10 Best The Ordinary Products For Hyperpigmentation & Dark Spots (In 2021)

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Are you looking for a long-lasting solution for getting rid of your hyperpigmentation and discoloration? If so, you have to try at least one of these 10 best products from The Ordinary for reducing hyperpigmentation and dark spots – they work amazing.

The Ordinary is a rising skincare brand that offers amazing clinical skincare at affordable prices. All of their products target skincare concerns such as acne, fine lines, hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and uneven skin tone. 

They focus less on their packaging and more on creating unbeatable formulas that provide real solutions to common skin problems.

 

The Best The Ordinary Products for Hyperpigmentation & Dark Spots

 

If you suffer from hyperpigmentation and dark spots, then you will have probably faced the struggle of not knowing which products will actually help to get rid of your skin discoloration. 

It’s easy to go overboard and splash out on buying a dozen products that promise to fix your skin. But, wouldn’t you rather spend that cash elsewhere? 

These products from The Ordinary are not only reasonably priced, but they also produce real results with minimal hassle. 

The following guide shows the best products from The Ordinary that will resolve your hyperpigmentation and dark spots, without breaking the bank. But first, what is hyperpigmentation?

 

What Is Hyperpigmentation?

 

Hyperpigmentation is a common skin concern that occurs when the skin produces more melanin. This leads to darkened patches around the skin and skin discoloration. 

Melanin is a natural pigment that gives color to our skin, hair, and eyes. The only problem is sometimes our environment triggers an overproduction of melanin causing dark patches to appear.

Melasma is a type of hyperpigmentation that appears as large areas of darkened skin, and this type of pigmentation can be a little more difficult to shift as it is deep in the skin. It can be brought on by sun exposure, pregnancy, or hormonal changes. 

 

What Causes Hyperpigmentation?

 

The causes of hyperpigmentation aren’t as black and white as you’d like. Anything from hormones, inflammation, exposure to the sun, or certain medications could be the cause of your hyperpigmentation. 

Thankfully, there are so many products available to help reduce the production of melanin and combat those dark spots. That’s where The Ordinary comes in! 

 

The Ordinary Brand Overview

 

The Ordinary is an evolving collection of products that offer simple yet effective solutions to skincare concerns. They bring out the science in skincare, without fussing over making the packaging look pretty. The magic is inside. 

Finding the right skincare for your skin concerns can be challenging, but The Ordinary makes it easy. The Ordinary offers a wide range of serums, water-free formulas, oils, and sunscreen. All of their products aren’t limited to one type of formulation so you’re guaranteed to find something that will suit your skin. 

Below, we’ll cover the best The Ordinary products for hyperpigmentation and dark spots from three different categories: 1) melanin inhibitors to prevent new dark spots from forming 2) acids for treating pre-existing dark spots 3) other products that are beneficial for hyperpigmentation and overall skin health, such as vitamin serums and oils.

When shopping for products, please note that you definitely do NOT need all of the products listed. Pick one from each category, or simply just a single product to trial at first.

 

The Best The Ordinary Products For Hyperpigmentation & Dark Spots:

…Melanin Inhibitors

 

Hyperpigmentation caused by sun exposure or hormones can be more difficult to shift. That’s where melanin inhibitors come in. These tyrosinase inhibitors help to prevent the overproduction of the amount of melanin you produce, ultimately stopping the dark spots and uneven skin from appearing. 

If you are only looking to buy 1-2 products from The Ordinary for hyperpigmentation and dark spots, we strongly recommend that you pick at least one of the melanin inhibitors that we’ve listed!

 

1. Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

The best The Ordinary products for hyperpigmentation and dark spots: Azelaic Acid Suspension 10%

Get this on Ulta | Target

If you’re looking for something that reduces hyperpigmentation, this is it! The Ordinary Azelaic Acid Suspension 10% interferes with the production of melanin, ultimately resulting in the prevention of hyperpigmentation. 

Azelaic Acid is a tyrosinase inhibitor. Essentially, it blocks the enzyme that stimulates melanin production but is gentle on your skin. 

