One of the dreaded consequences of having acne is suffering from the dark spots it leaves behind once the acne has healed.  We all want to run our hands across our faces and not feel a single pimple.  That isn’t enough though. We also want to look in the mirror and see healthy, even-toned skin.  I don’t think that’s too much to ask.

This is where skin brighteners come into play.  Since no one wants or deserves to be stuck with dark spots for weeks on end, it’s important to use products that brighten skin as quickly as possible.  The key is finding a product that contains ingredients that are gentle, won’t clog pores, and are effective.  If that sounds like your cup of tea, you’re reading the right post.



I love this serum because one of the key ingredients it contains is licorice root extract, a powerful skin brightener. It takes dull skin and restores its natural even tone and radiance.  Its anti-inflammatory properties make it an ideal natural substance for acne-prone or sensitive skin. Licorice extract puts a lid on melanin formation which is wonderful for people suffering from hyperpigmentation.  While any acne sufferer can struggle with marks and scars, people with darker skin tones are more likely to suffer from hyperpigmentation.

If you’ve ever had an acne flare-up and developed dark spots that made your skin look like an over-ripe banana, then you know what I mean. Of course, you can wait for the dark spots to go away, but that can take weeks.  If you’re like most people, you want a quick fix to your stubborn dark spots. Wouldn’t it be epic if you could just wipe away a dark spot like you erase a misspelled word with a no.2 pencil?

While this serum won’t give those kind of results, some studies show that some people have seen a difference in their skin within a week.  One thing is for sure, the full results shine through once the top layer of skin cells have been replaced.  How long does that process take?  Our marvelous bodies constantly make new skin cells and get rid of old ones.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, your body gets rid of 30,000 to 40,000 old skin cells every single day! That means that the skin you see right now will be gone in about a month.  Fortunately, that means we don’t have to live with dark spots forever.  In the mean time, it’s good to know that natural ingredients such as licorice root can brighten those dark spots as our bodies go to work creating new skin cells.

Another reason why I’m a big fan of licorice root is that it can be used for a long period of time. Whereas, hydroquinone, a very popular skin brightener, can only be used for a short period of time.  If used continuously, hydroquinone can actually darken the skin, which defeats the purpose of using it as a skin brightener. It can even cause redness, burning, peeling, and irritation in some people. You also have to stay out of the sun when using it.  It can make you more sensitive to other skincare products.

Also, you have to stop using it when you become pregnant.  With that being said, it is very effective in brightening dark spots left behind from acne.  It can even lighten freckles, melasma and age spots.  Over the counter products containing hydroquinone typically have a concentration of 2%.  You’ll need a prescription to get a product with a concentration of 4%.

It is worth noting that hydroquinone has been banned in some European countries due to a cancer risk.  The FDA has even given consideration to banning it in the U.S.  The World Health Organization also discourages the use of hydroquinone.  Licorice root is a great alternative for those concerned about the risks associated with hydroquinone. Licorice root isn’t the only skin brightening star in this serum.

Another key ingredient, uva ursi, helps give the appearance of smaller pores.  As a result, skin looks smoother and more even.  To get the best results, be consistent and use this serum twice a day for a month.  A little goes a long way.  This product usually lasts me a couple of months.  The scent is light and fresh, which is wonderful if you have an issue with heavily scented products.

The consistency of the serum is very light.  I don’t have a problem at all with it clogging my pores and I’ve been using it for months.  My skin has always been on the oily side (as in you could fry an egg on it), so I have to be really careful about not using anything that will make it worse.  This product is light enough to keep my skin from looking oily while it works at keeping my skin even.  For me, that’s a definite win!

Join the Conversation

My favorite part of doing these posts is getting your thoughts. Each week, I ask one question. This week, it is this:

What do you use to brighten dark spots?

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I have not received any compensation for writing this post.  I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned.  I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 225: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”