Bye-bye, stubborn spots!
Also called sun spots, age spots, or hyperpigmentation, dark spots can pop up on your face, hands, and décolletage as a result of sun exposure, genetics, hormones, and inflammation, says Howard Murad, M.D., board-certified dermatologist and founder of Murad Skincare. You've likely noticed freckle-like spots after a day at the beach or week-long vacation. These are sunspots or post-acne marks darkened by UV exposure, he explains. But they can also be age spots or melasma, which often occurs with pregnancy. Instead of just covering them with concealer, shop for dark spot correctors that can help lighten hyperpigmentation for good.
The Good Housekeeping Institute Beauty Lab experts evaluate hundreds of skincare products every year, including ones that claim to correct dark spots, from night creams to at-home peels. GH Beauty Lab scientists conduct rigorous clinical testing, recruiting women of all ages and skin types to assess the products' results after at home use. In the Lab, their skin is scanned with the Visia Complexion Analyzer machine to measure changes in the size and count of dark spots, plus pores, skin texture, and lines and wrinkles before and after weeks of use.
When shopping for dark spot correcting treatments, our experts suggest look for terms like "brightening" and “skin tone-evening" on the packaging. You should also look for products with ingredients like vitamin C (an antioxidant that brightens skin), niacinamide (vitamin B3, which slows pigment production), or hydroquinone (which inhibits an enzyme that produces melanin).
Good news: Dark spots aren’t permanent! Here's how to zap every spot and fade hyperpigmentation, whether at home or heading to the dermatologist for a professional treatment:
Here, the best over the counter dark spot remover products, treatments, and creams on the market that really work to remove dark spots on the face, according to GH Beauty Lab experts, including formulas for all skin tones, and drugstore, natural, and dermatologist picks: