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Kiehl's Clearly Corrective™ Dark Spot Solution Ingredients Explained

Facial Treatment
5.0   (1 ratings)
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Published on July 13, 2020

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Overview

What it is

Facial treatment with 24 ingredients that contains BHA, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Cool Features

It is fungal acne (malassezia) safe and reef safe

Suited For

It has ingredients that are good for fighting acne, anti aging, dry skin, brightening skin, oily skin, reducing pores, scar healing, dark spots and better texture

Free From

It doesn't contain any parabens, silicones or sulfates

Fun facts

Kiehl's is from United States. This product is used in 160 routines created by our community.

We independently verify ingredients and our claims are backed by peer-reviewed research. Does this product need an update? Let us know.

Facial treatment with 24 ingredients that contains BHA, Vitamin C and Vitamin E

Quick info

You should know

Notable Ingredients

Benefits

Concerns

Ingredients 24

Water Skin Conditioning, Solvent

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

Propylene Glycol Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
0 / 0 May worsen Eczema Icon
May worsen EczemaMay worsen Eczema Icon

Propylene Glycol is an odorless, colorless liquid. As a humectant, it helps skin retain moisture. It also aids in delivering active ingredients.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Disliked Full details ->
Glycerin Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
0 / 0 Helps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps brighten skin Icon
2 Benefits

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Alcohol Denat. Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking
Alcohol IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay worsen Oily Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AlcoholAlcohol Icon 5 Concerns

Alcohol Denat. is an alcohol with a denaturant property. It is created by mixing ethanol with other additives.

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Peg/Ppg/Polybutylene Glycol-8/5/3 Glycerin Humectant

We don't have a description for Peg/Ppg/Polybutylene Glycol-8/5/3 Glycerin.

Hydroxypropyl Tetrahydropyrantriol Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Hydroxypropyl Tetrahydropyrantriol.

Unknown Full details ->
3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid Skin Conditioning
Vitamin C IconHelps reduce Skin Redness IconGood for Skin Texture IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Dark Spots IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
Vitamin CVitamin C Icon 5 Benefits

You might know this ingredient as Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, a more stable version of ascorbic acid.

Ppg-6-Decyltetradeceth-30 Emulsifying

We don't have a description for Ppg-6-Decyltetradeceth-30.

Unknown Full details ->
Phenoxyethanol Preservative
Preservative Icon
PreservativePreservative Icon

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Salicylic Acid Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
BHA IconPreservative IconGood for Oily Skin IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps fight Acne IconHelps brighten skin IconCan worsen Dry Skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Eczema IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
BHABHA Icon PreservativePreservative Icon 5 Benefits 4 Concerns

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

Xanthan Gum Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

Disliked Full details ->
Hydroxyethylcellulose Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising

Hydroxyethylcellulose is used to improve the texture of products. It is created from a chemical reaction involving ethylene oxide and alkali-cellulose. Cellulose is a sugar found in plant cell walls and help give plants structure.

Potassium Hydroxide Buffering

Potassium hydroxide is commonly known as caustic potash. It is used to fix the pH of a product or as a cleaning agent in soap. In cleansers, it is used for the saponification of oils.

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Citric Acid Buffering, Masking
AHA IconGood for Skin Texture IconGood for Minimizing Pores IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation IconMay worsen Rosacea Icon
AHAAHA Icon 4 Benefits 2 Concerns

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

Disliked Full details ->
Sodium Citrate Buffering, Masking

Sodium Citrate is the sodium salts of citric acid. In skincare, it is used to alter pH levels and acts as a preservative.

Tocopheryl Acetate Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
0 / 0 Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps brighten skin Icon
Vitamin EVitamin E Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon Helps brighten skinHelps brighten skin Icon

Tocopheryl Acetate is AKA Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant and protects your skin from free radicals. Free radicals damage the skin by breaking down collagen.

0 Com. / 0 Irr.
Lavandula Angustifolia Oil Masking, Tonic
Oil IconEU Allergen Icon
OilOil Icon EU AllergenEU Allergen Icon

Lavandula Angustifolia Oil is more commonly known as lavender essential oil. Lavandula Angustifolia is known as the English Lavender and famous for creating purple fields in Provence, France.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Disodium EDTA

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

Disliked Full details ->
Adenosine Skin Conditioning
Helps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing Icon
2 Benefits

Adenosine is in every living organism. It is one of four components in nucleic acids that helps store our DNA.

