Beauty + Skincare

Three Products for Eliminating Dark Spots

Do you struggle with dark marks on your face?  My right cheek is discolored from years of breakouts.  Here’s how I’m treating my hyperpigmentation.

1. Glow2OH Dark Spot Toner. With a mix of glycolic and lactic acids Ole Henriksen’s toner exfoliates and treats.  Over the course of a few weeks, I noticed brighter skin and more even skin tone.  Also, if you have uneven texture or fine lines, this toner also smoothes and refines.

I use this toner at night to treat my skin before I head to bed.  This product can increase your sensitivity to sunlight, so using it at night can minimize that sensitivity.

2. Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA. This $9 serum works as well, if not better than some of the more expensive lightening serums I have tried.  Made from the bearberry plant, Alpha Arbutin prevents the enzymes that cause melanin from forming.  It’s just as effective as vitamin-C, quinine, and other well known pigmentation treatments.

This was the first product I started using to treat my hyperpigmentation.  The company advises that you use the serum in the morning and at night.  I only use it at night, and I’ve still seen noticeable results.  So if you have dark spots and $9, give it a try.

3. Suntegrity SPF 30 Sunscreen. This moisturizing sunscreen and primer is the first facial sunscreen I’ve used that doesn’t give my skin an unnatural white cast.  It’s also light and not greasy. It’s also loaded with antioxidants.  Not to mention, it’s one of the best makeup primers that I have ever used.

If you’re using AHA, retinoids, or other strong skin treatments, you need sunscreen.  These products make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, and you need to protect it.  I also apply it to my hands to prevent dark spots and wrinkles from forming on my hands.

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  1. Sara says:

    Question – do you use these all over your face or just on your dark spots?

    February 4, 2019/Reply
  2. Jenna says:

    I have a single stubborn dark spot on my cheek that WILL. NOT. FADE. I had the derm prescribe hydroquinone, and then nothing. Derm also preached that using physical/mineral sunscreen as opposed to standard chemical sunscreen was also important to getting lightening products to work but still didn’t see any improvements. Has anyone experimented with laser treatments and had positive results?

    February 4, 2019/Reply
    • MB says:

      I had great results with an IPL laser treatment. It turns the dark spots even darker for a few days (like you have coffee grounds on your face) and then it all sheds away!

      February 4, 2019/Reply
  3. Chelsea says:

    Does “dark spots” include freckles? Mine seem to get bigger and darker each year. Also, do you use all of these at once or are the first two redundant?

    February 4, 2019/Reply
  4. Kate says:

    Has anyone had any luck with lightening dark spots caused by hormone-induced melasma? The dark patches around my eyes due to BC are so frustrating and I’ve heard that traditional lightening methods won’t work or will make it worse.

    February 5, 2019/Reply
    • Meghan says:

      Question seconded! I have a few BC-caused melasma and I’d love to hear what worked for others.

      February 5, 2019/Reply
      • Jules says:

        According to my derm, melasma is really tricky to treat, and it can always come back.
        I’ve been able to make my melasma less noticeable (more easily covered with make up) using the following:
        -Vitamin C serum – I use Timeless
        -EltaMD mineral sunscreen religiously reapplying and ALWAYS wearing a hat
        -Tretinoin 0.1%
        -SkinMedica Lytera
        -Derm prescribed Hydroquinone (it’s 7% with tretinoin and Kojic acid). I ‘pulse’ the hydroquinone for about a month on, a month or two off, and I use it sparingly
        – I’ve also started using The Ordinary’s Lactic acid, but not sure if this is working

        The big/dark areas have gotten a smidge lighter, but a lot of the lighter melasma has improved a lot. There’s apparently some lasers you can do, but it has to be the right one, because it can actually make melasma worse. I can’t remember the name right now.

        February 5, 2019/Reply
    • Taylor says:

      I have struggled with Melasma for YEARS and have tried every serum/cream under the sun. This fall, I decided to get very serious with my treatment (I am finally in a position financially – its been a costly process). I purchased a peel package from my esthetician and had 6 peels done over the course of three months. I also decided to stop my oral birth control which was crucial since it stopped the production of melanin. The peels plus a round of microdermabrasion have both been very helpful and I have seen a significant reduction of dark spots. I also use the Beauty Counter’s overnight resurfacing mask + Vitamin C serum. Lastly, I can’t possibly stress enough the importance of sun screen. You can use ever serum/get every peel in the book but it will come back instantly in the sun. Good luck, Melasma is the worst but with a consistent routine, it can get better!

      February 7, 2019/Reply
  5. L says:

    Just purchased the dark spot toner! Hoping it will work miracles on my dark acne spots. I have been going through fertility treatments and the hormonal acne is really taking it’s toll!

    February 6, 2019/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Start with it once a day, and then work up to twice. Otherwise you may get a bit of dryness.

      February 6, 2019/Reply