Regardless of whether they popped up from sun exposure or acne that’s left a mark behind, the good news is that most darks spots respond to the same ingredients. So, a couple of brightening products is all you need to target most kinds of hyperpigmentation. The best Korean skin care products for dark spotscontain potent ingredients aimed at shedding discolored skin faster, encouraging new skin cells to form, and protecting that skin from the kinds of damage that cause dark spots to begin with.
Frequent exfoliation with a gentle formula is a must for anyone with dark spots. Products that contain mild chemical exfoliants — like lactic acid, BHA, AHA, and Vitamin C — all help slough off dead skin cells and take discoloration along with them. There are even natural ingredients like fermented yeast extract and rice that encourage skin cell turnover and stimulate the skin to replace older, discolored cells with new ones. Niacinamide, another name for Vitamin B3, is thought to have a similar effect, with the added bonus of strengthening skin’s barrier function and fighting acne.
But shedding your dark spots is just half the battle: It’s far more important to protect your skin from damage and discoloration in the first place. And the easiest way to do so is by applying a sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every single day. Aside from causing sunspots, unprotected sun exposure also makes post-acne marks darker and longer lasting.
Another way to help protect your skin from dark spots in addition to sunscreen is applying a product with Vitamin C daily. We’ve already established that Vitamin C helps slough off dead skin cells, but the antioxidants present in Vitamin C actually help your skin regenerate faster, and it contains a compound that inhibits your skin from producing melanin, making dark spots less likely to form.
Everything takes time, but with a great brightening routine you can expect to see real results after about four weeks. These nine Korean beauty products are chock-full of ingredients designed to brighten your dark spots and even out your skin tone.
1. An Exfoliating Wash-Off Mask With Brightening Rice Powder
Rice is an age old secret for brighter skin — women in many countries have been washing their faces with rice water for centuries because of the skin-evening and nourishing effects it’s believed to contain. Start by massaging this wash-off mask into the skin for a minute or two, and then let it sit on the skin for 10-15 minutes. This multi-tasking masks help fade dark spots in two ways: the gentle granules slough away dead, discolored skin cells, and the rice water in the formula contains antioxidants that help fade dark spots and fight free radical damage.
2. A Vitamin C Serum That Even Sensitive And Acne Prone Skin Types Can Use
Essence, an important step in any Korean skin care routine, is often overlooked in Western skin care. These liquidy formulas feel more like a toner, but contain highly concentrated ingredients you’d expect from a serum. And, their light texture allows them to be easily absorbed by the skin.
This essence contains 95 percent galactomyces, a fermented yeast extract believed to increase skill cell turnover, effectively brightening skin faster. The formula has just enough slip to spread easily over the skin and leaves a gorgeous, dewy finish. Consider this a worthy dupe of the super popular SK-II Facial Treatment Essence for a fraction of the price. It’s important to note that in Korean cosmetics the unfortunate term “whitening” means “brightening,” as in fading dark spots. This products contains no skin-whitening agents whatsoever.
An Alcohol-Free Sheet Mask That Brightens Skin In 20 Minutes
3. Mediheal Vita Lightbeam Essential Mask, $13 (10 Pack), Amazon
This brightening sheet mask from Mediheal — a brand known in Korea for their amazing, affordable masks — makes it easy to add moisture, plump the skin, and fade dark spots with Vitamin C in just 20 minutes. For best results, apply this mask two or three times a week after cleansing and toning.
Aderibigbe Abiodun , is a Blogger, Internet Marketer, Programmer, Web Developer, and the C.E.O of Froshvibes.com