Hyperpigmentation has become known as the most obvious sign your skin is starting the aging process. Pigmentation is caused by the overproduction of melanin and surfaces in the form of dark spots, commonly known as sun spots, or splotchy patches (melasma). It’s most common on the face, hands, and décolleté.
Here’s the good news: There are a lot of ingredients that give pigmentation some serious competition. So we translated the formula mumble jumble and tested numerous topical treatments to find you the best serums and creams that fade age spots and deliver glowing skin.
Below are the treatments that hit the spot.
Bronze: Deciem Hand Chemistry Retin Oil ($20 in the shop)
This dry body oil does more than lend a pretty sheen. It targets discoloration — even scars and stretch marks — with vitamins A, C and E. The retinol (derivative of vitamin A) complex is the star of the formula: At a one percent concentration, the highest available over the counter, it speeds up cell turnover to help rid the pigment faster. Vitamin C lightens the spots you already have and interrupts the production of new spots, while vitamin E helps repair skin from environmental damage.
Silver: Medik8 White Balance Click ($88 in the shop)
Medik8's skin brightening serum uses a very clever deliver system. Its active ingredient, kojic acid, is stored separately in the product’s lid and released by the click mechanism to ensure its stability. Kojic acid, which is derived from fungi, penetrates deep into skin to stop the production of melanin. In the bottle you’ll find skin-lightening alpha-arbutin (bearberry), plus lactic and linoleic acids to exfoliate for a more even tone.
Gold: Elena Rubin Lighten Up ($119 in the shop)
Our gold medalist contains a strong yet natural skin-brightening cocktail. Alpha-arbutin, kojic acid and bellis erennis (daisy) flower extract influence different pathways involved in melanin formation to provide gradual skin lightening of even the most stubborn patches. It also contains a host of nourishing antioxidants, including mulberry and bearberry extract, plus radiance-boosting citrus-derived oils.