11 Best Brightening Cleansers for Dark Spots in 2024

As we age, one of the biggest skincare concerns is hyperpigmentation – resulting in dark spots on our faces that affect our confidence. If you’re a woman over 40 or trying to brighten up your complexion and remove pesky sunspots, look no further than these 11 best-brightening cleansers for dark spots in 2023! We’ve rounded up everything from gentle micellar waters to hardcore deep exfoliants so that whether you’re looking for a drugstore bargain, something natural and organic, or just wanting to splurge – there’s sure to be something that caters to all needs. 

The beauty industry is continuously evolving, as are the cleansers catering to our specific skin concerns. Do you struggle with post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, age spots, or sun damage? Look no further as we introduce the best brightening cleansers that can effectively reduce the appearance of dark spots. These cleaners are packed with potent ingredients such as vitamin C, niacinamide, and alpha hydroxy acids, all working together to brighten, exfoliate, and even out your complexion. Achieving a radiant glow has never been easier. So, transform your skincare routine with these must-have brightening cleansers this year!

Overview of Different Types of Cleansers for Different Skin Types

Taking care of your skin is essential to self-care, and choosing the right cleanser is the first step towards achieving healthy and glowing skin. With so many different cleaners in the market, selecting the right one that caters to your skin type can be overwhelming. From foaming cleansers to cleansing oils, each product promises to cleanse and purify your skin uniquely. For instance, if you have dry skin, you might want a creamy or oil-based cleanser that nourishes the skin while gently removing impurities. On the other hand, if you have oily skin, a foaming or gel-based cleanser might work best to reduce excess oil production and unclog pores. Understanding your skin type and choosing a cleaner that caters to your skin’s needs is essential. Remember, consistently using the right cleanser will lead to brighter, healthier, and more beautiful-looking skin.

Review of the Top 11 Cleansers for Dark Spots in 2024 

As someone who has struggled with dark spots, I know how frustrating it can be to find a cleanser that effectively combats them. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the top 11 cleaners for dark spots in 2023. These cleansers are not only effective at reducing dark places, but they also leave your skin feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. With options ranging from affordable drugstore brands to high-end luxury products, there’s something for every budget and skincare routine. Don’t let dark spots hold you back from feeling confident in your skin – try out one of these top performers and watch as your complexion transforms before your eyes.

My Top Picks:

BrightenUp Pearlescent Foaming Cleanser

  • Pearlescent formula
  • Foaming action
  • Brightening effects
  • Gentle cleansing
  • Refreshing fragrance

Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser

  • Gentle formula
  • Fragrance-free
  • Non-comedogenic
  • Effective cleanser
  • Suitable for sensitive skin

Earthen Escapes Green Tea Facial Soap

  • Cleansing Power
  • Soothing Effect
  • Antioxidant-Rich
  • Natural Ingredients
  • Refreshing Scent

1. BrightenUp Pearlescent Foaming Cleanser

This cleanser is a game-changer for women 40+ seeking a radiant complexion. Formulated with gentle, plant-derived ingredients, this vegan cleanser promotes a lit-from-within glow. Apply, massage, and rinse for refreshed skin.

This cleanser is formulated to combat hyperpigmentation, promote even skin tone, and help to help you achieve a youthful appearance. It is gentle yet effective and removes impurities while maintaining your skin’s moisture.


The BrightenUp Pearlescent Foaming Cleanser retails for $45 USD or $36 USD for Arbonne Consultants.

Pros and Cons

  • Brightens skin tone effectively.
  • Gentle and non-irritating formula.
  • Helps reduce hyperpigmentation.
  • May cost more than others on the market.
  • Results may vary for individuals.

2. CosRX Low pH Morning Gel Cleanser

CosRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is a gentle, pH-balanced cleanser that removes dirt, oil, and makeup without stripping the skin.

