One question customers have asked us time and time again is, "do any dark spot correctors work?" The answer: Yes—but it takes time (so patience is a must). To notice real results, you'll also want to build a complete skincare routine around addressing skin discolorations. Lastly, it's critical to do everything you can to help prevent dark spots and discolorations in the first place. Above all else, this means wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen every day, even if you don't intend to spend time outdoors. These practices—and Kiehl's favorite dark spot serum, Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Corrector—can help deliver real, visible results.
Ahead, we'll clue you in on everything you need to know about Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Corrector. We'll give you the scoop on the star ingredients, what they do, and why they work. You'll also discover a simple yet effective five-step routine to help visibly brighten your skin and diminish the appearance of discolorations. Get ready for your most even-looking skin yet.
Meet Your Dark Spot Hero
Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Corrector
Before we get into our best skincare routine for dark spots, we thought we’d introduce you to the hero of the routine, Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Corrector. It’s a daily serum designed to help brighten and even the skin. The lightweight, fast-absorbing formula features a stabilized form of vitamin C known as activated C, along with buffered salicylic acid. It also contains a carefully selected blend of plant extracts, including willow bark extract and peony root extract.
Our dark spot serum has been tested by dermatologists and is clinically-shown to visibly reduce hyperpigmentation by nearly 50%.* After using the entire bottle, 97% of subjects in a clinical test saw a visible reduction in hyperpigmentation and dark spots.** It also helps address spots caused by acne (known as post-blemish marks), as well as sun spots and age spots. The potent yet gentle formula is suitable for all skin types and can be used morning and night to help reveal more even, radiant-looking skin with consistent use.
*Based on a 12-week clinical study of 17 women with all skin types presented with a mild to moderate severity of attributes, including post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
**Results based on expert grading in a 12-week clinical test on 104 subjects.
Your Complete Skincare Routine For Dark Spots and Discolorations
While our serum for dark spots can deliver results with consistent use on its own, we recommend pairing it with other products designed to help address skin discolorations. Here, discover our recommended routine for dark spots and discolorations, and learn how to use our best skin-brightening products for more even-looking skin.
Start With a Clean Canvas
Clearly Corrective Brightening & Exfoliating Daily Cleanser
As with any skincare routine, the first step is to ensure your skin is clean and free of impurities. We recommend washing your face with Clearly Corrective Brightening & Exfoliating Daily Cleanser. This gentle face wash cleanses and purifies the skin to remove traces of dirt, excess oil, and environmental pollutants. It exfoliates and refines without stripping the skin's natural moisture barrier, revealing clearer, brighter-looking skin over time. The unique cleanser is suitable for all skin types (yep, even sensitive skin) and can be used morning and night to help keep your skin clean, smooth, and radiant-looking.
Sweep On a Brightening Toner
Next up: toner. The right toner will help remove any impurities left behind after cleansing while also hydrating your skin and preparing it for the rest of your routine. To help address discolorations, reach for Clearly Corrective Brightening & Soothing Treatment Water. This mild facial toner with activated C and licorice root soothes and hydrates to help improve the appearance of dull, uneven-looking skin. The unique formula, infused with illuminating minerals, also imparts skin with a soft, natural-looking glow.
To use it, first shake the bottle to ensure the active ingredients are evenly dispersed within the liquid. Then, soak a clean cotton pad in the solution and swipe it over your face, focusing on problem areas.
Apply Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Corrector
We've already told you all about the star of this skin-brightening routine, our Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Corrector. Now, we'll teach you how to use it.
Once you've applied your toner and allowed it a minute or two to soak into your skin, open up your Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Corrector. Dispense a few drops of the lightweight formula into your clean palms and pat the serum over your face. If you have any discoloration on your hands, neck, or chest, you can apply your dark spot corrector to those areas, too.
Alternatively, put a small amount of our dark spot corrector directly onto dark spots the way you would an acne spot treatment. Whichever method you prefer, tap the formula onto your skin gently and allow it to absorb before continuing with your routine.
Hydrate Your Skin
Moisturizing is key—not just for hydrated skin, but also to keep your skin looking (and feeling) its best. As the next step in your routine, apply Clearly Corrective Brightening & Smoothing Moisture Treatment. This intensely moisturizing face cream, which stars activated C and glycolic acid, provides continuous 24-hour hydration to help smooth your skin. It's clinically-demonstrated to help correct the appearance of skin discolorations and roughness for clearer, brighter-looking skin.*
*Results based upon a clinical study of upper layers of the skin.
Apply (and Reapply!) Sunscreen
Since exposure to ultraviolet radiation can both cause dark spots and worsen existing discolorations, protecting your skin from the sun is a must. No matter the season, the weather, or your plans for the day, we advise rounding out your morning skincare routine with an even layer of Super Fluid Daily UV Defense SPF 50+. The lightweight formula absorbs quickly and helps protect your skin from UVA and UVB rays, as well as damaging free radicals. Smooth it onto your entire face at least 15 minutes before going outside and aim to reapply roughly every two hours (or after sweating or swimming). And remember that, while effective, sunscreen shouldn’t be your only sun protection measure—you should also stick to the shade, wear protective clothing, and avoid direct sunlight at midday for maximum UV protection.