Find out the best and most effective at-home dark spot correctors that cater to every budget, from under £5 to £350+, for you to fight off hyperpigmentation at home for a glowing skin.
This post contains independently selected affiliate links. If you buy something, we may earn an affiliate commission. See our disclosures here to find out more
Dark spots can truly be annoying, particularly for people with brown and black skin, because a tiny scratch, an insect bite, or any other skin inflammation irrespective of a healthy skincare and self-care routine can trigger hyperpigmentation on any part of our body.
The good news is that you no longer have to head straight to the dermatologist to fork out thousands of pounds, dollars, or euros on pricey aerolase laser treatments, chemical peels, or light-based therapy to prevent and treat minor skin irritation and hyperpigmentation.
Discover the best over-the-counter dark spot correctors for your face, including budget-friendly drugstore treatments designed specifically for black and brown skin, that will help you safely kiss goodbye to dark marks for you to reclaim a radiant skin.
1. Dr Barbara Sturm Darker Skin Tones Face Cream
© Dr Barbara Sturm
The silky fast absorbing DARKER SKIN TONES FACE CREAM from Dr Baraba Sturm is part of a whole skincare line of 5 products specifically designed to cater to the specific skin health needs of darker skin tones with normal, combination or oily skin. The skincare line was designed in partnership with female Black actor Angela Bassett.
The face cream is infused with potent plant extracts of Magnolia and Enantia Chlorantha (African Whitewood) Bark to help refine pores, reduce sebum and provide intense hydration powered up by Squalane and Hyaluronic Acid. Radiance boosting Lumicol, which comes from Microalgae, evens out skin tone and gives the complexion a fresh and even glow. Purslane, an anti-ageing super-ingredient, helps reduce the visible signs of irritation. And the active ingredient Telovitin helps boost skin health and function.
Pros: cruelty free, fast absorbing, innovative
2. Dudu Osun African Black Soap
© Tropical Naturals Limited
Available at Amazon
This black soap bar is known to particularly work well for darker skin tones with congested skin, dark spots, oily skin and damaged skin, and to be beneficial in the healing process of eczema and psoriasis.
Dudu Osun has been the greatest love of my life for nearly a decade. To this day this African heritage black soap bar remains the only skincare product that successfully faded dark marks and got rid of acne and eczema on my highly sensitive skin within 5 days of using it for the first time.
Each ingredient in the soap bar is known for its beneficial properties. Highly moisturising shea butter and palm kernel oil are renowned for facilitating wound healing, cell regeneration, and dark spot fading. Plant extract Osun (Camwood) is a natural exfoliant that removes dead skin for a radiant look. Citrus ingredients lime juice and lemon juice as AHAs, thanks to their exfoliating effects on skin, work well on lightening age spots and acne scars. Cocoa pod ash and palm bunch ash work well at soothing skin. And lastly, Aloe Vera is known for its impressive anti-inflammatory properties.
Pros: cruelty-free, very budget-friendly, highly effective for problematic skin
Cons: a little drying, contains fragrance
3. SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
© L’Oréal (UK) Limited
Available at Lookfantastic
A highly effective daytime Vitamin C antioxidant that delivers advanced environmental protection and improves the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles and loss of firmness.
If premium Vitamin C is your most preferred option to fade dark spots, then high-performing C E Ferulic serum is the way to go. As a dark spot corrector C E Ferulic, contains a powerful antioxidant combination of 15% pure vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid), 1% vitamin E (alpha tocopherol), and 0.5% ferulic acid to enhance protection against environmental damage. This topical antioxidant serum neutralises free radicals, and it helps improve signs of photo-damage, the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and the loss of firmness.
Pros: cruelty-free, fast absorbing, works very well on all skin types
4. Cyspera Intensive Pigment Corrector
Cyspera® is the novel dark spot corrector to address the appearance of brown patches and dark spots that many Board certified dermatologists and aestheticians, particularly those based Stateside, are currently raving about for its stellar results on darker skin tones. Basically, if you have tried every over-the-counter dark spot remover to get rid of stubborn discoloration without much success, the Cyspera face mask might be an option for you to explore.
Formulated with potent skin brightening ingredients Cysteamine, Niacinamide, and Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter), Cyspera treats all types of pigmentation including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH), melasma, freckles, and hyperpigmentation. It has even been shown to treat darker body areas like underarms, knees, elbows. It appears to be better tolerated on-cytotoxic, non-carcinogenic.
Pros: free of hydroquinone, retinoic acid, corticosteroid, non photosensitive
Cons: expensive, warming sensation or mild tingling may occur, contains fragrance
5. StriVectin Super-C Retinol Brighten & Correct Vitamin C Serum
Available at Lookfantastic
2 gold standard skincare ingredients Vitamin C and Retinol combine their powerful brightening and skin repair properties in a serum form to deliver one of the most interesting dark spot correctors recently released on the market.
The brightening power of stabilised Vitamin C and Acerola Cherry Extract are paired together to restore clarity and brighten dull, tired skin as Retinol smooths rough texture and fine lines, all while helping to neutralise the effects of free radicals to your skin.
Beauty connoisseurs with normal to oily skin in my inner circle who are using this product clearly show more radiant skin, smoother face texture and improved skin elasticity.
Pros: cruelty-free, innovative, fast absorbing
Cons: mild tingling and skin itchiness may occur, just a little pricey
6. The Ordinary Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Concentrated Serum
Another budget-friendly way to combat discolouration and blemish-prone skin is with the Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA Concentrated Serum from The Ordinary.
