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9 Best Serums for Hyperpigmentation: Dark Spots Correctors

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If you’re here, you are familiar with hyperpigmentation, so no need for an introduction. These darkened patches occur when an excess of melanin deposits in the skin. But many could be the triggers. From sun exposure, acne, hormones, pollution, a bunch of reasons are responsible for these dark spots on your skin. But don’t you freak out! With these best serums for hyperpigmentation featured ahead, you can correct dark spots and make your way to a perfectly even and brighter complexion.

Whether you’re battling hyperpigmentation, acne, age spots, or anything in between, there’s a serum for it. Unlikely face oils, moisturizers, and toners, serums are a highly nutritional component with active ingredients that can completely transform your skin in just a matter of days. Serums penetrate in-depth the skin’s surface to achieve a deeper level of moisture than creams and won’t ever leave a grassy feel.

How to find the best serum for hyperpigmentation

The best serums for hyperpigmentation should include regenerative, healing, restorative, and most importantly, skin brightening ingredients.

Vitamin C is one of your BFF since it blocks melanin production. At the same time, it’s a powerful antioxidant, protecting your skin cells from further damage from external aggressors, like the sun or pollutants. Also, it’s the most potent regenerative vitamin — an essential factor in diminishing hyperpigmented spots.

Another one, retinol. Retinol is often used in hyperpigmentation treatments due to its ability to encourage cell turnover. Newer, healthier, brighter skin cells are brought to the skins’ surface, while darker ones are eliminated. Many brightening serums also use exfoliators in their formulation since they can remove the cells already pigmented. Glycolic acid is used to peel away the surface of your skin so that new skin cells may generate and take their place. Getting rid of hyperpigmentation requires getting rid of pigmented skin cells — it just makes sense, right?

Don’t forget your sunscreen

Let me take a step back now, and clarify something. A crucial step in countering skin hyperpigmentation is to always use 50 SPF sunscreen, as this is the key to diminishing brown spots’ appearance and preventing their apparition at the same time.

And if you need another reason, here it is: most serums for hyperpigmentation will include in their formulas AHAs, or other known exfoliators, which may increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. If you don’t use a UVA/UVB blocker, you might even obtain the opposite effect and develop more hyperpigmented spots. Need to repeat? Always protect your skin with high SPF — the sun damages it really bad!

The best hyperpigmentation serums

I’ve made all the work for you and rounded up the best serums formulated to diminish hyperpigmentation. Find your favorite!


Sunday Riley Brightening Serum

Sunday Riley Brightening Serum

In the get-rid-of-hyperpigmentation world, vitamin C is one of the best ingredients, not only for its brightening properties but also for its antioxidant effect. This serum is *super* rich in vitamin C, contains a blend of botanical extracts meant to reinforce the skin’s moisture, and it’s enhanced with glycolic acid to help refine your skin’s texture. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the best brightening serums out there.


StriVectin Brighten & Correct Serum

StriVectin Brighten & Correct Serum

Vitamin C, acerola cherry (a highly concentrated source of pure vitamin C), and retinol join forces in this formula for a skin brightening and clarifying effect. It also works excellent as a makeup base, as it soaks into the skin easily, without any tacky feeling. Lightweight, Sunday Riley Correct Serum smooths rough texture while helping neutralize free radicals effects to the skin, thanks to the addition of NIA-114™ — brand’s proprietary form of niacinamide that also strengthens the skin’s barrier.


SkinMedica Lytera Pigment Correcting Serum

SkinMedica Lytera Pigment Correcting Serum

SkinMedica Correcting Serum uses phenylethyl resorcinol to help support melanin balance and correct the appearance of hyperpigmentation. The niacinamide and tetrapeptide addition work to prevent new spots’ appearance and enhance skin texture while evening it. It also uses a marine extract blend to maintain a healthy skin barrier, preventing further spots from appearing. Apply it in AM and PM for best results.


Murad Dark Spot Correcting Serum

There’s not much Murad Correcting Serum can’t do. Due to the patented resorcinol, it reduces dark spots’ visibility and uneven skin tone. It’s an intensive serum, with a lightweight feeling, yet pretty powerful — the reason why so many people praise it. Tranexamic acid and glycolic acid enforce its potency, revealing brightness and reviving dull skin by promoting skin cell turnover.


Isdinceutics Day & Night Brightening Serum

ISDIN Brightening Serum

Exfoliation is key when it comes to skin brightening. With this in mind, ISDIN created a duo set containing Night Peel and Pigment Expert. You got it right: while the night peel exfoliates your skin, it boosts pigment’s expert skin tone evening effects with vitamin C, niacinamide, and glycolic acid. Coming in ampoules, this product is supercharged with higher concentrations of active ingredients — it worth a shot!


Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum

This one is one of the best serums for hyperpigmentation because it contains 15% vitamin C, plus polyhydroxy acids and hyaluronic acid. If you are not familiar with polyhydroxy acids, they are chemical exfoliants working more gently than AHAs to remove the buildup of dead skin cells. You’ve got antioxidants, exfoliants, and soothing ingredients in a single product if you’ll go for Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Serum.


Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester CCC

Perricone MD Vitamin C Brightening Complex

Perricone MD products are a cult favorite, and this one is no exception. Combining three forms of vitamin C with ferulic acid, the serum vows to fade dark spots and brighten the skin, providing a perfectly even tone along with a smooth texture. More than that, it contains vitamin E, meaning more antioxidants, plus jojoba seed oil for comforting the skin. Since it’s highly concentrated in vitamin C, don’t forget to perform a patch test to see if your skin can tolerate it.


Neutrogena Bright Boost Illuminating Face Serum

Neutrogena Bright Boost Illuminating Face Serum

For a drugstore brightening serum, also budget-friendly, Neutrogena is definitely standing out. First, it contains turmeric extract, a known lightening agent that inhibits pigment production in skin cells, reducing hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Then neoglucosamine, which is a patented non-acid amino sugar that gently resurfaces the skin by encouraging cell turnover. This, in turn, sheds away the darkened cells that have been affected by excess pigment, revealing a radiant complexion. Discolorations, uneven tone, and dullness will be a thing of the past with Neutrogena Bright Boost Illuminating Face Serum.


PCA Skin Vitamin B3 Brightening Serum

PCA Skin Vitamin B3 Brightening Serum

If you don’t mind spending more than 100 bucks for a serum, then PCA Skin should be to your liking. This one brightens dark spots and evens skin tone with 6% niacinamide. Also an antioxidant and moisturizer, niacinamide improves skin discolorations by blocking pigment formation, being a true multi-tasker. In addition to niacinamide, green tea and mulberry extracts support the lightening and depigmenting effects, while glycerin and peptides maintain the skin barrier integer. It leaves no room for sun damage or hyperpigmentation.

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