Finding the best tranexamic acid serums is one way to combat dark spots and uneven tone, as it works hard at the cellular level to reduce pigment and brighten skin. When it comes to tackling dark patches, vitamin C and retinol are the coveted guys, but this lesser-known ingredient started to rise as the new way to address hyperpigmentation, and its perks are backed by science. Intrigued, huh?
What is tranexamic acid?
Tranexamic acid is a synthetic derivative of lysine amino acid, which has been long used in medicine to control bleeding. Lately, this ingredient has popped up in a range of skincare products — and for a good reason.
What does tranexamic acid do in skincare?
In skincare, tranexamic acid is used as a potent ingredient for brightening the complexion and diminishing discoloration. Despite being an acid, this one doesn’t work by exfoliating the skin, as you may have assumed. Tranexamic acid lightens dark patches by inhibiting the interaction between melanocytes (cells that create skin pigment) and the skin’s surface cells, keratinocytes. In layman’s terms, tranexamic acid blocks the transfer of dark pigment to the outermost skin layer, lightening dark patches. Plus, it works super gently, being a go-to even for sensitive skin types.
What should I look for in the best tranexamic acid serums?
Supposing you’re looking to fade hyperpigmentation and leave behind sun damage and post-acne marks, the best tranexamic acid serum for you should also pack a slew of other skin brightening agents, such as vitamin C, retinol, azelaic acid, and niacinamide. And so that your efforts are not in vain, always finish your AM routine with SPF.
The best tranexamic acid serums
To make it as easy as possible for you to find the best tranexamic acid serums, we rounded them up all here lest you don’t abide with that uneven tone forever. Ready to greet your new glowy skin?
Peter Thomas Roth Pro Strength Discoloration Treatment
For those who crave clinical-grade skincare, Peter Thomas Roth Pro Strength Discoloration Treatment stands out as one of the best tranexamic acid serums. Not only because it’s infused with a 15% brightening complex, among which tranexamic acid, niacinamide, kojic acid, and alpha arbutin — all hailed for evening tone — but it’s also filled with antioxidants. They all work synergistically to fade hyperpigmentation while preventing new dark patches from appearing.
Sesderma HIDRADERM TRX Facial Serum
This serum is unmistakenly called HIDRADERM TRX Facial Serum, meaning it hydrates and corrects dark spots with tranexamic acid. In order to boost the brightening effects, the formula also has niacinamide, resorcinol, and retinyl palmitate to help with skin clarity, plus hyaluronic acid to ensure a boost of hydration. Yep, this mix of actives makes it a go-to for softening wrinkles too. And everything is in a rich liquid that shoots these elements right into the deeper skin layers for visible results.
SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense Serum
If you’re dealing with stubborn hyperpigmentation, this serum is about to become your new BFF. The formula is infused with 3% tranexamic acid, 1% kojic acid, and 5% niacinamide, all of which fight discolorations and dark patches. Meanwhile, 5% HEPES, an enzyme that encourages exfoliation, leaves skin smooth and luminous. As per the brand claims, after 12 weeks of regular use, it improved the look of brown patches in 60% of cases. This and the powerful actives make it one of the best tranexamic acid serums out there.
Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum
Everybody raves about Murad products, and this correcting serum is no exception. As one of the best tranexamic acid serums, it relies on the power of glycolic acid, tranexamic acid, and Murad’s exclusive patented resorcinol technology to gently exfoliate and reduce dark spots and uneven tone. Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum is a bit of an overachiever and if you don’t believe us, browse through the happy reviews yourself.
SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum
Feeling like splurging on the best tranexamic acid serum? SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 is the one worth every penny. It’s spiked with tranexamic acid, resorcinol, niacinamide, phytic acid, and tetrapeptide, all of which are excellent at banishing hyperpigmentation and improving tone (all tones!). Additionally, the ferment extracts repair the complexion and leave it calm and soothed — that’s why we recommend this skin-brightener in a bottle to dry and mature skins folks, but everyone can use it.
The Inkey List Tranexamic Acid Serum
On a budget? You really can’t go wrong with The Inkey List Tranexamic Acid Treatment. Boasted with 2% tranexamic acid, it aims to improve overall tone and brightens skin a little more with each use. The formula also packs 2% vitamin C, plus 2% acai berry extract, chocked full of vitamins A and C, both great at targeting discolorations and unevenness. Its gel-like texture is super easy to spread and leaves a nice glow, which looks and feels healthy.
Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum
You know already vitamin C is a godsent for brightening dark spots and preventing oxidative stress. Welp, this serum packs five forms of vitamin C, tranexamic acid, plus a mingle of fruit-derived antioxidants to keep free radical damage at bay. Aside from looking delicious, the Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum has a silky, water-gel texture that absorbs in a sec, with no sticky after-feel. Vegan skincare lovers, this is the best tranexamic acid serum for you!
Vichy LiftActiv B3 Serum
Aside from leaving the complexion dewy and glowy without ever feeling sticky, Vichy LiftActiv B3 Serum blends tranexamic acid plus 13% niacinamide and glycolic acid. The powerful actives work synergistically to diminish hyperpigmentation but also to minimize wrinkles look, leaving skin soft and even in the long run. Plus, the addition of glycerin, urea, and allantoin ensures your skin won’t dry out, and not to mention the formula lacks fragrances and alcohol, two potential drying agents.
Cle de Peau Beauté Concentrated Brightening Serum
Featuring tranexamic acid on top of the ingredient list, it says more than enough about this serum’s power upon vanishing dark spots and discoloration. Closely followed by trehalose, a potent hydrator and antioxidant, Cle de Peau Beauté Concentrated Brightening Serum vows to leave the complexion even, moist, and protected while the silky, luxurious texture assures an instant translucent and plump appearance.
Paula’s Choice Discoloration Repair Serum
If you’re looking for a serum that aims to reduce discolorations while repairing skin, you just found it. Paula’s Choice Discoloration Repair Serum relies on 3% tranexamic acid, 5% niacinamide, and 0.5% bakuchiol (retinol alternative) to tackle dark spots, sun spots, and post-acne marks while preventing the apparition of new ones. The light lotion-like texture sinks in really fast, leaving skin luminous, soft, and ready for your moisturizer and SPF.
La Roche-Posay Glycolic B5 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum
Besides tranexamic acid, this formula includes 10% glycolic acid plus kojic acid, the trifecta that does the job of banning dark patches and evening skin tone. Pick it if you want to address dark spots, discolorations, and uneven tone, but skip it if your skin is on the easily reactive side as it has alcohol denat the second on the ingredient list, meaning it can be pretty drying for some.
Whatever has caused your discoloration, there’s an array of ways to diminish it and enhance the appearance of your complexion. Yet, banishing hyperpigmentation and achieving a perfectly even skin tone begins with the application of one of the best tranexamic acid serums featured above.