This winning formulation not only reduces hyperpigmentation but is also a great solution for acne-prone skin as it unclogs pores and has anti-inflammatory properties. 

This lightweight cream-gel does it all! Even skin texture, tick. Brightens skin, tick. Fades scarring, tick.

Suitable for everyday use, the Azelaic Acid Suspension10% is best used twice daily in the morning and the evening. This light moisturizer-like gel will leave your skin visibly brighter and healthy-looking.

Benefits:
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • Reduces dark spots 
  • Leaves skin smooth and blemish-free
  • Evens out skin tone and texture 
  • Unclogs pores to reduce breakouts
Cons:
  • Increases sun sensitivity – make sure to use a stronger SPF to protect your new skin beneath. 

 

2. Alpha Arbutin 2%+HA

The best The Ordinary products for hyperpigmentation and dark spots: Alpha Arbutin 2%+HA

Get this on Ulta | Target | Walmart

This match made in heaven consists of a pairing of alpha arbutin and hyaluronic acid to ensure a smooth, even, and bright skin tone. The Ordinary’s Alpha Arbutin 2% + HA is a game-changer for hyperpigmentation sufferers.

This unique blend inhibits melanin production and gently lightens pigmentation without causing any harm, leaving the skin healthy and hydrated. This product is so gentle, it works well for most skin types, including those with sensitive skin. Plus, the HA ensures your skin stays plump and hydrated – we love a multifunctional product!

To use, apply a couple of drops to the skin before applying your moisturizer and let it dry. This product is suitable for daily use, ideally twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening. This product will blend in easily with any skincare routine. 

Benefits:
  • Prevents melanin production
  • Lightens pigmentation
  • Evens out skin tone 
  • Brightens complexion 
Cons:
  • Use may increase sensitivity to the sun – be sure to use a stronger SPF in the morning. 

 

…Acids

 

Putting acid on your face sounds a little scary, but it’s not as daunting or extreme as it sounds. Acids have proven to be the solution to treating a range of skin problems, from acne to pigmentation.

The way they work to brighten skin is by dissolving the ‘glue’ that holds dead skin cells together and making way for lighter, brighter skin. If you are unsure which acids are best for hyperpigmentation, we’ve got you covered with the products below.

 

3. The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution (BHA)

The best The Ordinary products for hyperpigmentation and dark spots: Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution 

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Using harsh physical exfoliators on your skin is out! The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution penetrates deep into the skin for mild exfoliation without causing damage to your skin. 

Suitable for everyday use, this product should ideally be applied in the evening, no more than once per day. All you need to do is saturate a cotton pad with the solution and gently sweep it over your face, avoiding the eye area. 

After using The Ordinary Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution, your skin will be visibly clearer. Formulated with ginseng root, aloe vera for soothing, and a Tasmanian Pepperberry derivative reducing irritation, this solution will literally have you feeling and looking radiant. 

Regular exfoliation along with continued sun protection will help to reduce the appearance of hyperpigmentation and dark spots. 

Benefits:
  • Breaks up pigmentation and dark spots by removing dead skin cells  
  • Improves skin texture
  • Deep exfoliation for brighter and visibly clearer skin 
Cons:
  • Glycolic Acid shouldn’t be used on sensitive, peeling or compromised skin. If you do have sensitive skin, try a gentle hydroxy acid option like Lactic Acid 5% + HA, or the Mandelic Acid 10% + HA which slowly penetrates the skin.

 

4. Lactic Acid 5% + HA 

The best The Ordinary products for hyperpigmentation and dark spots: Lactic Acid 5% + HA Get this on Ulta 

This little beauty works brilliantly to smoothen skin and create an even skin tone. Part of the AHA family, The Ordinary Lactic Acid 5% + HA is a gentler acid compared to the widely used glycolic acid (BHA). It doesn’t penetrate as deep and is a great option if you’re new to the acid game or if you have sensitive skin.  

This product is great for diminishing dark spots. Its mild exfoliation makes it easy on the skin, leaving literal glowing results!

Suitable for daily use, the Lactic Acid 5% + HA should be applied no more than once per day, ideally in the evening. 

