Paris Woman Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2016Iris Van Herpen show

February 23, 2016

Be it pimple scars as a result of itchy fingers, or going a few hours too many under the sun without loading up on the SPF, you’ve probably ever wrung your hands over dark spots, and over how to get rid of them before they become a permanent fixture on your face. Whenever these nasties surface on the skin, we’re always on the lookout for the most effective solution to banish them. These are the five that we’ve been able to count on so far to put up a real fight against those spots:


Kiehl’s Dermatologist Solutions Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution
A few drops of this on problem areas daily gave us skin as clear as the solution inside this frills-free glass dropper bottle. Seriously, though, we find some Kiehl’s treatments to be rather potent, and you definitely want something powerful if you want those spots to fade in double-quick time. What gives this solution its powers is the inclusion of Activated C, a Vitamin C derivative that was the newest thing on the market when this product first launched in 2012; and what it does is break up existing clusters of melanin within the skin and prevent new ones from forming. If you’re a fan of this, you’ll want to get your hands on the limited edition 50ml bottle next month (they usually come in 30ml versions).

$90 for 30ml; $120 for 50ml (from March), available at Kiehl’s stores. 





Shiseido White Lucent MultiTargeting Spot Corrector
Shiseido’s White Lucent line has often been included in lists of top-performing whitening products. Now that the range has been revamped (read our overview here), it has gotten even better. Firstly, there’s the whole premise of the range – each product has functions inspired by professional whitening treatments – and the idea of “Double Strike Whitening”, which refers to how the formulations work to both correct spots, and resist future ones. The MultiTargeting Spot Corrector is inspired by laser therapy, and targets those scattered, smaller spots that other treatments might miss out. We really like the moisturising emulsion-like consistency of this one, and the light floral scent. By the way, even the fragrance supposedly helps with whitening – it contains rosenium, which has been found to limit melanin production.

$155, available at Shiseido counters.





SK-II Cellumination Aura Essence
If you’re looking for a solution to pigmentation that also gives an overall radiance boost, it’s found in this little duo-chrome bottle. There’s Pitera in this, of course, but the main brightening functions come from SK-II’s Soft Aura White Cocktail, which helps regulate melanin production at the cellular level. The velvety texture that this essence leaves behind on the skin is lovely as well, and after regular use, we really did notice a lightening of spots. Heads up: if you like this product, look out for an upcoming new whitening range from SK-II, made up of products that are supposedly the more targeted version of this whitening essence.

$199 for 30ml; $299 for 50ml; $397 for 75ml, available at SK-II counters.








Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector & Optimizer
So what makes this newest edition of Clinique’s Even Better Dark Spot Corrector, well, even better? The difference is the addition of the “Optimizer”, which is a calming formula to soothe skin irritation that might be the cause of dark spots. The Optimizer is made with gyokuro extract, from one of the most expensive types of green tea, and contains high levels of antioxidants to keep dark spots from making a comeback. The Dark Spot Corrector and Optimizer are kept separate in dual chambers within the bottle, but are pumped out in optimal concentrations. We recommend this for use on areas prone to blemishes, to calm the irritated skin there.

$135, available at Clinique counters.








Biotherm Liquid White Spot Focus
Another dark spot-killer in a handy dropper bottle is Biotherm’s version from the Liquid White range. Like the rest of the brand’s products, this one relies on the power of the deep sea, in the form of a type of red algae extract that has been found to be effective against visible pigmentation and dark spots. As for the long term, there’s the white lotus extract to target oxidation and dryness, which can be causes of dark spots as well. After a few weeks of applying a few drops on blemish scars, we definitely saw significant fading.

$95, available at Biotherm counters.







Main image: Iris van Herpen Spring/Summer 2016, courtesy M.A.C.