While New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Debra Jaliman 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.
When it comes to choosing the right at-home age spot removing treatment, dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman tells InStyle the key is to exfoliate the skin to promote cellular turnover — which is why she recommends trying an “AHA and BHA peel that will help remove the top layers of the skin.” She 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 proved to be an excellent treatment for age spots.”
Age spot removers meant to work over time with continued use, but if you aren't seeing them diminishing as quickly as you like or keep finding new age spots popping up, both doctors agree one of the best ways to maximize the effectiveness of these products is to continue to practice sun protection. Wearing 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.
Ready to add one to your anti-aging skincare routine? With these dermatologist guidelines in mind, we rounded up 16 age spot removers that customers said made their skin look more youthful. From an age spot removing serum to a multi-tasking moisturizer and a lotion that helps reduce the appearance of dark spots on your hands, keep reading to shop them all.
This lightening serum by Murad is packed with powerful ingredients, including two percent hydroquinone, vitamin C, and glycolic acid, which work together to remove dead skin cells, fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation, and brighten your overall complexion. It’s gentle enough to be used twice a day and can be applied to lighten age spots on your face, neck, and chest. “This is my second time purchasing this product and I really like it,” wrote one shopper. “After the first bottle that I used, I noticed a dramatic improvement on the age and dark spots on my face.”
Shop now: $25; sephora.com
Dr. Jaliman recommends this SkinCeuticals serum, saying, “It has kojic acid as well as arbutin, which are both great skin lighteners. It also contains hyaluronic acid, which adds hydrating properties to this serum.” Shoppers say the ultra-soothing serum also calms skin, reduces redness, and leaves them with a glowing complexion. “Having lived at the beach my whole life, I have a lot of sun damage and discoloration on my face. This product is already making a huge difference,” raved one reviewer.
Shop now: $87; dermstore.com
While this Kleem Organics serum is known for its anti-wrinkle properties, many shoppers said it helped get rid of their age spots as well. The product uses natural organic ingredients like vitamin C, aloe vera, and hyaluronic acid to boost skin elasticity and brighten hyperpigmentation. Amazon customers love that lightweight serum penetrates skin quickly and doesn’t leave their face feeling sticky. “Although I was skeptical when I ordered this vitamin C serum, I have to say, it is awesome,” wrote one reviewer. “I have a lot of sun damage with more than my share of dark age spots, and this product has lightened them up considerably. My skin is also smoother and more supple. I am hooked on this serum — it also has a light citrus scent that is very pleasant. I am currently on my second bottle, and I will be reordering.”
Shop now: $19; amazon.com
Chemical peels are one of the best ways to remove age spots and hyperpigmentation, but if you can’t afford to get one done professionally, Nordstrom shoppers say this Dr. Dennis Gross liquid peel is the next best thing. In addition to anti-aging benefits like smoothing out wrinkles and brightening dark age spots, the peel also makes your pores look smaller and evens out your skin tone. One customer wrote, “This at-home peel is so effective! After two weeks, I already see a firming of tone and diminishing of dark spots,” while another added, “This clinical peel gives skin a level of clarity and glow that is amazing. Used regularly it truly makes a difference.”
Shop now: $95; nordstrom.com
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 so popular with Amazon shoppers. 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 at the same time. And did we mention it also has SPF 30 in it to help protect your skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays? “I have been using this wonderful moisturizer for about two years,” said one customer. “I use it on my face, neck, and chest area. It does really help to prevent too much sun and minimize those horrible age spots. It soaks into my skin immediately and is not in the least bit greasy.”
Shop now: $19 (Originally $24); amazon.com
Face oils are a popular anti-aging skincare treatment as they are able to deeply penetrate skin quickly and efficiently, and this option by Ren is one of the most popular options at Nordstrom. Reviewers say it brightens dark spots, softens wrinkles, and leaves them with a more youthful-looking complexion. “I have been using this at night to help with skin texture and pigmentation and I find it quite an effective oil to help make my skin look clearer and more refreshed,” wrote one reviewer. “It is very gentle and doesn’t cause me any reactions. In some ways I prefer this to a traditional retinol serum as I can see a slight difference within a short amount of time.”
Shop now: $69; nordstrom.com
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 cruelty-free formula not only brightens age spots but clears breakouts and blemishes as well, making this a great anti-aging product for people who suffer from acne. “I have been using the product for about two weeks and almost all of the dark spots on my cheeks are gone! It is kind of pricey but worth every penny. Wish I had knew about it sooner,” wrote one customer.
