“A brightening face serum with peony extract and white birch extract that helps reduce the look of dark spots.”–Sephora
Back when I wanted to experiment with a variety of skincare brands, I picked up Kiehls Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution within a sample set. Hoping that it would help with my areas of hyper pigmentation, I was disappointed to find that even after using the entire bottle, it had no effect on my skin. Though the serum itself was thin, gentle, and soaked in quickly, I certainly won’t be repurchasing as its presence was pretty much irrelevant once applied.
Ingredient Pros and Cons
Ingredients: Aqua/Water, Propylene Glycol, Glycerin, Alcohol Denat., PEG/PPG/Polybutylene Glycol-8/5/3 Glycerin, Hydroxypropyl Tetrahydropyrantriol, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, PPG-6-Decyltetradeceth-30, Phenoxyethanol, Salicylic Acid, Xanthan Gum, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Potassium Hydroxide, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Lavandula Angustifolia Oil/Lavender Oil, Disodium EDTA, Adenosine
Linalool, Butylene Glycol, Tocopherol, Citrus Aurantium Tachibana Peel Extract, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract.
- Propylene Glycol (hydrating, humectant)
- Glycerin (hydrating, humectant)
- Hydroxypropyl Tetrahydropyrantriol (aids hydration)
- 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid (stabilized vitamin c)
- Salicylic Acid (skin exfoliant, acne-fighting)
- Adenosine (anti-inflammatory, wound-healing )
- Tocopherol Acetate (version of vitamin E)
- Alcohol Denat (harsh alcohol astringent)
- Citric Acid (skin irritant for sensitive skin)
- Lavandula Angustifolia Oil/Lavender Oil (skin irritant)
- Linalool (skin irritant)
- Citrus Aurantium Tachibana Peel Extract (skin irritant)
Considering its ineffectiveness and concentration of irritating ingredients, I can’t recommend Kiehls Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution. There are much better, cheaper, concentrations out there for hyper pigmentation (such as The Ordinary’s Niacinimide + Zinc formulation), so there’s no need to splurge on this one, especially when it’s more likely to irritate your skin than illuminate it.