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 of hyperpigmentation. 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! Many ingredients are known to have a brightening effect on dark spots, and I’ve made sure the serums in this list include them.
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. “Serums are usually formulated with a higher concentration of active ingredients so that a few drops are sufficient to cover the entire face,” explains Sonya Dakar, esthetician and owner of the celebrity renowned Sonya Dakar Skin Clinic.
What you need to remove dark spots
Regenerative, healing, and storing properties it’s what you have to look for in a good serum. Maybe the greatest for hyperpigmentation is vitamin C. If you didn’t know, this blocks melanin production. At the same time, it’s a powerful antioxidant, protecting your skin cells from further damage from external aggressors, like sun or pollutants. Also, it’s the most potent regenerative vitamin — an essential factor in diminishing hyperpigmented spots. Another one, retinol, is widely 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. Glycolic acid is a popular one, 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 dead skin cells — it just makes sense, right?
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 prevent 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 — sun damages it really bad!
7 Best Hyperpigmentation Serums in 2021
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
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* is 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 and maintain the right pH. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the best-selling brightening products out there.
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 smooths rough texture while helps neutralize free radicals effects to the skin, thanks to the addition of NIA-114™ — brand’s proprietary form of Niacin that also strengthens the skin’s barrier.
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 revive dull skin while promoting skin cell turnover.
ISDIN Day & Night Brightening Serum
Exfoliation is key when it comes to the 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 worths a shot!
Genetix Glow Brightening Serum
For more of an organic approach, there’s this serum! It’s a great solution for hyperpigmented skin, dullness, and uneven texture, dark spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. Enriched with vitamins A, D, and C, it hydrates and soothes the skin while fading away dark spots and discolorations. It also has melatonin and hyaluronic acid for all-day hydration, making it a one-stop-shop for all of your skincare needs.
Dermis RX Vitamin C Serum
This all-in-one serum restores and repairs hyperpigmented skin to visibly improve discoloration. It contains age-defying antioxidants, including the highest clinically-tested percentage of stable vitamin C, ferulic acid, Emblica, vitamin E, and vitamin B5, unite to deliver the ultimate in-skin hydration while providing antioxidant support. What’s more, a blend of peptides and neuropeptides works to restore and stimulate the skin’s collagen and elastin networks. Dermis RX is an essential serum to any skin reparative regimen because it effectively combats UV damage, prevents collagen breakdown, and evens out the skin tone — win, win, win!
While the ingredients above may help address hyperpigmentation, we suggest seeing a dermatologist if none of the products worked. Since hyperpigmentation can be associated with several conditions, such as acne, diabetes, fungal infection, eczema, or psoriasis, a dermatologist can evaluate your skin and may prescribe a potent treatment that actually tackles the underlying cause of your hyperpigmentation, such as medication explicitly designed.
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