I Tried the Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution — Here’s How It Helped My Skin
Dark spots are caused by a number of factors including age, genetics or, in my case, over-exposure to the sun. The stubborn discoloration can cluster on the face and make skin appear dull and uneven. So when Kiehl’s sent over a complimentary sample of its Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution, I couldn't wait to see if it would reduce the appearance of the brown marks on my cheeks. Below, I’m sharing why dark spots appear and my thoughts on the brightening serum.
What Causes Dark Spots?
Age spots, also called liver spots and solar lentigines, are flat tan, brown or black spots. They vary in size and usually appear on areas of skin most exposed to the sun like the face, hands, shoulders and arms. Because of how they’re formed, age spots are very common in adults over 50.
I feel confident with a tan, but exposure to the sun can result in sun spots. That’s why I make sure to apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen with at least SPF 30 every day (and when I want to look more bronzed, I use a self-tanner, such as the L'Oréal Paris Skincare Sublime Bronze Hydrating Self-Tanning Water Mousse).
According to a study in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, chronic exposure to traffic-related air pollution can also be a culprit of dark spots. The findings of this study showed that exposure to nitrogen dioxide was significantly associated with dark spots on the cheeks.
Pigmentation on the skin is also influenced by genetics, skin tone and skin type. Those with acne-prone skin may experience post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation from acne marks and those with sensitive skin can experience irritation from hair-removal practices, including shaving, waxing, tweezing and laser hair removal.
The Benefits of Kiehl’s Dark Spot Corrector
Dark spots won’t improve on their own, so it’s important to incorporate a brightening serum in order to reduce their appearance. The Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution is formulated with activated vitamin C, white birch and peony extracts, which work together to correct the appearance of dark spots and even the appearance of the skin’s tone. With continued daily use, skin can appear visibly brighter.
How to Use Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Corrector in Your Routine
Start with clean, dry skin and apply the dark spot serum in the morning and night before moisturizer. It can be used as a spot treatment or as a thin layer over the entire face. For best results, Kiehl’s recommends pairing the serum with a daily SPF, like the Kiehl’s Super Fluid UV Defense. Combining a powerful broad-spectrum sunscreen with a brightening serum can not only help correct visible signs of skin discoloration but also protect against further damage from UV rays.
My Review of Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Corrector
I wasn’t great about applying sunscreen when I was younger, so now I have a few sun spots on my cheeks. I hadn’t tried to brighten their appearance until now, so I couldn’t wait to sample this Kiehl’s serum. The consistency felt a bit slimy at first, but it quickly absorbed into my skin. The clear liquid has a cooling, refreshing feel that glided onto my face. Plus, it didn’t leave behind a sticky or tacky residue. I made sure to layer sunscreen on top of the serum during the day to protect my skin, too.
After a few weeks, I noticed a visible reduction in the appearance of the dark spots on my face and in the look of hyperpigmentation leftover from a breakout. My overall complexion looked brighter and more radiant as well. While my dark spots are still there, I can’t wait to continue using this product to reduce their appearance.
Photography and Art Direction: Chaunte Vaughn