Hi everyone! New to the forum and decided to chime in.
I've struggled with dark spots/hyper-pigmentation/acne for at least a decade and I've been through TONS of over-the-counter and prescription medications.
Everything I've used has worked at least for a short while, but I find that once I stop using the product my face starts to look exactly the way it did before, and when I try to go back to the product it's as if my skin has built up a tolerance and it doesn't work at all.
Recently I started washing my face with baking soda. I saw someone suggest it on a youtube video in the comment section, and let me tell you NOTHING has worked as quickly or effectively as baking soda has. And my skin doesn't "revert back" if I start to get lazy and don't use it as consistently.
You use 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water (you don't need a lot, use teaspoons), it makes like a paste and you wash your face with that. This recipe is even on the arm & hammer website as an exfoliator. Just massage it in for a few minutes and then rinse.
Initially I used it every day because I was so impressed with the results after day 1, my skin felt really soft and looked clearer. Now I try to use it a few times a week, but not everyday (this isn't gentle exfoliating).
It's really worth a try because baking soda is like a dollar for a box, cheaper if you're buying store brand (DO NOT BUY GREAT VALUE *walmart brand* feels less potent, Target brand is good though and it's like 50 cents).
I also moisturize with a very small amount of vitamin e oil while my face is still a little damp. HTH :)