One day, your skin is all bright and appealing. And then seemingly the next, there’s a dark spot. Whether it’s from acne scars, aging, too much sun, or even a fluctuation in hormones, those dark spots can take away your confidence.
When I noticed some dark spots, I decided to do something about it. Changing up your skincare, even when you use great products, is so important. You have to speak to the mood of your skin and keep the seasons in mind.
During summer and right afterward, I would amp up my dark spot fighting abilities, so I could go into fall and winter looking flawless.
Of course, it’s not just about your daily regimen either. Face masks are your BFF when it comes to these types of skin concerns.
That’s why this post is devoted to the best face masks for dark spots. If you have dark spots that you want to get rid of, you’re in the right place, so keep reading!
Best Face Masks for Dark Spots
I’ve created categories for each of these best face masks for dark spots. Take a look and see which one fits your life best. We’ve got foams, sheet masks, and all kinds of goodies here to help you take command of that skin and even out your skin tone for the greater good!
1- Best overall: Natura Bisse Diamond White Glowing Mask
Overall, I’d definitely recommend Natura Bisse Diamond White Glowing Mask. The reason? Sunspots fade away super-fast with this wonderful mask. It’s very calming, soothing, and refreshing.
You’ll need to keep using it to get the best results, but after your first 20 minutes, you’ll see how much more luminous and hydrated skin looks. I was amazed how glowy I looked.
But that’s not all. My friend Ella is pregnant and used this mask to help fade her dark spots. She said it worked perfectly, and her skin has never looked better.
It’s a fantastic choice for anyone with dark spots of any kind that wants to refresh their complexion with an even and healthy unified glow.
2- Best for prematurely aging skin: SEACRET Mineral-Rich Scrubbing Mask
Aging skin earlier than you thought? Choose SEACRET Mineral-Rich Scrubbing Mask and scrub your way to better skin with this fabulous 2-in-1 formula. I gave this one a try and loved how my skin felt soft like a baby butt. Really impressive!
The refreshing clean, and enriched feeling you get is worth the cost. It uses finely ground apricot seeds to help buff dead skin cells away and reveal new ones.
It also has Dead Sea minerals in there, another amazing ingredient in skincare. It’s cruelty-free and not made with any nasty chemicals, so you can feel good about using it too.
3- Best foam formula: By Terry Baume De Rose Glowing Mask
Want your face to simply glow? This foam formula By Terry Baume De Rose Glowing Mask is the answer to your skin prayers! It’s made with rosehip oil and rose extracts, which work to brighten, clarify, and regenerate skin.
What makes me totally love it though is the cool texture. It goes from gel into this divine, light, airy, and creamy foam that tingles. It’s so invigorating.
Every time I’ve used it, my skin glows so much that my mom swears I’m pregnant (No, Mom, I’m not! Stop asking!).
4- Best sheet mask: Shiseido White Lucent Power Brightening Mask
Would you prefer a sheet mask? I have to admit, I kind of like using sheet masks the best. It’s very easy clean-up, you know? Shiseido White Lucent Power Brightening Mask is one of the best you’ll ever find.
These babies use ion force technology paired with brightening ingredients to deliver them deep down in your skin. You can sleep in them too for even better results.
These work great on darker skin tones, too, evening out your complexion for a flawlessly beautiful appearance.
My friend Tracy is a notorious night owl, and these are what she uses when she doesn’t want to look like she’s stayed up too late.
You’d never know she didn’t get a good night’s sleep because these sheet masks are freaking amazing!
5- Best safe formula for pregnant women: REN Clean Skincare Glow Daily Vitamin C Gel
I’m not pregnant, but my friend Mallory is. And she swears by Ren Clean Skincare Glow Daily Vitamin C Gel. I got a sample of it one time too, and adored it, but I put this for the best that is safest for any pregnant gals out there.
The light gel-cream texture is awesome and really hydrates and illuminates. I loved the glow I got when I used it. As for vitamin C, it is one of the best brighteners there is.
Mallory enthused that it wasn’t irritating and really helped her fade away melasma, so she felt confident going without makeup again.