Linalool Perfuming
Fragrance IconMay cause irritation IconEU Allergen Icon
FragranceFragrance Icon 2 Concerns

Linalool is a fragrance and helps add scent to products. It's derived from common plants such as cinnamon, mint, citrus, and lavender.

Very Disliked Full details ->
Butylene Glycol Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
1 / 0

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

1 Com. / 0 Irr.
Tocopherol Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
0-3 / 0-3 Vitamin E IconAntioxidant IconHelps hydrate Dry Skin IconHelps with Anti-Aging IconGood for Scar Healing IconHelps brighten skin IconMay cause irritation Icon
Vitamin EVitamin E Icon AntioxidantAntioxidant Icon 4 Benefits May cause irritationMay cause irritation Icon

Tocopherol (also known as Vitamin E) is a common antioxidant used to help protect the skin from free-radicals and strengthen the skin barrier. It's also fat soluble - this means our skin is great at absorbing it.

0-3 Com. / 0-3 Irr.
Citrus Aurantium Tachibana Peel Extract Humectant, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Citrus Aurantium Tachibana Peel Extract.

Unknown Full details ->
Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract Skin Protecting

Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract comes from the Paeonia Suffruticosa plant known as the Peony.

Ingredient Ratings

Based on the number of likes and dislikes each ingredient has received.

8
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liked
mixed
disliked
not rated

Ingredients Explained

This product contains 24 ingredients. Click on any ingredient to learn more about it
Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Loved

Water. It's the most common cosmetic ingredient of all. You'll usually see it at the top of ingredient lists, meaning that it makes up the largest part of the product.

So why is it so popular? Water most often acts as a solvent - this means that it helps dissolve other ingredients into the formulation.

You'll also recognize water as that liquid we all need to stay alive. If you see this, drink a glass of water. Stay hydrated!

Learn more about Water
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Solvent
Disliked

Propylene Glycol is an odorless, colorless liquid. As a humectant, it helps skin retain moisture. It also aids in delivering active ingredients.

Another role of this ingredient is preventing a product from melting or freezing. Propylene glycol also adds antimicrobrial properties to a product, elongating product lifespan.

This ingredient is considered an organic alcohol and commonly added into both cosmetics and foods.

Those with sensitive skin or conditions may deliver a rash when using this ingredient.

Learn more about Propylene Glycol
Humectant, Skin Conditioning, Skin Protecting
Loved

Glycerin is already naturally found in your skin. It helps moisturize and protect your skin.

A study from 2016 found glycerin to be more effective as a humectant than AHAs and hyaluronic acid.

As a humectant, it helps the skin stay hydrated by pulling moisture to your skin. The low molecular weight of glycerin allows it to pull moisture into the deeper layers of your skin.

Hydrated skin improves your skin barrier; Your skin barrier helps protect against irritants and bacteria.

Glycerin has also been found to have antimicrobial and antiviral properties. Due to these properties, glycerin is often used in wound and burn treatments.

In cosmetics, glycerin is usually derived from plants such as soybean or palm. However, it can also be sourced from animals, such as tallow or animal fat.

This ingredient is organic, colorless, odorless, and non-toxic.

Glycerin is the name for this ingredient in American English. British English uses Glycerol/Glycerine.

Learn more about Glycerin
Antimicrobial, Astringent, Masking
Very Disliked

Alcohol Denat. is an alcohol with a denaturant property. It is created by mixing ethanol with other additives.

This ingredient gets a bad rep because it is irritating and drying - mostly due to its astringent property. Astringents draw out natural oils in tissue, constricting pores and leaving your skin dried out.

However, alcohol denat. is not all that bad.

Due to its low molecular weight, alcohol denat. tends to evaporate quickly. One study on pig skin found half of applied alcohol evaporated in 10 seconds and less than 3% stayed on skin.

This also helps other ingredients become better absorbed upon application.

Studies are conflicted about whether this ingredient causes skin dehydration. One study from 2005 found adding emollients to propanol-based sanitizer decreased skin dryness and irritation. Another study found irritation only occurs if your skin is already damaged.

Small amounts of alcohol are generally tolerated by oily skin or people who live in humid environments.

The rule of thumb is if this alcohol is near the end of an ingredients list, it will probably not affect your skin much.

Also...

This ingredient has antimicrobial and solvent properties.

The antimicrobial property helps preserve products and increase their shelf life. As a solvent, it helps dissolve other ingredients.

Other types of astringent alcohols include:

Learn more about Alcohol Denat.

We don't have a description for Peg/Ppg/Polybutylene Glycol-8/5/3 Glycerin.

We don't have a description for Hydroxypropyl Tetrahydropyrantriol.