  • It is formulated with tea tree oil and betaine salicylate to help clear pores and control acne.
  • It is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin.
  • It has a low pH of 5.5, similar to the skin’s natural pH. This helps to maintain the skin’s natural barrier and prevent dryness.
  • It is free of harsh ingredients, such as sulfates, alcohol, and artificial fragrances.


The CosRX Low pH Morning Gel Cleanser retails for $22 USD for a 6.4 fl oz. bottle.

Pros and Cons

  • Gentle enough for daily use on sensitive skin.
  • Removes impurities without stripping away natural oils.
  • Low PH formula helps to maintain optimal pH balance of the skin.
  • It can be drying for those with dehydrated skin types.
  • Some may prefer a scented face wash over this fragrance-free version.

3. Paula’s Choice Resist-Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser

Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser is a gentle, foaming cleanser that helps to hydrate and plump the skin. This can give the skin a more radiant appearance and may help to fade dark spots over time.

  • Formulated with hyaluronic acid and ceramides to help hydrate and protect the skin.
  • Has a pH of 6.27-7.27, which is ideal for maintaining the skin’s natural pH balance.
  • Free of harsh ingredients, such as sulfates, parabens, and artificial fragrances.


The Resist Perfectly Balanced Foaming Cleanser retails for $29 USD for a 190ml bottle.

Pros and Cons

  • Formulated with hyaluronic acid and ceramides to help hydrate and protect the skin.
  • A gentle foaming cleanser that removes makeup, excess oil, and dirt without stripping the skin.
  • It has a pH of 6.27-7.27, ideal for maintaining the skin’s natural pH balance.
  • It may not be effective enough for people with severe acne or oily skin.
  • It can be drying for some people with dry skin.

4. Hyper Skin Gentle Brightening Cleansing Gel

  • Hyper Skin Gentle Brightening Cleansing Gel is a gentle gel cleanser that removes dirt, oil, and makeup without stripping the skin.
  • It is formulated with mandelic acid, licorice root, and bearberry to help brighten the look of dark spots and even skin tone.
  • It is also non-comedogenic and fragrance-free, making it a good choice for all skin types.


The Hyper Skin Gentle Cleansing Gel retails for $32 USD for a 150ml bottle.

Pros and Cons

  • Gentle and non-irritating.
  • Effective at removing dirt, oil, and makeup.
  • Helps to brighten the look of dark spots.
  • May not be effective for severe acne.
  • May not be suitable for all skin types.

5. Peach and Lily Glass Skin Face Polisher

The Peach and Lily Glass Skin Face Polisher is a must-have for anyone seeking a radiant and youthful complexion. This gentle exfoliating scrub is enriched with natural ingredients that work to remove dead skin cells, revealing a smoother and brighter skin texture. With regular use, you can expect a noticeable improvement in skin tone and a more even complexion.


The Peach and Lily Glass Skin Face Polisher retails for $34 USD for a 1.7oz bottle.

Pros and Cons

  • Provides gentle exfoliation for smooth, radiant skin.
  • Contains natural ingredients and is cruelty-free.
  • It helps to refine pores and improve skin texture.
  • It may not be suitable for sensitive skin types.
  • Some users may find the price point high.

6. Earthen Escapes Green Tea Facial Soap

Indulge in the revitalizing effects of Earthen Escapes Green Tea Facial Soap. This soap is enriched with green tea, cleansing and purifying your skin, leaving it fresh and rejuvenating. The soap’s formula is rich in antioxidants that help fight free radicals and decrease inflammation, resulting in a more clear and more radiant complexion. You can say farewell to lackluster and exhausted-looking skin and welcome the refreshing advantages of green tea with Earthen Escapes Green Tea Facial Soap.


The Earthen Escapes Green Tea Facial Soap is priced at $14.00 USD. This price is for a single 4 oz bar of soap.

Pros and Cons

  • Infused with antioxidant-rich green tea.
  • This product helps to protect the skin and promotes a healthy complexion.
  • Made with all-natural ingredients.
  • Not fragrance-free.
  • This facial soap is only available as a bar, not in liquid form.

