Whatever you call them, sun spots, age spots or just spots, chances are good you want them gone. Find the best over the counter options here.

Sun exposure, pollution, second-hand smoke and stress are all things we have little control over, yet can wreak havoc on our skin. One of the biggest concerns when it comes to skin care, is how to safely and effectively lighten the skin and fade sun spots, age spots and old acne scars. There are department store options that will give success, depending on how responsive your skin is. If those do not work, there are others available, or you can try visiting your dermatologist for other ways you can even out your skin tone. Find out what are the most effective options you can find over the counter at your department store here.

Best Age Spot Fading Products

For over the counter products, the Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector is hands down one of the bestselling options. As with other options you can buy at the department stores, though, results take time and consistent use. Clinique launched this product in 2010. It immediately started flying off the shelves due to its clinical study results showing a 53 percent improvement in skin tone after 12 weeks of consistent use. Some users do not have luck with this product, but due to its gentle formula and better-than-average results, it is a stellar option for treating age spots or sun spots and acne scarring. Many women like this product because they can simply apply it right after they clean their skin, put on SPF and go about their day, not worrying about other steps to their skin care routine.

The other bestselling skin lightener is Philosophy’s Miracle Worker Dark Spot Corrector. Like the Clinique product, this is a serum applied to clean skin. This product hails from a line of proven anti-aging products that Philosophy launched called Miracle Worker. This line consists of both high performance retinoids that are gentle enough for even the most sensitive skin as well as antioxidants that help protect your skin from further damage. The Philosophy Miracle Worker Dark Spot Corrector is exceptionally helpful if you are looking for a skin care regimen to help boost your success with the skin brightening and lightening. The Miracle Worker Dark Spot Correcting System includes multiple other products to help boost your results and give even more anti-aging benefits on top of the dark spot correction.

Ingredients Commonly Found in Skin Lightening Products

One of the most common skin lighteners on the market is hydroquinone, which is available over the counter up to two percent. This compound penetrates into the skin and breaks up areas of hyperpigmentation, and then the darker spots exfoliate away over the next several days and weeks. Prescription skin lighteners use the same ingredient but at a higher concentration of four percent. There has been some controversy behind this particular compound, however, leading to the ingredient being banned in the United Kingdom.

Kojic acid is another active ingredient that contributes to the fading of sun and age spots. While studies have shown that kojic acid is more effective than hydroquinone, it is much more expensive so it is hard to find in products on the market. When you do find products using kojic acid as an active ingredient, they are quite expensive.

Proprietary ingredients using a variety of proteins are the other most commonly used active skin lightening ingredients. Companies will formulate specific mixtures of various proteins and other ingredients, testing them to see if they are effective at lightening and brightening the skin. These company-created ingredients then become the backbone of a variety of different brand’s age spot fading serums and creams. Because there are side effects associated with other common skin lightening ingredients, most companies create their own compounds and then offer few details about which ingredients are actually the active ones. This is one reason it is especially important to try different formulas to find one that may be more effective than another may.