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Discoloration Defense Skin discoloration serum

Discoloration Defense is rated 4.2 out of 5 by 62.
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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 I just starting using this product, Im alternating between it and SkinCeuticals C and E Ferulic acid everyday. I may try to use only this one to see if I can get results sooner. I have several dark spots on my cheeks that Im looking to lighten. I do like the weight and feel of it. My esthetician calls the SkinCeuticals C and E Ferulic acid a game changer so Im hoping this product will be as well.
Date published: 2019-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great serum. My skin does not react to it which I like! I have a lot of scarring as well as sun damage which this helps with!
Date published: 2019-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing product! I have medium tan skin and suffer from hyperpigmentation post acne. Sometimes the marks can last for months after a break out! I recieved a sample of this from my skincare provider and it worked wonders in 2 weeks, I couldnt believe it. My dark spots have lessened, some have even dissappeared completely. I have purchased a full size bottle and have made it a part of my daily routine and have seen significant improvements! Highly recommend.
Date published: 2019-02-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Waste of money and time but not irritating at leas Both my husband and I have used this for months, him for 2 acne scars and me for a couple of age spots. Neither of us has seen any difference at all and bottle is almost done but at least it wasn’t irritating. Waste of money big time and waste of time as we could have been using something else all these months. If you can get a sample first try that because this lesson cost us plenty!
Date published: 2019-02-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from I do see results I have sun spots around my eyes and because they're around my eyes IPL and BBL can't address them. I have been using Discoloration Defense for about a month and do notice a slight improvement in the darkness and size of the spots. I hope with continued use the spots will continue to fade. The only reason I didn't give 5 stars is that it's a slow process.
Date published: 2019-01-31
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Disappointed I just finished the bottle. Followed the directions precisely. This product did absolutely nothing to lighten a dark spot on my face. I have used other products from your company faithfully for years and would not be without them——C E FERULIC, B 5 SERUM, and 30 SUNSCREEN. This product simply did not work.
Date published: 2019-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Goodbye Dark Spots This product is the real deal! I bruise easily, and the only product that worked in the past was prescribed by a doctor. This is by far the best over the counter product that I have ever used. I saw my pimple spots fading after using Discoloration Defense in one week
Date published: 2018-12-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from normal to oily skin I purchased discoloration 2 yrs ago -I finished one bottle and one to my next one - I see no difference with my 1 dark spot on my cheek.
Date published: 2018-12-24
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Saw absolutely no difference I bought and used the entire bottle and saw no difference in my skin. I am dark skinned (African/Jamaican/Irish) with what seems like melasma and this product made no difference.
Date published: 2018-12-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Truly Works It took about 3 weeks for me to see improvement, but the hyperpigmentation and stubborn brown patches are lightening and decreasing in size.
Date published: 2018-11-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Definitely effective I bought this product about two months ago because at my age now (65) if I get a blemish, it gets really red and is now taking forever to fade. This product has definitely accelerated the healing and fading of these spots. I'm not sure about the brown spots, but will be monitoring them as I continue using the product. It does have a bit of a sticky texture, but it works so I will work with it.
Date published: 2018-11-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing New Product I purchased a bottle after having aerolase treatments at Manhattan Aesthetics and was totally shocked by how great this product is. Post laser I traveled to South America and I swear it has prevented my sun damage from coming back.
Date published: 2018-11-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from My second bottles I am on my second bottle. It works very slow. But I will give another chance on my second bottles.
Date published: 2018-10-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from AN AWESOME PRODUCT This product is one of its kind, l'm so glad l bought the vitamin c, it worked so well for me,l will buy more whenever its on sale.
Date published: 2018-09-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I love ❤️ it Wow Discoloration Defense is the best for me. I had a lot of Sun spots since I’ve been using this my face is a lot lighter. Thank you Skin Ceuticals for this product really works .
Date published: 2018-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My salvation! I bought this two months ago, my skin is super soft and even toned and no acnes have appeared since I started using it. I love it!
Date published: 2018-09-08
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not amazing results but will give it more time Despite fanatical use of sunscreen, I have some discoloration and one stubborn brown spot on my face. I've used Discoloration Defense for 3 months and see only a little improvement. Will give it a little more time.
Date published: 2018-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from fantastic results! I’ve been using discoloration defense in combination with blemish + age defense for about a month now and have seen amazing results that just keep getting better. this stuff is a game changer. my skin is way more even and brighter. i’ve always struggled with acne and uneven skin tone and this is the only product that has worked for me. i’m getting compliments on my skin for the first time in my life and i don’t feel self conscious going out without makeup. the formula isn’t heavy and doesn’t make me break out.
Date published: 2018-07-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth the money Ever since I am using , I can see the glow . Even my indifferent husband has noticed . It has minimized my stubborn acne , scar marks . I will keep on buying it !!!
Date published: 2018-06-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent It does exactly what it says. My brown spots have diminished significantly! I am on my 2nd bottle! And will keep on using it! Highly recommend!!!
Date published: 2018-06-09
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 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 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 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
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