7. Murad Essential-C Cleanser

Murad Essential-C Cleanser is a vitamin-rich gel cleanser that revitalizes your skin. This antioxidant-rich formula, infused with vitamins A, C, and E, helps to neutralize and rehydrate environmentally damaged skin while removing impurities. Say goodbye to dull and tired-looking skin as this cleanser works to awaken your complexion, leaving it refreshed and rejuvenated. Embrace the benefits of Murad Essential-C Cleanser for healthier, more radiant skin.


The Murad Essential-C Cleanser retails for $35 USD for a 1.7oz bottle.

Pros and Cons

  • Adds radiance to the skin.
  • Adds radiance to the skin.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Contains vitamin C for skin nourishment.
  • A bit more pricey than other products on the market.
  • It contains vitamin C, which may not be suitable for all skin types.

8. Pigmentclar Brightening Deep Cleanser

The Pigmentclar Brightening Deep Cleanser is a powerful facial cleanser that targets uneven skin tone and hyperpigmentation. Its deep-cleansing formula effectively removes impurities, leaving the skin refreshed and radiant. With continued use, it helps to promote a brighter, more even complexion.


The Pigmentclar Brightening Deep Cleanser retails for $26.99 USD for a 4.2 oz. bottle.

Pros and Cons

  • Contains micro-exfoliating lipo-hydroxy acid for brighter skin.
  • Helps remove impurities and brighten skin tone.
  • Targets dark spots, uneven skin tone, and rough texture.
  • Not suitable for oily skin.
  • May not be as effective for acne-prone skin.

9. Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser

Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser is a gentle yet effective cleanser that is enriched with antioxidant-rich strawberry seed oil and hydrating rosehip oil to leave your skin feeling clean, balanced, and glowing.


The Indie Lee Brightening Cleanser retails for $38 USD for a 125ml bottle.

  • Leaves the skin feeling soft, hydrated, and fresh.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • Brightens dark spots and evens skin tone.
  • It may not be suitable for all skin types.
  • Pricier than some other comparable products.

10. Dermalogica Daily Glycolic Cleanser

The Dermalogica Daily Glycolic Cleanser is a brightening and conditioning cleanser designed to renew dull and uneven skin tones. It helps remove buildup caused by environmental factors, revealing a brighter and healthier complexion. With its gentle jelly formula, this cleanser effectively clears away dead skin cells and revitalizes dullness, making it an ideal choice for achieving luminous and refreshed skin.


The Dermalogica Daily Glycolic Cleanser retails for $37 USD for a 5.1 oz. bottle.

Pros and Cons

  • Targets dark spots, uneven skin tone.
  • Contains micro-exfoliating lipo-hydroxy acid.
  • Has a pleasant and refreshing scent.
  • Not suitable for oily skin.
  • May worsen skin problems in people with sensitive skin.

11. Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser

Vanicream Facial Cleanser is a fragrance-free option that removes makeup, dirt, and excess skin oils without drying out your skin. It is suitable for sensitive skin and doesn’t contain any dyes, lanolin, parabens, formaldehyde, or other preservatives. With its mild and powerful formula, this cleanser can help brighten your skin and reduce the appearance of blemishes for a clearer and more vibrant complexion. Try Vanicream Facial Cleanser today and experience clean, soft, and refreshed skin.


The Vanicream Gentle Facial Cleanser retails for $12.99 USD for a 16 oz. bottle.

Pros and Cons

  • Mild and gentle formula.
  • Effective in removing impurities.
  • Suitable for sensitive skin.
  • May not effectively remove heavy makeup.
  • Less active ingredients for sensitive skin.

How to Choose the Right Brightening Cleanser for You 

Choosing the right brightening cleanser for your skin type can seem overwhelming, with many options. However, it’s important to remember that a brightening cleanser shouldn’t just brighten your skin but also effectively cleanse it without stripping it of its natural oils. To choose the right one, consider your skin type and concerns. For sensitive skin, look for a gentle formula with soothing ingredients like chamomile or aloe vera. Use a cleanser with salicylic acid for oily skin to help control excess sebum production. Dry skin types may benefit from a creamy cleanser with nourishing ingredients like avocado oil or glycerin. Whatever your skin type, choose a product that suits your specific needs and always read ingredient labels carefully.

