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14 Best Serums for Hyperpigmentation: Dark Spots Correctors

Whether you're battling hyperpigmentation, dark spots, sun damage, or anything in between, there's a serum that can help you even out your skin tone.
Brand courtesy / Sesderma
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If you’re here looking for the best serums for hyperpigmentation, it means you are familiar with skin discoloration, so no need for an introduction. These darkened patches occur when an excess of melanin deposits in the skin, hence, reducing pigment content is the most effective treatment to fade hyperpigmentation and achieve a perfectly even tone. And the serums featured ahead does just that, working on a cellular level to banish dark spots and diminish blemishes once forever.

How to find the best serum for hyperpigmentation

The best serums for hyperpigmentation should include restorative and brightening ingredients as well as antioxidants and pigment-inhibitors.

Vitamin C is one of your BFF since it blocks melanin production and has powerful antioxidant activities that protects cells from free radical damage. Also, it’s the most potent regenerative vitamin — an essential factor in diminishing hyperpigmented spots. Tranexamic acid, kojic acid, alpha arbutin, and niacinamide are also great ingredients to have in your serum as they interfere with melanin production, working to brighten the skin.

Another ingredient often used for reducing hyperpigmentation is retinol. Due to its ability to encourage cell turnover, retinol helps remove the old and pigmented cells, bringing to the surface the healthier and brighter ones. By the same token, many serums for hyperpigmentation include exfoliants like glycolic and lactic acids, to get rid of rid of pigmented cells.

Never skip sunscreen

Let me take a step back now, and clarify something. A crucial step in countering skin hyperpigmentation is to always use 50 SPF sunscreen, as this is the key to diminishing brown spots’ appearance and preventing their apparition at the same time.

And if you need another reason, here it is: most serums for hyperpigmentation will include in their formulas AHAs, or other known exfoliators, which may increase your skin’s sensitivity to sunlight. If you don’t use a UVA/UVB blocker, you might even obtain the opposite effect and develop more hyperpigmented spots. Need to repeat? Always protect your skin with high SPF — the sun damages it really bad!

The best hyperpigmentation serums

Now that you have all your questions answered, scroll on to find your favorite product. I’ve made all the work for you and rounded up the best serums for hyperpigmentation formulated to reduce discoloration.

Sunday Riley Brightening Serum

Sunday Riley Brightening Serum

In the get-rid-of-hyperpigmentation world, vitamin C is one of the best ingredients, not only for its brightening properties but also for its antioxidant effect. This serum is super rich in vitamin C, contains a blend of botanical extracts meant to reinforce the skin’s moisture, and it’s enhanced with glycolic acid to help refine texture. It’s no wonder that it’s one of the best serums for hyperpigmentation out there.

StriVectin Brighten & Correct Serum

StriVectin Brighten & Correct Serum

Vitamin C, acerola cherry (a highly concentrated source of pure vitamin C), and retinol join forces in this formula for intense brightening and clarifying effects. It also works excellent as a makeup base, as it soaks into the skin easily, without any tacky feeling. Lightweight, Sunday Riley Correct Serum smooths rough texture while helping neutralize free radicals, thanks to the addition of NIA-114™ — brand’s proprietary form of niacinamide that also strengthens the skin’s protective barrier.

SkinMedica Lytera Pigment Correcting Serum

SkinMedica Lytera Pigment Correcting Serum

SkinMedica Correcting Serum uses phenylethyl resorcinol — a potent depigmenting agent and antioxidant — to help support melanin balance and correct the appearance of hyperpigmentation. The niacinamide, tranexamic acid and tetrapeptide addition work hard to prevent new dark spots appearance and enhance texture while evening out skin tone. It also uses a marine extract blend to maintain a healthy barrier, making the serum ideal for all skin types. Apply it in AM and PM for best results.

Allies of Skin Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum

Allies Of Skin Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum

There’s a reason Allies of Skin Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector is touted as one of the best serums for hyperpigmentation — it really works. Not only it packs a concentrated blend of exfoliants to sweep away dead cells, but it includes eight brighteners and seven antioxidants to fight discoloration and protect skin from sun damage. There’s mandelic acid, bakuchiol (a retinol alternative), three peptides, resveratrol, and niacinamide, all sharing the same goal: to put dark spots at bay. Even more, the serum contain hyaluronic acid to offset possible dryness.

Sesderma Azelac Ru Serum

Sesderma Azelac Ru Serum for Hyperpigmentation

This lightweight serum touts azelaic acid, resorcinol, tranexamic acid, retinol and vitamin C in a formula strong enough to battle all types of hyperpigmentation. Yet, the best part: to provide transformative benefits, all actives are encapsulated in liposomes, tiny bubbles used as a delivery system to carry the ingredients in deeper layers of the epidermis.

SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense

Skinceuticals Skin Discoloration Serum

If your goal is a brighter-looking complexion, SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense might be your best match. It’s clinically proven to reduce the appearance of discoloration and brightens skin in all tones — thanks to 3% tranexamic acid, 1% kojic acid and 5% niacinamide. Whether you’re dealing with post-acne marks or age spots, this serum will definitely come in handy, being one of the best to correct hyperpigmentation.

Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum

There’s not much Murad Dark Spot Correcting Serum can’t do. Thanks to the patented resorcinol and tranexamic acid, the serum works wonder to fix uneven skin tone and minimize dark spots. On top of that, glycolic acid enforce its potency, revealing brightness and reviving dullness by promoting cell turnover. It’s an intensive serum, with a lightweight feeling, yet pretty powerful — the reason why everyone praise it.

Isdinceutics Day & Night Brightening Serum

ISDIN Brightening Serum

Exfoliation is the foundation of brighter, even skin. With this in mind, Isdinceutics created a duo set containing Night Peel and Pigment Expert. You got it right: while the Night Peel exfoliates with glycolic acid, the Pigment Expert boosts radiance and delivers intense brightening effects with vitamin C, niacinamide, and licorice extract. Coming in ampoules, this product is supercharged with higher concentrations of active ingredients — meaning it delivers the best-in-class results.

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum

Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Vitamin C Serum

This one is one of the best serums for hyperpigmentation because it contains 15% vitamin C, plus polyhydroxy acids and hyaluronic acid. If you are not familiar with polyhydroxy acids, they are chemical exfoliants working more gently than AHAs to remove the buildup of dead cells. You’ve got antioxidants, exfoliants, and soothing ingredients in a single product if you’ll go for Ole Henriksen Banana Bright Serum.

Perricone MD Vitamin C Ester CCC

Perricone MD Vitamin C Brightening Complex

Perricone MD products are a cult favorite, and this one is no exception. Combining three forms of vitamin C with ferulic acid, the serum vows to fade dark spots and brighten the skin, providing a perfectly even tone along with a smooth texture. More than that, it contains vitamin E, meaning more antioxidants, plus jojoba seed oil for comforting the skin. Since it’s highly concentrated in vitamin C, don’t forget to perform a patch test to see if your skin can tolerate it.

Neutrogena Bright Boost Illuminating Face Serum

Neutrogena Bright Boost Illuminating Face Serum

For a drugstore serum for hyperpigmentation, Neutrogena Bright Boost is definitely standing out. First, it contains turmeric extract, a known lightening agent that inhibits pigment production in cells, reducing hyperpigmentation and dark spots. Then neoglucosamine, which is a patented non-acid amino sugar that gently resurfaces the skin by encouraging cell turnover. This, in turn, sheds away the darkened cells that have been affected by excess pigment, revealing a radiant complexion. Discolorations, uneven tone, and dullness will be a thing of the past with Neutrogena Bright Boost Illuminating Face Serum.

PCA Skin Vitamin B3 Brightening Serum

PCA Skin Vitamin B3 Brightening Serum

This one brightens dark spots and evens skin tone with 6% niacinamide. Also an antioxidant and moisturizer, niacinamide improves skin discoloration by blocking pigment formation, being a true multi-tasker. In addition, the serum loads green tea and mulberry extracts to support the lightening and depigmenting effects, while glycerin and peptides maintain the skin barrier integer. It leaves no room for sun damage or blemishes, being one of the very best serums for hyperpigmentation.

Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Serum

Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Dark Spot Serum

One of the best serums for hyperpigmentation with a clean formula comes from Glow Recipe. Skipping all skin enemies and packing five forms of vitamin C, the serum promises to brighten and even dull skin while preventing further discoloration for a more vibrant, glowing and even-toned complexion. Besides, Glow Recipe Guava Vitamin C Serum is also made with ferulic acid to boost the antioxidant power of vitamin C, plus hyaluronic acid and betaine for a burst of hydration.

The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% Serum

The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin Serum

The Ordinary puts on the table one of the most affordable, yet effective, serums to battle hyperpigmentation (it only costs 11 bucks). With 8% ascorbic acid (the active form of vitamin C) and 2% alpha arbutin you can finally say goodbye to uneven tone and welcome a brighter, radiant complexion. And to make the formula suitable for all skin types, including dry, the serum was built around propanediol  — a humectant that draws moisture and prevents water loss.

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