Sometimes, they are acne scars. Other times, it’s post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation when the skin has been injured and becomes discolored.
In any case, they are annoying and possibly embarrassing. So, what’s the best soap to remove dark spots on the body?
It turns out there are three categories of dark spot remover soaps.
One kind uses physical exfoliation.
The next has chemical exfoliators.
And the third has whitening ingredients.
Some soaps for hyperpigmentation use all of these methods to erase dark spots.
Which is the best soap for your situation? Let’s get into the details.
How to remove dark spots on the body?
When choosing the best soap for hyperpigmentation, it helps to know what caused the problem.
In this case, chemical exfoliants like salicylic acid, glycolic acid, and lactic acid are excellent choices. They remove dead skin, including the discolored cells. Moreover, they treat the cause of the problem by eliminating pimples and releasing ingrown hairs.
Salicylic acid soap is best for pimples and dark spots because it works on oily and acne-prone skin. Meanwhile, alpha hydroxy acids (glycolic and lactic) are suitable for dry skin because they moisturize. They also have anti-aging benefits.
Next, whitening ingredients bleach the skin. You might’ve heard about using kojic acid soap for dark spots. It’s similar to hydroquinone that lightens discolored skin. Mulberry has a similar effect.
Finally, the simple act of physical exfoliation forces the skin to renew itself. Any soap or body wash or scrub with salt, sugar, pumice, or similar ingredients will do the job (2).
How to treat dark spots at home
The most crucial part of treating dark spots at home is to be patient.
No matter what any soap, moisturizer, or serum promises to do, it’s not going to happen overnight. It will likely take weeks to see a dramatic improvement.
But regular exfoliation will stimulate the skin to renew itself, fading dark spots with time.
If you have oily skin, you can probably exfoliate three or four times per week. But other skin types should reduce to twice a week. Sensitive skin should be limited to one treatment per week.
Also, avoid combining retinol with alpha or beta hydroxy acids.
No matter which exfoliation method you use, please apply moisturizer to limit irritation and dryness. It’s also smart to wear sunscreen as exfoliating can make the skin more sensitive to sunburn.
Furthermore, it’s safer for naturally dark-skinned people to skip excessive exposure to hydroquinone and similar products.
If possible, speak to a dermatologist about the most effective treatment for your situation. Instead of soap, you may benefit from a chemical peel or microdermabrasion.
Best Soap to Remove Dark Spots on the Body in 2023
Now, let’s look at the best soap to erase discoloration on the body. We’ll begin with kojic acid, a traditional skin bleaching ingredient.
Marie France Pure Kojic Acid Soap
Kojic acid has been used in Asia to whiten skin since ancient times. But it’s not bleach – it’s a melanin inhibitor. It stops pigment from forming in the skin, and it also prevents fruit from turning brown (3).
This brand of kojic acid soap has few ingredients and no fragrance. The base ingredient is saponified virgin coconut oil to soften and moisturize the skin.
Next, the second ingredient is kojic acid to even out skin tone, fade melasma, and lighten acne scars and sun spots. Since it’s the second on the label, it should have a high concentration.
After that, there’s papaya extract, which is a natural skin brightener and exfoliant. It’s the perfect companion to kojic acid.
Happily, there’s also vegetable glycerin and antioxidants to keep the skin hydrated and healthy.
Several reviewers commented that they noticed an improvement after only one use of this concentrated soap. Plus, the large bar lasts a long time.
Begin using the soap by leaving the lather in place for thirty seconds before rinsing. If the skin doesn’t become irritated, you can leave kojic acid soap on for up to five minutes.
Original Kojie San Facial Beauty Soap
People ask if this is authentic kojic acid soap, and it is. This brand has added virgin coconut oil to the original Japanese recipe. There are a few other extras, too.
One addition is an artificial citrus fragrance. Also, there’s melaleuca, also known as tea tree oil. This is described as “refreshing”, but it’s potentially helpful for clearing up acne.
Check the ingredients list if you’re interested in comparing the two soaps.
Pure Kojic Acid Skin Brightening Soap by Koji White
Here’s one more skin-lightening soap with Kojic acid. Unfortunately, this key ingredient is eighth on the label, so it may not be as potent.
Let’s look at the high points. First, it passed the Repeated Insult Patch Test without causing irritation or sensitization.
Next, it’s available in several versions. It’s possible to the soap with a blend of kojic acid and charcoal, collagen, papaya, or vitamin C.
Users say it smells good and gradually makes hyperpigmentation fade. Some witnessed positive results with a week of daily use.
On the downside, it contains artificial dyes and a synthetic fragrance. Also, the pH is 8.
Aspen Kay Organic Turmeric Soap
This turmeric soap is made with organic, sustainable palm oil, shea butter, and other plant oils that nourish the skin. It also has exfoliators like French pink clay and kaolin.
Of course, the main attraction is turmeric. It’s present in three forms: essential oil, root extract, and root powder. It’s anti-inflammatory, plus it treats hyperpigmentation.
If you have a naturally deep skin tone and dark spots, this product is one of the safest to use. It won’t bleach the skin. (Meanwhile, kojic acid, hydroquinone, and mulberry may cause undesirable skin lightening where it’s not needed).
Try it at low risk as it comes with a satisfaction guarantee and the promise of a full refund.
Shea Moisture Face and Body Bar African Black Soap
African black soap isn’t just good for acne; it can also help fade acne scars.
Shea Moisture’s soap is smoother in texture than some options. It exfoliates but not aggressively. It’s suitable for oily, combination, and normal skin.
What’s nice is that it contains tea tree oil and rosemary to clear up breakouts and mattify the skin. The natural black color comes from charcoal, which is also helpful for acne-prone complexions. (Yes, you can use it on your face).
