and softens skin. And the vitamin E targets dark spots and scars by slowing the aging of cells. With such a good all round multi-purpose product, you’d be daft not to buy it!
It brightens dull skin, while minimizing dark spots and even wrinkles.
Best Skin Care Product for Dark Spots – Buyers Guide
Treating the Causes of Dark Spots
You’ve heard the saying – treat the cause and you treat the symptoms, prevention is better than cure. You may be thinking, well that’s all very well if the cause is predominantly too much direct sunlight – you can easily don a hat and put sunscreen on. But what if the cause is something else, you might say
Dark spots are often a tell-tale sign of ageing, and the sad news ageing is not preventable. And yes, dark spots do tend to appear at middle age, but that is generally because by middle age you’ve had that much more sun exposure. We cannot stress highly enough how important it is to use sunscreen to protect your skin as best you can against sun damage.
There are some other factors that can bring about dark spots, and you can be ensured that we will cover them a little further in our FAQ section.
Shopping for Treatments
The good news is dark spots are not permanent – you can fade your hyperpigmentation (dark spots) right at home! When shopping for moisturizers and serums, you need to look for terms like “brightening” “lightening” and “skin tone evening.”
There are generally 2 routes you can go down in hunting for your perfect dark spot treatment, natural or lab produced. In our Top few products, we cover both options and we’ll leave you to make up your own mind.
Natural Skin Care Ingredients that Improve the Appearance of Dark Spots
You can go for the gentle effects of botanical 100% natural, organic products, and look for products with ingredients like vitamin B3 (also known as niacinamide) which slows pigment production, and vitamin C, an antioxidant that brightens skin.
Antioxidants can improve the color and tone of skin by combating nasty free radicals, and correcting the over-production of pigment due to sun damage and aging.
These natural ingredients often have other beneficial properties for your skin. Vitamin B3 and C for example both encourage collagen production to make the skin more supple. Hyaluronic acid and aloe vera, for another example, have deep hydrating properties and their deeper penetration into the skin means that they can more effectively get to the dark spot reducing agents in the skin cells.
You don’t have to worry about Googling homemade dark spot remedies – we’ve done the research and found some great products you can purchase from good, trusted brands.
Laboratory Manufactured Skin Care Ingredients that Improve the Appearance of Dark Spots
Alternatively you could opt for products with hydroquinone, which may cause some irritation, and in some cases worsening, at first, but in the end will yield more dramatic and permanent results. Hydroquinone works by inhibiting the enzyme that produces the dark-spot causing melanin.
The reason that people don’t always opt for such a powerful ingredient is that there’s concern that it may have carcinogenic properties. However this has not been proved in humans.
There’s an alternative lab made ingredient that’s an effective dark spot skin care ingredient, by the name of 4-Butylresorcinal. It is said to be more effective than hydroquinone in treating dark spots. This is because it’s such a highly effective inhibitor of tyrosinase, which is a precursor of the melanin, which is what causes pigmentation and dark spots.
4-Butylresorcinal shows no toxicity at high concentrations and has been found to produce less skin irritation than other depigmentation agents such as hydroquinone.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are dark spots a sign of liver disease?
Despite often being referred to as liver spots, dark spots are generally not considered a primary symptom of liver disease. “Liver” spots are associated with ageing and exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun.
Skin changes which are due to liver disease will show themselves as jaundice, a yellowing of the skin, and not dark spots.
Are dark spots caused by hormonal imbalance?
Fluctuations in certain hormones, such as estrogen and progesterone, can cause melasma, which often presents itself as dark spots. It commonly occurs during pregnancy, but may also occur when you either start or stop hormonal contraception (including birth control pills) or when you take hormone replacement therapy.
Unfortunately, while other dark spots can be permanently lightened, this form of hyperpigmentation cannot. If in any doubt, we would recommend that you seek out a diagnosis.
Do dark spots go away on their own?
Sometimes dark spots can go away on their own, but this can take up to 12 months. If your dark spots are making you feel self conscious, there is no harm in speeding up the process by purchasing one of our recommended products, and following the advice in our buying guide and FAQ section.
What additions should I make to my skin care routine for my dark spots?
We all know the mantra – Cleanse, Tone & Moisturize, but there are 3 other very important extra steps you should make if you want to care for skin prone to dark spots.
Firstly, before you cleanse, it’s super important that you exfoliate every day. You will also need to use a dark spot corrector, such as our Number. Do this between cleansing and moisturising. At the end of your morning skin care routine, we insist that you apply sunscreen to prevent any further dark spots from appearing or worsening.
If you must skip a step in your skin care routine, you could try using a moisturizer that is equipped with sun protection, such as our Number 3.
Besides creams, serums and peels, what are the alternative methods for removing dark spots?
If you feel that home treatments are not for you, there are alternative treatments that a dermatologist can provide. There’s laser treatment, where an intense laser light targets melanin and breaks up dark spots. There’s microdermabrasion, where an abrasive tool removes the outer layer of your skin. And there’s cryotherapy, whereby liquid nitrogen is applied to the dark patches, which is then frozen to work against dark skin cells.
Why don’t dermatologists recommend any home remedies?
There is no scientific evidence to support the effectiveness of your typical home remedies for dark spots, such as lemon juice, baking soda, and apple cider vinegar. And in some cases such treatments may aggravate the skin.