Dark spots are a common skin problem amongst many adults. Whether they have occurred due to sun damage, hormonal factors, acne scarring or ageing, dark spots can often cause embarrassment and confidence issues, particularly when located on the face. Thankfully, an army of products is now available to lighten and brighten dark skin spots without the need for cosmetic procedures. Dark spot correctors are designed to fade and lighten hyperpigmentation and can work remarkably well when containing the right ingredients. And while skin lighteners, such as hydroquinone, have previously been linked to side effects, today there is an incredible variety of safe, skin-friendly correctors on the market.
Causes of Dark Spots
Dark spots can be caused in several ways with the most common being sun damage. As we are exposed to the sun, our bodies activate melanocytes in the epidermis of our skin to produce the chemical melanin. This is our body’s natural reaction to UV radiation. The melanin works to protect our skin and neutralise the radiation but when too much melanin is produced, pigments clump together causing the appearance of dark spots. This build-up of pigments and skin discolouration takes place across three stages; initial pigmentation, visible discoloration and dulling. This same process occurs with melasma, a skin disorder causing brown skin discolourations. Unlike regular sun damage, melasma is thought to be triggered by hormones and is common in pregnant women. Acne marks and scarring are also a common cause of dark spots.
Should You Use a Dark Spot Corrector?
If dark spots are affecting your confidence and quality of life you may want to consider using a dark spot corrector. Dark spots are most common in visible areas such as the face and hands, leaving many people self-conscious about their appearance. Cosmetic skin correctors are an affordable and generally safe way to treat dark spots and restore your complexion. Cosmetics procedures are an alternate option but often come with a high price tag and can be potentially skin-irritating. Although dark spot correctors may be the more convenient option, they too can have drawbacks such as potential side effects and delayed results. Finding a good quality corrector is essential to having a good experience. See our list below for the best correctors currently available.
How a Dark Spot Corrector Works
Dark spot correctors work by brightening and/or exfoliating the skin in problem areas. The most effective dark spot removers shed the upper layer of skin and inhibit melanin production. To brighten the skin, products use specifically chosen ingredients to effect the skin’s chemistry in order to produce less melanin pigment. By doing so this reduces dark spots, but it also lessens the skin’s natural defence against UV radiation. This is why dark spot correctors should always be paired with regular SPF use. If not, it can lead to the development of skin cancer and premature ageing of the skin. While brighteners inhibit melanin, exfoliants buff away dead skin cells and promote cell regeneration to aid in the growth of new, lighter skin. Dark spot correctors tend to work best in serum form as the product is more concentrated.
Dark Spot Correctors Products
From couture companies to the drugstore labels, every well-known cosmetics brand are offering their version of a dark spot corrector. Brightening, lightening, illuminating, and offering clear, radiant skin, each claim to be better than the last. But how can you tell which will be worth the money and which will end up unused in your bin? Vitamin C, glycans, vine sap, mulberry, arbutin, bearberry, chestnut seed extract, molasses, floral concentrates, Swiss garden cress sprout extract and alguronic acid, are but a handful of helpful ingredients to look out for. To skip the research lesson and head straight to great skin, try the ten best dark spot correctors listed below.
Yves Saint Laurent Forever Light Creator Serum integrates exclusive glycans into its formula to help correct uneven skin tones by improving dark spots, uniformity, clarity and radiance. Over time, skin will appear more luminous with improved texture and visibly reduced redness and dark spots.
Caudalie Vinoperfect Radiance Serum Complexion Correcting is highly concentrated with a naturally powerful derivative of grapevine sap. Known for its whitening properties, Viniferine reduces the appearance of existing dark marks, including acne scars.
The powerful but non-irritating formula of Peter Thomas Roth De-Spot Skin Brightening Corrector dramatically helps reduce the appearance of uneven skin tone due to ageing, sun damage, pregnancy and post-acne discolouration. It contains a brightening ingredient which is comparable to other maximum strength products but avoids the potential side effects, such as those associated with hydroquinone.
Shiseido White Lucent Microtargeting Spot Corrector is an intensive anti-spot serum which targets everything from small, blurry, discolourations to large, stubborn, dark spots. Quick-working and powerful this corrector is made to brighten the skin’s overall tone for a radiant look.
Enriched with skin-brightening vitamin C, chestnut seed extract, molasses and mulberry, Origins Dr Weil Dark Spot Correcting Night Mask actively works to reduce dark spots. Simply massage into skin before bed and rinse off in the morning to reveal bright, glowing skin.
La Prairie White Caviar Spot Treatment comes in the form of a gel pen to allow easy targeting of specific, or small, dark spot areas. Perfect for erasing age spots, the formula combines Swiss garden cress sprout extract and soy isoflavone to promote brightening while only lightening the areas that need it.
Clarins All Spots Brightening Corrector comes in a portable roll-on pen and is packed with ingredients to combat pigmentation spots, freckles and small blemishes. Salicylic acid encourages cell renewal to reduce spots while ginkgo maintains micro-circulation and spergularia and alchemila even and clear the complexion.
Alguronic acid and AlgaBright are the two hero ingredients of Algenist Genius White Brightening Anti-Ageing Emulsion. Alguronic acid slows melanin production to create a perfect complexion while Algenist’s AlgaBright complex visibly reduces dark spot.