Skin Conditioning
Liked

You might know this ingredient as Ethyl Ascorbic Acid, a more stable version of ascorbic acid.

Like other types of vitamin C, this ingredient has many benefits including reducing wrinkles, skin soothing, dark spot fading, and fighting against free radicals.

3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid interferes with the process of skin darkening, helping to reduce hyperpigmentation. It also encourages the skin to produce more collagen.

Once applied, 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid is converted to Vitamin C deeper in the skin's layers. This process is slow but makes this ingredient more tolerable for skin.

The optimum pH range for this ingredient is 4 - 5.5

Learn more about 3-O-Ethyl Ascorbic Acid

We don't have a description for Ppg-6-Decyltetradeceth-30.

Preservative
Very Disliked

Phenoxyethanol is a preservative that has germicide, antimicrobial, and aromatic properties. Studies show that phenoxyethanol can prevent germ and microbial growth. By itself, it has a scent that is similar to that of a rose.

It's often used in formulations along with Caprylyl Glycol to preserve the shelf life of products.

Masking, Preservative, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Salicylic Acid (also known as beta hydroxy acid or BHA) is one of the most well-known ingredients for treating skin that struggles with blackheads and acne. It helps to exfoliate both the skin's surface and pores, and also acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

This multitasking property makes it a great ingredient for cleaning out pores, controlling oil production, and reducing inflammation.

Unlike AHAs which are water soluble, Salicylic Acid is oil soluble. This means that it's able to exfoliate the inside of pores and reduce blackheads.

Concentrations of 0.5-2% are recognized by the U.S. FDA as an over-the-counter topical acne product.

It can cause irritation and/or dryness if one's skin already has a compromised moisture barrier, so it's best to focus on repairing that before introducing a Salicylic Acid into your routine.

In general, Salicylic Acid is a great ingredient for oily acne-prone skin.

While salicylic acid does not increase sun-sensitivity, we still recommend wearing SPF.

If you are looking for the ingredient called BHA or Butylated Hydroxyanisole, click here.

Learn more about Salicylic Acid
Emulsifying, Emulsion Stabilising, Gel Forming
Disliked

Xanthan gum is used as a stabilizer and thickener within cosmetic products. It helps give products a sticky, thick feeling - preventing them from being too runny.

On the technical side of things, xanthan gum is a polysaccharide - a combination consisting of multiple sugar molecules bonded together.

Xanthan gum is a pretty common and great ingredient. It is a natural, non-toxic, non-irritating ingredient that is also commonly used in food products.

Learn more about Xanthan Gum
Emulsion Stabilising, Stabilising
Mixed

Hydroxyethylcellulose is used to improve the texture of products. It is created from a chemical reaction involving ethylene oxide and alkali-cellulose. Cellulose is a sugar found in plant cell walls and help give plants structure.

Hydroxyethylcellulose helps stabilize products by preventing ingredients from separating. It can also help thicken the texture of a product.

This ingredient can also be found in pill medicines to help our bodies digest other ingredients.

Learn more about Hydroxyethylcellulose
Buffering
Very Disliked

Potassium hydroxide is commonly known as caustic potash. It is used to fix the pH of a product or as a cleaning agent in soap. In cleansers, it is used for the saponification of oils.

Sapnification is the process of creating fatty acid metal salts from triglycerides and a strong base. During this process, Potassium Hydroxide is used up and is not present in the final product.

Using high concentrations of Potassium Hydroxide have shown to irritate the skin.

Learn more about Potassium Hydroxide
Buffering, Masking
Disliked

Citric Acid is an AHA derived from citrus fruits (think oranges, lemons, and limes!).

As an AHA, Citric Acid removes the top layer of skin cells from the newer layer of skin underneath. This helps skin to remove dark spots and even out skin tone.

If you spot Citric Acid near the end of an ingredient list, it's likely there as a pH adjuster rather than an active ingredient.

Read more about some other popular AHA's here:

Learn more about Citric Acid
Buffering, Masking
Mixed

Sodium Citrate is the sodium salts of citric acid. In skincare, it is used to alter pH levels and acts as a preservative.

Sodium Citrate helps maintain the pH of a product. Normal pH level of skin is slightly acidic (~4.75-5.5). The acidity of our skin is maintained by our glands and skin biome. Being slightly acidic allows our skin to create an "acid mantle". This acid mantle is a thin barrier that protects our skin from bacteria and contaminants.

Sodium Citrate is a chelating agent. It neutralizes metal ions from water and prevents them from binding to other ingredients. This ensures the other ingredients will not be altered.

