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Neova Serious Clarity 4X

| Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Neova Serious Clarity 4X

The claim: Serious Clarity 4X is an advanced serum with four highly effective brighteners that dramatically reverse the appearance of dark spots and skin discolorations. The result is an even skin tone and improved moisture without irritating side effects. The serum uses key skin brighteners to diminish discolorations resulting from sun damage, hormonal changes, environmental aggressors and post-blemish scarring. Serious Clarity 4X is recommended for all skin types as an effective treatment for face, hands, arms, shoulders and chest. It also prevents future dark spots by decreasing melatonin pigments in the skin, effectively preventing hyperpigmentation from reaching the surface. Skin is left smooth and bright, with a renewed complexion, without irritation.

Cost: $49 for a 1-ounce bottle

Where: www.neova.com

For years, my skin-care regime involved soap, water and the occasional dab of cold cream. As a person with incredibly sensitive skin, I was scared to do much more than that. But as time wore on, and my face began to show the effects, it became evident I needed something more.

Since then, I've been trying out a variety of creams and serums to find what works for my skin. Neova Serious Clarity 4X claims to have four brighteners that dramatically reverse the appearance of dark spots and skin discolorations. While I do have some post-blemish scarring, I was mostly interested in the product's long-term promise to prevent future discoloration.

I used the product, as recommended, twice daily for a month. It did a good job of calming my blemish spots, but even more impressive was the nice glow it gave my skin. It looked brighter than usual, and smoother. And it did not irritate my skin, which most products do.

My only complaint is the smell. While not overwhelming, I got a hint of licorice every time I used it. I hate licorice. (Licorice-root extract is one of the key ingredients, which I knew before using this product, so I can't tell whether the effect was real or in my head).

Other than that, I thought the product delivered on its promise.

— Rachel Weaver

Yours truly has always been quick to sneer at lotions and “formulas” that promise youth in a bottle. To be fair, Neova Serious Clarity 4X doesn't make such a claim.

Rather, its makers contend that regular use can help reduce brown age spots through inhibition of melatonin pigments and impart a brighter, more even cast to the skin. I was game to try it, particularly as my skin looks like a Doppler radar weather map when a particularly nasty storm front is brewing.

I'm happy to report that the stuff seems to work — a small island chain of brown age spots near my left temple has faded, my pores look smaller, and I've been approached by Estee Lauder about starring in an international ad campaign for their new line of men's products.

OK, I'm making that last one up. But Neova is definitely something I'd use again.

— William Loeffler

Remember the TV commercial for a moisturizer that promised to take your skin from the consistency of an alligator to that of a doe-eyed innocent? No, I wasn't that alligator, but I'm sure I could have given him a run for his money if they had held auditions.

I've spent enough time hiking, biking and generally traipsing around outdoors over the past five-plus decades to have earned some serious skin issues, including the dreaded dark spots.

After a month of using Clairty 4x, the spots on my hands have, indeed, grown much lighter. Moreover, they've diminished without the redness and irritation that some prescription products create. At $49 dollars a bottle, this might not be an ideal solution for everyone, but it is less than half the cost of the last prescription product I used.

Only time will tell whether these effects last.

Listen to your mother and wear sunscreen.

— Deb Erdley

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