Clinique Dark Spot Corrector - The Dermatology Review

Clinique Dark Spot Corrector



What is Clinique Dark Spot Corrector?

Clinique Dark Spot Corrector is a brightening serum that is said to help correct discoloration and acne scars. This serum is also claimed to help prevent the formation of future dark spots, even though this product does not contain any type of sunscreen. Clinique Dark Spot Corrector is packaged in a pump bottle and comes in two sizes; 1 ounce or 1.7 ounces. In this review, we’ll discuss the key ingredients in this serum, how to use it, Clinique Dark Spot Corrector reviews from real customers, and more. 

What are the key ingredients in Clinique Dark Spot Corrector?

Clinique Dark Spot Corrector has a very silky texture because of the high concentrations of silicones used in this formula, which include cyclopentasiloxane, dimethicone, and polysilicone-11. Silicones improve product spreadability and impart a silky, smooth skin feel. Silicones also help to lock in moisture, which helps to keep the skin moisturized. 

The key brightening ingredient found in Clinique Dark Spot Corrector is the brand’s patented CL302 Complex, which includes UP302, ascorbyl glucoside, glucosamine, yeast extract, and salicylic acid. We’ll talk about each of these ingredients in detail below so you’ll know exactly how they affect your skin. 

First up is UP302. We know what you’re probably thinking – what the heck is that? UP302, also known as dimethoxytolyl propylresorcinol, is a brightening molecule inspired by border silver (dianella ensifolia), a botanical known in traditional Chinese medicine for its antioxidant properties. This ingredient helps to fade dark spots through inhibition of melanin synthesis. Melanin is a pigment that gives our skin color, but too much of this pigment can lead to undesirable dark spots called hyperpigmentation. UP302 decreases melanin formation by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme that is required for melanin synthesis. The result is skin that appears brighter with less dark spots and a more even skin tone. However, there’s currently no conclusive research to confirm the efficacy of this ingredient. 

A more well-studied brightening ingredient used in Clinique Dark Spot Corrector is ascorbyl glucoside, a stable derivative of vitamin C. After being absorbed into the skin, ascorbyl glucoside is converted to ascorbic acid, which provides numerous benefits to the skin. For example, ascorbic acid has the ability to reduce the appearance of dark spots and improve uneven skin tone by inhibiting melanin synthesis. Ascorbic acid also stimulates the production of collagen and functions as a potent antioxidant. 

The next brightening ingredient in Clinique Dark Spot Corrector is glucosamine, which helps to fade dark spots in several ways. First, glucosamine provides skin exfoliating properties similar to alpha and beta hydroxy acids. Exfoliating speeds up the skin’s shedding process and helps to reveal a layer of new, healthy skin cells. Glucosamine also reduces the production of melanin through several mechanisms. It is involved in the up-regulation of epidermal turnover genes and antioxidant-related genes, as well as the down-regulation of the cytoskeleton genes involved in melanosome transport. These changes are believed to be associated with pigment reduction, leading to a brighter, more even complexion. 

You’ll find two more exfoliating ingredients in Clinique Dark Spot Corrector: yeast extract and salicylic acid. Yeast extract helps to break up large clusters of pigment into smaller particles so they’re less visible. Salicylic acid is most well known for its ability to help improve acne prone skin by clearing pores, but the fact that this ingredient can exfoliate the skin means it should also be able to help with hyperpigmentation. 

Clinique Dark Spot Corrector does not contain parabens, phthalates, fragrance, oil, denatured alcohol, SLS, SLES, or sulfates. However, there are two artificial colorants in the formula (Yellow 5 and Yellow 6). 

How to use Clinique Dark Spot Corrector

Clinique Dark Spot Corrector should be applied twice per day: once in the morning and once in the evening. For best results, your skin should be clean and dry before you use this product to avoid an uneven layering. Apply one to two pumps on fingertips and spread the serum evenly over any affected areas, avoiding the eye area. It’s important to apply a broad spectrum SPF 30 sunscreen following application of Clinique Dark Spot Corrector if you’re going to use this product during the day. 

