Tackling hyperpigmentation can sometimes feel like trying to solve a difficult puzzle. There’s hundreds of skincare products on the market that claim to eliminate those pesky dark spots, uneven skin tone, and discoloration — but which ingredients work and which are just hype?
OUR TOP SKINCARE PICKS
|Carrot & Stick
|Musely Spot Cream
In our opinion, it’s best to look for evidenced-based ingredients, such as hydroquinone, niacinamide, and vitamin C. Those are just some of the ingredients used to formulate Musely The Spot Cream, a prescription dark spot correcting cream that promises to fade dark spots and brighten the complexion.
But is Musely The Spot Cream right for you? To help you decide, we’ll give you all the details on the key ingredients in this formula, as well as the research that supports (or doesn’t support) their use in skin care. We’ll also share some Musely reviews so that you can get an idea of what customers really think of this product.
What Are The Key Ingredients in Musely The Spot Cream?
There’s actually four different formulations of Musely The Spot Cream — Erase, Nurture, HQ Free+, and M+ — which include the following key ingredients:
- Hydroquinone 12%
- Niacinamide 2%
- Hydrocortisone 1% (for Initial 2-month only)
- Hydroquinone 6%
- Vitamin C 1%
- Niacinamide 2%
- Tranexamic Acid 6%
- Azelaic Acid 10%
- Niacinamide 2%
- Hydroquinone 12%
- Tretinoin 0.05%
- Niacinamide 2%
- Hydrocortisone 2.5% (for Initial 2-month only)
Below we’ll give you the details on the benefits of each of these key ingredients.
According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology, hydroquinone produces reversible lightening of the skin by interfering with melanin production by the melanocytes.
Specifically, inhibition of the enzymatic conversion of tyrosine to DOPA (dihydroxyphenylalanine) results in the desired chemical reduction of pigment. Ultimately, this causes a decrease in the number of melanocytes and decreased transfer of melanin leading to lighter skin.
There are numerous studies that have demonstrated that hydroquinone is an effective treatment for hyperpigmentation. For example, in a 2003 study published in The International Journal of Dermatology, hydroquinone was found to reduce signs of hyperpigmentation associated with melasma by 76.9%, beating another skin whitening complex at 66.7%.
Normally hydroquinone is very well tolerated, however, there is still a potential for side effects. Common side effects include dryness, redness, irritation, and itching.
One thing to know before using Differin Dark Spot Corrector (or any product that contains hydroquinone) is that there is a potential for exogenous ochronosis to occur, especially if you have dark skin. Ochronosis is a reaction where the skin darkens in areas where the hydroquinone was applied; the exact opposite of what it is intended to do!
Interestingly, this phenomenon has only been documented in darker-skinned patients. However, ochronosis is extremely rare and usually occurs with long term use of hydroquinone (especially in high concentrations or from adulterated products).
Did you know that niacinamide is a B-vitamin derivative? It’s the amide form of vitamin B3 (niacin).
Niacinamide is a multi-tasking skincare ingredient, and one of the benefits it offers is brightening the complexion. It works by inhibiting melanosome transfer from melanocytes (melanin producing cells) to keratinocytes (skin cells in the epidermis).
In a study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, niacinamide was found to significantly decrease hyperpigmentation and increase skin lightness compared with vehicle alone after 4 weeks of use.
Niacinamide also functions as a potent antioxidant. Antioxidants help the skin combat free radicals, the unstable molecules that contribute to the formation of premature wrinkles and fine lines on the skin.
Another benefit of niacinamide is its ability to help with acne because of its antimicrobial and sebostatic effects, meaning it can help protect against the bacteria that cause acne while also helping to reduce oil production.
We recommend Carrot & Stick The Repair Serum because it combines niacinamide with seven plant-based neuropeptides and soothing, brightening botanicals to promote a youthful glow.
Vitamin C helps to promote a brighter complexion with fewer dark spots and a more even skin tone by inhibiting 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. Vitamin C decreases melanin formation by inhibiting tyrosinase, an enzyme that is required for melanin synthesis.
Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that protects your skin from environmental free radical damage. This is important because the harmful effects of free radicals occur as direct chemical alterations of the cellular DNA, the cell membrane, and cellular proteins, including collagen.
Damaged collagen manifests as signs of premature skin aging, including wrinkles, lines, and sagging skin. Therefore, the “Nurture” formulation of Musely The Spot Cream should help prevent signs of aging.
Our favorite Vitamin C serum is Carrot & Stick The Defence Serum. It contains 3 distinct types of Vitamin C that work together to help fight free radical damage. We recommend using it every morning.
