I Tried Kiehl's Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution for 8 Weeks | Here's What Happened

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My skin tends to stay pretty clear, but sometimes I get breakouts that are stubborn and seem like they’ll never go away. The month before I turned 26 years-old (in November) was the absolute worst! Everything was practically out of control and nothing I tried would keep the pimples from popping up once and for all. I started dabbling in complete skincare regimens from different clinical brands and finally noticed some progress — THANK GOD. However, I was left with serious dark spots from scarring.

I love to keep my skincare routine fairly natural, but sometimes an extra punch is needed. One of my favorite brands is Kiehl’s because every product embodies natural, botanical ingredients with a clinical touch. The Dermatologist Solutions collection specifically have proven to do an amazing job for me, so when Kiehl’s reached out for me to try their Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution, I definitely wanted to see what it could do.

The Clearly Corrective system is formulated with several botanical ingredients as well as the clinical ones that get the job done when it comes to repairing and reviving the skin. Each step features unique ingredients, but the collection stays true to three key ingredients that work together that help to restore clarity and texture/appearance overall:

  • Activated C helps to visibly reduce dark spots and prevent the formation of new skin discolorations.

  • White Birch Extract works with the Activated C to even skin tone, restore hydration, and replenish nutrients to the skin.

  • Peony Extract works with the Activated C to even skin tone, restore hydration, and replenish nutrients to the skin.


STEP 1: Brightening & Exfoliating Daily Cleanser

Any cleanser that helps me multi-task is a must-have in my book. My favorite thing about using this daily cleanser was that I was able to cleanse and gently exfoliate at the same time for smooth skin everyday without discomfort or major sensitivity. It kept my pores clear and sloughed away dirt and other daily nastiness as the first step in my routine while working towards a brighter, clearer complexion.

The Clearly Corrective Brightening & Exfoliating Daily Cleanser is also unique being formulated with Pearlstone, or Perlite, which is a natural exfoliant and definitely not a super common ingredient across cleansers on the market.

STEP 2: Brightening & Soothing Treatment Water

I’ve run into my fair share of harsh toners and it’s not fun when your skin is practically on fire from blemish-banishing acids. I appreciate a calming and soothing toner, and the Brightening & Soothing Treatment Water was perfect. I’ll admit that it does have a rather interesting after aroma from what I believe may be the licorice root extract, but it’s not unbearable like witch hazel astringent or anything!

One thing that really intrigued me about this particular toner was that it was beautifully iridescent giving a glowy, illuminating complexion after use.

STEP 3: Dark Spot Solution

Serums are typically one of the most concentrated products in a skincare collection and I always find that they work extremely well — that’s where the magic really starts to happen. I originally had the Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution on my list of serums to try and exited out of the Sephora app when I saw some of the reviews saying it wasn’t worth it, but I am SO glad that I decided to give the Clearly Corrective products a try. I usually try to take reviews with a grain of salt especially when it comes to skincare because there are so many variables to consider and everyone is different.

I pretty much used the Clearly Corrective line on most days with an occasional “cheat day” either using another brand altogether OR simply switching out the concentrate/serum with the Cannabis Sativa Seed Herbal Concentrate or Midnight Recovery Concentrate.

Check out my results over two months:

STEP 4: Brightening & Smoothing Moisture Treatment

The “ applesauce moisturizer” is always what came to mind when I picked up the Brightening & Smoothing Moisture Treatment each time. Actually, it was more like super blended gel-like applesauce without the texture and wasn’t your typical day or night cream. Initially, I thought this was going to be a harsh product, but it wasn’t; however, it is highly recommended that an SPF follow to avoid irritation especially when in contact with sunlight because of the glycolic acid and Activated C.

One cool thing that I didn’t know until my final few weeks testing the Clearly Corrective products was that this moisturizer can actually be used a few times a week as an intensive overnight mask by applying a second layer before bed in place of your SPF.

STEP 5: Super Fluid UV Mineral Defense Broad Spectrum SPF 50+

Of course, we should all be applying an SPF every single day with our day routines! There’s not much to say about that. If you’re not applying an SPF, start ASAP. It’s important to protect the skin every single day from UV exposure.

Personally, this was the first SPF 50+ sunscreen I’ve tried. The ones I’ve been introduced to have been much lower, so it was nice to try this broad spectrum SPF. Also, it took me a few uses to figure out how much of this product I could use at once. Even though it’s a “universal shade”, one to two drops worked perfectly for me without giving me a dreaded ghostly cast for a deeper skin tone.

I thought the Clearly Corrective™ products from Kiehl’s were great to use for my dark spots concern and now I have my clear skin back again with excellent overall texture! It was effective, but never seemed too strong for me during the entire two months of consistent use. Hear more on my thoughts and shop the Kiehl’s products I used during my testing journey: