My beauty dream would be to never have to wear foundation again. I would loooove to have perfectly even-toned skin, without a brown or red spot in sight. Sadly, that ship has sailed. I usually wear foundation and concealer to cover up unpleasant reminders of sun damage and past breakouts, and now I’ve found two great (and safe!) color corrector products in two different price ranges.

help for dark spots save + splurge | cool mom picks


While there’s nothing quite like a visit to the derm for a laser treatment to fix uneven pigmentation issues (I’m a fan of Laser Genesis), these 2 over-the-counter fixes that actually do work. I’ve given both a test run and while the results are not quite as impressive as laser procedures, they really do make a difference.

Importantly, neither of them contain hydroquinone, the pigmentation correction ingredient that’s gotten lots of bad press for its questionable safety issues–and for allegedly turning Michael Jackson’s skin alabaster. We wouldn’t want any of that.

SAVE: Yes To Grapefruits Correct & Repair Dark Spot Correcting Serum

I’m a huge fan of all of the products under the Yes To line — they are great value for stellar ingredients. The Yes To Grapefruits collection tackles dark spots and dull skin with antioxidants like white tea and vitamin C. The Correcting Serum ($19.99) is meant to be worn daily under sunscreen to lighten damaged skin and brighten the entire complexion. Containing mulberry fruit and other fruit acids, its ingredients are 99% natural. The serum also tightens the skin a bit, which, at almost 40, is a good thing for me! Don’t expect major results, but do expect a slight improvement in texture and tone. For under $20, that’s not bad.

SPLURGE: Lancome DreamTone Customized Skin Tone Correcting Serum 

The new DreamTone Customized Skin Tone Correcting Serum from Lancome has created a stir among beauty insiders. It started with a waitlist–always a good hype-driver–and its results have proven to be impressive. The only drawback for most people? Um, the $98 price tag.

Still, Lancome delivers. The DreamTone serum comes in three different tones (light, medium and dark) with natural ingredients such as mushroom extract and micro-algae to address pigment imperfections, redness and sallowness. There are also soft-focus tinted pearls in the formula to help reflect the light in a most flattering way. I’ve been using it for about two weeks now and I really like what I’ve seen so far. Maybe it’s just those pearls doing their thing, but who can say? –Melissa

Shop for these dark spot serums online at Yes To or Lancome.

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