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A flawless-looking complexion is oh-so-enviable, but we know that it can sometimes seem unachievable. One of the skin care concerns that may be frustrating you? That’d be none other than dark spots. Although you can’t snap your fingers and get rid of dark spots (cue sad trombone), there are steps you can take in your skin care routine to help diminish their appearance, such as using a dark spot corrector. Keep reading to learn what causes dark spots and to read our full review on our best dark spot corrector. Plus, stick around for more skin care tips and skin care product recommendations to help reduce the look of dark spots.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), dark spots can appear on all skin types—and the main cause of dark spots is sun damage. Yep, when you spend time in the sun sans protection, this can lead to the appearance of visible signs of aging down the road, such as dark spots and fine lines and wrinkles.
Without further ado, our best dark spot corrector is the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Dual Overnight Moisturizer. This moisturizing overnight treatment will deliver brighter, younger-looking skin while you sleep, showing results after just one week. The skin refreshes and renews at night, which makes using an overnight product for dark spots an easy choice. This dual-action, dermatologist-inspired brightening anti-wrinkle night moisturizer combines two effective anti-aging treatments into a single pump, allowing you to streamline your routine even when tackling the most stubborn of skin care concerns. One of the treatments is an exfoliating concentrate formulated with glycolic acid to remove dead skin cells and the other is a brightening infusion formulated with vitamin C and Pro-Retinol to enhance skin clarity and reduce the visibility of dark spots. Basically, it's dark spot kryptonite.
Looking to add a dark spot corrector to your skin care routine? Apply our dark spot corrector to your complexion every night, smoothing it over cleansed skin. The corrector should be the last step in your nightly regimen, which means you'll want to cleanse, apply any serums, and use an eye cream first.
When it comes to dealing with the appearance of dark spots, you already know that using a dark spot corrector can help. But what else can you do? Here’s how to round out the rest of your skin care routine when you have dark spots.
As we noted earlier, sun damage is the most common cause of dark spots. So, make sure to apply and re-apply (at least every two hours) a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or higher. If you prefer to go the moisturizer with SPF route, reach for the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Day Lotion SPF 30. Of course, sunscreen shouldn't be your source of sun protection. Whether or not you have dark spots, you should also limit your amount of time in the sun (especially between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., which are the sun’s peak hours), seek shade, and cover up exposed areas in long sleeves, pants, a broad-brimmed hat, and UV-blocking sunglasses.
Editor’s note: Keep in mind that AHAs, like glycolic acid (which is in our dark spot corrector's formula), may increase your skin’s sun sensitivity. So, just in case you needed another reason to be diligent with sun protection, this is it!
Our dark spot corrector exfoliates for you, but it doesn't hurt to reiterate the importance of exfoliation. According to the AAD, chemical peels containing glycolic and salicylic acid can help exfoliate skin’s surface and reduce the appearance of dark spots with continued use over time. To up your exfoliation game, look for a facial cleanser that contains glycolic acid, such as the L’Oréal Paris Revitalift Bright Reveal Brightening Daily Scrub Cleanser. Formulated with glycolic acid and gentle micro-pearls, this scrub cleanser helps exfoliate dullness and impurities from the surface of skin and helps improve the appearance of skin tone with continued use over time.
As much effort as you may put into minimizing the appearance of dark spots, in a pinch you may also want to know how to cover them up. That’s when a color-correcting concealer could come in handy. This will all make sense if you use your knowledge of the color wheel. (Quick, think back to those art classes you took in elementary school.) Dark spots can have a bluish hue, and since blue sits across from orange on the color wheel, shades of orange can be used to neutralize the appearance of dark spots. Pretty neat!
The L’Oréal Paris True Match™ Color Correcting Crayon comes in three different colors that work to hide dark spots: peach for fair to light skin tones, bisque for light to medium skin tones, and orange for medium to deep skin tones. Select your match and start covering up! (Want to know more about color correcting? Learn about all the ways you can use color correctors in our article, 4 Areas on Your Face to Apply Color Correcting Concealer.)
If you’re trying to make your dark spots go completely undercover, follow color-correcting concealer with a full-coverage foundation. The L’Oréal Paris Infallible Total Cover Foundation is a prime pick, as it offers long-lasting, heavy-duty coverage.
Once you know how to minimize and disguise the appearance of dark spots, are you ready to learn how to do the same for another skin imperfection—dark circles? Come on, who hasn’t noticed dark circles under their eyes at one point or another. Now that you’re a pro at managing dark spots, you can shift your focus to your next complexion concern and read up on Our Best Eye Creams for Dark Circles.