I Tried Garnier's SkinActive Dark Spot Corrector to Fade My Hyperpigmentation

Fade dark spots with a combination of vitamin C and LHA.

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Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Dark Spot Corrector

 Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Dark Spot Corrector

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

What we like
  • Affordable price

  • Clinically proven ingredients

  • Cruelty-free

What we don't like
  • Strong, artificial fragrance

  • Contains parabens

Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Dark Spot Corrector is clinically proven to clear dark spots and even skin tone, but the strong fragrance may be irritating to some.

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Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Dark Spot Corrector

 Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Dark Spot Corrector

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

We put the Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Dark Spot Corrector to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review. 

Discoloration and dark spots can be annoying and hard to fade. But whether acne or sun damage is to blame for your uneven skin tone, the ingredients in Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Dark Spot Corrector can help. 

With a combination of vitamin C, a known brightener, and lipo-hydroxyl acid (LHA), an exfoliant, this serum has all the tools to eradicate pesky dark spots. The twice-a-day treatment should, in theory, clear skin quickly. But as someone with hyperpigmentation from acne, I know that finding a product that actually works can be difficult.

To find out whether this product does as it claims, I used Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Dark Spot Corrector on my skin to see if it would fade my dark spots.

Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Dark Spot Corrector

Best for: All skin types

Uses: Dark spots, uneven skin tone

Potential allergens: Plant extracts

Active ingredients: Vitamin C, Lipo-Hydroxyl Acid, Antioxidants

Byrdie Clean?: No

Cruelty-Free?: Yes

Price: $13

About the brand: Garnier is a drugstore beauty brand under the cosmetics company L'Oréal. It produces haircare and skincare products.


About My Skin: Dark spots from acne

Even once I cleared my acne, I was left with another job, to fade the dark spots they left behind. I’ve had professional treatments to manage my hyperpigmentation, but in between, I like to use brightening products that will maybe help speed up the process. I use a low percentage of tretinoin a few times a week, but my favorite ingredient to reduce my dark spots has been vitamin C. Peach & Lily Transparen-C Pro Spot Treatment is my current favorite, with Good (Skin) Day's C's The Day Serum following close behind. Between the two of them, they’ve done wonders on my skin, but I was interested in seeing if a new product would push my progress further.

The Feel: Smooth and strongly fragranced 

My first impression of Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Dark Spot Corrector was its texture. It amazed me how flawlessly it rubbed into my skin. It’s more creamy than most other products that call themselves serums, but it still had a slickness that made it easy to use.

However, as I worked the formula into my skin, the fragrance took over. I’m typically not a fan of scent in my skincare products, especially when it’s from an artificial source. This serum uses an added fragrance, and it smells a bit like perfume to me.

If you don’t mind scents in your products this won’t be a dealbreaker for you, but if you’re sensitive to fragrances, you might want to give it a sniff test first or take a peep at the ingredient list.

 Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Dark Spot Corrector

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

The Results: Too soon to tell

For most topicals, it takes time to see a difference in dark spots. In products I’ve used successfully in the past, it takes weeks before I notice a difference in my dark spots, so patience is key.

The brand claims that it takes just one week to begin noticing a more even skin tone, but I didn’t notice any major changes in this time. Those who are just diving into the world of dark spot correcting may notice a quicker change than me since their skin is new to these ingredients.

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Thanks to the ingredients, there’s good evidence that the serum should produce results.

In the tube are super ingredients like ascorbyl glucoside, a gentler but still potent form of vitamin C, vitamin C itself (the brand doesn't share the percentage of the brightener, however, it’s listed as the third ingredient which points to a solid concentration), and lipo-hydroxyl acid (LHA), which is a gentle exfoliator. This can help slough off pigmented skin and can be good for overall skin brightening. Just make sure you're using sunscreen since this can make skin more sensitive. Not to mention, it’s also a good idea to wear sunscreen all the time, especially if you don’t want those dark spots to get darker.

garnier skinactive dark spot corrector

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

The Value: Affordable

The one-ounce tube of Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Dark Spot Corrector sells for about $13. This is on the lower end for a formula with these ingredients, but if you're looking for something even more affordable, there are great picks from budget-conscious brands like Inkey List and The Ordinary. Overall though, it’s a good price for what it claims to do.

garnier skinactive dark spot corrector

Byrdie / Joline Buscemi

Similar Products: You've got options

The Inkey List 15% Vitamin C and EGF Brightening Serum ($15): For just under the price of Garnier’s, try this vitamin C serum. Instead of exfoliating acids though, this one includes plant-derived Epidermal Growth Factor, which helps produce new collagen.

Peach & Lily Transparen-C Pro Spot Treatment ($43): This has been my most recent favorite for correcting dark spots. It leaves behind an oily feel and costs quite a bit more than the Garnier product, but I’ve found it to be worth it for the results. It has a 20% concentration of vitamin C, so new users should take it slow.

Heading

The affordability factor and the proven ingredients make the Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Dark Spot Corrector worth a try, but if you’re sensitive to fragrances you might want to seek out one of the similar products.

Specs

  • Product Name SkinActive Clearly Brighter Dark Spot Corrector
  • Product Brand Garnier
  • SKU 603084461134
  • Price $13
  • Weight 1 oz.
  • Ingredients Aqua / Water, Glycerin, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Hydrogenated Polyisobutene, Cyclohexasiloxane, Potassium Hydroxide, Dimethicone, Sodium Styrene/Ma Copolymer, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Alcohol, Benzyl Salicylate, Biosaccharide Gum-1, Carbomer, Citral, Citrus Medica Limonum Extract/Lemon Fruit Extract, Disodium EDTA, Gentiana Lutea Extract/Gentiana Lutea Root Extract, Geraniol, Glyceryl Caprylate, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Limonene, Linalool, Nylon-12, Peg/Ppg-18/18 Dimethicone, Phenoxyethanol, Salicylic Acid, Sodium Anisate, Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Levulinate, Sodium Methylparaben, Tocopheryl Acetate, Xanthan Gum, Parfum/Fragrance

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