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Beauty/Skin/Serums & Treatments

Top 10 Dark Spot Correctors

Introducing 10 Dark Spot-Fading Products That Actually Work—Starting At Just $12

Image credits: amazon

One of the most talked-about and seemingly unavoidable beauty concerns is, without a doubt, dark spots. They come in different shades and sizes, but when they do arrive, it’s almost impossible to unsee them. That's why today, we're talking about all things dark spots and, more specifically, the best products for treating such skincare issues. But before getting into the best dark spot treatments, it’s important to understand exactly what dark spots are and why they show up.

What Is A Dark Spot

A dark spot, also known as hyperpigmentation, age spots, or liver spots, typically looks like teeny circles or, for lack of better words, blobs on the skin; like a freckle but slightly bigger. The good news is that they are, for the most part, harmless, unless tied to a more serious skin condition. In that case, a visit to the dermatologist should happen ASAP. Otherwise, it’s a purely cosmetic disturbance resulting from too much sun exposure, scarring left from acne or skin injury, or picking at the skin. 

How To Get Rid Of Dark Spots

Getting rid of dark spots requires a level of consistency not necessarily needed for other skincare issues. Not only must they be treated with something that will fade them, but that formula must also be deeply penetrative and highly effective. It also needs to be applied the same way every day—or however often the product calls for—and alongside other products that won’t disturb its efficacy, which, in turn, won’t take away from the expected results. 

Fading away dark spots is best done with the help of ingredients that cleanse, exfoliate, and/or brighten at a concentration high enough to be the same complexion as the rest of the skin. It’s also important to keep the area moisturized and protected by sunscreen, since some skincare solutions, like chemical acids, can sensitize the face.

Thankfully, the best dark spot remover for the face isn’t locked away in some top-secret chamber only accessible by shoppers with celebrity status. In fact, the internet offers a wealth of options for tackling this common skincare concern. You might even find some of the most effective remedies right at your local drugstore, where prices are reasonable, but the results can be truly remarkable. To assist you in your search for the perfect dark spot corrector that fits your budget, we've compiled a list of the most sought-after treatments available both in-store and online.

How We Found The Best Dark Spot Removers And Drugstore Dark Spot Correctors

This list represents the best-reviewed, over-the-counter creams for dark spots on the face, all of which have been rigorously vetted by Rank & Style’s proprietary algorithm. Each product is scored and ranked according to a spectrum of shopping data, including social media buzz, notable mentions in publications, industry insider recommendations, expert commentary, and more. This results in a comprehensive list of highly effective and widely popular dark spot removers that have been tried and tested by shoppers and industry professionals. Not to mention, our recommendations take into account varying skin tones and individual goals, ensuring that every individual will find a suitable product. So, without further ado, here are our top picks for the best dark spot removers and drugstore correctors in the market.

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April 26, 2024

Written By:Naomi Venerable

Product Expert:Georgia Jones

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Top 10 Lists serve as unbiased shopping guides to the most trusted product recommendations on the internet. Products are scored and ranked using an algorithm backed by data consumers find most valuable when making a purchase. We are reader-supported and may earn a commission when you shop through our links.

The Rankings


10
Image credits: sephora
Rank & Style Approved

sephora

Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum

Overall Score

4.45

10

Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum

4.27

2181 User Reviews

3.3

Best Seller

4

Industry Recognition

3

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

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Best Dark Spot Corrector For Uneven Texture

WHAT IT DOES
Murad's Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum contains a powerful blend of acids and antioxidants and yet is gentle enough for daily use. The intensive serum contains glycolic acid to remove dead skin on the surface, allowing the other ingredients in the brightening serum to penetrate the skin better. 

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW
In a clinical study, 91% of participants saw brighter skin after just two weeks of consistent use.

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free


The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

Overall Score

4.45

09

The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

4.29

2807 User Reviews

3.3

Best Seller

4

Industry Recognition

3

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Affordable Dark Spot Corrector

WHAT IT DOES
This lightweight cream is also light on cost yet still highly effective. Its highly concentrated and most active ingredient is azelaic acid, a naturally occurring ingredient found in grains that's known for its anti-inflammatory properties. If you use it during the day, apply it before your sunscreen. 

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW
Azelaic acid is also a solution for reducing and preventing rosacea.

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free


SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense

Overall Score

4.5

08

SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense

4.07

1628 User Reviews

3.2

Best Seller

4

Industry Recognition

4

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Dark Spot Corrector For Discoloration

WHAT IT DOES
Powered by anti-discoloration ingredients (think kojic acid, tranexamic acid, and vitamin B3), this brightening serum reduces the appearance of dark spots and minimizes the recurrence of discoloration from happening in the future with consistent use.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW
The SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense serum is made without hydroquinone, an ingredient known to make your skin more susceptible to UV damage, which can lead to more discoloration. 


Sunday Riley B3 Nice 10% Niacinamide Serum

Overall Score

4.55

07

Sunday Riley B3 Nice 10% Niacinamide Serum

4.67

988 User Reviews

3

Best Seller

3

Industry Recognition

4

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Dark Spot Corrector For Oily Skin

WHAT IT DOES
Whether you're dealing with dark spots, redness, or oiliness, Sunday Riley's B3 Nice Niacinamide Serum has you covered. The water-based niacinamide serum disrupts the life cycle of acne so you can control the oil your skin produces, which often causes breakouts and leads to blotchy patches, redness, and dark marks. 

ACCORDING TO THE EXPERTS
In a clinical study, 100% of participants saw a reduction in oiliness and an improvement in the appearance of dark spots. 

