Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector Review – Is it Really “Even Better” than Competitors?

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Many women struggle with skin discoloration, which is why every product designed to correct it will garner a lot of attention. Clinique is also a well-known brand in skincare, so that leads more people to purchase this product, too. How does it compete against our best skin lightening cream, Meladerm, or Proactiv Dark Spot Corrector? Keep reading and you will find out =)

What Causes Dark Spots?

White wall with dark stains

There are a few reasons your skin may suffer from dark spots or hyperpigmentation. For instance, this may be a matter of age. Older men and women experience them during their middle years. There is also the possibility that these patches are a result of too much sun exposure or tanning beds.

Most of the time this condition is harmless. But sometimes, it can be cancerous. Fortunately, you can treat these dark spots and lighten them with a hyperpigmentation treatment. Look for these spots on your face, arms, back, shoulders, and back of your hands. These are the parts of the body that receive the most sun exposure.

What Treatments Are Available?

While this is a Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector review, we did want to touch base on some other possible treatments to consider. There are two common treatments – one being a topical treatment like this cream and the other being cosmetic procedures.

The quicker option would be the medical procedure. However, they are normally for use together with a topical treatment for full results. Then you have chemical peels, microdermabrasion, or cryosurgery [1]. From our experience, a dark spot corrector cream is your safest, least expensive option.


What does this product claim to do for you?

Woman with clear skin wearing earphones

We really wanted to create a Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector review that was helpful, unbiased, and thorough. For this reason, we went into depth on the claims, ingredients, and user testimonials. That way, you know exactly what to expect before trying.

Clinique claims that their dark spot corrector has an efficacy rate that’s comparable to that of prescription formulas with 4% hydroquinine. It doesn’t contain that ingredient itself, since it has been blacklisted by the FDA for possibly causing cancer.

Instead, Clinique developed a blend that they call CL-302 complex. It includes the extracts of exotic plants, stabilized vitamin C [2], salicylic acid and black yeast.

The fact that this product does not contain hydroquinone but can deliver the same results is amazing. Our next step was finding out if this was true or just a marketing tactic to sell more treatments. This takes us to our next section: clinical trials.

Do they back up their claims with clinical trials?

Clinique has resulted from clinical trials that they say validates their claim that their natural blend has comparable results to prescription medications. But they didn’t publish the efficacy study results, and the public doesn’t have access to it.

So, we weren’t too sure about whether we should believe the claim since we never even found out the study protocols. There are still a lot of questions, like how many people showed marked improvement? How many didn’t have an improvement? And how many people had better effects with the prescriptions containing hydroquinone?

If Clinique could back up its claims more effectively, it would draw in more users. Even now, this is a highly sold product because of the quick results it brings. If you decide to give it a try, be sure to follow directions as instructed. Stop use immediately if your skin reacts badly to it.

What other ingredients is included in this formula?

Oil bottles in a spa

The vitamin C used in this product has some research that shows it’s effective in fading dark spots. One ingredient, dimethoxytolyl propylresorcinol, is not mentioned in marketing the product. It’s actually a compound of chemicals derived from Dianella ensifolia plants.

This ingredient inhibits the skin enzyme that causes the production of melanin, which colors the skin. This is a commonly targeted enzyme, since it’s broadly accepted that it helps decrease melanin production.

Other ingredients in Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector include arbutin, l-propylmercaptan, grape seed and mushroom extracts. There isn’t research that proves these natural ingredients work as well as prescription medications for fading stretch marks.

Salicylic acid improves the turnover of cells, which helps in fading skin discolorations more quickly. It’s an ingredient commonly found in acne preparations. The level used in this product is believed to be lower than one percent, which means it’s not that effective in its role as an exfoliant.


So, does this product do what it says it can?

There is actually only a small amount of research that supports the claims of lightning power for Clinique’s product. Some users will have positive results, while people with more serious hyperpigmentation may see better results from prescription formulas, as long as they do not contain hydroquinone.

You can use Clinique’s product regardless of your skin type, and its blend of skin-dentical ingredients and antioxidants give it a good overall rating.

Clinique Even Better Dark Spot Corrector before and after

What Do Users Have To Say?

“First let me say – “Be Realistic People!”

Often our expectations for ‘beauty’ products is that we’ll end up looking like the models in the advertisements. It is not reasonable to expect miracles from beauty products. Not only do we usually want the results, we want them yesterday!

I’ve been using this product for several months now on dark spots and have found that while the spots are not gone, they are certainly reduced considerably. My skin tone is improved and this is the only product that has yielded results for me. That said, everyone is unique and therefore what works for me may not for you. The serum is light weight and pleasant in odor. It goes onto the skin without tugging and is easily absorbed – and – for me – works!

– By Patti Shaffner

OK, as the title says, I never ever write a review. But, for this product, I will.

This stuff is amazing. I’ve been only using it for about a week. I’m 36, have some sun damage and have a light olive complexion. I have also been suffering from breakouts, milia and a host of obnoxious things that NEVER plagued me as a teen.

This product has lightened my skin, stopped the breakouts (and I know it’s the product because where I didn’t apply it (upper chest and back), they’re still happening), and the milia (little encapsulated white heads that you can’t get out on your own) are coming to the surface and coming out.

I never expected all of that. I’m sure it’s a side benefit that is unintentional, but as long as it keeps working, I’ll keep using it! Will definitely buy again.

– By M. Lanstra “HealthNut”


How To Prevent Dark Spots

Woman under the sun

The best way you can prevent dark spots is by protecting your skin from the sun. You can do this by doing the following:

  • Use sunscreen whenever going outdoors. If you’re swimming, be sure to reapply it every two hours.
  • Wear a broad-brimmed hat when outside, pants, and long sleeves.
  • Avoid going outside during the peak hours of the sun. This is usually 10 AM to 2 PM.

Of course, sometimes this condition is a matter of age. If this is the case, consider a dark spot removal lightening cream.

Our Conclusion

It may not be the slam dunk product it is touted to be, but Clinique’s dark spot corrector has shown a lot of promise, and it’s worth the money to try it out for yourself. Our best skin lightening cream still stands a heavy number #1.

If you decide to try this corrector, let us know how it works for you! How quickly did you notice the results? Did you have an overall good experience with this product, or were there more negatives than positives? We want to hear it all. Comment below and share your thoughts with us.



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Avatar for Megan Foley

Megan has been a freelance writer and editor since 2016. In that time, she’s penned a diverse collection of articles for online publication, with a focus on skincare and beauty. From in-depth product reviews to concise marketing content, Megan is passionate about developing content that informs, entertains, and inspires.