Best Dark Spot Correctors 2024

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Sun spots, discoloration, hyperpigmentation… whatever form they take, dark spots are never a welcome sight. “Different skin injuries can result in different pigmentary disorders,” says Los Angeles-based dermatologist Shani Francis. “UV radiation can cause sun damage, yielding in sun or age spots, while simple acne or trauma can also result in hyperpigmentation.” Fortunately, the best dark spot correctors—like our top pick from Versed—are designed to target these unwanted marks.

Using the best dark spot correctors can help fade hyperpigmentation for brighter, glowing skin.


To treat discoloration, you can always start with over-the-counter serums and creams before going in office for more potent and expensive prescriptions or laser procedures. New York-based dermatologist Caroline Chang says tackling the issue with topicals is really a two-step process. The products you use should contain proven active ingredients to “stop pigmentation from forming,” she says. You also need ingredients that remove or lighten any spots that are there: Vitamin C, kojic acid and niacinamide are great pigment blockers. “To fade pigment it’s important to use something that increases cell turnover, like retinol, glycolic acid, lactic acid or ​​azelaic acid,” says Chang. Below, we’ve rounded up the best dark spot correctors to help you achieve a brighter, more even complexion.


Versed Out Of Sight Dark Spot Gel

Key ingredients: Tranexamic acid, kojic acid, niacinamide, licorice root extract | Skin type: All | Benefits: Fades dark spots, strengthens skins barrier | Cruelty-free: Yes

Our best overall pick really checks all the boxes. It’s made with multiple dark spot fading actives: tranexamic acid (a newer, derm-favorite ingredient that blocks skin cells from interacting with melanin-forming cells), kojic acid (a lightener formed from different types of fungi), licorice root (blocks and fades pigment, has anti-inflammatory benefits), and niacinamide (aka vitamin B3, a powerful skin brightener). Plus, it features a smart design: The pointed applicator lets you target even the tiniest spots. It also has proven results—after an 8-week trial, 85% of users aged 18-70 said the product minimized their dark spots. And it’s better for the environment, since the packaging is made with 51% post consumer recycled plastic. If all of that isn’t enough to make you a believer, there’s the under-$20 price.


Eadem Milk Marvel Dark Spot Serum

Key ingredients: Amber algae, ethyl ascorbic acid, niacinamide, licorice root | Skin type: Skin of color, all | Benefits: Reduces dark spots, brightens skin tone, fights acne | Cruelty-free: Yes

Women of color aren’t just worried about spots forming from the sun, but also from post inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). With this type, the skin makes extra melanin as a direct reaction to being injured. This could be from a bug bite, acne or even using harsh products. So in addition to wearing sunscreen, it’s important that people with melanin-rich skin use products that aren’t super irritating or too strong, explains Dr. Chang.

Eadem, a brand founded by WOC, understands the need for this balance firsthand and set out to create the perfect formulation. Their mild, milk-like serum combines dark spot blocking amber algae, vitamin C, niacinamide and licorice root to gently fade dark spots while maintaining the skins natural tone. 


SkinMedica 2.0 Lytera Pigment Correcting Serum

Key ingredients: Tranexamic acid, phenylethyl resorcinol, niacinamide, tetrapeptide-30, marine extract blend, phytic acid | Skin type: All | Benefits: Corrects hyperpigmentation, improves skin barrier, promotes even looking skin | Cruelty-free: Yes

This non-hydroquinone, retinol-free, fragrance-free and non-comedogenic serum is clinically proven to fight discoloration while remaining gentle enough for the most sensitive skin. An action-packed combination of brighteners including tranexamic acid, niacinamide and marine extracts corrects hyperpigmentation and helps create healthier looking skin. Other bonuses: Lytera can be used alongside in-office treatments, and clinical studies show improvements in as early as two weeks.


SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense

Key ingredients: Tranexamic acid, kojic acid, niacinamide, HEPES | Skin type: Dry, normal, oily, combination | Benefits: fights discoloration, brightens, and evens skin tone | Cruelty-free: No

Stubborn dark spots like melasma, patches of discoloration often triggered by hormones, can be trickier to tackle. This popular, hydroquinone-free product is clinically proven to reduce hard-to-treat hyperpigmentation with a blend of 3% tranexamic acid (a newer, buzzy active that minimizes discoloration by interfering with melanin production), 1% kojic acid, 5% niacinamide and 5% HEPES (a synthetically derived acid that aids in ex

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