Reviewers say the soap has a light medicinal scent, and it works wonders for clearing up pimples. But not everyone agrees that it erases dark spots.
African Black Soap – Incredible By Nature
This version of African Black soap is less refined and more natural than other brands. Thankfully, it comes with a thirty-day money-back guarantee in case you don’t love it as much as you hoped.
Be aware that it comes in one large bar that you’ll want to cut into smaller chunks. It has a gritty texture from plantain ash. Instead of rubbing the bar directly on the skin, you can exfoliate with the lather.
Makari Naturalle Multi-Action Extreme Skin Lightening Soap
What makes this soap good for removing dark spots? It has mulberry root extract, which is similar to hydroquinone. It’s proven to prevent pigment from forming, causing a whitening effect. Therefore, you can treat acne scars, melasma, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Take note that this is soap made for acne-prone and oily skin. The recommendation is to leave the lather on for 1 minute before rinsing.
We were astonished that it claims to provide sunscreen for a total of SPF 15. This appears to be from the zinc oxide and titanium dioxide in the formula. We want to know how well that works if you rinse off the soap.
Makari Classic Luxurious Exfoliating Body Wash
Skip the bar soap and grab your exfoliating mitt. This body wash contains glycolic acid to sweep away dead skin and dullness. It also has mulberry root to eliminate dark spots.
It foams nicely and offers a dose of soothing moisture with aloe and oats. Therefore, all skin types can enjoy it. It should be safe for Black skin as well.
Leave on the lather for a minute before rinsing to enjoy a gradual lightening of discolored patches.
Vaadi Herbals Enchanting Rose Soap with Mulberry Extract
Here soap that’s immensely popular in India. It has a delicious rose fragrance from real English rose extract plus rose oil.
Then, there’s mulberry extract with arbutin that prevents dark spots from forming. It also gradually fades them.
Revitale Salicylic Acid Scrub Soap
Salicylic acid soap exfoliates dead skin to get rid of dark spots. The exfoliating action helps clear up ingrown hairs and bumpy skin (keratosis pilaris).
The acid also decongests pores to fight acne. Fewer breakouts mean less chance for acne scars.
In fact, this soap is potent enough to soften calluses. Allow the lather to sit for 30 seconds before rinsing. Thankfully, it has a pleasant fragrance.
2% Salicylic Acid Natural Soap for Acne by DermaHarmony
How about soap that’s an FDA-registered over-the-counter drug? This one has the maximum amount of salicylic acid for products sold without a prescription. It clears up cystic acne, whiteheads, blackheads, and ingrown hairs.
Since it exfoliates, it progressively lightens dark spots.
What’s more, it’s fragrance-free and contains no preservatives, PEGs, or parabens.
Neutrogena Body Clear Acne Treatment Body Wash
Neutrogena’s grapefruit-scented body wash has salicylic acid plus vitamin C. Together, they brighten skin tone and unclog pores.
Users say that the soap helps with breakouts but also makes scars go away over time.
Fortunately, this is a mild enough formula to use daily.
Alpha Skin Care Moisturizing Body Wash with AHA
Let’s switch gears from salicylic acid for oily skin to glycolic acid for dry or normal skin. (Yes, those with oily skin can use it, too).
Glycolic acid is a chemical exfoliator that’s found in many anti-aging products. That’s because it hydrates at the same time it speeds skin renewal.
The faster the skin cells turnover, the more quickly dark spots go away.
In this body wash, the glycolic acid is blended with aloe and vitamin E for extra rejuvenation. Furthermore, the formula has a pH of 4.5 to guard against dryness and irritation.
Mario Badescu A.H.A. Botanical Body Soap
This body wash is crafted with alpha hydroxy acid from grapefruit and papaya. It gently exfoliates dry and bumpy skin. At the same time, ginseng increases circulation to even out skin tone.
CLNS – Gentle Clarifying Cleanser
But what if you have sensitive skin that can’t tolerate glycolic or salicylic acid? The solution is lactic acid. It’s the mildest chemical exfoliant besides citric acid.
This body wash blends lactic acid with sea salt for gentle and effective exfoliation. Massage it into trouble spots and rinse with tepid water. It’s made to be used twice a day.
The surfactant, or ingredient that makes the (small amount of) lather is decyl glucoside. It comes from coconuts, and it doesn’t dehydrate the skin.
What’s more, the formula has no artificial preservatives or perfumes.
Microdermabrasion Exfoliating Deep Cleansing Soap by Everclearnow
Repeated exfoliation will lighten dark spots. You can do a type of microdermabrasion at home with a soap like this one. It has microparticles of pumice to scrub away dead skin.
If you have bumpy skin or ingrown hairs, the soap can help with that, too.
The bar builds a rich lather that smells like citrus and verbena. It’s fortified with aloe and olive oil to moisturize the skin.
Aveeno Positively Radiant Exfoliating Body Wash
Did you know that soy can improve skin tone and color? That’s why Aveeno includes it in this exfoliating body wash. It promises to leave the skin luminous.
Users say it smells like a fruit smoothie and has a slightly gritty texture. It leaves the skin smooth and soft.
Be persistent and patient, and those dark spots will fade. Regular exfoliation will speed the process along.
We hope we helped you find the skincare products you need today. If you found the best soap for hyperpigmentation in our reviews, we’d love to hear how it’s working for you.
1. https://dermnetnz.org/topics/pigmentation-disorders/ by Prof Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand, 2009. Updated September 2014, accessed February 26, 2021
2. https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/routine/safely-exfoliate-at-home by the American Academy of Dermatology Association, accessed February 26, 2021
3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kojic_acid accessed February 26, 2021