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Discoloration Defense Skin discoloration serum

Discoloration Defense is rated 3.9 out of 5 by 70.
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Daily dark spot corrector targets visible skin discoloration for brighter, more even-looking skin

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Product Details

Discoloration Defense is a layerable, daily-use dark spot corrector clinically proven to reduce the appearance of key types of skin discoloration, including hard-to-treat forms such as stubborn brown patches and post-acne marks. Formulated with 3% tranexamic acid, 1% kojic acid, 5% niacinamide, and 5% HEPES, this latest-generation formula improves the appearance of skin discoloration, brightens skin, and evens skin tone in as early as 2 weeks.

  • Features a synergistic blend of anti-discoloration ingredients to reduce the appearance of skin discoloration, improve brightness, and minimize the reoccurrence of discoloration (with continued use)
  • 60% average improvement in the appearance of stubborn brown patches
  • Paraben-, fragrance-, silicone-, gluten-, and hydroquinone-free
  • Ideal at-home complement to professional skin discoloration treatments, such as chemical peels or non-ablative laser; always consult with a physician for individual regimen recommendations

How To Use

  • Twice daily, apply 3-5 drops of this skin discoloration serum to the face.
  • If using in the morning, apply after a SkinCeuticals vitamin C serum and follow with a SkinCeuticals broad spectrum SPF 50+ sunscreen.
  • Limit sun exposure while using this product.
  • Do not use on irritated or broken skin. If irritation occurs, discontinue use.
  • Visible Results

  • before

    In a 12-week clinical study, Discoloration Defense significantly improved the appearance of key skin discoloration markers:

    • 60% average improvement in the appearance of stubborn brown patches
    • 59% average improvement in the appearance of skin discoloration
    • 81% average improvement in the appearance of post-acne marks
    • 59% average improvement in the appearance of even skin tone

    See Protocol

    Protocol: Average results shown. A 12-week, single-center, clinical study was conducted on 50 females, ages 25 to 60, Fitzpatrick I-IV, with mild to moderate facial skin discoloration, including stubborn dark spots, post-acne marks, and uneven skin tone. Discoloration Defense was applied to the face twice a day in conjunction with a sunscreen. Efficacy and tolerability evaluations were conducted at baseline and at weeks 2, 4, 8, and 12.

  • Science & Proof

  • Science

    Everyday elements—including UV exposure, prescription drugs, and some professional treatments—can trigger production of melanin in the skin’s lowest epidermal layers. This excess melanin rises to the surface of the skin, causing visible skin discoloration. Discoloration can manifest in a range of ways, including post-acne marks and stubborn brown patches on the cheekbones, forehead, and upper lip.

    Discoloration Defense is the latest-generation dark spot corrector, using a combination of potent and proven anti-discoloration ingredients—including new tranexamic acid—to address key types of skin discoloration.

Key Ingredients

  • 3% Tranexamic Acid
  • 1% Kojic Acid
  • 5% Niacinamide
  • 5% HEPES

This synthetically-derived ingredient minimizes the reoccurrence of skin discoloration and stubborn brown patches with continued use.

Learn more about Tranexamic Acid

See all ingredients

Aqua / Water, Butylene Glycol, Niacinamide, Hydroxyethylpiperazine Ethane Sulfonic Acid, Glycerin, Tranexamic Acid, Propylene Glycol, Hydroxyethyl Urea, Kojic Acid, Caprylyl Glycol, Allantoin, Chlorphenesin, Xanthan Gum, Disodium Edta

Physician Insight

Physician image

I recommend Discoloration Defense between chemical peels- this formula targets stubborn types of discoloration but is gentle on my patients’ skin, making it ideal for an at-home regimen between treatments.

Dr. Sarah Sawyer

Learn about Dr. Sarah Sawyer

Complete Your Regimen


Rated 5 out of 5 by from It works! After having been on prescribed retinol treatment for 6 months to battle some stress-caused adult acne I was left with brown spots over my cheeks and jaw line. It was really devastating to see my once clear complexion full of these awful marks. I love skinceuticals and when I saw this product hit the market I was eager to try it. I am on my 5th week of use and I am marveled at the results! The very dark spots have faded incredibly well and the lighter ones are almost invisible now. I have been very diligent about sun protection, but I am truly amazed at how this product has worked. At this pace, I am sure that by week 12 my skin will look much more clear and I won't have to cover up in foundation and concealers any more. Do give this a try, it is the only thing out there that actually works, believe me, I have tried it all. Thank you SkinCeuticals!!!
Date published: 2018-04-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My Husband Noticed I’ve been using Discoloration Defense for over a month, twice a day. My husband came home from a long business trip and he noticed the difference in my skin. I suffer from skin redness and any sun exposure gives me little darkened patches. The Discoloration Defense has greatly reduced my skin’s redness and sun damage. My skin tone is more even and my face is more pale (in a good way-before my face was darker than my neck and it looked funny). I’ll be using this product in my daily regimen for the foreseeable future.
Date published: 2019-09-12
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Just finished my 2nd bottle and NO DIFFERENCE. Really disappointing. I have used this twice a day (I apply it 20 mins after my CE Ferulic serum every day. I wait another 15 minutes and apply my sunscreen. ) Absolutely no detectable decrease in my skin pigmentation which was caused by pregnancy. I have even photographed my skin every few months since first purchasing this to see if there would be any change. There was absolutely no difference.
Date published: 2019-09-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I tried a sample of this not to long ago from an offer they were doing on their website! I would absolutely love to have a full size bottle of this awesome innovative product! The price is a little steep but T totally worth it! Every review from every product they offer has amazing reviews from people that have seen automatic results! The sample I received was though of good size so maybe before purchasing a full size product you may could email them asking for a sample sized of their brand to try? Just a suggestion ! I really do love this brand! Would definitely love to try more products from their skincare line!!!! SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic Combination Antioxidant Treatment
Date published: 2019-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Works! I had a very noticable dark patch of skin right at my neck line, by my throat. I used the serum day and night for two weeks. The spot got red, itchy, and scabby. I used the serum relentlessly anyway. Then it slowly began to heal and went away. The area where the brown spot was is now hardly noticeable! I am ordering more to use on some other spots as well. I highly recommend this product.
Date published: 2018-04-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Phloretin and Ferulic’s Best Friend Have to say it’s been about two weeks and my blemishes seem lighter and are starting to fade. I have been using phloretin religiously about 2 years ago and swear by it! What I loved about this product is that it goes on the face without irritation and i’m someone who has suffered with almost every product irritating my skin. Really excited to see the real results in the future
Date published: 2018-03-23
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointed If you want to approve your skin's discolorations, stick with the Advanced Pigment Corrector. I have used this product 2X a day per the instructions for a month and have not seen any visible improvement. I stopped using it and went back to the Advanced Pigment Corrector and saw improvement in a week. Will not buy this again and will stick to ADC.
Date published: 2018-04-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Unsure I purchased this product based on a few recommendations including my dermatologist so needless to say I had high hopes. I used the product consistently for a few months and unfortunately, I have noticed little change to my hyperpigmentation and melasma. Also, the appearance of the product/serum has darkened (brownish color) over time so I'm unsure if the efficacy has been compromised.
Date published: 2019-09-02
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