16 Best Age Spot Removers for Brighter, Clearer Skin

We like Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum because it works wonders on hyperpigmentation and gently exfoliates dead skin.

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16 Age Spot Removers for Brighter, More Youthful Skin
Photo: Dermstore/ Glo

Even if you've always been super vigilant about applying sunscreen and keeping your face out of the sun, age spots can, unfortunately, still occur. But luckily, there are ways to reduce their appearance — especially if you start treating them sooner rather than later.

While New York City-based dermatologist, Debra Jaliman, M.D., says the most effective way to remove age spots is to get professional laser treatments done, there are a number of skincare products you can use at home that are much more affordable (and convenient). From age spot removing serums to multi-tasking moisturizers and lotions, there are tons of options to choose from.

To make achieving youthful skin even more convenient, we cut through all the noise to find the best age spot removers on the market and tapped Dr. Jaliman, as well as New York City-based dermatologist, Dendy Engelman, M.D., for their expertise. We also evaluated every age spot remover's ingredients and brightening ability and took into consideration all skin types. The Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum is one product that produced remarkable results on all skin types and faded spots to oblivion.

Ahead, find the best age spot removers for youthful skin.

Our Picks

Best Overall: Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum

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What We Love: It has a powerful ingredient blend to completely fade any spots.

What We Don't Love: It has a strong smell that may be overwhelming for some.

This lightening serum by Murad is packed with powerful ingredients, including the brand's patented Resorcinol technology, tranexamic acid, and glycolic acid, which work together to remove dead skin cells, brighten your overall complexion, as well as fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation. It's gentle enough to be used twice a day and can be applied to lighten age spots on your face, neck, and chest. Although it leans on the pricey side and has a strong smell to it, the results make it a worthwhile buy and after a couple months of consistent use it will be like your spots never even existed.

Size: 1 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Scented: Yes

Also available at Dermstore

Best Value: Olay Luminous Tone Perfecting Cream

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What We Love: It's lightweight and absorbs quickly into the skin.

What We Don't Love: It can take a couple weeks (or even months) to see results.

If you're looking for an effective age spot remover that won't break the bank, we recommend checking out this affordable option from Olay. According to the brand, this wallet-friendly pick can fade the appearance of age spots in just eight weeks. It's formulated with vitamin B3, which promotes cell turnover and gently exfoliates dull skin, as well as moisturizing vitamin E. It has a smooth, velvety texture and absorbs quickly into the skin. What's more, it will also strengthen your skin barrier and protect the skin from environmental stressors.

Size: 1.7 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Scented: Yes

Also available at Walmart

Best Splurge: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic

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What We Love: It has strong brightening power and the results are quick.

What We Don't Love: It has a tingly sensation to it at first, which sensitive skin types may not be able to tolerate.

This antioxidant-rich serum from SkinCeuticals is definitely pricey, but for good reason. It uses a combination of ferulic acid and vitamin C and E to improve signs of aging, brighten the skin, and protect against environmental damage. The ingredients are very potent, so it doesn't take long for the skin to look smoother and brighter. It is also very hydrating and won't dry out your skin. In fact, it will make dry, dull skin soft and supple. This is a great luxury product to reach for during the harsh winter months or in the summer for a little glow!

Size: 1 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Scented: Yes

Also available at SkinCeuticals

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Best Anti-Aging: Clarins Double Serum Complete Anti-Aging Concentrate

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What We Love: It fights signs of aging and brightens up your overall complexion.

What We Don't Love: It contains fragrance, which may not be for everyone.

This anti-aging serum from Clarins helps even out skin tone, smooths wrinkles, and brightens age spots. The serum's main ingredient is tumeric, which, according to the brand, fights signs of aging by "effectively targeting lines and wrinkles, evening out the appearance of skin tone, and boosting visible radiance." The product works on more than just dark spots, too; it also reduces the appearance of acne scars and hyperpigmentation. It's definitely one of the pricier options on this list, but the noticeable difference in fine lines and age spots that you'll see makes it well worth the cost.

