Acne and flare-ups can be a pain to heal. However, some may argue that the remnants of acne or blemishes are more detrimental to your complexion. Dark spots or hyperpigmentation can make you feel as if your blemish has never left your face.
Hyperpigmentation can be challenging to conceal with makeup, and you may find you need to color correct or add even more product to your skin. Dark spots can also be unpleasant to deal with because they can create a dull complexion.
When fading hyperpigmentation or dark spots, you may find that your skin is either more sensitive or that it’s a time-consuming process to brighten the skin. You will want to stick to essential and effective products and not overload the skin with chemicals.
Incorporating a high-quality sunscreen into your skincare routine will prevent the sun from creating scarring, discoloration, and hyperpigmentation. Also, pairing a sunscreen with a brightening face wash can help diminish dark spots over time.
So, what are the best face washes for dark spots and hyperpigmentation? You’ll want to choose face washes with beneficial ingredients that target discoloration and promote an even skin tone. For example, opt for Niacinamide, BHAs, AHAs, and more.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to choose the best face wash for brightening your complexion and introduce you to our list of favorites, so stick around!
Brightening Face Wash – Buyer’s Guide
What key components should you look for in face washes to heal hyperpigmentation? Chemical exfoliants, Niacinamide, or Ceramides are all great ingredients that can help brighten and even out your complexion.
However, it’s crucial to note that you don’t want to over-exfoliate or mix chemical exfoliants with a retinoid because it can cause irritation or damage the skin barrier. Wearing sunscreen daily will ensure that your skincare has time to work.
Niacinamide is a form of Vitamin B-3, and it can provide numerous benefits to the skin. It works well with ceramides to aid in moisture retention, and it can even pair well with various chemical exfoliants to offer an even and bright complexion.
BHAs or Beta Hydroxy Acids are an excellent ingredient for oily and acne-prone skin. According to Healthline, “BHAs are oil-soluble acids, and can get deeper into the pores to remove dead skin and excess sebum.”
Chemical exfoliants like BHAs and AHAs can help bring new skin to the surface and create a brighter complexion.
AHAs, aka Alpha Hydroxy Acids, are water-soluble acids. Healthline states that “they help peel away the surface of your skin so that new, more evenly pigmented skin cells may generate and take their place.”
According to CeraVe, “Ceramides are lipids that make up 50% of the skin composition to form the natural skin barrier. A healthy skin barrier helps seal in moisture and seal out impurities.”
Ceramides can help heal the skin barrier, which can aid in achieving a brighter or more even skin tone. They can also support other ingredients in cell renewal.
Best Face Washes For Dark Spots & Hyperpigmentation
|1.||La Roche Posay Effaclar Facial Cleanser||Ideal for oily skin, salicylic acid, exfoliates|
|2.||Innisfree Tangerine Face Wash||Fragrance and paraben free, salicylic acid|
|3.||CeraVe SA Cleanser Salicylic Acid Face Wash||Salicylic acid, hydrating, repairing|
|4.||COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser||Tea tree oil, mild, cruelty-free|
|5.||Naturium Niacinamide Cleansing Gelee||Niacinamide, vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, vegan|
|6.||CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser||Hydrating, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid|
|7.||Acure Brightening Facial Scrub||Vegan, gently exfoliating, detoxifying|
|8.||COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser||Salicylic acid, exfoliating, tea tree oil|
|9.||First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Deep Cleanser||Oil controlling, red clay, cruelty-free|
1. La Roche Posay Effaclar Facial Cleanser
La Roche Posay is a skincare brand that is well-loved among many dermatologists. Their products are formulated to treat problematic skin and offer results that last. You can find La Roche Posay virtually anywhere, whether it’s online or in-store.
The Effaclar Medicated Gel Facial Cleanser will clear out breakouts, even the pesky hyperpigmentation that they might leave behind. It will help keep oil production at bay and your skin barrier healthy. It’s ideal for oily and acne-prone skin.
What makes this face wash so unique? It contains a blend of powerful ingredients like 2% Salicylic Acid to fight acne/dark spots, Lipo-Hydroxy Acid to exfoliate the skin, and Glycerin, which is a humectant that adds moisture to the skin.
This cleanser can be used both day and night, and it makes a beautiful second cleanse step for a double-cleansing routine. La Roche Posay recommends using this cleanser on a wet face and with lukewarm water. Then, rinse and follow up with other skincare.