This product has a peeling formulation so if you find the strength is too much, you can reduce it by diluting with another serum until your skin builds tolerance. 

Benefits:

  • Mild exfoliation
  • Reduces dark spots 
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Cons:

  • Lactic Acid shouldn’t be used on sensitive, peeling or compromised skin.

 

5. AHA 30%+BHA 2% Peeling Solution 

The Ordinary AHA 30%+BHA 2% Peeling Solution 

Get this on Ulta | Target

This is one for the experienced skincare acid users out there. Considered a ‘facial’ in a bottle, there’s no doubt that the AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution is a must-have in your skincare routine.

This acid exfoliant is a powerhouse of ingredients for improving your overall skin texture and brightening your skin tone. Working above and below the skin to exfoliate, clear pores, and remove congestion, this product works in full force. 

The AHA 30%+BHA 2% Peeling Solution also contains Tasmanian Pepperberry descendant which helps to combat any irritation caused by the acid. 

Like a facemask, this product works best when it is left on for 10 minutes (or 5 if you haven’t used an acid peel before). Once complete you just simply rinse it off with warm water and apply your moisturizer or natural oil. It’s as simple as that!

This product is best to be used in addition to your regular skincare routine once or twice a week in the evening. In addition to combatting hyperpigmentation, it’s also amazing for acne and ace scars!

Benefits:

  • Brighter skin 
  • Even skin tone
  • Improves skin texture
  • Great for exfoliating

Cons:

  • If you are new to skincare acids, it is recommended that you use Azelaic Acid or Mandelic Acid (both below) if you have sensitive skin.

 

6. Mandelic Acid 10% + HA

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA

Get this on Ulta | Walmart

The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA is a gentler AHA compared to the other AHA and BHA acids that we’ve featured above, thanks to its larger molecular size. This also makes it less irritating and (unfortunately) less effective.

However, this is a great option for anyone who suffers from skin sensitivity and hyperpigmentation, or who is new to using acids in skincare. 

Though gentler to the skin, this product still packs a punch (not literally): it penetrates the skin more slowly than other acids but still creates incredible results. 

Using The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA will help you lighten your dark spots and hyperpigmentation whilst fully hydrating and plumping your skin, creating radiance. A superficial peel provides a clearer, visibility brighter, and even skin tone without drying out your skin. 

This product is suitable for application once per day, ideally in the evening. It can also be diluted with other products to reduce its strength until your skin builds up a tolerance. 

Benefits:
  • Bright and radiant skin
  • Reduction of dark spots 
  • Improves skin tone 
Cons:
  • Mandelic Acid may increase sun sensitivity – limit exposure after use and apply a strong SPF.

 

…Vitamin C Serums

 

The skincare benefits of vitamin C are endless. It is nothing short of a miracle for skin prone to hyperpigmentation and discoloration. Like azelaic acid and alpha arbutin, vitamin C also works to reduce hyperpigmentation by preventing melanin production but it also carries a heap of added benefits. 

 

7. Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%

The best The Ordinary products for hyperpigmentation and dark spots: Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%

Get this on Ulta | Walmart

The Ordinary’s Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2% is a must-have for your anti-hyperpigmentation beauty bag. Like we mentioned before, alpha arbutin is a melanin inhibitor, reducing hyperpigmentation and new dark spots from forming. This serum also evens out skin tone, texture and reduces the appearance of fine lines, thanks to vitamin C.

This water-free serum is gentle enough to be used daily as part of your skincare routine, ideally twice daily avoiding areas around your eyes. 

Note: Be sure to apply a strong SPF after morning application! Vitamin C degrades in the sun, so you want to make sure the serum can do its job the best that it can! 

Benefits:
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation
  • Brightens skin
  • Help reduce dark spots
  • Evens out skin tone and texture
Cons:
  • As this product is a water-free formula, you’ll have to use it as the last step in your skincare so that it doesn’t interfere with the absorption of your other serums. It’s not really a con, but definitely worth noting! 