Tranexamic acid is a synthetic analog of the amino acid lysine that functions as a skin-lightening agent for the treatment of hyperpigmentation. It is believed to work by inhibiting plasmin, which means that it helps to break down proteins in the skin that contribute to melanin (skin pigment) production.
Azelaic acid increases skin turnover to unclog pores, calm inflammation, and reduce discoloration, which is why it is an effective treatment for acne, rosacea, and hyperpigmentation.
Also known as Retin-A, tretinoin is a prescription retinoid that helps with acne, dark spots, and signs of aging.
When tretinoin first came to market more than 50 years ago, it was prescribed to treat acne only, not for anti-aging purposes. This was because of its ability to unclog pores, preventing them from becoming clogged with oil, dirt, and debris, which also makes pores appear smaller.
According to a publication in the Journal of International Medical Research, soon after topical tretinoin was made available, elderly patients using it to treat acne noted a general improvement in the quality of their skin. It was discovered that by increasing cell turnover and increasing collagen production, tretinoin could also provide anti-aging benefits such as smoothing fine lines and wrinkles and reducing visible signs of hyperpigmentation.
Hydrocortisone is a corticosteroid known for its anti-inflammatory properties. This ingredient is only included in the first two-month supply of Musely The Spot Cream in order to address any inflammation associated with dark spots.
How to Use Musely The Spot Cream?
After cleansing skin, apply one pump to the hyperpigmented area and gently massage. It can be used as a spot treatment, all over face, or as directed by your doctor. Use a gentle hydrating moisturizer after applying. Be sure to wear a mineral-based sunscreen with minimum SPF 30 daily, as your skin will be extra sensitive to sun exposure.
Where to Buy Musely The Spot Cream?
Musely The Spot Cream and other Musely skin care products are exclusively sold on the brand’s website (musely.com).
How Much is Musely The Spot Cream?
Musely The Spot Cream costs $64 USD for a two-month supply.
What is The Musely Return Policy?
The Musely return policy states, “Due to The Consumer Protection Federal Law, which prohibits the return of prescription medication, Musely is legally unable to accept returns of, facilitate exchanges, or issue refunds for any prescriptions once they have been shipped from the pharmacy. This law ensures that your medication is maintained properly and has not been tampered with! As such, your FaceRx order(s) are both non-returnable and non-refundable.”
Is Musely Cruelty Free?
Yes, Musely is cruelty free.
Musely The Spot Cream Reviews
Musely The Spot Cream reviews on the brand’s website are overall very positive, with the product receiving an average rating of 4.8 out of 5 stars.
There are many 5-star reviews for Musely The Spot Cream from customers who love that it helps to reduce discoloration, even melasma that people have dealt with for years.
For example, one review says, “This spot cream has changed my life!!! I suffer from Melasma and I have been using the spot cream for only 2 weeks and my Melasma is almost completely INVISIBLE! I literally almost cried yesterday when I was getting ready looking at the dramatic difference. I have been so self conscious for years. Thank you thank you thank you.”
And another 5-star review says, “Just finished my first bottle and had to write a review. I’ve tried SO MANY products and nothing has come close to what this little bottle has done for my face over the last few weeks. About to place my refill order and can’t wait to see the dramatic improvement after round 2. If you’re on the fence, do it! You won’t regret it.”
However, there are a handful of negative reviews for the Musely The Spot Cream, which are mostly from customers who were disappointed that they didn’t see the results they were hoping for.
For example, one review says, “I used the spot cream and have been out for about 2 weeks. I am not impressed with this product given the price and the results. I don’t have melasma but I do have spots and discoloration from acne around the lower face and chin area. This did not work for me and I have already been charged for the second treatment, which is a lower percentage of hydroquinone.”
Overall, we think that Musely The Spot Cream is formulated well with evidence-based ingredients, and it could be worth a try if you want to use prescription-strength lightening ingredients.
- Formulated with evidence-based ingredients (hydroquinone, vitamin C, niacinamide, etc.)
- Many positive Musely The Spot Cream reviews
- Musely is cruelty free
- Some Musely The Spot Cream reviews mention that the product did not work
What Are Some Alternatives to Musely The Spot Cream?
If you’re looking for skincare products to brighten your complexion and reduce the appearance of dark spots, we recommend Carrot & Stick The Brightening Spot Treatment.
This treatment product is formulated with two highly-effective, plant-based compounds that combine to correct the look of hyperpigmentation while promoting a brighter-looking, more even-toned complexion.
Antioxidant-rich botanicals — including mallow, white mulberry, skullcap and alpine plants — help reduce the appearance of sun damage, scarring and other uneven areas on skin.