Where is Clinique Dark Spot Corrector sold?

Clinique Dark Spot Corrector and other Clinique skin care products are sold on the brand’s website, as well as third party online retailers such as Amazon, Ebay, Sephora, Ulta, and more. Clinique Dark Spot Corrector is also sold at physical retail locations, such as the Clinique counter at department stores like Macy’s and Nordstrom. 

What is the Clinique return policy?

The Clinique return policy states, “If for any reason you are not satisfied with your purchase from Clinique Online you may return the unused portion for refund or exchange. We accept returns for products purchased from only.”

Is Clinique cruelty free?

Clinique is not cruelty free. Clinique is owned by Estée Lauder, a company that tests on animals. While Estée Lauder does not conduct animal testing on their products or ingredients, they do test on animals when required to do so by law (such as in China). 

Clinique Dark Spot Corrector reviews

Clinique Dark Spot Corrector reviews are mostly positive, with many customers confirming that they do see results when using this product. There are many positive reviews that mention this serum helps skin to look brighter, healthier, and glowing. For example, one very positive Clinique Dark Spot Corrector review says, “I have definitely seen a huge difference in my skin. I have acne prone skin and oily combination skin. I use the dark spot corrector with the 3-step cleansing, toner and moisturizer combo. My skin has never looked this good. I barely break out anymore. My dark spots have faded and I barely wear makeup anymore. It did take about a week or two of use to see a different with the dark spot corrector.”

Then again, there are quite a few negative Clinique Dark Spot Corrector reviews from customers who saw no noticeable difference after using this product. For example, one reviewer says, “I used this on one small, medium -colored sunspot and one tiny dark-colored freckle. I applied morning and night faithfully for 8 weeks. The product did absolutely NOTHING! I only gave it one star because I couldn’t give it zero stars.” There are also several Clinique Dark Spot Corrector reviews from customers who experienced acne breakouts and skin irritation after using this serum. 

What are some alternatives to Clinique Dark Spot Corrector?

Overall, we think that Clinique Dark Spot Corrector contains a good combination of unique brightening ingredients, like UP302 and glucosamine, and well-studied brighteners like vitamin C. But if you’re concerned about the Clinique Dark Spot Corrector reviews that mention this product did nothing to improve dark spots, we have a few alternatives for you to consider. 

One product we recommend for dark spots is Formulyst Luminous Skin Serum. Formulated to promote a brighter, more radiant-looking complexion, Formulyst’s Luminous Skin Serum is a lightweight, highly concentrated formula enriched with Triple Brightening Technology – a naturally powerful combination of alpha arbutin, Rumex extract, and a biomimetic peptide. Plus, there are several hydrating ingredients in this serum, like chondrus crispus extract and sodium hyaluronate, which help to maintain skin hydration. 

Another product specifically designed to target the appearance of dark spots and uneven skin tone caused by hyperpigmentation is Formulyst Dark Spot Solutions. It is formulated with HyWhite – an alpha linolenic acid (ALA) that helps to lighten the appearance of dark spots through inhibition of melanin synthesis, resulting in a more even skin tone and color. This serum also contains a lightweight molecular hyaluronic acid, which instantly helps to improve skin hydration. 




The philosophy of Formulyst is long-term and effective skincare, rather than covering up any imperfections. The comprehensive line of products tackles everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin. While some brands rely on unnecessary fillers and scents, Formulyst focuses on ingredients that help create results, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Many of the Formulyst’s products harness the power of plant and citrus extracts as well as gold-standard workhorses such as retinol. Read More

Advanced Dermatology

The Advanced Dermatology skin care regimen addresses the most pressing aging concerns. It can be used by men and women in their 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s and beyond. This award-winning system can help diminish wrinkle appearance, reduce dark spots and hyperpigmentation, fade away redness, even out skin tone and improve the appearance of eye bags and dark circles. Some of the standout products in this line include the Super Youth Serum, Complete Age Defense and Anti-Wrinkle Firming Night Treatment. Read More

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