Is this dark-spot corrector spot-on?


Speckled Pear - Is this dark-spot corrector spot-on?

Like many women in the middle, and as detailed here, I’m well-acquainted with the beauty bane of hyperpigmentation.  While definitely filed under “first-world problem,” it still annoys. Whether showing up as dark spots (either from sun damage, acne or simple aging) or the patchiness of melasma (often related to hormonal changes from pregnancy or birth control), this skin condition resists treatment and frequently returns.  But since my stubbornness almost matches hyperpigmentation’s, I’ve tried numerous brightening products in pursuit of one that will permanently evict this unwanted complexion guest. The latest one is SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector. Read on to see whether this dark-spot corrector is “spot” on:

Out, damned spot!

After hearing for years about the efficacy of the skin-care line SkinCeuticals, I decided to try its Advanced Pigment Corrector. In truth, I was about to buy the line’s cult antioxidant, CE Ferulic (acclaimed as a gold-standard UV defence), but after telling a sales associate at a Bluemercury skin-care boutique in Manhattan that my main skin concern was hyperpigmentation, she pointed me toward this corrector. (Note: If you’re unsure what’s causing pigmentation changes in your skin, check with a doctor.)

The formula

SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector - Is this dark-spot corrector spot-on?

SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector is formulated to exfoliate dark spots and prevent their recurrence.

The dark-spot corrector battles hyperpigmentation on a few fronts. Salicylic acid exfoliates dark spots and hydroxyphenoxy propionic acid inhibits melanin. Ellagic acid fights free radicals. But what sets SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector apart from other dark-spot correctors is yeast extract, which strengthens dermal layers to prevent the recurrence of discolouration.


There’s little ick factor. It’s a lightweight lotion with minimal fragrance that absorbs quickly. Plus, it’s paraben- and hydroquinine-free, and suitable for all skin tones. And it’s easy to use, requiring only a small application morning and night. After 12 weeks, my skin seems slightly pinker and more radiant. And one noticeably dark spot on my cheek has lightened.


At $90 US for 30 ml, the price is a little rich. And while my skin appears a little more luminous and sun spots somewhat lighter, it’s a subtle improvement so far. But in fairness, SkinCeuticals’ literature cites improvements after 12 weeks. And while I’ve been using the corrector that long, my regimen has been interrupted by travel and a short hospital stay.

Additionally, this dark-spot corrector contains alcohol, which may be irritating to some skin types.

Should you buy this dark-spot corrector?

The most effective approach I’ve tried so far for hyperpigmention was a series of seven IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) sessions, plus a couple of peels and microdermabrasion facials done in a medical spa. While it worked great, some discolouration returned along with new sun spots, even with vigilant daily sunscreen.

Compared to those results, the effect of SkinCeuticals Advanced Pigment Corrector is less dramatic. However, if you’re looking for a non-irritating product to provide a slight brightening effect, and the price isn’t a deterrent, this may be for you.

Whatever treatment route you take, remember, sunscreen is the most essential dark-spot corrector (and preventer). But keep in mind that skin produces more pigment as we age, even without sun exposure. Until the beauty industry figures out how to stop that, I guess, like the leopard, we should accept it’s hard to change our spots.

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