Organic and Natural Brightening Cleansers on the Market

As more and more people switch to a healthier lifestyle, the demand for organic and natural skincare products has increased. This has led to many options for brightening cleansers that gently cleanse the face while providing a brighter complexion. But with so many choices on the market, it can be overwhelming to figure out which one is worth investing in. However, it’s important to note that not all natural cleansers are created equal. Look for ingredients like turmeric, vitamin C, and chamomile that brighten and nourish the skin without stripping it of its natural oils. By opting for an organic and natural brightening cleanser, you will achieve a brighter complexion and do your bit for the environment.

Pros and Cons of Popular Drugstore Brightening Cleansers

As we go through our daily skincare routine, cleansing is one of our most important steps. With many options, choosing the best product for your skin type can be overwhelming. Brightening cleansers have gained immense popularity over the years, claiming to provide a brighter and glowing complexion. While some drugstore options may deliver on their promises, weighing the pros and cons before incorporating them into your routine is essential. Brightening cleansers contain ingredients like Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA), Vitamin C, and Licorice Extracts, which can help reduce dark spots and uneven skin tone. However, some of these cleansers can be too harsh, leading to dryness and irritation. It is essential to pay attention to the ingredients and the concentration of these ingredients before purchasing a brightening cleanser. As with any skincare product, performing a patch test before introducing it into daily use is crucial. Ultimately, it is up to each individual to weigh the pros and cons and decide whether brightening cleansers are a worthwhile addition to their skincare routine.

The quest for brighter, more radiant skin often leads us to brightening cleansers to combat dark spots and dull skin. The best brightening cleansers usually contain skin-loving ingredients that enhance skin clarity and promote a luminous complexion. One example is Cocamidopropyl Betaine, a gentle formula for sensitive skin types. This ingredient works harmoniously with Glycolic Acid, a powerful exfoliant derived from sugar cane (saccharum officinarum), to slough off dead skin cells. 

Moreover, fruit extracts like Citrus Aurantium and Citrus Lemon Peel Oil lend a refreshing fragrance and act as powerful antioxidants that combat free radical damage. Another star ingredient is Glycyrrhiza Glabra (Licorice) Root Extract, which is known for diminishing the appearance of dark spots and fine lines. 

Green tea and Vitis Vinifera (Grape Seed) are rich in antioxidants, while Salicylic Acid helps control excess oil production in oily skin. For the best results, apply a small amount of the cleanser to your face, massage in a circular motion, and then rinse off with tepid water. Key ingredients like lactic acid, mandelic acid, and vitamins B and C further elevate these cleansers’ efficacy, working their magic to reveal a more even complexion. 

For a gentle exfoliating experience, look for formulas incorporating ingredients like Willow Bark, Beta Hydroxy Acid, and Decyl Glucoside. Additionally, natural elements like Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice Powder and Tomato Extract can soothe and nourish the skin, making them a good option for both sensitive and combination skin types. 

However, reading the terms of use and privacy policy before purchasing is essential. Also, as with any skincare routine, it’s always best to start with a patch test to ensure compatibility with your skin. With the right brightening cleanser, the first step towards achieving a more radiant complexion is now within reach.

Wrapping it Up

In conclusion, many different brightening cleansers are available for treating dark spots in 2023. Depending on your skin type, you may be able to find a natural or organic option that uses the most effective ingredients for treating dark spots without irritation. Drug store brands offer convenience and various options, although they may not be as gentle on sensitive skin and have fewer active ingredients than pricier alternatives. Ultimately, choosing a brightening cleanser that meets your needs is vital while considering reviews and ratings from other users. A mid-range option is often best if you are looking for both affordability and quality. With all the available information today, finding the right brightening cleanser in 2023 should be easy!

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