Ordinary Skin Care for Dark Spots


Fading dark spots and achieving a radiant, even skin tone doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. The Ordinary offers a unique approach to skincare with effective, single-ingredient products you can customize to target your specific concerns. 

Let’s explore how The Ordinary can help you combat dark spots and achieve a brighter, more balanced complexion.

What Dark Spots Are?

The term “dark spots” can refer to a few things, but most commonly it refers to hyperpigmentation on the skin. Hyperpigmentation is a condition that causes patches of skin to become darker than the surrounding area. This can happen due to an overproduction of melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color.

Common Causes of Dark Spots

There are many reasons why you might develop dark spots on your skin. Here are some of the most common causes:

  • Sun exposure is one of the most common causes of dark spots. The sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage skin cells, causing them to produce more melanin. This melanin production is the body’s attempt to protect itself from the sun’s harmful rays, but it can also lead to the development of dark spots, also known as solar lentigines or age spots.
  • Age. As we get older, our skin becomes less elastic and more prone to wrinkles and age spots. This is because melanin production becomes uneven as we age.
  • Hormonal changes. Changes in hormone levels, such as those that occur during pregnancy or puberty, can also cause dark spots to form. This type of hyperpigmentation is called melasma.
  • Inflammation. The inflammation caused by various skin conditions, such as acne, eczema, or psoriasis, can lead to the development of dark spots, sometimes called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
  • Side effects from certain medications. Some medications, such as birth control pills and certain antibiotics, can increase sun sensitivity and make you more likely to develop dark spots.
  • Other factors that can contribute to dark spots include genetics, ethnicity, and certain medical conditions, such as Addison’s disease and hemochromatosis.

Importance of Addressing Dark Spots for Clear Skin

Addressing dark spots is important for achieving clear skin for a few reasons. 

i. Even skin tone

Dark spots disrupt the uniformity of your skin tone, making your complexion look uneven and sometimes dull. Fading these spots can bring back a brighter, more radiant look.

ii. Reduced noticeability of blemishes

Dark spots can be lingering signs of past blemishes, like acne or injuries. Addressing them can minimize the appearance of these imperfections and promote a smoother texture.

iii. Prevention of future damage

Dark spots often stem from sun damage. By tackling existing spots and incorporating sun protection into your routine, you can prevent new ones from forming and keep your skin healthy in the long run.

iv. Confidence boost

Clear skin can significantly impact self-confidence. Addressing dark spots can contribute to a more even and radiant complexion, potentially boosting your confidence in your appearance.

Ordinary Skin Care for Dark Spots

The Ordinary offers a variety of affordable skincare products that can help address dark spots. Here’s a routine you can consider:

1. Cleanse

Start with a gentle cleanser to remove dirt, oil, and makeup without stripping your skin’s natural moisture.

2. Exfoliate (2-3 times a week)

Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells that can contribute to the appearance of dark spots. The Ordinary offers a few options, including:

  • AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution: This is a potent exfoliating treatment that should only be used once or twice a week. It’s not for sensitive skin.
  • Lactic Acid 10% + HA: This is a gentler option that can be used more frequently. Lactic acid is an AHA that helps to brighten the skin and improve texture.
  • Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution: This is another good option for those with sensitive skin. Glycolic acid is an AHA that helps to exfoliate the skin and improve cell turnover.

3. Target dark spots (morning and night)

Apply a serum that targets dark spots. Here are two options from The Ordinary:

  • Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA: This serum contains alpha arbutin, a skin-brightening ingredient that helps to reduce the appearance of dark spots.
  • Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%: Niacinamide is another ingredient that can help to brighten the skin and reduce the appearance of dark spots. It also helps to regulate oil production and minimize the appearance of pores.

4. Moisturize (morning and night)

Apply a moisturizer to hydrate your skin and keep it plump and healthy. The Ordinary offers a variety of moisturizers to suit different skin types.

5. Sunscreen (every day)

This is essential for preventing new dark spots from forming. Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher every day, even on cloudy days.


With its focus on science-backed ingredients and customizable options, The Ordinary provides a powerful and accessible solution for tackling dark spots. By incorporating these targeted products into your routine, you can work towards achieving a more even, radiant, and confident complexion. 

Remember, consistency is key! Be patient and allow your skin time to adjust and show results.