Rodan + Fields / Blog / Skincare Guides

​The Best Ingredients For Dark Spots

rodan and fields targeted dark spot corrector

The Best Ingredients For Dark Spots 

When it comes to common skin concerns, skin discoloration, including dark spots, top the list. Regardless of age! Whether you’d like to address dark spots left in the wake of long-departed acne, age-related spots or even unwanted freckles from unprotected sun exposure—everyone wants that smooth, glowing, even-toned looking skin for a youthful appearance. Many of us are searching for individual ingredients to get rid of or fade our dark spots—but it is important to look into specific products and regimens to get best results. It’s a holistic skincare strategy for the best possible visible improvement – addressing existing discoloration and working to prevent it in the future. In this blog post, we’ll talk about how to deal with the dark spots you have and some of the best ingredients to help visibly brighten your skin and even out your skin tone.  

Multi-Med Therapy Approach 

Multi-Med Therapy is at the heart of all of Rodan + Fields’ Regimens. Multi-Med Therapy combines over-the-counter drug and cosmetic ingredients as the basis of elegantly formulated products that deliver powerful results. Seeing how well a “combination therapy” approach worked in acne, they knew that our holistic Multi-Med Therapy concept would also be effective for other common skin conditions, like hyperpigmentation, sensitivity, and skin aging.  

Based on their patient relationships, Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields saw how each one of these issues takes a toll on a person’s confidence. This compelled Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields to get to work, creating specific skincare systems, which they refer to as Regimens, to give people everything they would need to address specific skin concerns head-on and achieve the best skin of their lives. 

There Are No Magic Individual Ingredients 

And that’s actually good news. These ingredients can only work in a proper formula—in other words, it’s more about the formula and the routine as opposed to sticking with single ingredients. Find one that works for you and incorporate it into your AM and PM skincare routines consistently for best results.  

Key Ingredients That Help Fade Dark Spots and Discoloration 

There are a few tried-and-true ingredients that work to tackle dark spots and discoloration that are typically used in brightening formulas. Here, the four main ingredients to look for if addressing dark spots is on your skincare agenda.  

Vitamin C  

The first ingredient you tend to see in brightening products is Vitamin C, and for good reason.  

A skincare heavyweight, this ingredient is a potent antioxidant. Vitamin C helps address everything from discoloration (dark spots, age spots, post-acne marks and the like) to texture issues. Vitamin C is excellent when it comes to visibly evening out your skin tone, helping with dullness, and improving the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. You simply can’t go wrong with incorporating Vitamin C into your skincare routine.  


A form of Vitamin A, Retinoids are some of the most effective anti-aging ingredients. 

Retinoids accelerate natural skin renewal, helping skin boost its natural collagen production and reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles. When it comes to Retinoids, consistency is the name of the game. This ingredient provides impressive visible results, though like with any skincare, they do take time and dedication. This ingredient should not be combined with other actives and when you use Retinoids at night, you should wear sunscreen during the day. Retinoids can make your skin photosensitive.  

For addressing acne, begin a Retinoid skincare routine in your early 20s. For anti-aging benefits, begin incorporating Retinoids into your skincare regimen in your late 20s or early 30s. 

Kojic Acid 

Kojic Acid also goes by the Japanese common name, koji. A dark spot-targeting extraordinaire, it is a by-product in the fermentation process of malting rice, for use in the manufacturing of sake, the Japanese rice wine. This ingredient’s primary use and benefit is to reduce discoloration often caused by unprotected sun exposure—age spots, dark spots or even scars. In addition to skin-brightening effects, kojic acid also offers antimicrobial properties. 

Licorice root 

Licorice root is a natural, soothing antioxidant used in skincare to help fade dark spots, as well. It’s a great choice for those who want to opt for a more natural skin brightening ingredient.  

Rodan + Fields Reverse Regimen  

We recommend the Rodan + Fields Reverse Regimen and Targeted Dark Spot Corrector to address dull, uneven skin tone. “By exfoliating away the pile up of dead cells and helping visibly fade discolorations, REVERSE clears your skin’s canvas, restoring the luminosity and brightness your skin has naturally lost,” says Dr. Katie Rodan. “Reverse can help visibly achieve that even color and engaging glow, that shine that is very attractive at every age, and that we begin to lose in our 20s,” Dr. Kathy Fields adds.  

To protect your skin against future dark spots, it’s all about prevention. Don’t miss our story on how to prevent dark spots here.