How Exactly Do Dark Spot Correctors Work?

Your skin is the first thing that people notice. And unfortunately, if you have dark spots or blemishes, or if your skin is dull and tired...people notice that too.

There are skin products on the market that promise to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and restore your skin's luster. They claim they can even out your skin tone, giving you clear, beautiful, porcelain skin.

But do they actually work? The answer is yes- if you pick the right one.

This guide will show you how to pick a great dark spot corrector: how they work, what to look for, and what to avoid.

The Science Behind Spot Correction

First of all, spot correction is not to be confused with skin bleaching, which is a much harsher process, often using steroids, that can permanently alter skin tone, often with undesirable results. Spot correctors are topical, over-the-counter products that still have dramatic effects on skin tone and luminance- without harsh effects.

Spot correctors use active ingredients that break up melanin concentrations in the skin. Melanin is the pigment in our skin that determines its tone and color; however, if you have too much concentrated in a particular area, you end up with unsightly spot and splotches.

Certain compounds can penetrate the skin layers to break up the melanin concentrations, clearing up discolorations and brightening skin tone. These compounds form the backbone of the spot correction industry.

What Ingredients Work?

If you're looking to restore your skin's natural radiance and eliminate dullness, here are some of the main ingredients to look for:

  • Alpha Arbutin: a compound derived from organic materials, Alpha Arbutin blocks the effects of melanin on the skin, removing dark spots quickly and safely

  • Resveratrol: another powerful melanin blocker, this has been clinically shown to reduce melanin production by 50%

  • Sepicalm-S: this compound is one of the most powerful anti-pigment and anti-inflammatory agents on the market- perfect for reducing acne scarring

Watch Out For These Ingredients

Just because an ingredient promises to reduce melanin concentration doesn't mean you should trust it on your skin, however. There are two main ingredients that can create serious health issues that you should avoid at all costs:

  • Hydroquinone: banned in Europe, this compound has been linked to several different diseases, including cancer. Always make sure your corrector is hydroquinone-free before buying!

  • Mercury: some manufacturers use mercury or mercury salts in their cosmetics to reduce costs. However, mercury has been shown to be toxic to humans, and can destroy your kidneys and nervous system. There's no reason to use a mercury-filled corrector!