Pigmentclar Serum Intensive Dark Spot Correcting Serum
Interestingly, other than having a lighter, more serum-like texture, this Pigmentclar product differs little from La Roche Posay's Pigmentclar product for the eye area. Apparently, the company thinks dark spots and dark circles have the same needs, but research hasn't shown that to be the case. The melanin behind dark spots stems from sun damage and/or excess hormones, while dark circles are often hereditary and are present whether one has sun damage or not (though sun damage can make dark circles darker). So, there can be some crossover, but the truth is that dark circles are very difficult to treat via skincare, while dark spots are relatively easier—assuming you're willing to commit to daily sun protection—a habit that will automatically improve dark circles and dark spots!
Beyond the not-quite-there association between dark spots and dark circles, does this serum have merit if you're struggling with brown spots? Potentially, yes. That's because it contains a high amount of the B vitamin niacinamide, which research has shown can improve excess melanin (skin pigment) production, lessening and potentially eliminating dark spots. The issue is that for many, treating dark spots takes more than one ingredient. To that end, La Roche Posay included phenethyl resorcinol, an ingredient that has some research showing it can help lighten dark spots! That's exciting, but we're skeptical the amount this serum contains is enough to kick in that benefit.
Even if you wanted to bank on the niacinamide alone, we wouldn't advise it due to the amount of alcohol this fragranced serum contains. It's the fourth ingredient, and in this position is likely to cause some amount of irritation that no one's skin needs. Given that many brands offer great treatments with niacinamide, there's no reason to settle for an inferior formula.
One last comment: La Roche Posay's claim that "with results sustained in time" only applies if you're good about protecting your skin from ongoing UV light exposure. This requires daily (even if the sun isn't out) application of a well formulated sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater. Otherwise, any results you get from this or any other dark spot treatment won't be the least bit sustained!
- Lightweight texture.
- The amount of niacinamide stands a good chance of lightening dark spots.
- The amount of alcohol puts skin at risk for pro-aging irritation.
- Lightening ingredient that may help niacinamide isn't present in a lower amount than may not work well.
- Overpriced given the number of more multifaceted lightening options available.
This anti-dark spot serum with long lasting efficacy offers a global correcting approach, to even out visibly the complexion, with results sustained in time.
La Roche-Posay At-A-Glance
L'Oreal-owned La Roche-Posay has a pharmaceutical lineage based in France, and the company speaks of their thermal spring water as the cornerstone of their commitment to dermatological skin care. In fact, the name La Roche-Posay comes from the French town that is the source of this water, which is said to be a rich in selenium. While selenium is an element that has potent antioxidant ability, it's unclear how much the water La Roche-Posay uses contains, since all water has to go through purification processes to be to used in cosmetic products.
That aside, this brand does have a number of standout products, including some good sunscreens and anti-aging treatments. Another positive: All of its skincare is packaged in containers that will keep beneficial products protected from light and air (no jar packaging here!). Unfortunately there are some missteps, namely that some otherwise-excellent products include potentially-irritating amounts of alcohol, fragrance, or other irritants. The line could also benefit from additional products that contain more state-of-the-art ingredients. Still, for a no-frills approach to serious skin care, there are some finds to be had!
For more information about La Roche-Posay, owned by L'Oreal, call (888) 577-5226 or visit www.laroche-posay.com.
About the Experts
The Beautypedia team consists of skin care and makeup experts personally trained by the original Cosmetics Cop and best-selling beauty author, Paula Begoun. We’re fascinated by skin care and makeup products and thrilled when they meet or exceed our expectations, but we’re also disappointed when they fail to perform as claimed, are wildly overpriced, or contain ingredients scientific research has proven can hurt skin.
Our mission has always been to help you find the best products for your skin, no matter your budget or preferences. Beautypedia’s thorough and insightful reviews cut through the hype and provide reliable recommendations for all ages, skin types, and skin tones.