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VOGUE · Which Serums Actually Fade Dark Spots?

If even, clear skin is eluding you, don’t worry, you’re not alone. Dark spots and pigmentation are a major skin concern of many and explains why there is such a confusingly large array of brightening and dark spot lightening products available, as well brightening treatments like laser and fraxel, and also the number of concealers on the market (they’re not just for covering up pimples).

Dark spots on the face can be the result of a number of skin issues including acne scars, sun damage and hormones to name but a few, but whatever the reason they’ve arrived on our visages, they’re not welcome, with even skin topping most people’s most-desired beauty wishlist.

However, tackling those dark patches can be tough, especially if you’re not sure what will work best for your particular uneven skin situation. Serums are a good place to start, as over-the-counter serums are usually pretty mild on the skin and can be effective in brightening up any dark patches without going to more invasive, potentially damaging, lengths like lasers (some lasers can actually make dark spots darker!).

But, which serum to try? With so many on the market Vogue called in the experts, asking two of Australia’s leading beauty experts—clinical aesthetician Melanie Grant who counts A-listers Lara Worthington, Phoebe Tonkin, Victoria’s Secret model Georgia Fowler, Zoë Foster Blake and Nicole Warne as regulars—and facialist Jocelyn Petroni whose client roster boasts Jessica Gomes and model Victoria Lee, to decode which serums they’ve found most effective in treating dark skin spots.

Melanie Grant on the serums she’s found that address dark spots best:
“In my experience, addressing dark spots with serums is best approached both morning and evening. For the daytime, prevention is key, so reaching for serums that are formulated with high-potency antioxidants is a must. A vitamin C is a great multitasker that brightens pigment, evens out skin tone, firms and protects the skin against free radical damage. I like Skinceuticals CE Ferulic and Phloretin CF for their brightening and radiance-infusing properties.”

Grant adds, “In the evenings, I always tend to reach for a retinol-based serum to encourage cellular turnover, promote the synthesis of new, healthy skin cells and fade dark spots. Cosmedix Serum 16 is a really gentle, microencapsulated retinol that is gentle enough for all skin types, though yields incredible results with consistent use.”

Grant also says another option is, “a two-in-one serum like Biologique Recherche Lotion P50 PIGM 400 that can be used both morning and evening. This treatment is formulated with naturally derived brightening agents that fade and reduce existing dark spots, shield the skin from photosensitisation and prevents the development of future pigment irregularities.”

Melanie Grant on which ingredients to look for in a dark spot serum:
“There are so many wonderful ingredients, both natural and cosmeceutical available nowadays to address pigment inconsistencies in the skin.” Says Grant, adding, “Vitamin C is clinically proven not only to stimulate collagen production in the epidermis but to have a brightening effect on the skin that facilitates the fading of pigment and dark spots. Then there are host of naturally derived ingredients like liquorice root extract, watercress sprout, wakame seaweed and plum pulp to name a few that lighten and brighten the complexion. As always, vitamin A works from a corrective standpoint to stimulate cellular renewal, evening the tone and texture of the skin.”

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