Searching for the best brightening serum or creams for pigmentation and dark spots? Here we review five skincare products for pigmentation issues. These skincare heroes can help even out dull skin and brighten your complexion, too!
Best serums and creams for pigmentation
Norel Dr Wilsz Brightening Cream Glow Effect, $103
I spent way too much time in the sun when I was younger and my face has considerable sun damage as a result. To reduce pigmentation and brighten my skin, I’ve tried some potent topical creams such as hydroquinone and tretinoin, but they left my face red, sore and sensitive.
I’ve been using the Norel Dr Wilsz Brightening Cream for 20 days now, to target my discolouration and help even out my skin tone. The cream contains a high concentration of active ingredients that act on brightening, but I found it very gentle on my skin and it didn’t cause irritation. It has the consistency of whipped cream, making it a pleasure to apply. Thanks to the micro-reflective pearl particles, it also subtly reflects light and creates a holographic glow on the skin.
I can’t say that the cream has helped with my pigmentation as yet, but every time I use it, my skin feels a lot more luminous and radiant. It’s wonderful for brightening the under-eye area and I’ve found I need far less concealer after using it.
– Karin Galley
BECOS White Prisma Anti-Dark Spot RollOn, $96
I love the roll-on applicator – it lets me apply the product more effectively on the spots that I want to target. It’s easy to use and prevents any contamination from fingers.
I used the product in the morning before applying serum and sunscreen, and before my night cream. After a month of using it, the freckles on my cheekbones are less obvious, and my skin tone also appears to be more even and brighter.
As I have a sensitive nose and dislike most floral fragrances (I prefer more refreshing or woody fragrances), I appreciate that there’s no fragrance in this product. It has a slim design, which makes it easy to bring along for over nighters and trips too.
– Patricea Chow
L’OREAL Paris 1.0% Glycolic Acid Instant Glowing Serum, $54.90
As someone who doesn’t typically use brightening products, I was surprised by how taken I was with this serum. Not only did it even out my skin tone, it also feels like silk on the skin. I love how it doesn’t leave a sticky residue on the skin, absorbing really quickly upon application. And the best part? You only require a few drops to cover your entire face and neck.
– Zawani Abdul Ghani
Codex Antü Brightening Moisturizer, $146, and Night Cream, $154
Lots of brightening creams I’ve used have been a bit drying for my mature skin, and these were the same. So I just used them on the areas I felt needed more attention – like my cheeks and chin – and they proved to work much better. They’re supposed to deeply hydrate and aid in UV recovery while also refining the appearance of pores. I can say that I felt like my skin texture improved, so they’re certainly softening, nourishing and restoring, as claimed. If you’re looking for vegan, cruelty-free products at the same time, this brand is worth a try.
– Rebecca Bisset
Kumuya Illuminate Nutri-Serum Concentrate, $119
This face cream is chock-full of ingredients such as vitamin C, alpha arbutus and niacinamide that are known to improve the appearance of skin tone and dark spots. Just after a month of using it, my skin tone has noticeably improved and looks brighter.
I like that only one drop is required per application and that was sufficient to see results in a short time. My skin drank it in quickly when I applied it and it didn’t feel heavy on my face. It’s also great to know that this is a vegan product that’s free of nasties.
– Patricea Chow
BSKIN Vita Advanced Intense PAF Concentrate, $126
I really like this serum because it’s not sticky or oily, and it absorbed pretty fast on the skin, which is great. I’m always on the go and I have no time to wait for products that take ages to absorb. I also like that it doesn’t have any smell, because I’m quite sensitive to fragrances or perfume.
I’ve been using the serum for about a month and in the first two weeks I didn’t really see any difference, but all of a sudden it kicked in and my skin became visibly brighter and felt more hydrated, and my overall skin texture felt a lot plumper.
In the beginning, I only used it in the evening, but gradually I began to apply it in the morning too. I think for maximum results it’s better to use it twice a day. For a small bottle, it’s slightly expensive, but results-wise it’s a worthwhile investment.
– Susan Knudsen-Pickles
Miseico Multi-Active Balm, $116
I quickly grabbed this when I saw it serves as a cleanser and a mask, which makes for a unique combination; it also comes with a gold spatula! The product is rich in vitamins C and E, and I found that it worked well to help break down my makeup and any impurities. I left it on for a few minutes before rinsing, which proved to be effortless, and the result was a noticeably brighter complexion. One helpful tip would be to only use a small scoop – it proved to be sufficient for my entire face. I believe this balm would work well for all skin types.
– Hana Kamal
By Philocali Liquid Masque, $129
I think this product is great; who doesn’t love a handy three-in-one product that tones, moisturises and provides a mask at the same time? Coming home after a busy day is always a challenge and this one-step skincare system saves time when you just want to jump into bed. I love that you can just spray and go, and I have sometimes used this on top of my makeup as well, which gives my skin an instant perk-up. I feel it’s a brilliant product.
– Jacqui Young
Dr. Barbara Sturm Brightening Face Cream, $270
This brightening face cream is so light on the skin and fast-absorbing that my face was well-moisturised throughout the day, without feeling greasy. A small amount was enough for the whole face and after a few uses I could see my skin becoming more radiant.
It not only minimises the appearance of dark spots – due to the extracts of cress sprouts – but also helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles for all skin types. Plus, the ginseng extract supports the skin’s own defences against UV-induced stress. I can see myself using this cream for some time.
– Judit Gál
Jill Lowe E-pigment, $168, and Whitening Concentrate, $98
My main skin concern is skin pigmentation spots, so I was really looking forward to trying Jill Lowe’s E-pigment. I like how application was easy with just one to two drops on my dark spots. It wasn’t greasy and absorbed almost instantly. It has helped lighten the spots after a week of diligent use every night. I love how it has liquorice root extract as well, which has antibacterial and skin-soothing properties. I’m hoping that with continuous use, it can help prevent excessive pigmentation.
The brightening serum wasn’t greasy upon application either – even after a night’s sleep, which was a huge plus point for me. One of the ingredients is hyaluronic acid, so it really helped my skin become radiant and supple. It’s definitely helped brighten my skin tone, too – and after only three weeks of using it. This was my first time trying Jill Lowe products, and I’m glad I did.
– Siti Shahirah
Baume Blanc Intimate Brightening, $73
The first thing I noticed is the silky feeling this brightening cream leaves on the skin, and the scent of orchid. It feels comfortable on the skin and easy to distribute. I massaged it well onto my hands to brighten up dark spots from the sun. I did notice some changes after applying it for a week or so, but one would need to use it longer for a more noticeable effect.
The cream was developed by gynaecologists for intimate areas but it works very well on all areas; you can use it for minor scars, hyperpigmentation or for repairing effects after laser treatment as it promotes tissue regeneration and reduces inflammation. The product comes in a small 30ml tube, but I only needed a very little amount.
– Judit Gál
This article on creams for pigmentation first appeared in the April 2022 edition of Expat Living. You can purchase the latest issue or subscribe, so you never miss a copy!
Liked this story on skincare product, brightening creams, and creams for dark spots? Visit our Beauty section for more!
Get the latest events, stories and special offers
sent to your inbox.
By signing up, you'll receive our weekly newsletters and offers, which you can unsubscribe to anytime.