Dr. Jennifer M. Segal, a dermatologist at the Metropolitan Dermatology Institute, says, "This contains both azaleic and glycolic acids, promoting exfoliation, and is therefore great for treating and preventing not only acne breakouts but also the dark marks that can result. A Good Housekeeping Seal star, this cloud-like moisturizer from Olay contains 5% niacinamide for brightening and antioxidant green tea. —Marnie Nussbaum, M.D., dermatologist in New York City, This lotion uses a team of heavy hitters to correct stubborn dark spots that don’t seem to fade: Salicyclic acid exfoliates, hydroxyphenoxy propionic acid slows down melanin production, and ellagic acid reduces discoloration. —M.F. the right SPF!—only to have your smooth complexion struck down almost overnight by hyperpigmentation, otherwise simply known as dark spots. You should also look for products with ingredients like vitamin C (an antioxidant that brightens skin), niacinamide (vitamin B3, which slows pigment production), or hydroquinone (which inhibits an enzyme that produces melanin). Oprah Magazine participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Ideally, your dark spot corrector will have a combo of melanin-inhibiting ingredients and those that remove the surface layers of skin, such as acids. Packed with anti-aging ingredients like retinol, hyaluronic acid and a vitamin C variant, Neutrogena’s formula backed by the GH Seal is a proven dark spot reducer and line minimizer. In the GH Beauty Lab's face peel test, Philosophy’s individually-packed pads earned the top score for brightening skin according to consumer testers and came in second for evening skin tone. Nicole Saporita is a senior editor at Good Housekeeping, where she researches, writes and reports original content for the Good Housekeeping Institute and several other departments including health, travel and family. Whether caused by sun damage, pregnancy, hormones, inflammation, or breakouts (hello, acne scars), skin discoloration can be a frustrating thing to treat, to say the least. Good Housekeeping participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. It allows you to do almost a mini chemical peel without any downtime and can be used on a daily basis after you build up tolerance," says Palep. This face wash is a great addition to your routine too. One tester said that the formula “really is removing my dark spots.”. (Just as important: a good sunscreen, as sun exposure can increase melanin production, ultimately worsening dark spots.) To make sure you pick the best (and most effective) product for removing dark spots, look for cream or serum that contains ingredients like vitamin C (an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and brightens skin), niacinamide (a form of vitamin B3 that slows pigment production), hydroquinone (a lightening agent that inhibits the pigment-forming enzyme tyrosinase), retinol (a vitamin A derivative that evens tone and texture), or glycolic or lactic acid (which are alpha hydroxy acids that exfoliate dead skin cells). This is a gentler yet effective exfoliating agent than retinols, so a great choice for more sensitive skin types. GH Beauty Lab scientists conduct rigorous clinical testing, recruiting women of all ages and skin types to assess the products' results after at home use. It allows you to do almost a mini chemical peel without any downtime and can be used on a daily basis after you build up tolerance. Both are soothing agents that help to prevent oxidative- and environmental-stress-related pigmentation—so the serum is best to treat age spots, dark spots, and sun spots. Also called sun spots, age spots, or hyperpigmentation, dark spots can pop up on your face, hands, and décolletage as a result of sun exposure, genetics, hormones, and inflammation, says Howard Murad, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and founder of Murad Skincare. No7 products are consistent strong performers in GH Beauty Lab testing and this one is also backed by the Good Housekeeping Seal! diligently attending to your skin regimen, shell out thousands of dollars on pricey laser treatments, Dermatologist-Approved Moisturizers With SPF. We may earn commission from the links on this page. —Rachel Nazarian, M.D., dermatologist in New York City, This is an over-the-counter hydroquinone formula for lightening pigmentation. It’s great for someone who is acne-prone. Pamper your skin and reduce dark spots at the same time with this Algenist peel, a potent blend of acids (glycolic, mandelic, citric, azelaic, malic, salicylic) and vitamin C, balanced by botanical oils. When shopping for dark spot correcting treatments, our experts suggest look for terms like "brightening" and “skin tone-evening" on the packaging. "Alpharet is a retinoid that's gentle on your skin.". —Dendy Engelman, M.D., dermatologist in New York City, I love this moisturizer because it contains both soy, which actively turns down the production of melanin by the skin’s melanocytes, and SPF, which is key for fading any dark spots, whether caused by post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne, a skin injury, or just by chronic sun damage. Best Dark Spot Corrector with Niacinamide, Positively Radiant Daily Facial Moisturizer, Enhance Brightening Complex with Azelaic & Glycolic Acids, Hands To Heart Anti-Aging + Brightening Hand Treatment, Hyper Clear Brightening Clearing Vitamin C Serum, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. GH Beauty Lab evaluations confirmed that 95% of women reported improvement in pigmentation and spot size after 12 weeks of use. Zero in on stubborn dark spots on the face with this concentrated vitamin C treatment from No7, a GH Seal star. “Most of my dark spots have completely faded.”. After 28 days of twice daily use, 93% of women agreed the formula visibly brightened skin, and in clinical assessment after four weeks, 100% showed improvement in the look of pores, GH Beauty Lab data evaluation found. At just $25, this No7 serum rivals many of its much more expensive competitors. To revisit this article, select My Account, then View saved stories. and our Lab chemists like that it’s non-comedogenic, which means it won’t clog pores. "The L’Oreal Derm Intensives vitamin C Serum is a great option if you have sensitive skin. Good to know: If you’re sensitive to fragrance, a few testers noted that the scent was strong. “After each use, my skin looked brighter for two days," one said. “My skin looked brighter as soon as I washed it off — my family even noticed!” one revealed. It’s packed with vitamin C to help boost skin renewal for a smoother, brighter complexion. “They work really well for hyperpigmentation after acne, and I like how targeted they are, so you can ensure they’re working on the area you want them to,” says GH beauty assistant Katie Berohn. Equally important: Make sure to continue applying a daily sunscreen—the key to avoiding further sun spots and hyperpigmentation, says aesthetician Leila Aalam. This uses AHAs, vitamin C, and lipids to correct, brighten, and support your skin barrier. "Containing niacinamide, an effective but gentle pigment lightener, this light serum is great for skin of all types." It has 18% glycolic acid and grapefruit extracts, can be used easily in the shower, and works amazingly to brighten the skin and lighten dark spots. This all-in-one daily moisturizer from Roc was the consumer favorite in the GH Beauty Lab's anti-aging day cream test and scored high for reducing visible spots over four weeks in Lab measurements. "Using the combined power of skin brighteners niacinamide and tranexamic acid, this fades discoloration," says Dr. Morgan Rabach of LM Medical in NYC. Best Dark Spot Corrector for Face. The glycolic helps increase cellular turnover to get rid of excess cells with excess brown melanin pigment. "This is a relatively inexpensive and well-tolerated dark spot remover," says Dr. Anthony Youn. Testers also appreciated that it was fragrance-free and lightweight. Despite the giant splurge, Palep says this one is the most effective. We were also wowed at how well it improved skin radiance. Age Spots Sun Spots Cor… Used daily to twice daily, this can be an important step in improving skin hyperpigmentation and evening tone. It’s expensive but worth the price. Dark spots from breakouts (or “post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation”), on the other hand, result from “an overproduction of melanin that leaves dark marks.”. You don't have to run to the dermatologist and shell out thousands of dollars on pricey laser treatments. The Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab experts evaluate hundreds of skincare products every year, including ones that claim to correct dark spots, from night creams to at-home peels. 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