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5 Popular Ingredients for Reducing Dark Spots

Much of the beauty rules we deem as cardinal these days, all started out as a fad or in today’s lexicon: a trend. From the popular trends we see on TikTok, to the brands touted by celebrities, we get most of our inspiration and beauty discoveries from other people. Thanks to the growing popularity of Kpop and K-culture, one of the trends that have been taking the world by storm as of recent is glass skin.

For those of you who aren’t aware of what glass skin is, it is a term that refers to exceptionally smooth, even-toned and bouncy skin that’s so flawless it reflects light just like glass. In addition to keeping the skin hydrated and moisturized, the key to achieving glass skin is making sure that your skin tone is as even as it can be. One of the best ways this can be done is by reducing the appearance of dark spots. That said, here are five popular ingredients that have been proven to do just that:

5 Popular Ingredients for Reducing Dark Spots

Alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs)

Commonly found in a myriad of fruits such as papaya, oranges, pear, apples and grapes, alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) are water-soluble chemicals that gently peel away the surface of your skin. This then reveals a newer, brighter, younger and more glowing layer. Self’s review of Tata Harper Resurfacing Serum mentioned that AHAs are a great option for those who want to address mild textural issues such as hyperpigmentation and dark spots from excessive sun exposure. Since AHAs are either plant or animal-derived, they are pretty well tolerated by most skin types. Nonetheless, if you have sensitive skin, you still have to be extra careful.


Capable of boosting the amount of collagen in the body, retinol has been slowly becoming a household name in the world of skincare, and it’s easy to see why. Studies have shown that retinol-based products are capable of improving skin tone and color and reducing mottled patches. To make the most out of the benefits that retinol offers, Elle’s review of Lixirskin Night Switch Retinol 1% said that you should make it a habit to use it every night since UV exposure during the day can deactivate most retinoids.

5 Popular Ingredients for Reducing Dark Spots

Kojic Acid

Known to lighten visible sun damage, age spots and scars, kojic acid is made from a wide variety of fungi and is sometimes a byproduct when certain foods such as Japanese sake, soy sauce and fermented rice wine. PrettyMe’s review of the Original Kojic Acid Soap explains that kojic acid stops tyrosine – the amino acid that encourages the presence of melanin – from functioning, thus acting as an effective brightening and lightening agent for whitening beauty products.

Vitamin C

Aside from keeping the immune system strong and helping repair all sorts of body tissue, vitamin C is also a potent antioxidant that can interfere with the production of pigment in the skin. When the production of melanin is inhibited, the formation of sunspots is also slowed down if not completely stopped. Cosmopolitan’s review of Murad Vitamin C Glycolic Brightening Serum mentioned that when vitamin C is combined with glycolic acid — a potent kind of AHA — it can help make pores smaller, dark spots lighter and skin surface smoother.


Another popular skin-lightening agent is hydroquinone, which whitens the skin by decreasing the number of melanocytes present. According to Harper Bazaar’s review of SkinMedica Lytera 2.0 Pigment Correcting Serum, hydroquinone is the gold standard when it comes to reducing dark spots. In some cases, the brightening effects of this ingredient can be seen in as little as two weeks, which is why a lot of dermatologists say that over the counter products infused with hydroquinone should only be in concentrations of 2% or less and used sparingly.

Thanks to all these ingredients having a smooth, bright, clear and even-toned skin has never been easier.


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