Could Dark Spots Become History with Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution?

There are not many things I regret in life, but not using proper sun protection for some years is one of them. I am blessed with skin that tans fast and doesn’t burn, but still. I have some pigmentation spots around my cheekbones as the result.

Besides using sunscreens with a decent SPF factor (I try to aim around 30), I have decided to make brightening serums an integral part of my skincare routine. The first one I sampled? Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution.

According to Kiehl’s, Clearly Corrective is a “fast-acting serum that evens skin tone and diminishes dark spots to impart overall radiance and luminosity to the skin.” It comes in a glass container with a dropper (do note that the dropper does not go all the way to the bottom, so at the end it could become a bit messy to use it). The consistency is very liquid. It smells like lavender in the bottle, but with the quantity for each use it has a faint smell that I can’t really describe.

Here is how I use it: I put 3 drops in my palm, warm it up slightly before patting it on my face. I also pat an extra drop onto where I have pigmentation spots. Clearly Corrective is light in texture and absorbed easily by the skin. There is no sticky residue. I find this serum hydrating, and since it’s not sticky it’s easy to layer a lotion on top.

So, does it work? The answer has to be yes and no. Yes because my skin tone is brighter after about 3 months (I even had a close friend commenting on how “fair” I had become, though I personally don’t think my skin tone had become lighter. It was most probably the brightness that fooled her a little), and no because I really don’t see any of my spots being lightened. This is really what I was hoping it to do, so I have to admit it is somewhat disappointing that all my spots are still just the way they were.

Here is the ingredient list:

Bottom line: If you want a hydrating serum that is absorbed quickly and brightens your skin tone, take a look at Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution. I cannot personally guarantee this will lighten sun spots. However, I do realize things like these vary a lot for individuals, and lightening spots is tricky business that takes a lot of time!

Have you tried any brightening products? Did any work for you? What is a similar product you would recommend for me?

Sunny, your beauty culture translator xx

Disclosure: The product mentioned in this review is provided by the PR for my consideration. All opinions are honest and my own. I am in no way compensated for this review. I have always been, and will always be committed ONLY to my readers.

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29 responses

  1. Actually I had lots of dark spots before because of Acne of teenage years.
    But gradually they went away…
    and I tried a very mild laser programme at a beauty salon, and it worked really well to renew my skin cells.

    I think if you take care of your skin properly (hydrating, exfoliating), then the spots will go away soon.

    the point is I have to prevent new spots by suncreens and prevent eating deep fried food so I won’t have new acnes!

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  2. ooooh…pity about all that alcohol in it :/ I’m not opposed to having alcohol in my skincare, but I do try to limit it only to “completely necessary” products and only in 1 skincare item–but NEVER in my serums. I’m very particular, I know 😛

  3. Oh too bad your spots didn’t lighten. I use this Dark Spot Solution for acne scars & that works for me! They are less visible after using this for 3 months

    • Glad to hear it worked so well for you, Astrid! This did brighten my skin tone a little so I should be happy with that! Maybe it’ll just take longer for my spots to fade.

  4. Such a pity, I am getting pigmentations spots lately. My mom asked me since we I have got 4 pigmentation spots on a row. I didn’t notice I have got one extra.. I’ve got a brighting serum but I have not used it yet :’).

  5. I think that sounds good! Never tried something like this before, but … My skin needs a little brightness in this typical Dutch weather (rain, rain, rain)!

  6. Bummer this didn’t work out. I’m looking for a product that can help me get rid of dark spots as well and I was curious to see if this would be my new holy grail. Even though I don’t go in the sun a lot, their number is increasing 😦 Lemme know when you find one that does do the trick!

  7. I also have quite a few spots thanks to my acne. They have faded a little over time, but I’ve started thinking about having microdermabrasia or laser treatment done and I’m currently leaning towards the latter. Both options are supposed to treat spots due to both acne and sun damage, but microdermabrasia seems to be going horribly wrong quite often (scars getting worse instead of better, irritated skin for months, etc).

    Too bad this serum doesn’t work. Would’ve been a lot easier. 😛

    • Oh wow, Linde, please keep me posted about how laser works! Mine really aren’t bad even if you look at them close-up, but things would be better if they weren’t there at all!

  8. These things definitely take time. I was using Clinique’s version for a while (Even Better Skin Tone Corrector, I think? It’s a serum, as well) and it does work. I recently switched to Vichy’s ProEven, which I also like, and I think this one also works. I have a few sun spots that I want to work on, and I do think they are fading – or at least, becoming slightly less noticeable.

  9. Too bad this product has some flaws. I find that pigmentation spots are very hard to get rid off! Still looking for something that really works, but I guess it’s a matter of patience. And eeeeh Muffin is so cute <3!!!!

  10. As someone who has loads os pigmentation issues and has tried just about everything I can say that most over the counter things work just a tiny bit, but that’s about it. After that the only way to get rid of them is Laser, which I am going to get done in the fall.
    I do like some of Kiehl’s skincare though! I find their stuff is hit or miss. Great review!

    • OOOO Keep us posted about the laser thing, Tracy! I don’t think I’ll have that done anytime soon, but if it works well I’ll be happy to know I still have a last resort!

  11. I actually was given a generous sample of this lately but haven’t tried it yet. Interesting to know that it isn’t really working on your pigmentation. I too really regret not paying more attention to my suncare regime when I was younger!

    • Gah I know! For some years I was SO sick of how much people avoid sunlight in Taiwan that I really wanted to do everything differently. I still think it’s not healthy to avoid sun altogether, but I wish I had been less drastic!

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