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How do you use color corrector for dark spots?

Dark spots, also known as hyperpigmentation, are a common skin condition that can affect people of all skin tones. They appear as patches of darkened skin that can vary in size, shape, and color. While dark spots are harmless, some people seek treatment for cosmetic reasons. Using a color corrector is one method that can help neutralize and conceal dark spots.

What causes dark spots?

There are several potential causes of dark spots:

  • Sun exposure – Exposure to UV rays can trigger excess melanin production, leading to freckles, age spots, and melasma.
  • Hormonal changes – Fluctuations in hormones during pregnancy, birth control use, or menopause can cause melanin overproduction.
  • Skin injuries – Dark spots may form after acne, rashes, cuts, burns, or other skin trauma.
  • Genetics – Those with darker complexions are more prone to hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
  • Medications – Certain medications like chemotherapy drugs can induce melanin production.
  • Aging – Liver spots tend to appear from sun damage as we get older.

How do color correctors work on dark spots?

Color correctors counteract dark spots using the color wheel. Opposite shades on the color wheel neutralize one another. Green, yellow, and peach correctors reverse the appearance of red, purple, and blue/brown spots respectively.

When applied to the skin, the complementing pigments optically diffuse and scatter excessive melanin. This reduces the visible darkness and intensity of the spots. Additionally, color correctors provide a smooth canvass for seamless coverage with concealer and foundation.

What to look for in a color corrector

Here are key features to consider when selecting a color corrector for dark spots:

  • Formula – Cream or liquid correctors blend most seamlessly. Powders can look chalky. Consider your skin type and needs.
  • Density – Thicker, more concentrated formulas offer greater coverage for very dark spots.
  • Shade – Green, yellow, and peach target different spot colors. Pick the appropriate hue for your needs.
  • Application – Look for a corrector that applies smoothly without dragging or skipping.
  • Ingredients – Nourishing ingredients like vitamin C, niacinamide, and antioxidants can brighten while correcting.

How to apply color corrector

Follow these steps to seamlessly apply color corrector:

  1. Cleanse and moisturize – Start with a clean, hydrated face so corrector glides on smoothly.
  2. Spot correct – Use a small brush or fingertips to dab corrector precisely on just the dark spots, blending edges.
  3. Layer concealer – Pat a concealer in the same shade as your foundation over the corrector to perfect the coverage.
  4. Apply foundation – Use a makeup sponge to stipple liquid or cream foundation over your whole face.
  5. Set with powder – Dust a translucent setting powder over your base makeup as a final step to lock in the coverage.

How to use green color corrector for red dark spots

Follow this specific technique if you have visible capillaries, acne marks, or reddish dark spots:

  • Choose a green corrector formulated to neutralize redness. Liquid or cream formulas tend to work best.
  • Dot the green corrector directly on any red or pink spots. Make sure to only apply it precisely on the discoloration.
  • Gently pat the edges with a small brush to blend out any harsh lines.
  • Conceal with a peach-toned concealer to balance the green hues.
  • Buff your foundation on top as usual to finish evening your complexion.

Using yellow color corrector on dark spots

Yellow color corrector is ideal for cancelling out purple or blue undertones:

  • Look for an opaque, concentrated yellow corrector to fully counteract bluish spots.
  • Dab the yellow corrector directly on any purplish or blue marks only.
  • Soften the edges so they seamlessly fade into your natural skin.
  • Follow with a concealer close to your skin tone to cover the yellow cast.
  • Set it with foundation as usual for an even, flawless finish.

Applying peach color corrector

Peach corrector is specially formulated to brighten and balance brown dark spots:

  • Opt for a highly pigmented, concentrated peach corrector to neutralize brown discoloration.
  • Pat the peach corrector precisely on just the brown spots. Avoid applying it all over.
  • Blend the edges well so they melt into your skin seamlessly.
  • Use a concealer that matches your skin tone over the corrector.
  • Finish with foundation to perfect and unify your complexion.

Tips for making color corrector last

Here are handy tips to help your color corrector and coverage last longer:

  • Exfoliate first – Slough off dead skin so corrector glides on smoothly.
  • Moisturize – Hydrated skin helps prevent creasing and fading.
  • Use a primer – Primer creates a smooth base layer for corrector to adhere to.
  • Set with powder – Translucent powder seals in the coverage.
  • Spritz setting spray – Mist on setting spray as a final step to make makeup last.
  • Avoid oiliness – Touch up throughout the day if your skin gets oily and breaks up makeup.

Other ways to treat dark spots

While color correctors help conceal dark spots, other treatments can lighten them over time:

  • Brightening ingredients – Products with vitamin C, niacinamide, azelaic acid, and licorice root extract can inhibit melanin production.
  • Chemical exfoliants – Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA) fade spots by increasing cell turnover.
  • Retinoids – Retinol and tretinoin promote faster cell regeneration to reduce hyperpigmentation.
  • Laser treatments – Laser resurfacing procedures remove the top layers of skin to lighten dark spots.
  • Dermatologist procedures – In-office treatments like chemical peels and microneedling decrease the appearance of spots over time with minimal downtime.

When to see a dermatologist

Consult a board-certified dermatologist if:

  • Your dark spots are severe or widespread.
  • Spots are enlarging, changing shape, or darkening rapidly.
  • Discoloration is accompanied by other symptoms like itching, pain, or burning.
  • Over-the-counter products do not improve your dark spots after 2-3 months.

A dermatologist can properly diagnose your type of hyperpigmentation and recommend professional treatments tailored to your needs.


Color correctors offer an easy, non-invasive way to conceal dark spots and discoloration. Green, yellow, and peach correctors specifically counteract red, blue/purple, and brown skin marks. When shopping for a color corrector, look for shades that correspond to your spot colors. Apply the corrector only on the darkened areas before layering on concealer and foundation. Pairing color correction with brightening skin care products can further help to fade and prevent hyperpigmentation over time. Consult a dermatologist if your dark spots do not respond to over-the-counter remedies.

Color Corrector Shade Neutralizes
Green Redness
Yellow Purple/Blue
Peach Brown/Tan

With the right color corrector and application techniques, you can seamlessly camouflage and brighten unwanted dark spots on your complexion. Consistent use combined with skin care ingredients that inhibit melanin production can gradually fade hyperpigmentation over time. See a dermatologist if spots do not respond to over-the-counter remedies.