Your 2021 Dark Spot Corrector Guide
We'll help you find the right dark spot corrector for you, and avoid the harmful ingredients.Updated 10/23/2021
We all dream of the even-toned complexions that grace movie screens and magazine covers.
Top beauty brands caught on, and they've been flooding store shelves with dark spot correctors promising a youthful complexion. Unfortunately, many of them include cheap, possibly harmful fillers, while others simply don’t work.
With so many false promises, finding a quality dark spot corrector can be both confusing and expensive. That’s why we’ve compiled years of research to help you choose the right product.
Why Do Dark Spots Happen?
Most dark spots are the result of extra melanin deposits in our skin. This natural pigment serves as a shield against potentially harmful UV rays, so when our skin is exposed to sun over a long period of time, it produces extra melanin to compensate.
Unfortunately, sometimes this melanin pools in certain areas of the skin, which then causes visible dark spots. Correctors fix this problem by exfoliating the area and then preventing melanin from forming again later on.
Dark spot correctors contain better ingredients than others, so it's critical to know exactly what you need.
What to Look for in a Corrector:
This ultra-powerful form of Vitamin B3 helps ease redness, calm puffiness, and regulate the appearance of your skin's natural oils.
This acid holds up to 10,000 times its weight in moisture and helps visibly hydrate, smooth, and plump skin.
A class of skin-smoothing acids that help exfoliate and moisturize your skin. Lactic acid, Phytic Acid, and Glycolic acids are three of the most powerful exfoliants on the market. Simply having one of these acids in a spot corrector means it's likely a quality product.
White Shiitake Mushroom
A brightening alternative to hydroquinone, this mushroom exfoliates to visibly diminish dark spots, redness, and hyperpigmentation.
Often listed as Sodium Hyaluronate, Hyaluronic Acid is a potent ingredient that deeply moisturizes, plumps, and refreshes the skin.
Finding a dark spot corrector with these ingredients will go a long way toward effectively brightening your skin, but there are also some harmful characteristics to avoid in a product:
BEWAREof artificial additives such as hydroquinone and mercury. These synthetic ingredients can cause unwanted results.
BEWAREof disreputable companies. If the corrector you find isn't backed by a reputable seller with positive reviews, you should run away.
BEWAREof companies that hide details in their guarantee's terms and conditions. They can make it difficult to get your money back, if at all.
BEWAREof dark spot correctors that promise fast results. Real skin enhancement takes time.
THE RESULTS ARE IN...
After surveying over 10,000 user reviews and then carefully studying the products, only a select few dark spot correctors offered users natural ingredients that evened out their skin tone, improved hydration, and promoted the appearance of youthful skin. Quality dark spot correctors aren't easy to find, and out of 67 products that we reviewed, only 3 of them carry our recommendations. Here are our Top 3 Picks.
Top Picks are updated monthly based on testing and analyses:
- Naturally derived ingredients
- Polyglutamic Acid
- Sodium Hyaluronate
- White Shiitake Mushroom
- Lactic, Glycolic & Phytic Acids
- Proven results
- Third-party tested
- High quality formula
- No synthetic additives
- 60-day return policy
Tru Alchemy’s Spot Check is made using naturally derived ingredients including, niacinamide, polyglutamic acid, sodium hyaluronate, white shiitake mushroom and exfoliating lactic, glycolic, and phytic acids.
Spot Check helps to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation, sunspots, and dark circles with its deeply penetrating formula.
Tru Alchemy's formula is free of synthetic dyes and fragrances, petroleum, sulfates, and other harsh chemicals. They also offer a 60-day money-back guarantee, no questions asked, which shows us they stand behind their product.Buy Now > > >
Simple Beauty won our #2 spot for
a variety of reasons. The Skin-Brightening Spot Corrector is packed with niacinamide, kojic dipalmitate, glycerin, and cetearyl olivate.
Even better, it contains no fillers or additives.
Users reported positive results, including radiant-looking skin, deep hydration and an even tone.
Simple Beauty offers a risk-free, 90-day return policy, third-party lab testing, and clinical trials to back the company's industry-leading product guarantee. The Skin-Brightening Spot Corrector offers certified results users expect. For all of
these reasons, Simple Beauty is our #2 choice.
Murad Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum comes in a solid third position, having outperformed dozens of other spot correctors on the market.
We were wary of adding it to our list, however, as it contains 2% hydroquinone, which is known to lighten the skin and should be used with caution under the guidance of a dermatologist. Users rated the product so highly that we decided to include it anyway, with a note of warning to potential customers.
While hydroquinone is extremely effective at diminishing the appearance of age spots, it's not a safe, natural ingredient. Murad does make up for this by avoiding parabens, pthalates and sulfates, but we still recommend exercising caution and considering medical advice if you are unclear. Since some users swore by Murad's Rapid Age Spot and Pigment Lightening Serum, it came in at #3 in our top picks.Order Spot Corrector > > >
- Average Spot Corrector
Dr. Dennis Gross’ Clinical Grade IPL Dark Spot Correcting Serum comes in at 4th place on our list. This serum targets hyperpigmentation with its three active ingredients—kojic acid, L-ascorbic acid, and lactic acid.
While many consumers reported that their dark spots faded, some also noted that the serum is expensive for the amount in the bottle, so it might not be worth it if you're on a budget. The Clinical Grade IPL Dark Spot Correcting Serum also contains Vitamin C (ascorbic acid), but customers have complained that they received rancid, dark-tinted product due to improper packaging and sudden oxidation after only a few uses.
Dr. Gross only offers a 30-day money-back guarantee for unused products only, which is quite inconvenient if the product doesn’t work for your skin type.
However, the Dr. Gross product line is vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, and fragrance-free, making it one of the most gentle dark spot correctors on our list. For those reasons, Dr. Gross landed in 4th on our list.Order Spot Corrector > > >
- Adequate Spot Corrector
Corrector by Skinceuticals came in at the last spot on our list. The formula contains salicylic acid, hydroxyphenoxy propionic acid, and ellagic acid. However, there were a few things that raised concern with the Advanced Pigment Corrector.
One of the biggest complaints was the cost of the product. While it's a relatively effective product, at one fluid ounce, the corrector was too expensive for the quantity in the tube. A few customers even ran out of the serum and needed to repurchase before seeing any noticeable results.
Although Skinceuticals offers a 90-day money-back guarantee, the Advanced Pigment Corrector by Skinceuticals earns the #5 pick for its expensive price, small quantity, and inconsistent reviews.Order Spot Corrector > > >
What We Do
ConsumersSurvey uses a unique three-step approach to reviewing the most popular products in the online marketplace
1. Research First we conduct in-house research with a highly qualified editorial team comprised of individuals who specialize in various fields.
2. SurveyWe survey our readers who have tried the product over time in order to learn from their experiences.
3. OpinionWe monitor public opinion in the world’s most popular marketplaces, from Amazon and eBay, to Bizrate and Pricegrabber.