Eco Friendly

Eco Friendly

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free

Clean Beauty

Clean Beauty


Topicals Faded Serum For Dark Spots & Discoloration

Overall Score

4.6

06

Topicals Faded Serum For Dark Spots & Discoloration

4.07

3541 User Reviews

3.3

Best Seller

4

Industry Recognition

5

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Dark Spot Corrector For Sensitive Skin

WHAT IT DOES
Hyperpigmentation dosen't stand a chance against Topicals Faded Dark Spot Serum. The dermatologist-tested serum is formulated with Azelaic acid and Tranexamic acid which work together to visibly fade even the most stubborn discoloration and dark spots, revealing a bright and even skin tone.

WHAT SHOPPERS SAY
“Best brightening serum HANDS DOWN. I've tried AHAs, vitamin C, alpha arbutin, niacinamide, adapalene, and other brightening treatments, and none of them have made any noticeable impact on my dark spots. After a few weeks of using the Faded serum, I am feeling so much more confident about my skin. I stopped using other acids in my routine because this stuff is really good at exfoliating without drying. My skin is smoother and my dark spots are finally fading! The smell is odd, but the benefits outweigh it by far. My skin plays nicely with acids, so I use this both morning and night. But I would definitely recommend starting out slow if you have sensitive skin. I also recommend using a moisturizer with ceramide and other skin barrier protecting ingredients.” 

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free

Clean Beauty

Clean Beauty


Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter

Overall Score

4.6

05

Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter

4.2

3427 User Reviews

5

Best Seller

4

Industry Recognition

3

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Dark Spot Corrector For Acne Marks

WHAT IT DOES
Achieving luminous, radiant skin is one of the easier things you can cross of your to-do list with this brightening serum in your beauty arsenal. Formulated with vitamin C and salicyclic acid, this serum sloughs away dead skin from the uppermost layers of your skin while brightening existing dark spots and keeping future dark spots at bay.

INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT
This brightening serum is also formulated with yeast extract, an ingredient Clinique describes as the "cluster buster" because it breaks up large clusters of pigment into smaller particles so they're less visible.


innisfree Green Tea Enzyme Vitamin C Brightening Serum

Overall Score

4.65

04

innisfree Green Tea Enzyme Vitamin C Brightening Serum

4.79

382 User Reviews

5

Best Seller

3

Industry Recognition

3

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Dark Spot Corrector For Dull Skin

WHAT IT DOES
This lightweight serum is packed with orange floating capsules of vitamin C to brighten and fade dark spots and green tea enzymes to exfoliate dead skin cells for skin that feels smoother, brighter, and more even-toned in as little as four weeks.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW
This formula also contains niacinamide and hyaluronic acid, two skin-boosting ingredients to improve hydration and help skin retain moisture.  

Eco Friendly

Eco Friendly

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free

Clean Beauty

Clean Beauty


Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Dark Spot Serum

Overall Score

4.75

03

Caudalie Vinoperfect Brightening Dark Spot Serum

4.35

6068 User Reviews

5

Best Seller

4

Industry Recognition

4

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Clean Dark Spot Corrector

WHAT IT DOES
The Vinoperfect Brightening Dark Spot Serum harnesses the power of viniferine, a sap produced from grapevine stalks, to diminish dark spots and even out the complexion. It also contains olive squalane to boost skin's moisture as it combats dark spots caused by the sun, acne, or pregnancy.

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW
According to Caudalie, a bottle of this cult-favorite product is sold every 30 seconds. So, you know it's good. It's also worth mentioning that this dark spot serum is formulated without vitamin C, so if your skin is sensitive to that ingredient, you can still experience all the brightening benefits this serum has to offer with no irritation.


SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

Overall Score

4.8

02

SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

4.48

20349 User Reviews

3.3

Best Seller

5

Industry Recognition

5

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Dark Spot Corrector For Aging Skin

WHAT IT DOES
When it comes to preventing discoloration, few products are name-dropped more than SkinCeuticals’s cult-favorite C E Ferulic. The formula is 15% pure vitamin C, which brightens the skin and protects it from environmental stressors. The next most powerful ingredient is vitamin E, known for its moisture-restoring properties. Coming in third is a .5% concentration of ferulic acid, a plant-based antioxidant that helps stabilize the former two ingredients and acts as a protective shield for the skin. 

WHAT SHOPPERS SAY
“I am 37 with combination skin, normal on my cheeks, dry around my eyes, occasional breakouts on my t-zone, sun spots and melasma above my upper lip. I really like this product! It absorbs really nicely and doesn’t leave an oily feeling. I have found that it has definitely improved the firmness of my skin and brightened my overall skin tone. I haven’t had any increase in my breakouts, which is nice since many products tend to do that.”

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free


Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment

Overall Score

4.95

01

Sunday Riley Good Genes All-In-One Lactic Acid Treatment

4.46

8331 User Reviews

5

Best Seller

5

Industry Recognition

5

Social Buzz

About Our Scoring System

In order for any product to be featured on Rank & Style, it must first meet the requirements set by our algorithm—a vetting process that allocates points based on consumer and industry data to score and rank products within a given category.

Best Dark Spot Corrector Overall

WHAT IT DOES
Lactic acid, a powerful AHA, clarifies the skin by exfoliating dead cells from the surface. In this treatment, it joins forces with licorice, an ingredient that boosts the impact of lactic acid with its brightening properties. To ensure that this powerhouse duo doesn’t cause irritation, the formula is also enriched with multiple plant extracts that calm and soothe the skin. 

ADDITIONAL THINGS TO KNOW
If you have sensitive skin, use this leave-on treatment as a face mask instead. Apply, leave on for 15 minutes, and rinse. 

Cruelty Free

Cruelty Free

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