A powerful dark mark brightener is like the skincare equivalent of a zamboni, sweeping across the remnants of acne and sun damage and leaving even, glowing skin behind. The satisfaction goes toe to toe with watching spotless ice emerge, but where a zamboni takes 15 minutes at most, it can take months for most spot lighteners to work on skin. That is, if you're not using Murad's Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum, which shoppers say can erase marks in about a week.
Some people report seeing a "world of difference" in their hyperpigmentation in as little as four days, but a majority note that it takes a month of nightly use before "age spots practically disappear." That said, it ranges: One shopper calls it "youth in a bottle," and adds that their marks were gone in two weeks, while another writes that their skin started glowing in two days.
But across the board, the conclusion is that it "works miracles" on dark spots. According to Dr. Loretta Ciraldo, a Miami-based board-certified dermatologist with over 40 years' experience and founder of Dr. Loretta skincare, that's thanks to the formula's combination of resorcinol, tranexamic acid, and glycolic acid.
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Resorcinol is what's called a "tyrosinase inhibitor," she says, which limits the activity of an enzyme needed to create melanin, the skin's major pigment. Along the same lines, tranexamic acid blocks the transfer of pigment from melanocytes, which make melanin, to keratinocytes, where it eventually resides. Rounding out the process, Ciraldo says glycolic acid sheds the pigment-laden keratinocytes from the skin's surface, which makes your skin look brighter.
Given that three-point process, it's unsurprising that shoppers say the serum is a "holy grail" for reducing discoloration, dark circles, and scars to create "amazing results." It's so good that it can catch you off guard: "One day, I looked up after several months, and my dark spots on my chin/cheeks were completely gone," one reviewer writes. Excited shoppers note that it even seems to have an effect on life-long birthmarks and melasma within a month, although Ciraldo is doubtful that any topical treatment could impact birthmarks, and typically recommends vitamin C or standalone glycolic acid for melasma.
Still, the shopper writes that the Murad serum completely evened out the melasma on their upper lip, cheeks, and forehead, and within a month all their dark spots were noticeably lighter. Six months later, the marks were completely gone, and friends and family were inquiring about what caused the "drastic" results.
The reviews are unanimous: The potion makes for skin that's radiant, clear, and way more glowing than before, whether you have a deep skin tone or one that's fair and freckly. In the words of one shopper, it's a "perfect product."
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