 

8. Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%

The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12%

Get this on Ulta | Target

Unlike The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%, The Ordinary Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% is a water-soluble derivative of Vitamin C meaning you can use it alongside other water-based products. 

This gold standard vitamin C is a brilliant product for reducing hyperpigmentation and providing antioxidant protection.

The Ordinary Vitamin C Ascorbyl Glucoside Solution 12% is a great alternative to other vitamin C products if you suffer from sensitive skin, as this product has a relatively low concentration of acid.

This lightweight water-based serum does wonders in soothing the skin. Its texture makes for effortless application and is suitable for daily use, ideally twice per day. 

Benefits:
  • Skin brightening
  • Prevents melanin production 
  • Reduces dark spots 
  • Evens out skin tone
Cons:
  • This product may increase sun sensitivity – be sure to apply SPF after application.

Note: You’ll want to use SPF with any vitamin C containing products in the morning, as vitamin C degrades in the sun!

 

…Niacinamide Serums

 

Niacinamide is known for evening out skin tone by balancing its natural oils and making the skin appear more radiant. It’s is great for anyone with uneven skin, dark spots, or acne as it helps support the skin’s natural defenses.

 

9. Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1%

Get this on Ulta | Target | Walmart

The Ordinary Niacinamide 10%+Zinc 1% is a prime brightener and another essential product for the skincare routine. While niacinamide is mostly known as an ingredient that tackles enlarged pores, excess oil production and textural irregularities, it’s also thought to block the production of melanin in the skin, making it great for lightening dark spots.

Both niacinamide and zinc are also known to be great ingredients for general skin health. Zinc has anti-inflammatory properties that help relieve rashes, acne breakouts, and more. This product is one of The Ordinary’s most loved products, and if you’re someone with oily skin that also suffers from hyperpigmentation, you have to give The Ordinary Niacinamide 10%+Zinc 1% a go!

Suitable for daily use, to be applied once per day either in the morning or evening. If vitamin C is a part of your skincare routine, be sure to not combine the two, just to be safe. Instead, apply vitamin C in the morning and niacinamide in the evening to get the full results.

Benefits:
  • Tackles blemish-prone skin
  • Balances oil production
  • Reduces hyperpigmentation 
  • Brightens and evens out skin tone 
Cons:
  • If you want to be safe, don’t combine niacinamide with a vitamin C product – instead alternate your products, applying vitamin C in the morning and niacinamide in the evening. (Note: While most researchers say it’s safe to combine the two, there have been lab studies that say the two can lead to the production of niacin at high temperatures, leading to flushing and irritated skin. However, under normal conditions this is extremely unlikely to happen. So, in our opinion, you are safe to combine the two.)

 

…Natural Oils

10. 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil

Get this on Ulta | Target

The Ordinary’s luxurious 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil is the perfect way to complete your daily skincare routine. 

Rich in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fatty acids, this natural oil provides a host of benefits including anti-inflammatory and regenerative properties for reducing the appearance of dark spots and scars, brightening skin, and hydrating skin.

This product is great for all skin types so no one is missing out on the benefits of this beauty. With a light and silky consistency, this product doesn’t leave behind any greasy residue, only silky goodness. 

The Ordinary 100% Organic Cold-Pressed Rosehip Seed Oil can be applied as and when needed for a little extra hydration for dry skin. Ideally apply once a day in the evening once you have finished applying your water-based treatments. 

Benefits:
  • Brightens skin
  • Moisturises and rehydrates 
  • Promotes an even skin tone
  • Reduces fine lines and wrinkles
  • Non-comedogenic and safe fr acne
Cons:
  • 100% cold-pressed and organic, no perfumes for added scent.

 

Bonus: 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil 

The Ordiary 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil 

Get this on Ulta

The Ordinary’s silky 100% Cold-Pressed Virgin Marula Oil is a definite treat to finish off your skincare routine in the evening. The single ingredient of 100% marula oil is all you need to finish off your skincare routine on a high.  

While this The Ordinary product is not formulated specifically with hyperpigmentation and dark spots in mind, it’s great for people with sensitive skin that want to achieve a healthy skin barrier, thanks to its antioxidant-rich nature. Soak up 100% unrefined African marula oil and all its benefits. 

