Uneven pigmentation – age spots, ‘sun spots’, whatever you like to call them – cause women more distress than wrinkles, according to research from Clinique. So no wonder so-called ‘brightening’ treatments have today become huge business – partly the legacy of the 1970s and 1980s when facial SPFs were minimal. (We remember women baking their faces with a tinfoil reflector!) The good news: although fading age spots is a tough call for any product, we had some impressive scores here, with the Gold winner also scooping ‘Best Natural’. But remember: preventing their reappearance requires protection against future damage. So be sure to team these treatments with an SPF daily moisturiser, ideally with an SPF30 or above.


GOLD and BEST NATURAL AWARD OSKIA Renaissance Brightlight

The top-scorer here also wins the ‘Best Natural’ award – a highly impressive performance from a company that formulates with vitamins, minerals, proteins, omegas and bio—actives to deliver ‘healthy, happy and glowing skin.’ Here, the star ingredient is an encapsulated liposome combining vitamin C, arbutin and glutathione, all renowned for their anti-age-spot actions, along with Swiss garden cress, niacinamide and sulphur-derived MSM, alongside brightening fruit acids. It also helps to fade the legacy of post-acne skin discolouration, they promise


'10/10. A really really effective product. It promises to brighten skin and tackle hyper-pigmentation. It does both brilliantly. After I finished the bottle, the larger spots had faded very noticeably, and the smaller ones had disappeared completely' • 'Oh I loved this product! A massive difference by the end of the trial. The big patch was dramatically reduced in size and colour. Easy to apply with pipette from the beautiful bottle. After two weeks the dark brown age spot on the top of my right cheek looked a little lighter, less brown and not as prominent; the red veins looked a little paler too; my skin looked younger and more vibrant. After finishing the product, the spot/s looked a little paler, skin looked younger, clearer and brighter. It’s pricey and but I would still buy it' • 'Love this. After two weeks, the sun damage on my cheeks was noticeably light and my skin smoother and more clear. At the end the difference was amazing, age spots much reduced. Skin looked plumper too, and brighter, much younger and healthier-looking' • 'A visible difference in the small sun spots on my cheek, which now look very faint and barely noticeable. Face looks and feels smoother and more firmed. I am really impressed' • 'This serum is amazing. It is so lightweight and absorbs instantly into the skin without leaving a greasy residue. It makes you look fresh and hydrated and your skin feels moisturised and clean. Plus it smells lovely' • 'I’m having a stressful time at the moment and, annoyingly, this serum has left me looking vibrant that people keep asking me if I’ve been away' • 'My skin looked much clearer after the 3rd day of use. So much so that I went back to mirror 3 times to check it out the difference. After two weeks sun spots looked a lot less prominent and could be more easily concealed with makeup. By the end of the trial, they were definitely minimised, my skin looked brighter overall, clearer and more even which was fantastic.'

£88 for 30ml - click to buy 


SILVER AWARD Murad Rapid Age Spot Correcting Serum

Age spots, dark spots and hyperpigmentation of all kinds are targeted by a ‘hydroquinone alternative’ from Dr. Howard Murad’s dermatologist brand, incorporating vitamin C, oligopeptides, and ‘NHP-3 technology’ (combining niacinamide, Hexylresorcinol and plankton extract). Cleverly, subtle light-reflecting pearls are incorporated, to create the illusion of a more even skintone from first application. Murad make the important point, however: in order for any age spot treatment to do its best, you need to follow with an effective sunscreen.


'After two weeks, there was a noticeable improvement in the appearance of the age spots on my forehead and cheeks; my skin tone has also improved. At the end of the tube, there is considerable fading of age spots and reduction in size, and my skin looks much clearer. I would buy this’ • ‘10/10: after two weeks my age spots on my cheeks and near my eyes have really lightened in colour and are so much less noticeable. I’m really surprised by the results. There are some areas where they are pretty much gone – you can only see them if you really look for them’ • ‘After finishing the product, my age spots have faded and many have pretty much disappeared. They have faded by a huge amount so are hardly noticeable so my skin tone looks more even. my skin looks clear and bright. My skin tone looks more even. I feel my skin looks younger as it looks brighter and fresher and that looks youthful’ • ‘Prior to using this serum I noticed my skin was looking grey and dull. After using this serum for just 3/4 days I noticed a major improvement in my skin. My skin was looking brighter, clearer and more refreshed. As I continued to use the serum I started to notice my age spots beginning to fade and many have now completely disappeared’ • ‘Light, citrus-scented serum that absorbed very quickly. It did improve overall skin tone making it look more even, decreased the appearance of open pores, and is a brilliant primer. It did not, however, reduce my age spots’ • ‘I really liked this serum. In two weeks I noticed a definite softness and smoothness to the skin, which had an effect on clarity, plus pores a little reduced. The box promised an effect on age spots after a week and although the effects took longer for me to see I could notice an effect after a few weeks. Although the price is steep, I would buy it again’ • ‘A lovely serum to apply with an uplifting fragrance. It gave my oily skin an instant glow but sadly didn't help with age spots.’