While this brand is not vegan or cruelty-free, it’s dermatologist tested, paraben-free, and fragrance-free to minimize the chances of irritation. So if you are looking for a derm-recommended brand that’s accessible, your search is now over.
2. Innisfree Tangerine Face Wash
Innisfree is another Korean skincare brand that is making its way out West. They are known for their wide product range, gentle formulations, and accessibility. Overall, they are a fantastic brand that formulates products to treat various skin issues.
If you are looking for an energizing or revitalizing facial cleanser, try their Tangerine Brightening & Pore Caring Face Wash. This cleanser is formulated with multiple skin-brightening ingredients so you can kiss hyperpigmentation goodbye forever.
This cleanser will foam up when you distribute it on your face with water and leave your skin feeling invigorated. It contains a blend of nutritional ingredients that will boost radiance, brighten your complex, and even out dull skin tones.
Vitamin C and Niacinamide will give your skin a radiant glow and fade dark spots, White Kaolin Clay will gently remove impurities and oils, and lastly, Panthenol will ensure your skin barrier remains healthy.
Overall, Innisfree’s Tangerine Brightening & Pore Caring Cleanser will ensure that you will never have to deal with hyperpigmentation or discoloration ever again. Say hello to radiant and even skin tones!
3. CeraVe SA Cleanser Salicylic Acid Face Wash
CeraVe has created a gentle but effective face wash to unveil a brighter complexion. Their Salicylic Acid Cleanser is ideal for normal or acne-prone skin. This is an accessible and affordable skincare brand that will fit any budget.
Salicylic Acid is one of the most popular BHAs that will help clear the skin from within. CeraVe ensures that this cleanser gently removes excess oil and dead skin to reveal an even skin tone. It is also jam-packed with multiple skin-loving ingredients.
Niacinamide will provide nutrients and soothing properties to the skin, Ceramides work to repair the skin’s barrier, Hyaluronic Acid will boost hydration, and Vitamin D acts as an antioxidant. All will prevent dark spots and even out the skin tone.
CeraVe recommends using this product with lukewarm water and following up with a sunscreen SPF because chemical acids can increase your sensitivity to the sun. If you are more sensitive, use this cleanser as a mild exfoliant 1-2 times a week.
CeraVe is a dermatologist-recommended brand, and its products are fragrance-free. Fragrance can sometimes contribute to skin irritation too. Overall, this face wash is ideal for skin renewal.
4. COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
COSRX is one of the most popular Korean skincare brands that has hugely impacted Western skincare. As a whole, COSRX has focused its brand on healing acne-prone skin, flare-ups, and blemishes to reveal dark-spot-free skin.
The Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is ideal for all skin types. It’s formulated with effective ingredients that fight discoloration and hyperpigmentation. It’s also a gentle face wash that won’t strip your skin of any nutrients that it needs.
This face wash from COSRX is great for day and night, and it can also be used as a body wash because dark spots and hyperpigmentation can appear anywhere on the skin. This cleanser will ensure that your skin’s pH levels are balanced.
COSRX has formulated this plant-based cleanser with 0.5% Betaine Salicylate and 5,000ppm of Tea-Tree Oil. This face wash is cruelty-free, and you won’t find any yucky components like sulfates, phthalates, and parabens.
Together these ingredients will remove impurities from within while also nourishing your skin’s barrier. Then you will be left with a beautiful canvas for the rest of your skincare routine. Overall, this is an ideal mild and everyday cleanser.
5. Naturium Niacinamide Cleansing Gelee
Naturium was founded by beauty guru and skincare content creator Susan Yara. As someone active in the skincare community, Susan ensured Naturium offers clean, effective, and high-end formulas that fit almost any budget.
If you are looking for a universal skin cleanser to brighten the skin and reduce dark spots, the Niacinamide Cleansing Gelee will check all the boxes. This cleanser will reveal brighter skin and a more even skin tone with the help of Niacinamide.
This gel cleanser will instantly remove all traces of makeup, sunscreen, dirt, debris, and pollution. Naturium has also crafted a formula that is universal and versatile. You can use it on the skin, wet or dry, and it’s packed with ingredients your skin will love.