Learn more about Sodium Citrate
Antioxidant, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Tocopheryl Acetate is AKA Vitamin E. It is an antioxidant and protects your skin from free radicals. Free radicals damage the skin by breaking down collagen.

One study found using Tocopheryl Acetate with Vitamin C decreased the number of sunburned cells.

Tocopheryl Acetate is commonly found in both skincare and dietary supplements.

Learn more about Tocopheryl Acetate
Masking, Tonic
Very Disliked

Lavandula Angustifolia Oil is more commonly known as lavender essential oil. Lavandula Angustifolia is known as the English Lavender and famous for creating purple fields in Provence, France.

Lavender imparts a scent and may sensitize skin. It contains linalool, a known allergen.

While lavender essential oil is commonly used in aromatherapy to help alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress, more research is needed to confirm this.

However, lavender essential oil has shown to have anti-inflammatory activity due to its prostanoids and histamine content.

Lavandula Angustifolia Oil is the volatile oil obtained from the flowers of the Lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, Labiatae. ISO 8902:2009

Learn more about Lavandula Angustifolia Oil
Disliked

Disodium EDTA plays a role in making products more stable by aiding other preservatives.

It is a chelating agent, meaning it neutralizes metal ions that may be found in a product.

Disodium EDTA is a salt of edetic acid and is found to be safe in cosmetic ingredients.

Learn more about Disodium EDTA
Skin Conditioning
Loved

Adenosine is in every living organism. It is one of four components in nucleic acids that helps store our DNA.

Adenosine has many benefits when used. These benefits include hydrating the skin, smoothing skin, and reducing wrinkles. Once applied, adenosine increases collagen production. It also helps with improving firmness and tissue repair.

Studies have found adenosine may also help with wound healing.

In skincare products, Adenosine is usually derived from yeast.

Learn more about Adenosine
Perfuming
Very Disliked

Linalool is a fragrance and helps add scent to products. It's derived from common plants such as cinnamon, mint, citrus, and lavender.

Linalool has the same effect as Limonene when exposed to air. Oxidized linalool can cause allergies and skin sensitivity.

Linalool has a scent that is floral, spicy tropical, and citrus-like.

Learn more about Linalool
Humectant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Mixed

Butylene Glycol (or BG) is used within cosmetic products for a few different reasons:

  • It is a solvent, meaning that it helps to dissolve other ingredients. This also enhances the absorption of the product into one's skin.
  • It is a humectant, which means that it helps attract moisture into the skin.
  • It helps improve product application.

Overall, Butylene Glycol is a safe and well-rounded ingredient. It is unlikely to irritate skin, and works well with pretty much all other ingredients.

Antioxidant, Masking, Skin Conditioning
Liked

Tocopherol (also known as Vitamin E) is a common antioxidant used to help protect the skin from free-radicals and strengthen the skin barrier. It's also fat soluble - this means our skin is great at absorbing it.

Vitamin E also helps keep your natural skin lipids healthy. Your lipid skin barrier naturally consists of lipids, ceramides, and fatty acids. Vitamin E offers extra protection for your skin’s lipid barrier, keeping your skin healthy and nourished.

Another benefit is a bit of UV protection. Vitamin E helps reduce the damage caused by UVB rays. (It should not replace your sunscreen). Combining it with Vitamin C can decrease sunburned cells and hyperpigmentation after UV exposure.

You might have noticed Vitamin E + C often paired together. This is because it is great at stabilizing Vitamin C. Using the two together helps increase the effectiveness of both ingredients.

There are often claims that Vitamin E can reduce/prevent scarring, but these claims haven't been confirmed by scientific research.

Learn more about Tocopherol
Humectant, Skin Conditioning

We don't have a description for Citrus Aurantium Tachibana Peel Extract.

Skin Protecting
Loved

Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract comes from the Paeonia Suffruticosa plant known as the Peony.

Peony Root extract has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Emerging studies also show peony root may help reduce hyperpigmentation. Ancient Chinese medicine has used peony root to treat dark spots, but studies are looking into this claim more.

Antioxidants help neutralize free-radical molecules. These molecules may damage skin cells and DNA, leading to signs of aging.

Learn more about Paeonia Suffruticosa Root Extract

Reviews

5.0
from 1 rating
MSP's avatar

MSP

1 year ago · Combination Skin
Review

Works as said
I have dark skin and lots of PIH. It lightens them. You can see quicker results with new PIH spots. Holygrail in my routine

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The data we've presented on this page has been verified by a member of the SkinSort Team.

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