Size: 1,1.6, or 2.5 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Scented: Yes

Also available at Macy's

Best for Sensitive Skin: SkinCeuticals PhytoPlus

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What We Love: It features soothing ingredients that reduce redness.

What We Don't Love: It could absorb into the skin better.

This SkinCeuticals serum is another great option and one that Dr. Jaliman recommends. "It has kojic acid as well as arbutin, which are both great lighteners for hyperpigmentation," she says. "It also contains hyaluronic acid, which adds hydrating properties to this serum." The ultra-soothing serum features thyme and cucumber extract as well, which calms the skin and reduces redness— making it an ideal choice for anyone with sensitive skin. And if you get peels or treatments done often, this serum would make a great follow-up product for balancing out the redness.

Size: 1 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Scented: Yes

Also available at SkinCeuticals

Best Exfoliating: Glo Skin Beauty Pro 5 Liquid Exfoliant

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What We Love: It promotes cell turnover for brighter, more even skin tone and texture.

What We Don't Love: It has a strong smell that is unpleasant for some.

One of Dr. Engelman's favorite age spot removers is this peel from Glo Skin Beauty that combines AHAs and PHAs for effective, yet gentle, exfoliation. She loves that it "combines mandelic acid, lactic acid, gluconic acid, malic acid, and tartaric acid, making it safe for all skin types without risk of hyperpigmentation." What's more, she said that it will make your skin look brighter after just one use! Its unique blend of acids also helps decongest skin, prevent breakouts, and minimize pores.

Size: 2 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Scented: Yes

Also available at Amazon

Best Organic: Kleem Organics Professional Age-Defying Vitamin C Serum

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What We Love: It's packed with antioxidants and uses all-natural ingredients.

What We Don't Love: It has a watery consistency.

While this Kleem Organics serum is mainly known for its ability to smooth away wrinkles, it also helps get rid of age spots and will brighten your complexion. The product uses natural organic ingredients like vitamin C, aloe vera, and hyaluronic acid to boost skin elasticity and improve hyperpigmentation. The lightweight formula also penetrates skin quickly and doesn't leave your face with a sticky feeling. It will leave your skin feeling smoother and more supple and it has a pleasant citrus scent to it.

Size: 1 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Scented: Yes

Also available at Kleem Organics

Best Multitasking: RoC Anti-Aging Multi-Correxion 5-in-1 Anti-Aging Face Moisturizer

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What We Love: It boasts SPF protection.

What We Don't Love: It can pill easily.

Everyone knows the best beauty products are ones that can tackle more than one issue at once, so it makes sense that this multitasking RoC moisturizer is on our list. The five-in-one product is specially formulated to hydrate and tighten sagging skin while smoothing out wrinkles, brightening dark spots, and evening out complexions. And did we mention it also has SPF 30 in it to help protect your skin from the sun's harmful UV rays? You can rest assured knowing that this moisturizer will protect your skin from future spots while addressing current damage. Plus, it's one of the more affordable options.

Size: 1.7 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Scented: Yes

Also available at Ulta

Best Spot Treatment: Dermalogica Age Bright Spot Fader

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What We Love: It prevents breakouts and blemishes while fading acne marks.

What We Don't Love: It's better for lighter spots and doesn't work as well on older marks.

Unlike other products on this list which are meant to be applied all over your face, this Dermalogica spot treatment allows you to target age spots directly, so you don't have to worry about the treatment affecting the rest of your skin. The formula boasts salicylic acid and niacinamide, so it also clears breakouts and fades post-breakout spots at the same time. It is also not drying like most spot treatments, so it is a great solution for anyone struggling with acne.

