5 Best Over the Counter Cream for Dark Spots on Face

Looking for the best over-the-counter (OTC) cream for dark spots on the face? You’re in luck! This guide looks at some of the most trusted dark spots correctors available on the market today.


Dark spots, this is one problem that most people find difficult to get rid of. When it comes to dark spots, especially on the face, it is most likely that almost everyone, from young to old has experienced it. So, when you hear someone complaining about how stubborn and annoying dark spots are, you know it’s no exaggeration at all.

We all want our skin to look spotless and beautiful, to the point where we don’t even need to put on makeup before showing our face in public or taking a picture.

There is something about flawless skin that increases one’s confidence in themselves, and even one’s happiness. But unfortunately, dark spots always seem to get in the way of achieving one’s desired complexion.

Even worse is that they’re really hard to get rid of.

If you have dark spots on your face, which is probably why you’re reading this article, I’m sure you have a few questions like why do you have dark spots on your face?

Which ingredients should you look out for when buying a dark spot cream? Which dark spot corrector actually works? And how can you prevent it?

Keep reading to learn all you need to know about dark spots and some of the best over-the-counter dark spot correctors that you can use for facial dark spots removal of any kind that actually works.

What Causes Dark Spots on Face?

Pigmentation or coloring of the skin is due to the production of melanin in the skin by cells known as melanocytes.

Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its color. When the skin overproduces melanin, it can result in dark spots appearing on the face. This is known as hyperpigmentation.

A number of factors can trigger excess production of melanin and cause you to have dark spots on the face such as:

  • Hormonal Changes: Frequently seen during pregnancy or menopause, hormonal changes stimulate the production of melanin. This explains the reason pregnant women often have dark spots that start to fade off after giving birth.
  • Aging: As one ages, the size of melanocytes increases, which leads to increase in melanin production. This is why older people tend to have dark spots on their face known as age spots.
  • Excess Sun Exposure: Too much exposure to sunlight can prompt melanocytes to produce excess melanin, causing dark patches, freckles to appear on the face. This is why we have more dark spots after the summer.
  • Inflammation: This is usually common after a breakout. Dark spots can occur after a person suffers an injury to the skin or as a result of inflammation such asacne, eczema, burns, or cuts. When theskin gets irritated or wounded, it becomes inflamed, and as the wound begins to heal, the skin naturally starts to produce melanin which causes it to become dark. This is why you should not pop or pick your pimples, it can cause dark spots to appear on your face.

Many dark spots are harmless. However, hyperpigmentation is not the only cause of dark spots on the face.

There are several different skin conditions and diseases that can cause dark spots to develop on the face. This is the reason it is important for one to speak with a doctor if they notice any changes to existing dark spots.

5 Best Over the Counter Dark Spot Creams That Actuall Work!

After a lot of research, we have come up with five of the best over-the-counter products for removing dark spots and all kinds of pigmentation on your face. These products are made with a combination of some of the best ingredients useful for fading hyperpigmentation and for all kinds of skincare.

Eden Beauty Extra Strength Dark Spot System

Eden Beauty Best over the counter Dark Spot cream that actually work

This 5-star luxury brightening facial is equipped with some of the most powerful ingredients to wipe out the appearance of dark spots on the face, brighten, tighten, cleanse, and hydrate your skin.

This skin brightening facial uses effective chemical defoliants such as glycolic acid, lactic acid, among others, to remove dead skin cells and reveal brighter and smoother skin.

It also uses powerful antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, Licorice extracts, and other ingredients to block free radicals and stop the production of new dark spots.

 The Eden Beauty dark spot system is packed with powerful, yet gentle ingredients that do not only work to eliminate existing dark spots, but also prevent new dark spots from forming. This ultimately makes it one of the best dark spot correctors on the market.

Meladarm Pigmentation Corrector

Meladerm pigmentation corrector - next best over the counter dark spots cream

This superb skin lightening cream works to alleviate your skin from various forms of hyperpigmentation.

Whether it is melasma, acne scars, old scars, suntans, dark underarms, dark elbows, and knees, or even birthmarks, or whatever kind of discoloration, Meladerm works to help you get rid of it.

