Whether you are coping with a darkish mark left behind by a blemish, spots that point out solar harm, or hormone-induced melasma, these usually undesirable modifications within the pores and skin all fall below the umbrella of hyperpigmentation. Caused by the cells chargeable for your pores and skin’s colour, melanocytes, depositing extra pigment into deeper ranges of the pores and skin, these types of discoloration might be extremely irritating for individuals who attempt for an even-toned complexion — particularly since it may be robust to reverse.

“In general, hyperpigmentation is tough to treat and a chronic condition,” New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Dhaval Bhanusali, MD, tells Allure, noting that he explains to his sufferers that it have to be taken severely as a result of it is really easy for it to recur. Although some sufferers select to bear laser therapies for his or her darkish spots to handle their hyperpigmentation with personalized prescription compounds — Dr. Bhanusali usually blends a excessive dose of hydroquinone with kojic acid and vitamin C for his sufferers — there are methods to fight discoloration with out often-expensive in-office procedures and medicines.

That’s the place these over-the-counter choices are available in. Often made with the identical lively elements that dermatologists use in prescription compounds, these serums and lotions contribute to extra even-toned pores and skin and diminished hyperpigmentation with constant use. “When targeting hyperpigmentation, you want to use multiple ingredients that have different functions,” New York City-based board-certified dermatologist David Kim, MD, tells us. “For example, you want to use a vitamin A derivative to increase cell turnover, alpha hydroxy acids to enzymatically exfoliate, and incorporate azelaic acid, kojic acid, or arbutin to reduce melanin production,” Dr. Kim explains, including that tranexamic acid is especially useful for melasma.

But there’s something else dermatologists advocate throughout the board to get darkish spots below management: sunscreen. “Before you spend your money on antioxidant serums and retinoids to improve the tone and texture of your skin, the most important first step is diligent daily sun protection, which is key to reducing the appearance of brown spots,” says board-certified dermatologist Shari Marchbein, MD, additionally based mostly in New York City. “Otherwise you are literally throwing your money away investing in other skin-care products,” she provides. Dr. Kim backs this up, including that SPF mixed with vitamin C within the morning minimizes UV harm, prevents extreme melanin manufacturing, and contributes to a brighter complexion total.

Got your sunscreen checked off? Good. Here are a number of the finest darkish spot correctors and hyperpigmentation-fading merchandise to pair with it. Just be sure that you are according to utilizing these merchandise — every single day, people — and you will see superb (however gradual) ends in as little as a month.