Here's yet another reason you shouldn't underestimate the power of serum—these little bottles can act as magic erasers for dark spots. According to board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon Dr. Melanie Palm, this common skin concern is the result of "abnormal and high concentrations of melanin in the skin," which is often caused by stress from infrared light, visible light, and UV exposure, or in other words, prolonged time in the sun without SPF. "Too much of any of these sources of light causes cellular damage, and the regular and uniform production of pigmentation goes awry, creating uncontrolled, uneven overproduction of pigmentation in an area of skin," she says.
Luckily, when formulated with high concentrations of key brightening ingredients, serums can help fade these spots, and even make them totally disappear. When shopping for a serum that tackles dark spots, Dr. Palm says to look for two types of ingredients—skin brighteners, like licorice root, vitamin C, and niacinamide, as well as anti-inflammatories and antioxidants, like vitamin C, vitamin E, and green tea.
So to help you in your search, and your goal of evening out your skin tone, we rounded up six InStyle-approved formulas to shop now.
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