Tested on animals:Yes
Interestingly, other than having a lighter, more serum-like texture, this Pigmentclar product differs little from La Roche Posay's Pigmentclar product for the eye area. Apparently, the company thinks dark spots and dark circles have the same needs, but research hasn't shown that to be the case. The melanin behind dark spots stems from sun damage and/or excess hormones, while dark circles are often hereditary and are present whether one has sun damage or not (though sun damage can make dark circles darker). So, there can be some crossover, but the truth is that dark circles are very difficult to treat via skincare, while dark spots are relatively easier—assuming you're willing to commit to daily sun protection—a habit that will automatically improve dark circles and dark spots!
Beyond the not-quite-there association between dark spots and dark circles, does this serum have merit if you're struggling with brown spots? Potentially, yes. That's because it contains a high amount of the B vitamin niacinamide, which research has shown can improve excess melanin (skin pigment) production, lessening and potentially eliminating dark spots. The issue is that for many, treating dark spots takes more than one ingredient. To that end, La Roche Posay included phenethyl resorcinol, an ingredient that has some research showing it can help lighten dark spots! That's exciting, but we're skeptical the amount this serum contains is enough to kick in that benefit.
Even if you wanted to bank on the niacinamide alone, we wouldn't advise it due to the amount of alcohol this fragranced serum contains. It's the fourth ingredient, and in this position is likely to cause some amount of irritation that no one's skin needs. Given that many brands offer great treatments with niacinamide (Olay, Paula's Choice, and Nia24 to name a few), there's no reason to settle for an inferior formula.
One last comment: La Roche Posay's claim that "with results sustained in time" only applies if you're good about protecting your skin from ongoing UV light exposure. This requires daily (even if the sun isn't out) application of a well formulated sunscreen rated SPF 30 or greater. Otherwise, any results you get from this or any other dark spot treatment won't be the least bit sustained!
- Lightweight texture.
- The amount of niacinamide stands a good chance of lightening dark spots.
- The amount of alcohol puts skin at risk for pro-aging irritation.
- Lightening ingredient that may help niacinamide isn't present in a lower amount than may not work well.
- Overpriced given the number of more multifaceted lightening options available.