Harnessing the powers of Purified Alpha Arbutin and Hyaluronic Acid, the lightweight, fast-absorbing high potent serum helps minimise the appearance of brown spots and imperfections, whilst inhibiting melanin formation to reduce the look of hyperpigmentation. Whilst I personally tried this serum from The Ordinary alongside 2 other of its dark spot correctors (Niacimanide 10% +Zinc 1% and Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%), I found it far too irritating and not effective at all for my sensitive Black skin. The treatment however appears to work for some people with brown and black skin. So, it might be worth giving it a try.
Pros: cruelty free, budget-friendly, free from parabens, sulphates and mineral oil
Cons: very irritating for sensitive skin, use sparingly
7. 456 Skin SEVENLY DELIGHT – Brightening Concentrated Serum
The custom skincare brand 4.5.6.Skin, whose skincare products are specifically formulated for melanin-rich skin, not too long ago released the SEVENLY DELIGHT – Brightening Concentrated Serum that tackles hyperpigmentation through seven different pathways.
The powerful duo of Cysteine and Glutathione (Hydroxyapatite) uses the melanin synthesis pathway to help transform eumelanin (the brown to black melanin) into pheomelanin (the brighter melanin), naturally helping reduce hyperpigmentation. Alpha arbutin helps diminish acne scars and prevent hyperpigmentation, whilst Palmaria Palmata extract disrupts the melanocyte to inhibit melanogenesis, thereby evening out the skin tone and leaving your skin radiant. A combination of Vitamins C, B3 and B6 regulates melanin levels to even skin tone and support skin exfoliation. Hydrolysed thapsus flower protects your skin from harmful UV rays.
Pros: highly innovative and customisable, cruelty-free, fast absorbing, and very effective
Cons: just a little pricey
8. Facetheory Regenacalm 2% Retinol and Vitamin C Serum S1
Available at Facetheory.com
A wallet-friendly high performing dark spot corrector formulated with retinol, hyaluronic acid, and plant extracts to diminish the appearance of acne scars, fine lines, blemishes, redness, and hyperpigmentation.
Vitamin C as a powerful antioxidant helps brighten dark spots and shield your skin against future environmental damage. Dill regenerates elastin to enhance skin’s resilience and combat signs of ageing. Liquorice calms stressed or sensitive skin while balancing oily or congested complexions. Stabilised retinol ester at 2% supports collagen regeneration.
This is a high performance-based serum to try out if you want to affordably experience the potency of skincare gold standard Retinol and Vitamin C within the same product.
Pros: budget-friendly, free of parabens, silicones, PEGs, SLS, SLES, and mineral oils, cruelty-free
Cons: can be a little irritating to sensitive skin
9. Medik8 C-Tetra Serum
Available at Lookfantastic
A powerful Lipid Vitamin C treatment that helps maintain and restore radiance and fight visible signs of ageing.
My all-time favourite that does wonders for my skin combines Vitamin C and E in this very hydrating dark spot corrector, boosted by jojoba oil, to help stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, helping to reduce fine lines and wrinkles, as well as visibly brightening the complexion and balancing skin tone. Your skin is left with a very healthy glowing complexion.
Pros: affordable, cruelty free, vegan friendly, free from artificial fragrance
Cons: contains natural fragrance
10. ALLIES OF SKIN Mandelic Pigmentation Corrector Night Serum
© ALLIES OF SKIN
Available at Revolve.com
This next-generation night serum with a pH 3.5 level combines high-performing Mandelic at 11%, Lactic and Salicylic Acid, 1% Bakuchiol, 8 Brighteners, and 7 Antioxidants and Peptides to help reduce the appearance of stubborn discolouration and melasma.
The AHAs in the serum formula combined with Niacinamide and a hydrating mixture of Hyaluronic Acid, and Organic Rosehip and Tamanu Oil essential fatty acids together work to gently dissolve dead skin cells, replenish moisture and nourish the skin. As a natural alternative to Retinol, Bakuchiol helps reduce multiple signs of ageing, significantly reduces roughness and improves skin tone, elasticity, firmness, and radiance minus skin irritation generally associated with Retinol. A blend of Peptides including Acetyl Tetrapeptide-40 and Nonapeptide-1 help combat redness and promote radiance in this dark spot corrector.
Pros: fast-absorbing, works well for melasma and stubborn dark spots
11. Ren Clean Skincare Radiance Perfection Serum
The inhibitory effects of Glabridin, found in Licorice Root Extracts on melanogenesis and inflammation, help regulate skin pigmentation and soothe skin. Vitamin C from Corn helps brighten skin and fight harmful radicals. Wild Canadian Rumex helps even skin tone and reduces the visibility of age spots and sun damage for healthier skin. Hyaluronic Acid boots skin hydration, whilst Glycogen and Magnesium improve the skin’s energy cycle and enhances radiance.
Pros: cruelty-free, affordable, suitable for all skin types
Cons: a little bit tingling on skin
12. MZ Skin Light-Therapy Golden Facial Treatment Device
© MZ Skin
Available at Harvey Nichols
If you want a salon treatment at home, then the MZ Skin’s LED ( (Light-Emitting Diode) face mask is a device for you to check out. It emits five coloured lights for targeted treatments that can be used to treat various skin concerns from acne to wrinkles, wound healing and hyperpigmentation.
The Blue light balances and clarifies the skin, treating acne, whilst the Green light calms skin and reduces pigmentation, broken capillaries and sunspots. It is recommended to use the LED face mask 2-3 times a week, starting with 10 minutes and building up to 30.
Pros: multi-functional device for various skincare concerns, good long-term investment
Cons: very expensive, reliance on electricity usage to function