6- Best for acne-prone skin: Peter Thomas Roth Pumpkin Enzyme Mask
I have a huge love for Peter Thomas Roth products. They really are some of the best you can get. With this Pumpkin Enzyme Mask, it does it all. It exfoliates, peels, and polishes dull skin to reveal a fresh-faced complexion.
If you have acne-prone skin, this one really lifts away those pesky dead skin cells that keep clogging your pores.
You have the exfoliating factor plus a mask that uses AHAs to smooth your skin while leaving it radiant and beautiful. One thing I have to caution is that you should exfoliate gently with this.
You do not need to scrub very hard to get the exfoliating action going. The rest of the ingredients nourish, and when you remove it, your skin looks absolutely magnificent and feels that way too!
7- Best brightening: Erno Laszlo White Marble Dual Phase Vitamin C Peel
Here is another one with vitamin C. Erno Laszlo’s Vitamin C Peel is a cool formula that works in two steps. In the first step, it removes dry skin with an exfoliation while the second step brightens and moisturizes.
Once complete, you will see gorgeous skin that lasts for days. It’s very quick to use too. I used it before I’d hop in the shower to get ready.
You’ll want to keep using it once a week to once every two weeks to keep up your results, but you really will have brighter skin every single time. It’s definitely worth it, and so are you!
8- Best exfoliating: StriVectin Advanced Acid Glycolic Skin Reset Mask
Another big contender for my affections is StriVectin. This Advanced Acid Glycolic Skin Reset Mask is basically as it sounds. It resets your skin and leaves you with some stunning results.
The secret is in the encapsulated glycolic acid and a proprietary ingredient that allows the mask to exfoliate without irritating.
It’s not sticky or heavy either. Oh, and it only takes 5 minutes, something I’m a fan of because we don’t always have time to sit around and pamper ourselves. We should, but the reality is we have to use things that are more fast-paced just like our lives.
Anyway, you get smoother skin when you use it twice weekly, and it leaves you with this lovely tingling sensation.
Use it at night as it may leave you a little red, but you’ll wake up with a spectacular fresh-faced, brighter, and healthier glow.
9- Best peel-off mask: Boscia Luminizing Charcoal Mask
Boscia Luminizing Charcoal Mask is the original charcoal mask that made charcoal masks everywhere a thing.
I know the videos made it look like torture, but I promise it’s not like that at all. If you have trouble controlling oil, large pores, and lots of blackheads, this mask is for you.
Slather it on in a thick enough application and let it dry. You’ll be able to peel it off it one solid piece if you do.
It pulls out all those nasty things stuck in your pores. It has a bit of an invigorating feel to it, and as you pull it away, you’ll practically hear your skin thank you for removing that gunk you were walking around with stuck in your pores.
10- Best vegan & cruelty-free formula: Bliss – Mighty Marshmallow Face Mask
Oh Bliss! I love Mighty Marshmallow Face Mask for so many reasons, though the first thing you’ll notice is that divine airy texture.
Ah! And it is so enrichingly hydrating that you get an instant fresh-faced glow that comes from deep inside.
While the name mentions marshmallows, please don’t think it will smell like your favorite sweet treat. It’s made with marshmallow root extract, which brightens but doesn’t smell like marshmallows.
It does smell nice though, very clean and uplifting. The texture is thick but absorbs quickly, and your skin just drinks it in.
When you rinse it away, you will feel the difference in your skin. In a word, it’s pure bliss.
11- Best budget-friendly: Mario Badescu Whitening Mask
My friend Cleo had acne scars since her teenage years that she was ashamed of.
She fell in love with this whitening mask because her skin is also a bit sensitive, and it was the first thing that worked for her to improve her skin. I was a believer when I saw her after she used it.
While my skin is different, I have to say I was absolutely impressed with how it helped her. I tried it myself and have to admit, it was really a nice mask. My skin texture felt improved after one use.
It is a little challenging to remove with just water though, so grab a good clean washcloth and use that and you’ll have no trouble at all enjoying the benefits of this budget-friendly mask.
