Skin Science

How To Treat Skin Discoloration On Your Face, Neck & Body

by Neostrata
August 26, 2022

Since skin discoloration does not appear the same on all skin types and skin tones, there is not one perfect solution for each person. You should treat your unique type of skin discoloration (whether it be dark spots, post-acne marks, redness or dullness) on your face, neck and body with a customized combination of skin-renewing acids based on your concern and skin type. These skin-renewing acids are all designed to exfoliate skin at the surface level to reveal new, smoother layers.

NEOSTRATA offers a diverse lineup of AHAs (Alpha Hydroxy Acids) and PHAs (Polyhydroxy Acids) for exfoliating the skin, Vitamin C for brightening the skin, Retinol for antiaging benefits, and sunscreens to help prevent further skin discoloration from the sun. Read on to learn more about these ingredients and our top recommendation for each category!


Alpha Hydroxy Acids, a family of naturally occurring acids that work as exfoliants to slough away surface skin cells to reveal new, healthier ones for softer, smoother, less visibly lined skin. As founders of the benefits of Alpha Hydroxy Acid over 40 years ago, NEOSTRATA has continued to perfect the use of these acids on different types of discolorations and on different skin tones.

The most popular AHAs are Glycolic Acid, Citric Acid and Mandelic Acid. Glycolic Acid is a powerhouse AHA for those looking to retexture and refine their skin’s surface for a visible improvement in fine lines and wrinkles. Citric Acid has the added benefit of being a powerful antioxidant to help protect your skin against visible signs of oxidative stress and helps make skin appear more youthful. Mandelic Acid is the perfect AHA for oily and blemish-prone skin types as it helps reduce the look of oily shine over time.

Try: Foaming Glycolic Wash

This foaming facial cleanser features 18% Glycolic Acid, known to visibly even skin tone, and is formulated to retexture the skin’s surface helping to cleanse clogged pores while lightly exfoliating. This InStyle Magazine award-winning cleanser is the perfect way to kick off your skin discoloration regimen and prepare your skin for all of the skincare it is about to receive! Find out what cleansers are and the how to choose the best cleanser for your skin.


Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is a powerful antioxidant that helps treat the look of dark spots and skin discoloration. Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) helps protect the skin from oxidative stress, helping to protect the skin against UV induced free radicals to help maintain a youthful appearance. The body does not produce Vitamin C, but instead relies on obtaining it through nutritional and topical applications, so be sure to give your skin its daily dose!

Try: 15% Vitamin C + PHA Serum

Try this new powerhouse Vitamin C face serum designed to give your skin its daily brightening boost with L-Ascorbic Acid (Pure Vitamin C), Feverfew Extract, Green Tea to boost Vitamin C’s antioxidant capacity and gently exfoliating Gluconolactone (Polyhydroxy Acid). This multi-action blend of acids and antioxidants helps protect the skin from environmental aggressors, helping to diminish visible skin discoloration on the face and neck.


Gluconolactone is a Polyhydroxy Acid that is found naturally in the skin and provides gentle exfoliating benefits without sun sensitivity. Due to this molecule's gentle nature, it is ideal for use on sensitive skin types as well as those who have had recent superficial cosmetic procedures. Gluconolactone is featured in the NEOSTRATA Restore Collection in a full regimen of gentle cleansers, moisturizers, serums and eye cream.

Try: Redness Neutralizing Serum

This soothing face serum helps counteract redness and improve the look of blotchiness with an exclusive BioCalm Complex, a 6% Polyhydroxy Acid Blend (Gluconolactone and Lactobionic Acid) and Willow Herb and Algae Extract for antioxidant protection.


Of course! Sunscreen helps to defend skin against discoloration associated with sun damage and helps shield your skin while you are treating it with other powerful skincare containing ingredients such as Vitamin C and Retinol. When choosing a sunscreen, always opt for an SPF 15 and above and be sure that it has broad spectrum protection against both UVA and UVB rays. Sun exposure can cause a majority of photoaging associated with discoloration, wrinkling and roughness of the skin, so sun protection is a crucial step in preventing further skin discoloration while you help treat any existing visible signs with the rest of your skincare routine!

Some more tips for preventing skin discoloration from the sun:

  • Wear long-sleeve shirts, pants, hats and sunglasses.
  • Apply SPF at least 15 minutes before sun exposure.
  • Reapply your SPF every 2 hours.
  • Limit your sun exposure between 10am and 2pm.

Try: Sheer Hydration SPF 40

This Sheer Hydration with SPF 40 protects your skin from the damaging and aging effects of UV rays. This daily oil-free sunscreen is formulated with NeoGlucosamine, a gentle exfoliator that helps diminish the appearance of dark spots, and a botanical blend to target oiliness without irritation.


Millions of people struggle with marks and other forms of discoloration on their face, neck and body. From age spots to acne spots, redness to dullness, discoloration is something that affects us all at any age, any skin type and any skin tone.

If you’re having trouble deciphering what your skincare concerns are and what type of skincare regimen you should use, visit our skincare concierge page and either take our skincare quiz to lead you to your personalized regimen, or try our SKIN 360 virtual skin diagnostic tool which scans your face to assess your skin, then prescribes your customized skincare routine to address your skin discoloration concerns.

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