Photo Credit: Sephora.com
Dull, uneven skin tone, and, heaven forbid, dark spots and discoloration from the sun, are key telltale signs of aging and lapsed sun protection. For more than 50 years, hydroquinone has been the gold standard for reversing hyperpigmentation, but with a few caveats. It can cause sensitivity and redness, and some people claim hydroquinone poses a cancer risk, although it’s cancer-causing properties have yet to be proven in humans. In addition to hydroquinone, many new ingredients for brightening, as well as a few tried and true formulas, work to minimize unwanted discoloration.
Three new dark spot correctors have raised the bar when it comes to correcting dark spots and uneven skin tone with products sold at beauty counters. Patience is a virtue when it comes to reducing the appearance of discoloration, but only if the products work. We think the following are worth checking out.
Photo Credit: Sephora.com
This new dark spot corrector is an over-the-counter hydroquinone option to reduce the appearance of sun spots, freckles, acne scars, and melasma. It contains 2% hydrqouinone, the maximum allowed by the FDA in a non-prescription product. It also features Illumiscin®, niacinamide PC, Actiwhite™, Chromabright™, and Lipochroman-6 to synergistically reduce the intensity and size of spots and help prevent new discoloration from forming, and caffeine to help condition the skin. The bragging rights? It is supposed to give results in a week, but I saw visible improvements in three days. Furthermore it also helped clear my acne, which is a welcome sideline benefit. If there was one dark spot corrector on the market that I would invest in, this would be it.
Peter Thomas Roth also offers a new non-hydroquinone alternative to brightening and lessening hyperpigmentation: a new sleep mask that smells of a bright, juicy orange. Camu Camu berry is a potent superfruit from the Amazon and gives you 30 times more vitamin C per ounce. It also is supposed to absorb better because of its low molecular weight and therefore functions beautifully as a lightweight sleeping mask that will not stain sheets. I call it “lingerie for the skin” but it could also be perfume for your face—is fragrance is that pleasing. The ingredients include arbutin, which helps diminish the appearance of unneven skin tone, fine lines, and wrinkles, so this really is a total anti-aging mask. Available exclusively at Sephora.
This multi-tasking brightening moisturizer is a great option for the warmer summer months because it is oil-free and formulated with SPF 30. Existing dark spots are targeted by a combination of Rosa Roxburghii, a vitamin C loaded rose from southwest China, white peony, and melanin inhibiting palmaria, which work together to visibly lessen discolorations and transform dull skin from blah to radiant. Plus, SPF 30 protects the skin from damaging UV to prevent future spots from popping out. In a clinical study, 91% of the panelists showed measurable improvement in skin tone after four weeks of using Mega-Bright every day. Use this one during the day, and the original Mega-Bright without SPF at night.