Shop now: $45; ulta.com
If you’re looking for an anti-aging serum that seemingly does it all, consider this option from Dr. Dennis Gross. The L-ascorbic acid and lactic acid work together to tighten skin, increase cell renewal, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles, while the kojic acid lightens dark age spots. In a clinical study, 88 percent of users said their “dark spots and sun spots faded,” and 80 percent said their “skin tone looked more even.” Some reviewers said the product’s smell can be overpowering at first, but it quickly fades, and the results make it worth dealing with. One wrote, “Agreed this stuff is stinky... but like all the others, this stuff really worked for me. Helped even out hyperpigmentation I’ve had for years. I’m Indian and nothing seemed to work on my skin until this! I can actually consider going out without foundation on because of this product.”
Shop now: $92; sephora.com
One of Dr. Engelman’s favorite age spot removers is this new peel from Glo Skin Beauty that combines AHAs and PHAs for an 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 Fitzpatrick skin types without risk of hypo or hyperpigmentation.” What's more, she said that it will make your skin look brighter after one use! One customer agreed and called it “the best thing for dark spots and acne marks.”
Shop now: $56; dermstore.com
This Sunday Riley brightening cream has a near-perfect rating at Nordstrom and Dermstore for a reason. Along with providing 24 hours worth of hydration, the lightweight moisturizer also lightens dark spots and smoothes out fine lines and wrinkles. “I have very sensitive, acne-prone skin that suffered from lots of hyperpigmentation and old acne scars,” wrote one Dermstore reviewer. “After applying this product morning and night for over a month, I have seen a huge difference in my skin. My acne scars have faded to almost nothing and my face just looks hydrated and glowy. Everything sinks into the skin, and I never feel tacky or greasy. My skin has never looked better, and I’m finally comfortable walking out of the house without makeup.”
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. The handy patches can be used on all skin types and are vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free. Even better, in a two-week consumer study, a whopping 100 percent of participants said that their “dark spots looked lighter and less noticeable.” One happy shopper wrote, “I used these twice the first week and by the second week I couldn’t find the dark spots to treat them again! I should have taken before and after photos. I’m in my mid 40s and these worked wonders!”
Shop now: $28; sephora.com
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. In a consumer study, 97 percent of users said they saw “a clinical reduction in the appearance of dark spots” after using these travel-friendly capsules for eight weeks. One Ulta shopper raved, “This is an amazing product. In less than a month my sun spots have greatly faded.”
Shop now: $87; ulta.com
This overnight Dr. Dennis Gross serum works to reverse signs of aging while you sleep. Not only does it help revive dull and dry skin, it also reduces the appearance of dark age spots and wrinkles. Shoppers love that the serum doesn’t leave their skin feeling sticky and the fact that it’s vegan and certified cruelty-free. “Love love LOVE this product. It is a great night serum and I can already see improvements in skin clarity and discoloration after a month of daily use,” raved one customer. “This has become my favorite nighttime serum. My skin is super soft the morning after using this. It is super gentle on the skin, non-irritating and has a great texture,” added another.
Shop now: $88; dermstore.com
If you’re looking for an effective age spot remover that won’t break the bank, nearly 3,000 Amazon shoppers recommend checking out this affordable option from Olay. According to the brand, this budget-friendly pick can fade the appearance of age spots in just eight weeks — but many customers say they saw results after just a few days of use. “I have to say that I was very surprised at how quickly I noticed a difference,” wrote one reviewer. “This product does brighten skin and reduce dark spots. I have been using it twice daily for about a week now and I already notice my dark areas fading.”
Shop now: $18 (Originally $25); amazon.com
Over 2,000 Sephora customers have given this anti-aging Caudalie serum their seal of approval, saying it helps even out skin tone and brighten dark age spots. The serum’s main ingredient is grapevine sap, which, according to the brand, is “62 times more effective at brightening than vitamin C and olive squalene.” The hydrating product works on more than just age spots, it reduces the appearance of acne scars and hyperpigmentation as well. At $114 for a 1.7-ounce bottle, it’s definitely the priciest option on this list, but shoppers say it’s well worth the cost. “This product is so amazing! I have so many dark spots on my face and this serum really helps,” wrote one reviewer.
Shop now: $114; sephora.com
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 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. One shopper wrote, “When I use this product on a regular basis, my hands actually look younger, and they feel so soft and smooth,” while another added, “My 60+ year old hands had lots of dark spots and we’re looking wrinkled. Both show noticeable improvement.”
Shop now: $29; amazon.com