Size: 0.5 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Scented: No

Also available at Sephora

Best Serum: Dr. Dennis Gross Clinical Grade IPL Dark Spot Correcting Serum

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What We Love: It works quickly by targeting dark spots deep in the layers of the skin.

What We Don't Love: It's a pricey treatment.

If you're looking for an anti-aging serum that seemingly does it all, consider this option from Dr. Dennis Gross. The formula features L-ascorbic acid, lactic acid, and kojic acid, which work together to tighten skin, increase cell renewal, reduce the appearance of wrinkles, and lighten dark spots. It is clinically proven to help even out the complexion and improve hyperpigmentation in just four weeks, making it well worth the hefty price. It's also vegan and uses clean ingredients, if that's a priority for you.

Size: 1 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Scented: Yes

Also available at Bloomingdale's

Best Face Oil: Ren Bio Retinoid Anti-Wrinkle Concentrate Oil

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What We Love: It uses clean ingredients that are very moisturizing.

What We Don't Love: It has a thick, heavy feeling texture.

Face oils are a popular anti-aging skincare treatment as they penetrate deeply in the skin to hydrate and shore up the moisture barrier. This option by Ren brightens dark spots, softens wrinkles, and leaves the skin with a more youthful-looking appearance. It uses a plant-based alternative to retinol, which is a more gentle way to combat signs of aging. It is also packed with rosehip oil to strengthen the skin's moisture barrier and nourishing sea buckthorn oil for targeting roughness. The oil works on all skin types (even oily) and it earned Sephora's Clean + Planet Positive seal for its clean, sustainable ingredients.

Size: 1 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Scented: Yes

Also available at Bloomingdale's

Best Face Cream: Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C™ Vitamin C Bright & Plump Moisturizer

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What We Love: It makes skin softer and more supple.

What We Don't Love: The formula might be too strong for sensitive skin.

If improving your complexion and brightening up age spots is your main goal, try switching out your typical moisturizer for this glow-boosting cream by Peter Thomas Roth. It's formulated with vitamin C and E and ferulic acid to banish signs of aging and brighten up your skin. It also boasts hydrolyzed collagen, which will add some plumpness and bounce to your skin for an even more youthful appearance. And since it is a cream, you'll also be giving your skin plenty of moisture and hydration.

Size: 1.7 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: No | Scented: Yes

Also available at Dermstore

Best Patches: Peace Out Microneedling Dark Spot Brightening Dots

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What We Love: These patches provide a targeted treatment and are easy to apply.

What We Don't Love: The results aren't as noticeable as other products.

These innovative microneedling patches from Peace Out are full of potent ingredients like niacinamide, licorice extract, and tranexamic acid, which are all known for their brightening and lightening powers. Each package includes 12 handy patches that can be used on all skin types and worn overnight. Just pop a sticker onto a dark spot and let it work its magic. The patches are also infused with hyaluronate, so you don't have to worry about them drying out your skin.

Size: 12 patches per package | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Scented: No

Also available at Amazon

Best Capsules: Elizabeth Arden Vitamin C Capsules

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What We Love: Each capsule is packed with a single dose of potent vitamin C.

What We Don't Love: It might not be the best for oily skin.

Another one of Dr. Engelman's top picks are these Elizabeth Arden capsules as they "contain two powerhouse ingredients to help the skin heal — vitamin C and ceramides, which work together to brighten skin and prevent moisture loss." Each capsule also features clary sage and vitamin E to soothe the skin and protect it from free radical damage. According to the brand, the serum is 178% more potent than traditional vitamin C and it visibly brightens skin after just one use. Simply remove the top of the capsule, squeeze out the serum and apply it to your skin. Plus, the single-dose design allows you to apply the right amount of product every time and the capsules are oxidized, so the formula stays stable for a lot longer. Note: the serum inside each capsule is fairly oily, which may not be ideal for every skin type.

Size: 30 or 60 count capsules | Cruelty-Free: No | Scented: No

Also available at Amazon

Best Overnight Treatment: Dr. Dennis Gross Advanced Retinol + Ferulic Overnight Wrinkle Treatment

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What We Love: It uses a gentle form of retinol and supports collagen production for firmer skin.

What We Don't Love: The finish is slightly sticky.

This overnight Dr. Dennis Gross retinol serum gives "beauty sleep" a whole new meaning. It uses a gentle, vitamin A derived retinol along with soothing botanical ingredients to fight signs of aging while you sleep and boost collagen production. You'll wake up with tighter, smoother, more youthful-looking skin and it even restores hydration. The serum doesn't leave behind a sticky feeling and we love the fact that it's both vegan and cruelty-free.

Size: 1 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Scented: Yes

Also available at Bloomingdale's.

Best for Hands: StriVectin SD Volumizing Hand Cream

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What We Love: It is specifically formulated to tighten wrinkles and crepey skin on the hands.

What We Don't Love: It can irritate sensitive skin.

Age spots can occur anywhere on your body, not just your face, so you might want to add an anti-aging body lotion to your skincare routine as well. This StriVectin option is specially formulated with sea salt ferment, arbutin, and beet root extract to target wrinkles and age spots on your hands. Along with a brightening complex that targets dark spots, the top-rated cream also features hyaluronic acid and the brand's signature NIA-114 technology to hydrate and tighten crepey skin. It can be used in both the morning and the evening and it will leave time-worn hands looking more supple, plump, and smooth.

Size: 2 fl oz | Cruelty-Free: Yes | Scented: No

Also available at Walmart

What to Keep in Mind

Exfoliating ingredients

When it comes to choosing the right at-home age spot removing treatment, Dr. Engelman says the key is to exfoliate the skin to promote cellular turnover. She recommends trying a product or peel with, "AHA and BHA that will help remove the top layers of the skin." Sloughing off the dead skin on top, will lighten the appearance of dark spots over time.

Brightening ingredients

Engelman also suggests using an age spot removal cream or serum that contains ingredients like hydroquinone, phytic acid, and L-ascorbic acid, which are all known for their brightening powers. Meanwhile, Dr. Jaliman recommends looking for products that contain kojic acid or licorice extract as they both lighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Her other top ingredients to look for are "vitamin C, which stimulates collagen production and helps to improve the skin's texture and brightness, and niacinamide which has proven to be an excellent treatment for age spots."

Hydrating ingredients

On top of exfoliating and brightening the skin, you also want to make sure your age spot remover won't dry you out. Look for hydrating ingredients like hyaluronate, squalane, or ceramides to make sure your age spot remover is also moisturizing your skin. Strong, healthy skin that is moisturized with an in-tact barrier is better able to withstand irritants, like the sun or pollution. Age spot treatments also use powerful ingredients to reverse the hyperpigmentation and when combined with a hydrator, you may be able to avoid the dry, flaky side effects.

Your Questions, Answered

How often should you apply age spot removers?

Like most beauty products, you don't want to overdo an age spot remover as that can defeat the purpose. How often you apply one, however, will depend on how dark your spot is and your specific skin type. Generally, you can apply a spot remover one to two times a day. If you have sensitive skin, though, you may want to apply one every other day and see how your skin reacts. Be sure to consult your dermatologist or do research before layering too many steps in your routine, as some ingredients don't play nicely with others, like retinol and AHAs, for example.

Should you be using SPF with age spot removers?

Age spot removers are meant to work over time with continued use, so be patient. But if you aren't seeing them diminishing as quickly as you like or keep finding new age spots popping up, it may be because you've slacked on your SPF. Both Dr. Engelman and Dr. Jaliman agree that one of the best ways to maximize the effectiveness of these products is to continue to practice sun protection. Wearing SPF30+ sunscreen year-round and limiting sun exposure, especially at peak times (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), will help protect your skin, prevent future spots from occurring, and let these potent products really work their magic.

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