£75 for 30ml - click to buy




BRONZE (JOINT) AWARD Caudalie Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence

Essences are a ‘thing’ (they’ve even got their own section in these Awards), and this age spot treatment comes in the form of an active, toner-like liquid that you swipe over skin twice-daily. (Caudalie recommend using it before their Vinoperfect Radiance Serum, but in our trials this held up on its own.) Hydrating, soothing and moisturising, it’s based on Caudlie’s signature grape water (the brand has its roots – literally – in a Bordeaux vineyard), alongside extracts of white peony and glycolic acid.


'It’s very easy to apply this watery essence on a cotton wool pad. The age spot on the side of my cheek, which is the size of a Smartie, looked a little lighter after two weeks. By the time I finished the product, it had reduced in colour and the overall appearance of my skin is definitely younger, with more of a natural glow’ • ‘I love this product. My sun damage marks are now much lighter and less noticeable and my skin looks brighter and healthier’ • ‘I am impressed with the effect on my two medium sized age spots: they were significantly less obvious after finishing the trial and the skin looked much smoother. Because I have rosacea on my cheeks, I only used the product on the pigmented areas’ • ‘After two weeks my spots were less but my overall appearance was where I saw the difference – it was much brighter. At the end, the spots were lighter but the big benefit was glowing clearer skin. I would recommend and repurchase this product and glad I got to try it. The price point was really good for what it did’ • ‘Age spots still visible at the end of the trial but have definitely lightened. My face overall is much brighter and more radiant, and the skin tone is much more even. I look really well. It promises a brighter face and it definitely delivers that’ • ‘I looked forward to using the essence daily as it felt like a real treat and my skin felt softer and looked younger’ • ‘After using the Caudalie Essence the age spots have noticeably faded and are barely visible.  The Essence has had a wonderful effect on my skin and left it looking clearer, brighter, more even toned and the redness I sometimes get on my cheeks has reduced. For a product that feels like you are putting barely anything on, it packs a hard punch!’

£30 for 150ml - click to buy


BRONZE (JOINT) AWARD Temple Spa Be Clear Skin Correcting Serum

Tying with the Caudalie product, one of umpteen winners in the 2018 Beauty Bible Awards for Temple Spa – this is a multi-tasker that goes beyond tackling age spots and melanin production, working on blemishes, acne scarring and open pores. It sets out to reduce age spots without lightening the surrounding skin and prevent dark spots from forming. (Though nothing does that as well as sunscreen, is our counsel.) There are various high-tech patented ingredients – glorying in names like Kombuchka™, Delentigo™, Achromaxyl™IS – alongside witch hazel, genistein and lavender. A pump-action serum, it can be dotted onto forehead, cheeks and under the chin and massaged is an all-over treatment overnight or layered under moisturiser.


‘I have a few age spots at the side of my face and they have lightened over the trial so I am very happy. This serum has proved its effects for me, in its ability to even skin tone, brighten and clear complexion, and have an effect on age spots. For the price, I could justify buying this and using on a regular basis’ • ‘I liked this serum; it was immediately soothing and plumping and definitely made a difference to my age spots. The large spot on my cheek is now significantly lighter and smaller; overall the sun damage seemed to be reduced’ • ‘Although it’s not miraculous, this product does work. In the past few months I notice faint age/sun spots on face, mainly forehead, and also I have some acne scarring and still have acne-prone skin. After two weeks, the age spots look fainter, and my skin clarity and tone is improved’ • ‘The serum has a perfect consistency for me and I like the easy to use pump. I am so pleased to have been included on the trial for this product and it will be definitely added to my beauty regime’ • ‘After using another product my age spots had lightened and this helped lightened them further. Some have now completely gone. It gives my skin a nice bright glow, evens out the complexion and makes it look smoother, clear and bright’ • ‘I have a quite large age spot, five to ten pence in size, and after two weeks I felt they were broken up a bit. By the end of the trial, the patch had definitely faded a bit more and broken up. I can imagine that keeping on using the serum will have a good effect. I would buy it.’

£40 for 30ml - click to buy