Review: Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution review

I haven’t done a skincare review in a while but I just finished a bottle of this and with summer coming, up, it seems like the perfect season to get yourself a bottle of dark spot reducer. I received the Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution as a sample from Kiehl’s in February and I have been using it every day and every night for the past nearly 3 months.

My skin profile: I have very dehydrated cheeks with a t-zone that gets oily. I occasionally get break-outs, usually 1-2 around that time of the month. My main skin concerns are hyper-pigmentation and dehydration in the cheek area and fine lines in the eye area. My ideal skincare products are ones that provide good moisture to my skin, absorb quickly and leave no left-over product sitting on top of my skin.

I used this product twice a day, two drops in the morning for my face and four drops at night for my face and neck. I use this together with the Kiehl’s Ultra Facial Moisturizer both morning and night, and then also a layer of sunscreen during the day as well.

What it claims (from Clearly Corrective™ DARK SPOT SOLUTION is a fast-acting serum that evens skin tone and diminishes dark spots to impart overall radiance and luminosity to the skin:

• In as little as 2 weeks, 55% of women clinically demonstrated a significant reduction in dark spot intensity.
• In 4 weeks, 69% of women clinically demonstrated a continued reduction in dark spots intensity and 73% of women showed a significant reduction in acne scarring.  Reduction in other skin discolorations was clinically evident among 69% of women.
• In 8 weeks, 87% of women clinically demonstrated more uniform skin tone to deliver breakthrough clarity.
• With continued daily usage, Clearly Corrective helps to prevent the formation of future dark spots and other skin discolorations.

No Silicones. No Parabens. No Fragrance.
No Colorants. No Optical Diffusers.

Price: $49.50USD/$54CAD for 30mL

Texture/Scent: Light watery serum, very subtle herbal scent

Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution review

The good: It is a light watery serum that absorbs quickly and leaves no residue. It is gentle on the skin and does not sting or cause any irritation, even with continued and prolonged use. I love that helps the Ultra Facial Moisturizer absorb quickly and the products together leave my skin hydrated, supple and healthy. Most importantly, I felt that my skin was brighter, smoother and more luminous. I also felt that because of the vitamin C in the serum, it helped to increase the cell turnover in my skin through exfoliation, which also help acne spots heal faster and any leftover scars will also lightened faster.

  • Light, absorbs quickly and leaves no residue
  • Gentle on the skin
  • Skin is brighter, smoother and more luminous
  • Helps cell turnover in the skin due to the vitamin C

The bad: I did not notice any reduction in dark spot (i.e. freckle) intensity, which was its main claim. If anything, I felt my spots were even more prominent because the rest of my skin was more luminous and bright. I am not a fan of the dropper packaging, because every time I use it, the serum is exposed to oxygen, and over 2-3 months, that is a lot of oxygen. Also as I am nearing the end of the bottle, I have to pour out the rest of the serum because the dropper doesn’t go all the way to the bottom.

  • Does not lighten freckles
  • Dropper packaging lets in a lot of oxygen and also not effective at releasing all of the product

Overall: I love this product when used with Ultra Facial Moisturizer, so much that I updated my review of the Ultra Facial Moisturizer because the Dark Spot Solution, when used in tandem with the Moisturizer, really helps to improve the efficacy of both products. Even though I didn’t see a reduction in my freckles, I did feel that this serum was worth investing in because it made the rest of my skin brighter, more luminous, and overall more healthy looking. I highly recommend this product to anyone who is looking for an effective skin brightener that is still gentle and can be used twice a day for prolonged periods of time. It is hydrating enough for people with dry to normal skin, and it is light enough for people with oily or combination skin. I just finished my first bottle… and will be on to my second very soon =)

Product: 18/20
Packaging: 3/5
Value: 4/5
Overall: 25/30 | A-
Repurchase? YES!

FYI for an another review of this product, head over to Just J to read Miss J’s take.


Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution reviewKiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution review


17 thoughts on “Review: Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution

  1. I am using a sample vial of this right now, i like it! it seems to have worked for my fresh acne scars. I think I will be buying a full size of this soon 🙂

  2. Oh good to know! I haven’t tried any Kiehl’s products before, but I’ve heard so many wonderful things about them! Would you recommended my first products to be the moisturizer and this one?

    • Hi Jayne! I definitely recommend this Dark Spot Solution, but depending on your skin type, you might need a skincare consultation from Kiehl’s to decide on which moisturizer you need. While I recommend the Ultra Facial Moisturizer, it might not work on every skin type. If you can’t get to a store, you can ask Kiehl’s on Twitter or Facebook and they can direct you to the right person. Their products are pretty pricey, so it’s better to buy the right products upfront than to buy something that might not work for you. Hope that helped =)

  3. I’ve been waiting for a review like this for awhile 🙂 I haven’t seen much reviews on the Clearly Corrective serum. I think I’m going to invest in this… I’m excited for it. I like gentle serums that absorb quickly and Kiehl’s is a reputable brand. Thanks for your review!

  4. Hehe thanks for linking back to my review! Sounds like we had the same opinions about this product. If they just changed the marketing on it, then I would’ve given it an A+, but it’s biggest claim is a bit of a bust. It’s a credit to the product though that I’m addicted to it anyways.

    • Unfortunately, I haven’t found anything good. I really like Diorsnow White Reveal serum (the white bottle) for overall brightness that is even more effective than the Kiehl’s, but it also doesn’t lighten freckles. Sorry!

  5. Gave me a horrible skin reaction. Red intensly painful and itchy rash over my neck and face. I have never had any allergies or sensitvities before. Very sad.

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