Are They Dupes?: Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector VS Equate Beauty Ultimate Dark Spot Corrector

by Gio

a dupe for clinique even better clinical spot corrector

Clinique Repairwear Laser Focus is the not the only product from this brand Equate duped. Walmart’s house brand has also recreated the formula of Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, and is selling it at a much lower price tag. But is it just as good?

Ingredient Analysis

ascorbyl glucoside

Ascorbyl Glucoside

Vitamin C is a very powerful antioxidant that also acts as a skin lightening agent. It’s not just one ingredient. Many forms of it exist and are used in skincare. For this serum, Clinique chose Ascorbyl Glucoside, one of the most recent, more stable, but also less researched forms currently available.

When applied on the skin, Ascorbyl Glucoside breaks down into L-Ascorbic Acid (pure Vitamin C), which has been shown to inhibit the synthesis of melanin. But there’s a catch. We don’t know how much L-Ascorbyl Acid Ascorbyl Glucoside releases into the skin. It may be high enough to work well as a skin-lightening agent. It may be low enough to do nothing.

There’s only one study showing that Ascorbyl Glucoside is effective at treating hyperpigmentation, but its results are inconclusive. Why? Because, in this study, Ascorbyl Glucoside was used together with Niacinamide, another proven skin-lightener. Which of the two is responsible for the efficacy of the treatment? Ascorbyl Glucoside? Niacinamide? Both?

As pretty much any form of Vitamin C has some skin-lightening properties, I’m inclined to believe the same is true for Ascorbyl Glucoside. But is it the best form of Vitamin C for this purpose? And does it perform as well as 4% hydroquinone (the gold standard treatment for hyperpigmentation), as Clinique claims? No one knows.


Mulberry Extract

Ascorbyl Glucoside isn’t the only skin-lightening agent present in both formulas. Mulberries also feature compounds that can inhibit the formation of melanin, thus helping to reduce dark spots. But there’s a catch here too. So far, all the studies on mulberries and their skin-lightening properties have been performed either on animals or in vitro, so it’s not clear yet how well they work on human skin.


Salicylic Acid

Salicylic Acid is one of my favourite exfoliating agents. It doesn’t just remove the dead cells on the surface of the skin, but also penetrates inside the pores, unplugging them from within. This helps prevent breakouts. However, Salicylic Acid is present in small amounts in both formulas, and it is unlikely their ph will allow it to work properly. *sighs*


Grapefruit Peel Extract

Both formula also contain grapefruit peel extract. It’s natural, so it should be good, right? well, not really. According to Paula Begoun, “the peel from this fruit is loaded with a class of ingredients known as furanocoumarins and coumarins which are primarily responsible for what’s known as a phototoxic reaction when skin is exposed to the sun—the result can leave skin discolored!” That’s the opposite of what you want when you buy a serum to reduce skin discolourations!

But there’s some hope. Just because it can cause discolourations, it doesn’t mean it will. It depends on the concentration. The smaller the dose, the less likely any side effects are to occur. Here, it should be present in about 1%, so most people should be able to use it safely. But, to be on the safe side, always apply a broad spectrum sunscreen afterwards.

Further Considerations On The Formula

Both Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector and Equate Beauty Ultimate Dark Spot Corrector are silicone-based. Contrary to popular opinion, silicones don’t suffocate skin. Instead, they provide several benefits: they allow serums to spread evenly, make skin silky soft and smooth to the touch, and even help active ingredients penetrate into the skin. Both also contain a small number of antioxidants to help fight premature aging.

They also contain a third skin-lightening agent, but, this time, not the same one. Clinique has opted for Dimethoxytolyl Propylresorcinol (it’s derived from the Dianella ensifolia plant), while Equate for Tetrapeptide-30. These ingredients have two things in common. One: both have been proven in scientific studies to reduce hyperpigmentation. Two: all these studies were conducted by the manufacturers, so, until they are verified by independent scientists, take their results with a grain of salt.

Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector Ingredients

Water, Dimethicone, Isododecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Polysilicone-11, Butylene Glycol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, PEG-10 Dimethicone, Turmeric Root Extract, Rice Bran Extract, Grapefruit Peel Extract, Barley Extract, Wheat Germ Extract, Birch Bark Extract, Cucumber Fruit Extract, Dimethoxytolyl Propylresorcinol, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Mulberry Root Extract, Trametes Versicolor Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Yeast Extract, PEG-6, Tromethamine, Salicylic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Cholesterol, Isohexadecane, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Sunflower Seedcake, Caffeine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acetyl Glucosamine, Simethicone, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Hyaluronate, Di-C12-18 Alkyl Dimonium Chloride, Sodium RNA, Squalane, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium Metabisulfite, Caprylyl Glycol, Hexylene Glycol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate VP/Copolymer, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Yellow 6, Yellow 5

Equate Beauty Ultimate Dark Spot Corrector Ingredients

Water (Aqua) Dimethicone, Simethicone, Isododecane, Cyclopentasiloxane, Peg-10 Dimethicone, Polysilicone-11, Butylene Glycol, Ascorbyl Glucoside, Curcuma Longa (Turmeric) Root Extract, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Bran Extract, Citrus Grandis (Grapefruit) Peel Extract, Hordeum Vulgare Extract, Triticum Vulgare (Wheat) Germ Extract, Betula Alba Bark Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber) Fruit Extract, Tetrahydrodiferuloylmethane, Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract, Morus Bombycis Root Extract, Trametes Versicolor Extract, Saccharomyces Lysate Extract, Yeast Extract, Peg-6, Tromethamine, Saliylic Acid, Polysorbate 20, Cholesterol, Isohexadecane, Propylene Glycol Dicaprate, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seedcake, Caffeine, Tocopheryl Acetate, Tetrapeptide-30, Glycyrrhetinic Acid, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Hyaluronate, Lauryl Peg/Ppg-18/18 Dimethicone, Squalane, Sodium Sulfite, Sodium Metabisulfite, Caprylyl Glycol, Glycerin, Hexylene Glycol, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/Vp Copolymer, Acrylamide/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Disodium Edta, Phenoxyethanol, Yellow 6 (Ci 15985), Yellow 5 (Ci 19140).

The Bottom Line

Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector and Equate Beauty Ultimate Dark Spot Corrector are two silicone-based serums with a smooth texture and anti-aging and skin-lightening properties. Both can help reduce minor discolourations, so, if budget is a concern, definitely opt for the Equate dupe. But, for really serious discolourations, hydroquinone is still your best bet.

Have you tried Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector or its Equate dupe?

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Binu October 7, 2015 - 2:56 am

Interesting! Been using Clinique even better dark spot for months now and see slow but great results! Wonder if the equate would give the same results!

Availability* is misspelled by the way!

Gio October 7, 2015 - 6:02 am

Binu, they contain the same active ingredients, so they would give the same results. 🙂

Thanks for catching my typo. I’ve just fixed it.

Sharon March 11, 2017 - 10:06 pm

One would think that Clinique may be the better choice since the Ascorbyl Glucoside is the 7the listed ingredient (9th in Equate), the Dimethoxytolyl Propylresorcinol is the 17th ingredient listed (Tetrapeptide-30 is listed 33rd in Equate – I think, my husband was talking while I was counting Ha.)

Gio March 12, 2017 - 8:23 pm

Sharon, the order of ingredients is important, but only up to a certain extent. It is usually the first five ingredients that make up the bulk of the formula. With rare exceptions, the other ingredients are present in 1% or less and so they can be put in any order on the label.

Cindy Standley March 9, 2018 - 4:11 pm

I have been using Clinique and it totally changed my skin discoloration. I am VERY happy with it, but it is very costly, so I am looking for an alternative. I will try Equate, but if my sun damage starts to comes back….I will pay the price of Clinique.

Gio March 9, 2018 - 6:45 pm

Cindy, glad to hear you’ve found something that works for you. 🙂 I know that makes you hesitant to chance but the Equate product has the same active ingredients so I’m confident it will work just as well. 🙂


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