Unfortunately, even though marula oil is very high in antioxidants, it’s also comedogenic. So, if you have acne-prone skin, unfortunately, this product isn’t for you (try the Rose Hip Oil instead!)

Benefits:
  • Rich texture
  • Packed with antioxidants for promoting healthy skin 
  • Hydrates skin
  • Restores and even and radiant skin tone
Cons:
  • Not suitable for acne-prone skin, as it’s comedogenic

 

Buying Guide

 

Before using any new The Ordinary skincare products for hyperpigmentation and dark spots, it’s important to take a couple of factors into consideration. 

1. Patch test

Conducting a patch test is a great way to predict what reaction you’ll have to a new product. It is highly recommended that you do a patch test before adding a new product into your regular skincare routine. 

2. Using Direct Acids

Direct acids such as lactic acid and glycolic acid etc, work by exfoliating the top layer of the skin cells and penetrating deeper into the skin to break up pigmentation and dark spots. The result is visibility a brighter and more even skin tone.  However, if you haven’t used acids before, start with a gentle one like The Ordinary Mandelic Acid 10% + HA, and build up your resistance from there/

3. Flaking 

When you start adding and building on your new skincare routine, you may find that bits are peeling or flaking. Don’t panic! Just scale down the amount of product that you use, and perhaps stay off the serums for a few days until your skin returns to normal. 

4. SPF 

It’s important to note that using direct acids, tyrosinase inhibitors, and even vitamin C will make your skin more sensitive to the sun. Make sure you apply a broad spectrum of sunscreen either SPF 30 or higher. Apply and reapply daily, as and when you feel you need it.  

Please note that limiting sun exposure when you can is also advised. 

5. Keep It Simple

If you’re new to skincare or have not had a solid skincare routine, it’s important to start slowly to allow you to figure out how each product works and reacts to your skin. Start by introducing one product at a time for your skin to get used to the product. You definitely don’t need all the 11 products that we recommended in this article!

5. Application Tips

Once you’ve introduced your products and completed patch tests you can begin to start building up your routine. It’s advised that you start with no more than 3 serum formulations in your routine to enable optimal skin penetration, and also to see what works best for you.

If your skincare routine consists of multiple textures, start by applying your water-based solutions first, followed by a cream/ suspension product and finish off with an oil-based formulation. Yes, that means that if you’re using an oil-based serum, it should go on last in your skincare routine.

If you are using more than one water-based serum in your routine, apply them according to their level of priority of concern. The product targeting your most skincare concern should go first. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Are The Ordinary Products Tested On Animals?

All products within The Ordinary are cruelty-free and not tested on animals. They are also vegan and certified by the Leaping Bunny and PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

How Much Product Should I Use?

2-3 drops of any serum or oil and a pea-sized amount for any creams should be plenty. 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Overall, it’s clear that The Ordinary products for hyperpigmentation and dark spots offer real solutions for tackling this skincare problem. With so many products to choose from for all types of skin, there is no doubt that there is something for everyone.

The company offers valuable information on what their products are and how they work to improve your skin. With little fuss around packaging, they really work to put more value into their products as they focus on what the product does to benefit its customers. 

From acids to oils and serums, The Ordinary has developed a large range of products created for tackling hyperpigmentation and dark spots. 

Their formulations include ingredients packed full of antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Each product presented contains properties that work to brighten, light, and even out skin tone and texture. 

If you suffer from hyperpigmentation and dark spots, no matter your skin type or skin sensitivity, there is a wide range of products tailored to your needs. 

 

The Verdict

 

The Ordinary is a great match for anyone who cares more about what’s inside the bottle rather than outside. Not only are the products reasonably priced, but they also deliver on what they say they will do and do it in a way that is kind to your skin. 

If you are unsure which of these The Ordinary products for hyperpigmentation and dark spots is best for you, we recommend choosing one melanin inhibitor such as the Azelaic Acid Suspension10% , one acid, such as Lactic Acid 5% + HA  and Vitamin C to start your dark spot-fighting skincare routine.

 

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