Skin-Care Tips

This Dark-Spot-Fading Serum Is the First Skin-Care Product I’ve Used in a While That Feels Like It’s Doing Something

Kara Jillian Brown

Photo: Getty Images / Luis Alvarez
My skin doesn’t give me too much trouble. It’s dry, but that’s nothing a good moisturizer and face oil can’t fix. My biggest issue is the handful of pimples I get around my period that leave behind stubborn dark spots. From acid peel pads to $160 serums, I’ve tried tons of different skin-care products and I never really felt like they did anything. That was until I tried the Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum and my dark spots began to fade within days.

I tend to break out around my hairline and on my temples, so I have clusters of dark spots that build on each other and have been there for years. I decided to give the Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum ($72) serum a try, also not expecting to notice anything change. I apply the serum to clean skin and top it off with the Olay Regenerist Whip Face Moisturizer SPF 25 ($30)—and within days I noticed my dark spots start to disappear.

As a Black woman, I had come to accept my dark spots. Treating hyperpigmentation in skin of color can be tricky because there aren’t enough products or treatments that actually work, explains board-certified dermatologist Heather Woolery-Lloyd, MD. “You might see a product that advertises itself by saying, ’50 to 90 percent of women felt that their brown spots faded in four weeks,’ but it really means 90 percent” of those with light-to-medium skin tones, says Dr. Woolery-Lloyd. “And that’s not that hard to do.”

Board-certified dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, explains that the dark spots left behind from acne is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. “Anyone with darker skin tones can find that as the pimple fades the discoloration persists,” explains Dr. Gohara. “Darker skin has a tendency to revolt against inflammation by creating more pigment, leaving behind brown marks.”

I’m at the top of my third week using the Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum and my dark spots are nearly gone. I don’t even bother to conceal them anymore. What I love most about this product is that it does what it says it does and does it without irritating my skin. I’ve tried different acids and retinols that hurt to apply or have left my skin flaky enough that the pain wasn’t even worth it.

The star ingredients in this serum are tranexamic acid and glycolic acid. Tranexamic acid helps soothe, brighten, revive dull skin, and even tone while glycolic acid chemically exfoliates to help remove dullness, improve skin’s texture, and clear away dull skin cells for better penetration of my moisturizer. It’s part of Murad’s Environmental Shield line that’s designed to target dark spots and uneven tone.

Though the serum is gentle enough to use morning and night, I’ve only been using it in the morning and the results are staggering. Wearing it during the day makes you more vulnerable to UVA and UVB rays (which are the archnemesis of hyperpigmentation!) so it’s best when paired with sunscreen.

It’s safe to say that the Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum is my new holy grail product and is a staple in my skin-care routine. $72 for a serum ain’t cheap, but, if it’s the only serum I need to achieve the skin of my dreams, it’s more than worth it.

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