An Honest Review of Murad’s Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum

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Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum

murad rapid dark spot correcting serum

Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

What we like
  • Lightweight formula

  • Doesn't irritate my skin

  • Ingredients that keep the skin barrier protected

  • Has no hydroquinone

What we don't like
  • Could be irritating if you overuse

Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum is a non-irritating treatment that helps fade scars without drying out the skin. That is a win-win for my sensitive skin.


Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum

murad rapid dark spot correcting serum

Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

We put Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum to the test after receiving a complimentary sample from the brand. Keep reading for our full product review. 

Hyperpigmentation is a part of my skincare profile. I have learned to accept it for the most part. However, the journey to acceptance hasn't been easy because seeing dark spots and discoloration staring back at me in the mirror doesn't always make me feel beautiful, especially by modern beauty standards. Even with the insecurities that I feel from time to time, I am now leaning less into perfect skin and more into keeping my skin healthy. 

But that doesn’t mean I’m not up for trying skin treatments that can reveal brighter, healthier skin. This leads me to dark spot correctors. I have typically leaned away from dark spot correctors because they usually don't work, cause my skin to break out, or are made with skin lighteners. Murad's Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum seems to be different. The formula is made without hydroquinone and has ingredients that can help keep the skin barrier protected and exfoliates. Intriguing, right? I agree. 

Keep reading to see how my experience with the correcting serum turned out. 

Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum

Best For: Treating dark spots, and redness

Potential Allergens: None

Active Ingredients: Resorcinol, Tranexamic Acid, Glycolic Acid

Price: $72

About the Brand: Founded in 1989 in Los Angeles by Howard Murad MD—dermatologist, pharmacist, and UCLA professor—Murad became the first modern doctor brand developed with antioxidants, anti-inflammatories, and hydrating ingredients to address skincare concerns from acne to anti-aging.

About My Skin: Combination, sensitive with hyperpigmentation 

My approach to skincare has changed with age. At the onset of my hormonal breakouts in my mid-twenties, I thought harsh cleansers and treatments were the only way to breakout-free skin. Boy, was I wrong.

Using drying products made matters worse and disrupted my skin barrier, which I now understand is essential to maintain healthy skin.

These days I keep it simple with a cream cleanser, a weekly non-physical exfoliator, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, retinol (at night), and face oil. For me, it's all about moisture and hydration, even when I have an active pimple or breakout. 

Ingredients: Exfoliating and protective 

Glycolic acid is a hero ingredient that has long been used in acne products. The powerful AHA can also fade discoloration and hyperpigmentation because it sloughs off the top layer of skin, eliminating dead skin cells.

Tranexamic acid, a powerhouse ingredient, has been used to reduce blood loss in patients undergoing major surgery. However, researchers have also discovered the benefits of using the anti-inflammatory, skin barrier-protecting acid for skin discoloration.

The Packaging: Hygienic and compact

A skincare product with a pump is always at the top of my list. The pump makes it easy not to waste or overdo it on the serum. 

murad rapid dark spot correcting serum

Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

The Feel: Like a hydrating serum

After a couple of pumps onto my fingertips, I was pleasantly surprised by the texture of the gel-like treatment. It felt similar to a hyaluronic acid serum without the weight. When I applied it, it felt like it sealed my skin and sunk right in, in seconds. 

The Results: Smoother skin overtime 

When I start a new product, I pay attention to whether or not my skin has had an adverse reaction over the first few days.

I am happy to report no irritation or breakouts in places where I don't usually see pimples.

This might be because I used the treatment only once a day each morning. After all, overloading my skin with acids can end badly. 

murad rapid dark spot correcting serum

Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

I did notice one active pimple crop up shortly after starting to use this, but the serum did help heal the two active hormonal pimples under my chin heal in a couple of days. I'm still using it once a day and have seen the texture of my skin smooth. My dark spots are plentiful and I'm not using the treatment twice a day to prevent skin irritation. So, I'm not expecting all of my spots to fade overnight or even in a few weeks. But, I am enjoying the benefits I am starting to see and feel. 

The Value: Worth it if you're patient

Treating any skincare woe means patience. Skin treatments can be pricey, but they can amp up our skincare regimens. Using this treatment alongside my simple, gentle skincare routine has resulted in visible benefits.

murad rapid dark spot correcting serum

Byrdie / Bianca Lambert

Similar Products: There's some well-formulated competition 

L'Oréal Paris Revitalift 10% Pure Glycolic Acid Serum ($30): This fragrance-free, paraben-free, mineral oil-free, dye-free serum is made with glycolic acid and aloe. 

Farmacy Honeymoon Glow AHA Resurfacing Night Serum ($58): This nighttime 3-in-1 serum is formulated with 14% AHA, gentle flower acids, willow bark-derived BHA, hyaluronic acid, along with a proprietary honey blend for a treatment that reveals brighter, healthier skin while maintaining its moisture. 

Sunday Riley Good Genes Glycolic Acid Treatment ($122): Made with AHA, fermented prickly pear extract, and lemongrass extract, this treatment helps to repair the look of sun-damaged, congested, wrinkled, or dull skin and is even ideal for use on sensitive skin types

Final Verdict

There is no such thing as an overnight skincare treatment, but Murad's Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum has changed how I feel about dark spot correctors. I plan to continue to use it to help fade my hyperpigmentation over time.


  • Product Name Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum
  • Product Brand Murad
  • UPC 767332152592
  • Price $72.00
  • Weight 1 oz.
  • Ingredients Water/Aqua/Eau, Alcohol Denat., Glycolic Acid, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Methyl Gluceth-20, Tranexamic Acid, 4- Ethylresorcinol, Hexapeptide2, Rice Amino Acids, Urea, Yeast Amino Acids, Trehalose, Inositol, Taurine, Betaine, Zinc Gluconate, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Allantoin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Sodium Metabisulfite, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium Hydroxide, PPG-26-Buteth-26, PEG-40 Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polyquaternium-4, Disodium EDTA, Limonene, Benzyl Salicylate, Linalool, Fragrance (Parfum).
Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Tang SC, Yang JH. Dual Effects of Alpha-Hydroxy Acids on the SkinMolecules. 2018;23(4):863. doi:10.3390/molecules23040863

  2. Ebrahimi B, Naeini FF. Topical tranexamic acid as a promising treatment for melasmaJ Res Med Sci. 2014;19(8):753-757.

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