Hyper- or hypo-pigmentation of the skin has many causes that affect skin tone and texture. Sun spots, age spots, freckles and old acne scars can cause a face to look dull and older. While prescription skin lightening products are typically the most effective, not everyone has access to a dermatologist, and the products are often very expensive. Many skin care companies offer over-the-counter alternatives that have been proven effective at a fraction of the cost of a visit to the dermatologist.
Dermatologists developed Clinique’s Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector as comparable to prescription-strength creams. According to the company website, users reported at least a 53 percent improvement in skin tone. Clinique guarantees you will see results in as little as four weeks, and significant improvement in 12 weeks. The Dark Spot Corrector works on old acne scars, age spots and dark spots on your face, chest and back of hands. It costs $49.50 for a 1-oz. bottle in 2011, and you can purchase it on-line, at the beauty specialty stores Sephora and Ulta, and at Clinique counters in department stores nationwide.
Murad’s Age Spot & Pigment Lightening Gel both lightens dark spots and exfoliates skin to improve tone and texture. Hydroquinone works on dark spots, while alpha hydroxy acids increase cell turnover for quicker results. The gel also contains anti-inflammatory ingredients to alleviate irritation. Although the gel has great reviews, Murad does not report a timeframe for expected results. As of 2011, a 1-oz. bottle costs $60 and is available on-line and at Sephora and Ulta.
Ambi products are developed specifically for women of color, but they are effective on any skin tone. Its Fade Cream comes in formulas for both normal and oily skin. Its combination of hydroquinone, alpha hydroxyl acids and vitamin E evens skin tone, exfoliates skin and improves its texture. It also contains sunscreen to protect the skin from further damage. A 2-oz. tube costs only $5.49 in 2011, making it a great bargain, and you can purchase Ambi products on-line and at thousands of drugstores nationwide.
Olay’s professional line of products includes Olay Discoloration Fighting Concentrate. Its active ingredients, glucosamine and undecylenoyl phenylalanine, reduce the appearance of dark spots, while vitamin B3 increases cell turnover. According to Olay’s verified clinical research, you will notice improved moisture retention within 30 days and increased exfoliation within just four days. At $47 for only 0.4 oz., Olay Discoloration Fighting Concentrate is among the priciest over-the-counter skin lightening creams in 2011; however, it also remains among the few treatments with clinically-proven significant results. You can buy it at many on-line and drugstore retailers nationwide. Olay often offers coupons for the cream on-line and in the Sunday paper.