Meladerm uses healthy ingredients derived from very effective natural sources. It works by blending the properties of some of the most powerful skin-lightening agents produced by nature to help fade dark spots.

Meladerm’s ingredients are derived from natural extracts. Some of the ingredients include Licorice root extract, Mulberry extract, Bearberry plant extract, Vitamin C, Vitamin B3, Kojic Acid, Hyaluronic Acid.

All these ingredients combine to help brighten the skin and lessen the appearance of hyperpigmentation.

Meladerm does not contain any artificial ingredients, bleaching chemicals, or harsh substances that could irritate the skin. Its active ingredients are tolerated by the skin, making it suitable for any skin type.

Open Formula Dark spot Remover Superset

Open Formula  best Dark spot Remover cream

The Open Formula Dark Spot Remover Superset is a unique set of three, made with three basic, simple ingredients specifically made to target dark spots and all kinds of hyperpigmentation on the face.

The three that make up the superset are:

  • Glycolic Acid Peel: Made with just 20% glycolic acid and water, this exfoliant helps to brighten the skin by removing dead pigmented cells from the surface of the skin.
  • Retinoid Serum:With its main ingredient being 5% retinoid, this serum helps to speed up the skin cell turnover process to let out brighter looking skin. It also helps to smooth the texture the skin.
  • Vitamin C Solution:This solution contains 15% L-Ascorbic acid, the most effective form of vitamin C. It is an antioxidant that wards off the effects of free radicals caused by UV rays and pollution to stop hyperpigmentation and signs of aging. It also serves as a skin lightening agent.

If you are struggling to get rid of dark spots or any kind of discoloration on your face, you should consider giving this dark spot remover superset a trial.

Illuminatural6i by Skinception

Illuminatural6i by Skinception dark spots corrector

Particularly designed for use by people who want a flawless complexion without using harmful chemicals, this anti-aging serum helps to reverse the signs of aging such as dark circles, eye bags, freckles, and age spots.

It brightens the area around the eye, reduces puffiness and wrinkles, and also smoothen the skin while maintaining its youthful tone.

The Illumnatural6i is that serum from the hot-selling Skinception line of skin-care products that are produced with essential anti-aging ingredients like Niacinamide, Sodium Lactate, Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Alpha Arbutin to help keep your skin bright and clear of any form of pigmentation.

Kauai Color

Kauai Color dark spots corrector

Kauai color is a dark spot corrector that helps to eliminate the appearance of dark circles, acne scars, spots, and hyperpigmentation on the face.

It is made from a unique blend of natural ingredients and chemical formulas that are known to smooth the skin, hydrate the skin, reverse signs of aging, and renew skin tone.

Such ingredients include Vitamins A, B3, C, and E, Linoleic acid, and Propylene Glycol that combine together to give the skin a flawless look.

What to Look out for When Choosing a Dark Spot Corrector

When you start to notice some changes in your complexion as a result of dark spots developing on your face, introducing some skincare products to your regimen is most likely the first option for you.

Maybe you have tried treating dark spots on your own and did not get the results you desired, or maybe new dark spots continued to appear as old ones faded. You probably even had a bad reaction to the product you used.

When it comes to treating dark spots, it can get really confusing because there are so many products out there to choose from, with different ingredients that claim to help to lighten the skin and prevent the development of new dark spots.

But how do you know which ones are suitable for you? What ingredients should you look out for? And even more importantly, which ones actually work?

When choosing a product to correct dark spots on your face, you want to be extremely careful. Some ingredients found in several skin-lightening products can be damaging to your skin and even your health.

Choosing the Right Dark Spots Corrector Through its Ingredients

Knowing what to look for will help you decide which option is safe for you.

Any product that contains antioxidants or ingredients that help hasten exfoliation of the skin work to dim dark spots.

Below are a few key ingredients to look out for in an effective dark spot removal corrector, whether you are looking to eliminate redness, stop irritation from acne, get rid of dark circles or age spots.


Retinol is one of the many types of retinoids, which is a derivative of vitamin-A. It is famous for its anti-aging property.

Retinol helps to neutralize free radicals to stimulate the production of elastin and collagen, which are essential proteins in the body that help give structure to the skin and other body tissues. This creates an effect that reduces wrinkles and enlarged pores, heals acne, and fades hyperpigmentation.

