With so many skincare products on the market, it can be challenging to know which one is right for you. There are many skin types and concerns – yet one challenge many people have is dealing with dark spots.

The key thing to understand about hyperpigmentation, acne scars, melasma, or any dark spots is that it takes time to fade or eliminate these marks. Most experts state it can take up to one year to fade extra pigmentation.

And an issue with many skincare products today is that they contain harsh chemical exfoliants or dangerous ingredients that may actually do more harm than good. So which ones are actually gentle and effective? Here are seven effective but gentle skincare ingredients that fade dark spots.

Glycolic acid

Glycolic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) derived from sugarcane. Several studies show that glycolic acid is helpful to fade dark spots, melasma, hyperpigmentation, and other marks such as acne scars.

Kojic acid

Kojic acid is an antioxidant that helps slow pigment production. It is primarily used to lighten dark spots from scars, acne, and sun damage. Interestingly, it has something in common with sake – Japanese rice wine. Kojic acid is actually a by-product of the fermentation process of making sake.


Niacinamide is one of the most popular skincare ingredients today. It is loved for its ability to smooth and soften skin – and it helps brighten skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots and hyperpigmentation. A Japanese study examined the impact of niacinamide in conjunction with sunscreen use. Even after eight weeks of use, niacinamide reduced hyperpigmentation compared to the skin of people who did not use it during sun exposure. An added bonus? Niacinamide strengthens the skin barrier.

Vitamin C

Doesn’t it seem like Vitamin C can do it all? We need it for our immune systems – and we need it for our skin. Thanks to its antioxidant properties, Vitamin C helps protect skin from free radical damage. In addition, it helps block pigment production and reduces the appearance of dark spots. Vitamin C is also essential for collagen production, which helps skin stay firm and supple.

Azelaic acid

Azelaic acid is a naturally-occurring dicarboxylic acid. That’s a little different than the alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids you’re used to hearing about. Fading dark marks and dark spots is what azelaic acid is best known for. That includes marks from acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, and sun damage. It also helps even out skin tone. Azelaic acid works by inhibiting an enzyme called tyrosinase that increases melanin production. Another perk to azelaic acid is that when used in balanced amounts, it is more gentle than other acids.

Papaya enzyme

Papaya contains a proteolytic enzyme called papain. In addition to being a digestive enzyme, papain also helps break down large proteins that have built up on the skin. This makes it an excellent gentle exfoliant. Papaya enzyme also helps soothe skin irritations and helps fade hyperpigmentation and dark spots that occur after a bout of acne. High beta-carotene content also helps papaya brighten your complexion.

Calendula extract

Calendula – or pot marigold – is a flower native to the Mediterranean that has a bright yellow-orange saffron color. It is used in color cosmetics and helps address skin concerns, especially for people with sensitive skin. The World Health Organization also recognizes calendula as safe for its gentle properties. It also helps promote collagen production and reduce the appearance of dark spots.

Teami Bright Dark Spot Serum

Meet your new best friend for fading dark spots and boosting radiance: The Teami Bright Dark Spot Serum! It’s bursting with superfood ingredients your skin is sure to love.

This soothing but effective formula contains some of the same ingredients mentioned above to target dark marks and dark spots. This includes:

Plus, the texture is lightweight, silky, and absorbs into your skin quickly. And you can use it with any natural Teami skincare product – all you have to do is apply it before your moisturizer so it can get to work where you need it most.

Most importantly, Teami Bright Dark Spot Serum is made WITHOUT:

We also make it in small batches to ensure you get the freshest product possible to nurture your skin. So if you have dark spots, dullness, hyperpigmentation, or acne marks that need extra love, this serum is for you!

One more thing: your skin IS beautiful. There’s nothing wrong with having hyperpigmentation and it’s not something to be ashamed of. Many people have skin challenges and issues – and we’re here to help you feel radiant and confident!

We want to see Teami Bright Dark Spot Serum in action. Be sure to tag us on Instagram to show off your glowing skin using #thankyouteami.