Blotchiness and dark spots, be gone.
Okay, fine: the road to a brighter, more even complexion is a route that takes a little (or a lot) longer than a mere 60 seconds to reach completion. But the steps that will get you there are, in fact, minute. While we know the idea of adding extra steps to any beauty routine when you're already pressed for time, morning and night, can be daunting, we promise these ones are worth it: think of the glowy skin waiting for you juuuust over the finish line as the light end of a splotchy, hyperpigmented tunnel.
This is the first of a handful of reminders of things you likely, deep down, already know you should be doing. But if you're not sold on exfoliating regularly just yet, allow us to frame it this way: without regular exfoliation, all of those pricey skincare products aren't penetrating (sorry) as deeply as they should be. Do you really want that insanely expensive serum you bought impulsively at duty free to be tending to dead, surface-layer skin cells? Thought so. There are a handful of especially convenient, easy ways to add this into your regular routine, too: try bringing a powder cleanser with you in the shower for less aggressive, daily use; a chemical exfoliator formulated with AHAs, BHA or glycolic acid if you have discoloration and miss the days of Oxy Pads; or a face brush or cleansing sponge if you're the gadget-y type.
Yup—another tip you totally didn't see coming. Just kidding! The reasons why breaking a sweat on a near-daily basis is good for you are obvious and multiple, but for the purposes of brightening and evening out your skin, let's put it this way: it helps to regenerate new skin cells. Ones without discoloration, scarring and, right again, hyperpigmentation. To get really scientific: exercise most days this week. Is it just us, or does your skin look that much happier?
Brighten While You Sleep
Serum = necessary. More products on the market target these exact worries than not, and night serums are the best way to double up on sleep's restorative and regenerative abilities. Try applying one with brightening and correcting powers under your usual night cream: we've heard good things about Shani Darden's Retinol Reform, Shiseido's White Lucent, Tata Harper's Concentrated Brightening Serum and Mizon's Mela Defense White Capsule Essence. Alternately, find one loaded with Vitamin C.
Apply SPF Religiously
We know that at this point, we're verging into mom territory. But sun damage only exacerbates any discoloration you have going on from the sites of old breakouts and actually creates entirely new weird pigmentation and darkness where there shouldn't be any—hence the name sunspots. Again: there is no point shelling out on $$$ products if you're going to skip this step—think of it a little like tossing your La Mer directly in the trash. If you wouldn't do that (pretty sure we know the answer to this one), don't not do this, either!
Primp & Prime
Now that you have your skincare routine working overtime, let's address your makeup. A little primer layered just underneath your face makeup will not only get you a better application for everything that comes after and have it last all day long, but also do some of the heavy lifting of covering up hyperpigmentation before anything else even goes on. Smashbox has a special dark spot correcting edition of their cult primer that smoothes out skin while its ingredients work to, again, even out dark spots. Ditto CoverFX, Tom Ford and Make Up For Ever.