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The Best Dark Spot Serums for Dark Skin

The Best Dark Spot Serums for Dark Skin

The Best Dark Spot Serums for Dark Skin

Melanin-rich skin often has a complicated relationship with dark spots: Not only are dark spots more likely to appear on darker skin, they also tend to be difficult to fade. Add to this the fact that some depigmenting ingredients affect not only dark spots but also the skin around them, and it becomes clear that it’s not always easy to find the best dark spot serums to minimize dark spots and hyperpigmentation on dark skin. But it’s not impossible! In this post we have gathered our favorite products for melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation that do not depigment the rest of the skin.

Before we move on to product recommendations, though, let’s talk a little about dark spots and hyperpigmentation:

What causes hyperpigmentation on dark skin?

To minimize dark spots and hyperpigmentation, it’s important to know their origin. The most common causes of dark spots on melanin-rich skin are melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH). In addition to these two causes, there’s a third that also affects a lot of people: periorbital hyperpigmentation, a type of hyperpigmentation characterized by darker skin around the eyes. Although it is mostly hereditary, periorbital hyperpigmentation can also be caused by PIH.

All in all, we can say that melasma and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH) are the most common causes of dark spots on melanin-rich skin. But how do you tell them apart from one another?

Melasma appears as a patch with irregular borders, and it usually covers large areas of the face and body. Melasma patches are often symmetrical, meaning that they tend to appear on both sides of the face or body. As a final note, it’s important to keep in mind that the appearance of melasma is commonly associated with hormonal changes.

In contrast, PIH, or post-inflammatory pigmentation, manifests as dark spots that appear on the skin after an inflammatory process has subsided. This inflammatory process that precedes the dark spot can be associated with injuries such as burns, skin conditions such as acne or eczema, or even mosquito bites. After the lesion and inflammation disappear, a dark spot forms on the skin, corresponding almost exactly to the shape of the lesion.

What are the best ingredients to help fade dark spots on melanin-rich skin?

There are many depigmenting ingredients in the skincare world, with hydroquinone generally considered to be the most effective answer to hyperpigmentation. For those with darker skin, however, hydroquinone often carries an undesirable side effect: it can create a halo on the skin while treating dark spots. That said, hydroquinone isn’t totally forbidden for those with dark skin, but it should be used with extreme caution and by those with extensive experience.

Hydroquinone aside, what other ingredients can you use to combat dark spots and hyperpigmentation? Look toward retinoids, azelaic acid, kojic acid, niacinamide, tranexamic acid, and vitamin C. Additionally, you can also use exfoliating acids such as glycolic and lactic acids. And if you’re looking for natural ingredientes? Options such as turmeric extract, astaxanthin, glutathione, and alpha-arbutin can also help. Last, but not least, there’s Thiamidol, an exclusive patented ingredient from Beiersdorf, which has been proven to work well to minimize hyperpigmentation on dark skin.

The best dark spot serums for dark skin will include a mix of several ingredients, so there’s no need to look for just one of these. Always look for a selected mixture that specifically addresses your problem rather than searching for a specific ingredient.

How to tackle hyperpigmentation on dark skin

The best way to avoid dark spots and hyperpigmentation is to avoid sun exposure. Avoiding direct sun exposure is ideal, but when that’s not possible, wearing a sunscreen that works well on dark skin tones is the next best thing.

The link between sun exposure and hyperpigmentation is common to different causes of dark spots. If you struggle with melasma, for example, sun exposure is a known trigger that can disrupt even the most controlled cases; if you struggle with PIH, sun exposure to skin affected by an injury or inflammatory process will likely produce more pigmented skin in the affected area.

Another thing you need when combating dark spots and hyperpigmentation is patience. Even when treated correctly, hyperpigmentation can take up to six months to start to fade–and even when it does, it can reappear. Melasma, for example, is considered a chronic skin condition: if you have it, you will have to learn to deal with dark spots while keeping in mind that they’ll probably never go away forever.

The best dark spot serums for dark skin

Now that we’ve talked a little bit about hyperpigmentation and how it can be minimized on dark skin, it’s time to get to the product recommendations. Below, we’ve collected some of our favorite serums for hyperpigmentation on dark skin, featuring effective blends of ingredients that will help fade different types of dark spots:

Eucerin Anti-Pigment Dual Serum

Best overall

The Eucerin Anti-Pigment Dual Serum features the Beiersdorf patent Thiamidol, an ingredient that works on any skin tone to provide even color. Ideally, you should combine it with the other products in the range, as Thiamidolis at peak effectiveness when used four times a day (that’s right, 4x!)

If you’d rather stick to just the serum, however, you’ll still be reaping a lot of benefits from the formula. It can be used during pregnancy and on sensitive skin.

Collistar Pure Actives Vitamin C + Alpha-Arbutin Serum

Best for glowing skin

If you’re looking for a combination of ingredients that leaves your skin even-toned and extra glowing, this serum is for you. Combining the iconic glow-booster vitamin C with depigmenting alpha-arbutin, this serum delivers on both fronts.

Additionally, vitamin C also provides protection from free radicals that damage the skin, thus contributing to preventing signs of aging. The formula is extra light and easy to absorb, being ideal to use under makeup.

La Roche-Posay Mela B3 Concentrated Serum

Best for age and sun spots

This serum contains both niacinamide and an exclusive patented molecule owned by L’Oréal: Melasyl™. This patent is the only one that can inhibit directly the formation of the two melanin precursors, thus preventing pigmentation from forming.

Additionally, it also contains a blend of retinol and lipohydroxy acid (LHA) to ensure the skin is renewed. It’s ideal for all kinds of hyperpigmentation, but it will have a visible effect on sun and age spots, which are usually very difficult to handle.

Bella Aurora Bio10 Forte M-lasma Depigmenting Treatment

Best for persistent melasma

If you’re dealing with extremely persistent pigmentation that won’t fade, it’s time to look at skincare brands that specialize in pigmentation issues.

This formula combines a patented technology of deep delivery with kojic acid, thus ensuring the active ingredients get where they are needed the most. It can be used throughout the entire year and is safe to use during pregnancy.

Sesderma Azelac RU Liposomal Depigmenting Serum

Best for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Azelaic acid is one of the best ingredints for fighting PIH. This serum not only includes azelaic acid, but it also combines it with retinol and tranexamic acid. It’s one of our best sellers for good reason–it has a fluid milky texture that works on every skin type and tone.

It’s overall considered by our customers one of the best dark spot serums for dark skin because it actually helps to fade acne marks.

Sensilis Skin D-Pigment [ AHA10 Overnight] Depigmenting Treatment

Best for sensitive skin

This creamy formula comes to save all sensitive skins. The gentle blend of depigmenting ingredients promides to gradually fade away dark spots without any irritation on your skin. Moreover, it also provides a glowing boost. A cocktail of polyhydroxy acids provides gentle exfoliation, while ellagic acid and alpha-arbutin gently help to attenuate dark spots.

All of this will create results after just two months of continuous use, which is an incredible stat considering sensitive skin.

Beauty of Joseon Glow Serum Propolis + Niacinamide

Best Korean serum for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation

Niacinamide is a great ingredient for almost anything. It helps to repair the skin barrier, protects from premature aging, and fights off pigmentation.

Combined with propolis, it’s incredible for helping to fade away spots from acne-prone skin. As propolis helps to maintain a healthy skin, even those more prone to redness and excess sebum, it’s an amazing combo for those skins.

Fighting dark spots isn’t easy, especially in dark skin tones. Not only is dark skin more prone to uneven pigmentation, it’s also more vulnerable to the depigmenting effect of some ingredients, which can create a paler halo around the dark spots and blemishes you’re trying to correct.

In order to create a complete strategy against hyperpigmentation on dark skin, it’s essential to minimize sun exposure, invest in a good depigmenting serum, and use a sunscreen that suits the needs of darker skin tones. If you’re having trouble finding a great sunscreen, make sure to look through our selection of sunscreens suitable for dark skin.

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