You’ll find Vitamin C and Niacinamide formulated in this cleanser that will reduce the appearance of dark spots and discoloration. Meanwhile, Hyaluronic Acid will add a boost of hydration. Together, these ingredients will promote bright and hydrated skin.
Naturium is vegan, cruelty-free, fragrance-free, paraben-free, and more. So you can rest assured you are receiving a clean formula that is high-quality and effective.
6. CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser
CeraVe has a broad range of skincare products, and they have a cleanser for every skin type. However, even dry skin can still struggle with acne, discoloration, and hyperpigmentation. Thankfully, this Hydrating Facial Cleanser has come to the rescue!
CeraVe prides themselves on their high quality formulations and incorporates three essential ceramides into their products to promote healthy skin. This Hydrating Facial Cleanser will be ideal for normal to dry skin types that need a pick-me-up.
The Hydrating Facial Cleanser is packed with ingredients your skin will love and that will help fade dark spots and discoloration. You’ll find that this face wash contains Ceramides 1,3, 6-ll, Hyaluronic Acid, and Niacinamide to promote healthy skin.
You can rest assured knowing this cleanser will protect your skin barrier, hydrate the skin without feeling greasy, and gently remove impurities. This cleanser will not foam, and it has a creamy and milky texture that will break down dirt, makeup, and more.
As mentioned earlier, CeraVe is fragrance-free, and the National Eczema Association accepts it. This brand is a derm-favorite for a reason!
7. Acure Brightening Facial Scrub
Acure is an affordable, accessible, vegan skincare brand that offers unique solutions to your biggest skincare woes. We all know the feeling of dread that hyperpigmentation and dark spots left behind, so Acure has solved our problem.
This Brightening Facial Scrub is ideal for those who prefer a physical exfoliation over a chemical exfoliation. Acure focuses on using plant-based and vegan ingredients so you can reveal a brighter and glowing complexion.
Acure’s Facial Scrub works for all skin types, and they use an intriguing blend of ingredients to remove impurities and dead skin cells gently. Because this is a physical exfoliant, Acure recommends using this product only three times a week.
Sea Kelp, French Green Clay, and Lemon Peel will cleanse, exfoliate, and detoxify the skin, Madonna Lily brightens the complexion and fades discoloration, and lastly, Glycerin will lock in moisture. So say hello to bright and supple skin!
8. COSRX Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser
If COSRX’s Low pH Good Morning Cleanser didn’t work for you, or you want a more BHA-focused cleanser, try their Salicylic Acid Daily Cleanser. It contains similar ingredients to the Good Morning Cleanser, but it’s geared for blemish-prone skin.
The Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser will exfoliate the skin from within and help reveal a more even complexion over time. As mentioned earlier, Salicylic Acid is one of the most popular forms of BHA that can reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation.
Because salicylic acid exfoliates from within, it will help promote cell renewal so you can achieve a brighter skin tone. This cleanser is formulated with Tea Tree Leaf Oil to help combat inflammation and acts as an antiseptic to prevent further irritation.
Overall, the Salicylic Acid Daily Gentle Cleanser is the ideal product for the second step in your double-cleansing routine. Use it nightly and incorporate sunscreen during the day because BHAs can increase sensitivity towards the sun.
This cleanser from COSRX will pair well with other products in their blemish line to help reveal a clear, smooth, and even complexion. Even with its exfoliating properties, this cleanser is mild and won’t over-strip the skin.
9. First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Deep Cleanser
First Aid Beauty is a well-loved brand among sensitive and dry skin types, but now they have created a cleanser geared to oily and blemish-prone skin. This Pure Skin Deep Cleanser uses alternative components to reach an even skin tone.
The Pure Skin Deep Cleanser will keep oil production at bay, draw out impurities deep from the pores, and help promote an even complexion. With powerful ingredients like Red Clay, this product will stop dark spots in its tracks.
First Aid Beauty’s Cleanser is formulated with Red Clay and Rosemary to reduce impurities, Glycerin to add hydration, and Licorice Root and White Tea Extract to fend off environmental aggressors that can trigger an unbalanced complexion.
First Aid Beauty incorporates clean ingredients in its products; they are fragrance-free, cruelty-free, and dermatologist-tested. Overall, they are an excellent brand for all sensitive skin types, and this cleanser will help reveal a brighter skin tone.
You can even pair this product with other items from the First Aid Beauty collection.
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