Immaculate Correction Potent Hydroquinone-Free Skin Brightener
1.7 fl. oz. for $62
Last Updated:03.11.2013
Jar Packaging:No
Tested on animals:No
Review Overview

This is an intriguing product to consider if you have skin discolorations and cannot (or do not want to) use a lightener with hydroquinone as the active ingredient. Dr. Kunin, the dermatologist behind the DERMAdoctor line, has blended small amounts of several ingredients that do indeed have research (admittedly, not a lot of research, at least compared with the amount of the research on hydroquinone) showing they can interrupt the process in skin that leads to the appearance of discolorations. Chief among these non-hydroquinone lightening agents is azelaic acid. The problem is that research on this ingredient as it pertains to skin lightening involved a much higher concentration (20%) than is present in Kunin’s products (Source: Cutis, January 1996, pages 33–45). However, it’s possible that the small amount of azelaic acid, combined with the plant extracts, may indeed lead to some improvement in discolorations. Given the wealth of published research on hydroquinone, I wouldn’t recommend this over a well-formulated product that contains this melanin inhibitor, but Immaculate Correction has potential and is worth a try as long as you’re willing to be diligent about daily sun protection. For best results, you may want to combine use of this fragrance-free product with a prescription retinoid, such as tretinoin, the active ingredient in Renova and Refissa.


Immaculate Correction contains non-irritating active ingredients that take aim at tyrosinase activity while accelerating cellular turnover via gentle non-acidic chemical exfoliation. Together, these help improve the appearance of unwanted dark spots whether the result of melasma, age spots, inflammation or simply too much time spent in the sun.


Water, Cyclomethicone, Ethoxydiglycol, Polyacrylamide, C13-14 Isoparaffin, Laureth-7, Azelaic Acid, Glucosamine HCI, Algae Extract, Yeast Extract, Urea, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Dithiaoctanediol, Gluconic Acid, Sutilains, Beta Carotene, Arctostaphylos Uva Ursi (Bearberry) Leaf Extract, Mitracarpus Scaber Extract, Methyl Methacrylate/Glycol Diemthacrylate Crosspolymer, Macrocystis Pyrifera Extract, Spirulina Maxima Extract, Fucus Vesiculosus Extract, Chondrus Crispus (Carrageenan) Extract, Morus Alba Root Extract, Nasturtium Officinale Extract, Cetraria Islandica Extract, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Licorice Extract, Squalane, Butyrospermum Parkii (Shea Butter) Fruit, Propylene Glycol, Carbomer, Disodium EDTA, Aminomethyl Propanol, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Propylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben

Brand Overview

DERMAdoctor At-a-Glance

Strengths: Company provides complete product ingredient lists on its Web site; well formulated AHA products; sunscreens provide critical broad-spectrum protection, good oil-control product; a couple of great, though pricey, cleansers.

Weaknesses: Expensive; mostly poor anti-acne products; anti-wrinkle products making imossible claims; clinical studies alluded to are not made available to the public (which is odd, given that this is a brand fronted by a dermatologist); some product formulas suffer due to jar packaging.

The DERMAdoctor line is the brainchild of Kansas City-based dermatologist Dr. Audrey Kunin. Dr. Kunin's Web site retails not only the DERMAdoctor brand but several products from other brands, many of which have ties to specific dermatologic concerns (everything from athlete's foot to warts). Many of these specialty products are available from your local drugstore, but Kunin's site provides helpful, mostly reliable information concerning various skin-care concerns.

We wish her own products followed the strength of her advice, but alas, most do not. This is another dermatologist-developed line with plenty of products whose names and claims make you think they're a cosmetic corrective procedure in a bottle (or, in some cases, a jar, which is never a good packaging move). There are some products to pay attention to, though whether you want to strongly consider them or not comes down to how much you feel comfortable spending (DERMAdoctor products aren't cheap).

DERMAdoctor isn't exactly "your prescription for beautiful skin" but Dr. Kunin gets enough right that her line isn't one to gloss over, particularly if you're shopping for sunscreens, AHA products, and facial cleansers. Those with acne should look elsewhere, because DERMAdoctor's products don't have the solution, despite their cute product names.

For more information about DERMAdoctor, call (877) 337-6237 or visit www.dermadoctor.com.

About the Experts

The new Beautypedia Team proudly and unequivocally maintains the commitment to help you find the best products possible for your skin. We do this by relentlessly pursuing and relying on published scientific research so you will have unbiased information on what works and what doesn't-and the sneaky ways you could be making your skin worse, not better!

The Beautypedia Team reviews all products using the same research, criteria, and objectivity, whether the product being reviewed is from Paula's Choice or another brand.

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