7 Skincare Ingredients That Can Brighten Stubborn Dark Spots

For your glass skin goals!
by Leika Golez   |  Feb 16, 2022
Image: (LEFT TO RIGHT) Instagram/isntree, Instagram/apothekescience
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If you struggle with acne, you've probably encountered dark spots as well. Most times, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs because our skin naturally produces excess melanin (or pigmentation) in order to heal pimples. Although this healing process can help pimples vanish, its possible aftermath is a red or brown spot that takes up to a full year to fade. We know just how stubborn dark spots can be, so we've prepared a list of ingredients that can help you achieve your glass skin goals.

Keep reading to learn more about seven skincare ingredients that can help fade hyperpigmentation, as well as product recs that contain them: 

1. Vitamin C

Arguably the most well-loved dark spot corrector, Vitamin C is an antioxidant that regulates the skin's natural production of pigment. Aside from diminishing acne scars, it can also protect your skin from environmental stressors like pollution and sun damage. It's a bit tricky to formulate, but Dear Klairs' Vitamin C serum has been a K-beauty bestseller for a decade now.

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Try: Dear Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum, P1099, Available on Lazada

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2. Niacinamide 

Everyone seemed to be obsessed with niacinamide in 2021, and TBH, we think it's still worth the hype. ICYDK, niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B3 that can not only reduce hyperpigmentation, but also strengthen the skin barrier and soothe inflamed areas. For a budget-friendly yet reliable product, go for Apotheke Science's Niacinamide 10%. `

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Try: Apotheke Science Niacinamide 10%, P269, Available on Lazada

3. Azelaic Acid 

Azelaic acid is a gentle exfoliant that's best known for its brightening and anti-inflammatory properties. It can also kill acne-causing bacteria, so it's just as great for treating whiteheads and blackheads. Try The Ordinary's crowd-favorite Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% if you need an OTC option.

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Try: The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%, P730, Available on Lazada

4. Tranexamic Acid 

Tranexamic acid may not be as trendy as the other ingredients in this list, but it's a real hidden gem. Because it's one of the less irritating dark spot treatments, it's a great choice if you have sensitive skin. Start with Hada Labo's Premium Whitening Lotion, a lightweight toner that evens out tone and brightens dull skin.

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Try: Hada Labo Premium Whitening Lotion, P685, Available on Watsons

5. AHAs

Alpha-hydroxy acids, or AHAs for short, are chemical exfoliants that can hasten skin cell turnover. Basically, that means AHAs reduce acne marks by diminishing the dead skin cells that cause dullness. AHAs tend to be too potent for delicate skin, so we suggest trying a milder formula like Isntree's.

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Try: Isntree Clear Skin AHA 8% Essence, P800, Available on Lazada

6. Licorice Root Extract 

Gentle and calming, licorice root extract is a popular natural alternative to other brightening agents. This stuff can heal wounds and lighten your skin—a powerful combo when healing old acne marks. Still not convinced? This serum from It's Skin will change your mind.

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Try: It's Skin Power 10 Formula LI Firefighter Effector, P700, Available on Lazada

7. Galactomyces 

Fact: Nothing boosts your natural glow more than galactomyces. This fermate filtrate is an anti-aging favorite among K-beauty lovers due to its brightening and pore-minimizing effects. One Purito essence is packed with 92% of this ingredient, making it a mainstay in our skincare routines. 

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Try: Purito Galacto Niacin 97 Power Essence, P1719, Available on Shopee

READ MORE: 

6 DIY Skincare Ingredients You Should Never Put On Your Face

Dealing with Bacne? These Body Washes Can Help Fade Dark Spots

5 Ingredients You Should Know if You're Prone to Acne

10 Local Skincare Brands to Try if You Have Acne-Prone Skin

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Leika Golez
Candy Staff Writer
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