12- Best sleeping mask: Paula’s Choice Radiance Renewal Night Mask
Dull skin? Sleep on it and wake up more gorgeous. That’s the idea behind Paula’s Choice Radiance Renewal Night Mask. I actually love the idea of a sleeping mask because I can wake up to better skin.
I loved this formulation in particular because it was really soothing and I felt calmed by the scent.
The first time I used it, I woke up to such beautiful skin. It was brighter and smoother, and my pores looked almost invisible.
It was good stuff indeed. Easy to apply and easy to get great results. I don’t use this every night, but worked it in about twice weekly and saw a massive improvement in the way my skin looked the next morning. It was non-irritating and definitely worth my time.
What to look for when choosing a dark spots face mask
Now that we’ve discussed the best face masks for dark spots, it’s time to talk about what you should be looking for.
I’ve had experience with each of these, but my skin is not your skin. So, do think about the following points when try to decide on which one of these to try first.
– Fading dark spots
If your biggest concern is dark spots from the sun, aging, or remnants of a scar or blemish, you will want to choose formulas that have the brightening ingredients you need to get the job done.
Vitamin C is just one of those. Azelaic acid, kojic acid, arbutin, and licorice also work well to stop the enzyme that causes the pigment to build up and send melanin to the surface while brightening existing spots.
If you use formulas that stop those enzymes, you will see brighter skin.
– Remove dead skin cells
When we’re young, like really young, our skin does all this for us. But as we move through our 20s into our 30s and so on and so forth, our skin needs a little more assistance from us.
If you want brighter skin, you need to get rid of those dead skin cells. Some of these brightening masks have things that exfoliate like glycolic acid, AHAs, or retinoids.
As they remove those dead skin cells, they reveal softer and newer skin and a fresh-faced look.
– Hydrate and soften
Aging skin is a problem too. You will want your brightening face mask to hydrate and plump up skin to keep it looking younger.
Seek out hyaluronic acid to help fuel it with the hydration it needs while smoothing away lines and wrinkles.
How to Choose a Brightening Mask
As you look for your best face mask for dark spots, make sure you read the labels to see those key ingredients.
I don’t know your skin type or your other skin concerns, so you’ll have to take that information and run it by my list above to find the best mask for your dark spots.
For example, if you have dry skin or use acne medication, it’s best you stick with something that helps hydrate your skin.
Retinol is great for aging skin and clearing it up too, but high concentrations of it can leave skin feeling dried out, which can make those pores clog up with dead skin cells again.
It’s not to say retinol won’t benefit you, but you should make sure the concentration of it is low to avoid trouble.
Ultimately, if you want the best face mask for dark spots, think of the following:
- It should lighten and exfoliate
- Exfoliating doesn’t always mean having gritty bits in it for scrubbing (think AHAs)
- It should have ingredients that fade hyperpigmentation
Some people say hydroquinone is the best for fading dark spots. However, you should do so only with the blessing of your dermatologist.
The FDA has not approved it as safe yet, and it is banned in Europe as well as some areas in Asia. Hydroquinone also may make discolorations worse for darker skin tones.
Better choices are kojic acid or arbutin (which you may see as bearberry). These both act like hydroquinone. Licorice root is another great ingredient to fade discoloration, while vitamin C not only fades but also stops new spots from coming in.
You also need to find exfoliating ingredients to resurface your skin. These take the dullness away and help your skin cell functions renew to improve your complexion more quickly.
So look for AHAs such as glycolic acid or lactic acid. You can also try salicylic acid, which is a BHA. On labels, they will appear as fruit juice enzymes or sugarcane extract.
If your skin can handle it, definitely go for retinol. It’s probably my favorite ingredient there is. But my skin is pretty tolerant, so do start off slow and low with it and see how it works for you.
With the best face masks for dark spots, you not only want to get rid of any existing hyperpigmentation, but you also want to protect your skin from it happening in the future.
You don’t need to get expensive treatments since great products are out there that you can click and get sent right to your home. How’s that for awesome?
Do be careful though, as some of these ingredients that make these formulations so effective will make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Make sure you’re properly protecting your skin during daylight hours, so you don’t make more work for yourself in fading dark spots!