We tend to think of acne as a problem for the young, and there’s a good reason for that. Most of us start developing acne and often face our most severe breakouts during our teen years. Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean our zits magically disappear the day we turn 20.
The reality is that acne can still pop up as we’re well into adulthood, and it doesn’t stop there. Developing acne scars and dark spots after battling a bout of breakouts every month can feel like a major setback. For me, these scars often overstay their welcome and can lead to a duller, more uneven complexion too.
Ahead, I’ll be sharing the popular methods I tried to lighten my acne scars. Stick around, because I’ll also be introducing you to a treatment that has attained holy grail status in my books: the Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter.
- Ways I've tried to lighten my acne scars and dark spots
- Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter review: First impressions
- Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter: Why it's different from other brightening treatments
- Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter review: Results after two weeks
Ways I’ve tried to lighten my acne scars and dark spots
In a bid to fade these stubborn spots and brighten my skin, I trawled the interweb in search of a solution. Beauty YouTubers often swear by vitamin C-infused skincare products, while experts on Instagram tout frequent exfoliation as their key to lightening spots. Meanwhile, users on Reddit suggest slapping on a pimple patch as a preventative measure to stop scars from forming.
I adopted these top three tips and tried them out for a few months, but the results were less than satisfactory. High concentrations of vitamin C and harsh exfoliation only made my sensitive skin even more vulnerable, and pimple patches didn’t exactly prevent acne scars as promised. Needless to say, my dark spots prevailed and were accompanied by redness that seemed to surround them 24/7.
Before I threw in the towel, however, I was asked to try the Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter for two weeks to see how I like it. Keep reading for my first impressions of the product and find out why it’s now my ultimate weapon against acne scars.
Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter review: First impressions
Upon unboxing the product, I was immediately enamoured by the pretty holographic bottle. I liked that it comes in an airtight pump bottle as well, which helps preserve the freshness and efficacy of the active ingredients within the formula.
After cleansing my skin and patting it dry, I went in straight with the Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter. One pump was all I needed for my entire face, and I carefully avoided the eye area in case of any sensitivities. The fragrance-free, lightweight gel texture glided smoothly on my skin, absorbed in mere seconds, and left my face feeling velvety smooth.
Then, I followed up with a moisturising sunscreen and was all set for the day – quick and fuss-free. In the evening, I simply swapped out my sunscreen for an oil-free moisturiser. I didn’t experience any irritation from it after 24 hours, which boded well for the rest of my trial.
Before I reveal the results I saw after two weeks, let’s get to know the Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter a little more.
Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter: Why it’s different from other brightening treatments
One of the most potent brightening serums around, Clinique’s Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter’s promise is in its name. It’ll fade the appearance of acne scars and pesky pigmentation, and at the same time, interrupt the formation of future dark spots.
The product’s secret is what Clinique calls their “damage eraser”, which boasts the brand’s patented CL302 Equalizer Technology and an Interrupter Complex. That may sound a little too sciencey, but what this formula essentially does is deliver brightening results like you’ve never seen. Yet, it’s gentle enough for all skin types – a relief for someone who has sensitive skin.
When applied, it penetrates up to 21 layers deep into the skin’s surface.* In a study where test participants used the serum for two weeks, 89% of them reported more even-toned skin, while a whopping 93% of participants saw a reduction in the appearance of dark spots.**
View this post on Instagram
Now, let’s zoom into the CL302 Complex (Clinique’s patented Equalizer Technology) and find out what goes into its proprietary formula:
- UP302: This targeted brightening molecule is inspired by border silver, or dianella ensifolia, a botanical in traditional Chinese medicine that’s lauded for its antioxidant properties.
- Ascorbyl glucoside: A water-soluble derivative of vitamin C, this ingredient helps reduce the appearance of discolouration.
- Glucosamine: It weakens and breaks up the bonds that hold dead skin cells together, thereby shedding cells that contain melanin (our natural skin pigment).
- Yeast extract: Also known as Clinique’s “cluster buster”, this extract sloughs away large clusters of pigment into smaller particles so they’re less visible.
- Salicylic acid: It penetrates into your skin and works to dissolve the dead skin cells clogging your pores to reveal fresher, more even-toned skin.
While CL302 Complex does the heavy lifting, the product’s Interrupter Complex steps in to minimise irritation and disrupt future hyperpigmentation. Here are the soothing heroes that do just that:
- Gyokuro (camellia sinensis leaf) extract: This type of green tea is harvested with a special method in Japan. It helps ease irritation and redness.
- Mulberry root extract: Rich in antioxidants, this extract counters free-radical damage that causes irritation.
- Rice bran extract: A potent antioxidant and anti-irritant, it helps to prevent future dark spots by protecting the skin against damaging free radicals.
- A complex of olive squalene, barley extract, and wheat germ extract: This cocktail nourishes and replenishes the skin with a surge of hydration.
- Dipotassium glycyrrizate (licorice extract): It acts as an anti-irritant that reduces the visible effects of stress and pollution.
*Ex vivo testing after four hours.
**Based on a self-assessment of 101 women.
Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter review: Results after two weeks
After two weeks of using the Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter, my complexion looked brighter overall. As you can see, the acne scars on my skin are visibly lighter and my skin looked less inflamed.
The redness on the left side of my face had subsided a fair bit, and my skin looked clearer and felt more supple too. In fact, my skin tone looks more even and my pores appear more refined as well.
During the two-week trial, a major zit surfaced (circled in the “after” picture) on my face thanks to the impending arrival of Aunt Flo. After it subsided, I was left with an incredibly faint mark that’s getting lighter every day. The Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter lives up to its claims, indeed.
When I’m confronted with a sudden breakout the next time, I won’t be panicking at all – not with the Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter in my arsenal. Now you know why I deemed it as one of my holy grail products.
I may not have any momentous upcoming plans, considering how I mostly work from home and wear a mask outdoors, but it still feels good to have clearer, more radiant-looking skin. These days, I can get by with lighter coverage makeup when I’m heading out, which is a huge deal as someone who’s always felt self-conscious about her skin.
Speaking of which, I like to pair the Clinique Even Better Clinical Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter with the new Clinique Even Better Clinical Serum Foundation SPF 20/PA+++ with three serum technologies to further brighten, improve, and perfect my skin.
The weightless, medium-to-full coverage liquid foundation not only promises up to 24 hours of wear, but it also visibly improves the skin over time. Packed with skin-loving ingredients like hyaluronic acid, salicylic acid, vitamin C, and UP302, the waterproof formula minimises future discolouration with SPF 20.
It’s even clinically demonstrated to leave bare skin smoother, more hydrated, and more even in tone than ever before. You’ll have to try the duo out to see the results for yourself!
Clinique Even Better Clinical™ Radical Dark Spot Corrector + Interrupter retails for S$115 (30ml) and S$150 (50ml) at all Clinique counters (Metro, Isetan, Takashimaya, Tangs), Sephora stores, Sephora.sg, and the Clinique Official Flagship Store on Lazada Singapore.
The NEW Clinique Even Better Clinical™ Serum Foundation SPF 20/PA+++ retails for S$66 (30ml) at all Clinique counters (Metro, Isetan, Takashimaya, Tangs), Sephora stores, Sephora.sg, and the Clinique Official Flagship Store on Lazada Singapore.
Want professional skincare and makeup advice? You can connect with a Clinique Consultant to get expert solutions for your concerns, as well as useful tips and tricks. Book a class at Clinique’s Skin School today!
This article is brought to you by Clinique.