How to Brighten Skin and Fade Dark Spots


Skin hyperpigmentation in the form of dark spots can occur for a variety of reasons. Unprotected sun exposure, pregnancy hormones, some forms of oral contraception, and trauma to the skin (including acne) may contribute to uneven skin tone.

While professional laser or intense pulsed light treatments effectively target hyperpigmentation, chances are you’d like to tackle the issue yourself for a fraction of the cost.  Fortunately, there are several products you can use to fade dark spots and brighten your complexion.


By addressing hyperpigmentation, your skin is benefiting from multi-tasking—brightening ingredients tend to be anti-aging and anti-acne, too!


Because at-home hyperpigmentation treatments tend to work more gently than professionally-performed treatments, results will not be immediate. Have patience, and rest assured that by addressing hyperpigmentation, your skin is benefiting from multi-tasking treatments—brightening ingredients tend to be anti-aging and anti-acne, too!

The following at-home hyperpigmentation treatments can be used alone or coupled, depending on what you feel comfortable with. For these treatments to be successful, however, you must protect your skin from the sun by wearing at least SPF 30 every day.


Herbivore Pheonix Cell Regenerating Facial Oil, Sephora ($88)

Why It Works

Rosehip seed oil is a non-comedogenic plant oil rich in vitamin A, which supports healthy skin cell turnover, gradually reducing the appearances of dark spots and fine lines. This moisturizing oil is ideal for sensitive skin; its low pH defends skin’s protective acid mantle from environmental damage. You can even get it as a single ingredient at Target.


Foreo Luna for Sensitive/Normal Skin, Sephora ($169.00)

Why It Works

Whether you’re using an exfoliating device or simply a soft washcloth, regular exfoliation will helps slough off dead skin cells, revealing newer, more even-toned skin over time. If you don’t already have an exfoliating routine, begin exfoliating at least twice a week using the gentlest setting on your exfoliating device or gently massaging your face with a damp washcloth for one minute.


Drunk Elephant T.L.C. Framboos Glycolic Night Serum, Sephora ($90.00)

Why It Works

An Alpha Hydroxy Acid (AHA) Brightening Serum primarily exfoliates the top layers of skin. Like manual exfoliation, exfoliating acids reveal smoother, more even-toned skin over time with regular use. AHA can also help reduce the appearance of fine lines and stimulate production of collagen.


Tata Harper Resurfacing Mask, Sephora ($58)

Why It Works

Try an at-home Beta-Hydroxy Acid (BHA) exfoliating peel. Like AHAs, BHA exfoliates the surface layer of skin, resulting in softer, clearer skin. BHA is particularly suitable for acne-prone complexions because it has antibacterial properties, and it breaks down pore-clogging oils.


Eve Lom White Advanced Brightening Serum, Sephora ($150)

Why It Works

Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant associated with a brighter, more even-toned complexion. Because vitamin C defends skin from environmental stressors that cause damage and discoloration, using a vitamin C serum is a smart preventative measure.


What are your favorite skin-brightening products?