The right skincare products can help fade dark spots for a more even complexion. Below, we’ve created a comprehensive guide to the best products for dark spots.
1. The Glow Maker Antioxidant Serum
Maelove Product for Brightening and Anti-Aging
Maelove The Glow Maker Antioxidant Serum
This lightweight and oil-free vitamin C serum from Maelove combines vitamin C with other powerful ingredients to fight signs of aging, brighten, and hydrate the skin.
2. Vitamin C Serum with Ferulic Acid, Vitamin E, and
Dr. Brenner Product for Brightening and Anti-Aging
Dr. Brenner Vitamin C Serum with Ferulic Acid, Vitamin E, and Hyaluronic Acid
This affordable vitamin C serum combines l-ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C) with other potent ingredients to brighten, even skin tone, increase firmness, and fight against signs of aging.
3. Vitamin C Serum
Mad Hippie Product for Anti-aging and brightening
Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum
This natural vitamin C serum contains sodium ascorbyl phosphate (a stable form of vitamin C) and other effective skincare ingredients to help brighten, hydrate, and provide anti-aging benefits.
4. Power 10 Formula LI Effector with Licorice
It’s Skin Product for Brightening and Evening Skin Tone
It’s Skin Power 10 Formula LI Effector with Licorice
This affordable serum contains a high concentration of licorice extract, which works to brighten and promote a more even skin tone.
5. Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream
Neutrogena Product for Moisturization and Anti-Aging
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Regenerating Cream
This cream moisturizer combines the power of retinol and hyaluronic acid to fight the signs of aging while also plumping and moisturizing the skin.
6. C E Ferulic with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid
SkinCeuticals Product for Anti-aging and brightening
SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic with 15% L-Ascorbic Acid
This brightening and anti-aging vitamin C serum is often considered one of the best of the best. It helps improve signs of aging while fighting environmental aggressors.
7. Resurfacing Retinol Serum
CeraVe Product for Fading post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and minimizing large pores
CeraVe Resurfacing Retinol Serum
This drugstore retinol serum is specifically formulated to tackle post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and large pores, and helps promote an overall even and clear complexion.
8. Discoloration Correcting Serum
Good Molecules Product for Lightening Dark Spots and Brightening
Good Molecules Discoloration Correcting Serum
This affordable serum is perfect for those looking to lighten discolored spots (like post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne or melasma) for a more even complexion.
9. RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream
Avène Product for Fighting the Signs of Aging
Avène RetrinAL 0.1 Intensive Cream
This over-the-counter anti-aging retinol contains retinaldehyde, a potent retinoid, as well as other ingredients that help minimize the appearance of wrinkles, plump the skin, and protect against free radicals for a youthful complexion.
10. AHA & BHA Daily Clean Toner
Mizon Product for Gentle Exfoliation
Mizon AHA & BHA Daily Clean Toner
This toner is an excellent product if you’re looking for gentle daily exfoliation. It contains AHAs, BHAs, and papaya enzymes that exfoliate to unclog pores and smooth tone and texture.
11. Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Lotion Exfoliant
Paula's Choice Product for Exfoliating, Lightly Hydrating, and Reducing the Signs of Aging
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Lotion Exfoliant
This 8% AHA product exfoliates the skin while also lightly hydrating to keep the skin smooth, calm, and moisturized.
12. AHA 8% Peeling Serum
Mizon Product for Exfoliating and Reducing the Signs of Aging
Mizon AHA 8% Peeling Serum
This exfoliating serum combines the power of glycolic acid with other calming ingredients to reveal a smoother skin tone and texture while soothing the skin.
13. Mandelic Acid 10% + HA
The Ordinary Product for Exfoliating and Smoothing Tone and Texture
The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA
This product offers gentle exfoliation to smooth skin tone and texture, and includes hydrating and soothing ingredients to fight irritation.
14. Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
The Ordinary Product for Fighting Acne and Evening Skin Tone
The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%
This product from The Ordinary hosts an impressive variety of benefits. Azelaic acid is a brightening skincare ingredient known for minimizing acne, lightening hyperpigmentation, and reducing redness.
15. Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion
The Ordinary Product for Anti-Aging
The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% Emulsion
This is a cult-favorite The Ordinary product, and one of the best for preventing and reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles without the irritation often associated with traditional retinol.
16. Retinol 1% in Squalane
The Ordinary Product for Fighting the Signs of Aging
The Ordinary Retinol 1% in Squalane
This product is the highest-strength retinoid serum from The Ordinary, and the brand’s answer to more traditional retinol products. It’s excellent for preventing and minimizing the signs of aging.
17. Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
The Ordinary Product for Exfoliating
The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution
This chemical exfoliator is one of the most-loved The Ordinary products, with an effective 7% concentration of glycolic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid, or AHA).
18. AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
The Ordinary Product for Improving Skin Texture and Tone
The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution
This peeling solution is one of the best The Ordinary products, particularly for those looking for a high-strength but budget-friendly at-home peel.
19. 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum
La Roche-Posay Product for Hyperpigmentation and Wrinkles
La Roche-Posay 10% Pure Vitamin C Serum
This serum contains a potent concentration of vitamin C, which is known for its ability to brighten, diminish post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, and even skin tone.
20. Lactic Acid 5% + HA
The Ordinary Product for Gentle Exfoliation
The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA
This chemical exfoliator gently exfoliates while soothing and hydrating the skin to reduce irritation.
21. Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%
The Ordinary Product for Evening Skin Tone and Fighting the Signs of Aging
The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2%
This is one of the best The Ordinary products to add to your skincare routine, because it contains a potent concentration of vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which brightens and evens out overall skin tone while fighting the signs of aging.
22. 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant
Paula's Choice Product for Exfoliating and Reducing the Signs of Aging
Paula’s Choice Skin Perfecting 8% AHA Gel Exfoliant
This gel exfoliant contains glycolic acid (an alpha-hydroxy acid, or AHA), a chemical exfoliator that sheds dead skin cells to reveal smooth, younger looking skin.
23. 1% Retinol Treatment
Paula's Choice Product for Hyperpigmentation and Wrinkles
Paula’s Choice Clinical 1% Retinol Treatment
This treatment combines retinol, a powerful anti-aging ingredient, with hydrating and brightening ingredients for an even, smooth skin tone.
24. 10% Niacinamide Booster
Paula's Choice Product for Refining Pore Size and Improving Skin Tone
Paula’s Choice 10% Niacinamide Booster
This super light niacinamide product is one of the best Paula’s Choice serums. It delivers a multitude of benefits, including minimizing the appearance of pores, controlling sebum production, smoothing fine lines, reducing redness, and brightening.
25. 10% Azelaic Acid Booster
Paula's Choice Product for Evening Tone and Texture
Paula’s Choice 10% Azelaic Acid Booster
This booster combines azelaic acid with other brightening ingredients that work together to fade post-acne marks, minimize blemishes, brighten, and even out tone and texture.
26. Adapalene Gel 0.1%
Differin Product for Acne, Blackheads and Dark Spots
Differin Adapalene Gel 0.1%
This treatment gel contains adapalene, a retinoid that is commonly used to treat acne and prevent new breakouts from forming.
27. 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum
Timeless Product for Brightening and Anti-Aging
Timeless 20% Vitamin C + E Ferulic Acid Serum
This affordable vitamin C serum contains a 20% concentration of vitamin C, which helps brighten and fight signs of aging.
28. Vitamin C Serum
TruSkin Product for Brightening and Anti-Aging
TruSkin Vitamin C Serum
This gentle and affordable serum contains vitamin C, which brightens and fights signs of aging, as well as other soothing and hydrating skincare ingredients.
29. Vitamin C Concentrated Serum
Derma E Product for Brightening and Anti-Aging
Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum
This affordable vitamin C serum contains a stable and effective form of vitamin C, as well as additional ingredients that help hydrate and soothe the skin.
30. C15 Super Booster
Paula's Choice Product for Brightening and Fighting Signs of Aging
Paula's Choice C15 Super Booster
The 15% concentration of pure vitamin C in this serum helps brighten the skin while reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Does vitamin C remove dark spots?
Yes, vitamin C has been shown to help fade dark spots. It can help with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (which is typically caused by previous breakouts), melasma (which is related to hormonal changes, often due to pregnancy), and sun spots. For the best results, you’ll want to use a vitamin C serum regularly, and have a bit of patience to allow it to do its work.
How do you get rid of dark spots fast?
There’s no quick fix to get rid of dark spots, but if you’re consistent with your skincare routine (and use the right products), you’ll be able to speed up the healing process, and should hopefully begin to see improvements within a few weeks. In addition to using targeted products, it is essential that you wear sunscreen daily. This is because damage from the sun can make these spots even darker and cause new spots to form. If you’re looking for quicker results, you can talk to your dermatologist about professional treatments, such as a chemical peel or laser treatment.
Is vitamin C or retinol better for dark spots?
Both retinol and vitamin C are excellent for fading dark spots. Since they are both effective – and since everyone’s skin will respond differently – it’s hard to say which is better. If possible, consider using both of these ingredients in your skincare routine for the fastest results. While you can’t layer vitamin C and retinol, you can alternate between using products containing these ingredients (for example, use a vitamin C serum in the morning, and then a retinol product in the evening).
The Bottom Line
While dark spots can be difficult to get rid of, the right skincare products may help you achieve a more even skin tone. If you’re dealing with dark spots, consider adding one (or more) of our recommended products to your skincare routine.