Retinol also sets off the production of new blood vessels in the skin, which refines skin color. Simultaneously, retinol acts as an exfoliator to the outer layer of the skin.  This can improve skin texture and tone.

Products with retinol help to combat dark spots, brighten the skin and fade hyperpigmentation by renewing skin cells. They also help to keep the skin firm.


Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is an antioxidant that helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Free radicals are harmful molecules produced when your body breaks down food or is exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation. These harmful molecules can damage skin and can cause hyperpigmentation AKA dark spots.

Vitamin C helps to combat free radicals to prevent further damage to the skin. It also works to reduce melanin production in the skin which lightens the appearance of existing discoloration and prevents new dark spots from appearing. Also, Vitamin C boosts efficacy and brightens skin.

Vitamin C is more effective in people with fair skin tones. Those with darker skin tones usually need ingredients such as retinol.


Glycolic acid is a chemical belonging to the larger class of compounds called glycols. Glycols are of many different kinds, each of them with a distinctive combination of chemical properties.

Glycolic acid works as a type of chemical peel that exfoliates the skin by breaking down the molecules which hold dead skin cells together. This creates a peeling effect that lifts dead skin cells and gives the skin a smoother and more even complexion.

Removing dead skin cells from the surface of the skin allows other ingredients to penetrate thoroughly into the skin to help clear dark spots on the face and reveal lighter and brighter skin underneath.

You can buy products containing glycolic acid over the counter.


Propylene glycol is a colorless liquid that is nearly odorless and entirely water-soluble. It is synthetic and produced by adding water to propylene oxide, which is obtained from petroleum products.

Propylene glycol has many benefits and is used in numerous skin care products for its versatility.

When used as an ingredient in cosmetic products, it acts as a humectant. Humectants help to preserve moisture in the skin and hair. It is proven functional for dry or aged skin. It is also safe for acne-prone skin.

Propylene glycol; supports the other ingredients of cosmetics to penetrate through the skin and makes them more effective

Products containing propylene glycol are safe to use for most people. However, propylene glycol actually should be avoided for people who are allergic to it. After using a product containing propylene glycol, if you notice a red, itchy rash where you applied the product, you may have an allergy to propylene glycol.


Licorice extract is derived from the root of a plant known as Glycyrrhizaglabra. This root extract has a natural skin-lightening property.

This is so because it contains a chemical compound known as Glabridin that supplies the skin with antioxidant properties. It helps to lessen inflammation and to whiten skin naturally.

Licorice extract also contains an active compound called Liquiritin that has the ability to remove existing melanin in the skin. It can help clear existing dark spots as well as prevent new ones from forming.

Cosmetic products containing licorice extracts can help to stop skin inflammation help clear hyperpigmentation and brighten skin.


Hyaluronic acid or HA is a molecule that is naturally produced in the skin that retains water and helps keep it hydrated. But it can be broken down by free radicals or start to deteriorate as we age, leading to loss of firmness, dullness, and dryness of the skin.

When it is applied topically, it primarily acts as a humectant that increases hydration in the skin. It also has antioxidant properties that help to reduce and prevent age spots and hyperpigmentation.

Hyaluronic acid interacts well with most ingredients and can be combined with retinol, vitamins, and other acids, with the exception of acids with low PH levels like glycolic acid, because it may corrupt the HA and make it ineffective.

Hyaluronic acid is great for all skin types. The ingredient is nonirritating and does not trigger acne or allergic skin reactions.


While it may be difficult to prevent dark spots from appearing on the skin, especially when it is caused by hormonal changes, there a few things one could do to help prevent dark spots from forming:

  • Use a sun screen daily, with SPF 30 or higher. Whether it is raining or snowing outdoors, sunscreen prevent darkening of the skin.
  • Treat skin conditions that inflame the skin such as acne and eczema.
  • Try to avoid too much sun exposure on the face, especially when the sun rays are most intense.
  • Wear protective clothing such as hats.

Knowing the cause behind your dark spots is the best way to prevent them from popping up. And although they can fade off on their own with time, effective treatment can help speed up the fading process.

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