When we talk about “signs of aging,” wrinkles tend to get all the attention. A quick peek down any skin-care aisle will reveal dozens of fine line-reducing creams, and retinol has long been held as the gold-standard ingredient for keeping them at bay. Hyperpigmentation, on the other hand, is equally as common as we age, but the skin issue doesn’t get nearly the same amount of air time, which means it’s still frustratingly hard to treat at home. But one of the best ways to deal with it, according to derms? Skinceuticals Discoloration Defense ($98).
The serum is one of a few products on the market that contains tranexamic acid, which is an incredibly helpful topical ingredient to even out skin tone, and a great alternative to hydroquinone, an ingredient that is commonly used for skin brightening, but may be too harsh for certain skin types. “This product contains a great combination of tranexamic acid and kojic acid,” says board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MD of the combo that helps to nix hyperpigmentation. “It also contains niacinamide, which is helpful for tone and texture.” It’s great for treating every sort of discoloration from dark spots to melasma to acne scarring, and works to effectively create an even canvas across your entire complexion.
Shop now: SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense, $98
Board-certified dermatologist Caren Cambpbell, MD, is also a fan of the serum. According to her, niacinamide is also an antioxidant, which means it can help fight off some of the free-radical damage that eventually leads to skin aging conditions such as hyperpigmentation. In a 12-week study, the serum was found to improve the appearance of hyperpigmentation by 60 percent and improve acne scarring by 81 percent.
Skinceuticals Discoloration Defense is a great addition to any morning and evening routine, and Dr. Campbell advocates for using it after any sort of pro-grade microneedling or laser treatment to allow it to penetrate the skin more deeply. “Delivering these powerful lightening agents can help fade melasma and sunspots more quickly than laser and microneedling alone,” she says. You can pair it with vitamin C in the a.m., and be sure to follow it up with some solid SPF 30 (which is an important factor for avoiding brown spots in the first place) while also avoiding sun exposure.
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