Even when you decide to own them, living with scars and skin discoloration regularly can be tough sometimes. We understand that there’s more than one type of injury or blemish (here’s looking at you, dark spots), which is why we made sure to test some of the best skin-care products available. From dark spot correctors (my personal favorite) to at-home peels, our testers kicked things into overdrive to track down the products that work.
For people with existing scars or discoloration, our dermatologist panel suggests avoiding skin-care products with ingredients like parabens, sulfates, or dyes, which can sometimes be irritating to this skin type. Of course, there’s also a host of components that our derms recommended helping minimize the appearance of these kinds of skin conditions, including brighteners such as vitamin C and chemical exfoliators such as retinoids. Ahead, check out five of the most effective skin-care products to help treat scars and discoloration from the comfort of home. P.S. Don’t forget the sunscreen (seriously, it helps for real)! And for more on skincare for treating scars and discoloration, read our brand new comprehensive guide to skincare here.
Our editors independently select all products featured on SELF. If you buy something through our local links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Reviews have been edited and condensed for clarity and length.
Best Chemical Exfoliator for Scars and Discoloration: Herbivore Botanicals Prism Natural Fruit Acids 5% Exfoliating Glow Potion
Not only will the bottle look cool on your bathroom shelf, but this chemical exfoliator is also efficient too. It’s formulated with ingredients like fruit acids, aloe, and rose water to exfoliate skin and improve its texture and tone gently. See the full ingredients list here.
Bonus Points, Per the Experts: This product contains aloe, hyaluronic acid, rose flower water, and glycerin, which our derms said are all essential ingredients for people with scars and discoloration.
One Tester Said: “Herbivore does it again! I love my Blue Tansy mask from Herbivore and feel that the two of them make a power duo. I like the subtle natural fruit scent and love how it makes my skin glow. I have hyperpigmentation from hormonal breakouts, and I see it slowly clearing it up, and I get compliments on how glowy my skin is. Prism will certainly be a continuous use in my skin-care routine.”Best Dark Spot Corrector: Dr. Jart+ Focuspot Dark Spot Micro Tip Patch
Those tiny circles in the patch are dried hyaluronic acid tips infused with vitamin A and peptides. Once the pieces are applied, the ingredients dissolve right into the skin’s surface to treat dark spots. See the full ingredients list here.
Bonus Points, Per the Experts: This product contains hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, and vitamin C, three ingredients our derms approved for contending with discoloration.
One Tester Said: “This product worked to lighten some of my smaller dark spots after just a few uses. Plus, I love how mess-free the spots are! Kind of a ‘set it and forget it’ type of experience. As far as lightening the spots that are pigmented on my skin, I may have to use them for an extended period to see more of an improvement.”