The Zenish

Helping you to healthier skin

23 Best Facial Cleanser For Dark Spots and Hyperpigmentation

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Struggling with acne can be soul-crushing, and dealing with the dark spots and acne scars that often result after treating acne can sometimes be worse.

And, they can take years to fade on their own if at all.

Even if you don’t suffer from acne, that doesn’t mean your skin type is immune to hyperpigmentation.

Sun exposure, sensitive skin, age, and hormonal imbalance can also cause your skin to look darker in some areas.

best facial cleanser for dark spots

However, several products are available on the market that can help you fade any dark spots or hyperpigmentation you’re struggling with.

Here’s a round-up of the best facial cleansers and face washes for dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

23 Best Facial Cleanser For Dark Spots and Hyperpigmentation

1. First Aid Beauty Pure Skin Deep Cleanser With Red Clay

First Aid Beauty’s Pure Skin Deep Cleanser is a gentle, blemish-prone, and oily skin-friendly cleanser that doubles as an occasional deep treatment for normal skin.

The jewel-red formula helps draw out impurities, reduce excess oil and unclog pores, leaving a clean, balanced complexion.

Formulated with red clay and rosemary to cleanse impurities, glycerin to hydrate, and licorice root and white tea extract to help prevent dark spots, the Pure Skin Deep Cleanser will break down excess oil, remove impurities deep within your pores, and stop dark spots from forming.

Dermatologist-tested, fragrance-free, alcohol-free, and artificial colourant-free, this is a great cleanser to help fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation and to help reveal a brighter skin tone.

2. Neutrogena Bright Boost Resurfacing Micro Polish

Neutrogena Bright Boost Resurfacing Micro Face Polish gently exfoliates and brightens your skin with both physical and chemical alpha-hydroxy acids (AHA) treatments, to help you brighten uneven skin tone and achieve your best skin.

This brightening face cleanser contains the perfect mix of chemical and physical exfoliation and brightening ingredients to deliver softer skin, gentle yet effective resurfacing, a brighter complexion, and improved skin tone.

Neutrogena’s best face polish exfoliates and removes aging and dullness from the skin.

Formulated with naturally derived skin smoothers and glycolic and mandelic AHAs, this face wash improves the look of pores, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation.

This daily exfoliating gentle cleanser is proven to work on all skin types for a renewed, more radiant look.

It is oil-free, alcohol-free, and non-comedogenic, so it won’t clog pores.

3. Cerave Renewing Salicylic Acid Cleanser

best daily face wash for hormonal acne

CeraVe is a skincare brand known for its quality, accessible and affordable over-the-counter products.

Their gentle yet effective salicylic acid cleanser is a good option if you have normal, combination, or acne-prone skin.

It’s easy to find in stores, affordable and delivers results.

With daily use, this gentle face wash helps eliminate oil, dead skin cells, and other impurities to improve your skin tone.

It also has multiple ingredients that nourish your skin over time, so it will be more moisturized.

It provides gentle exfoliation and skin relief to dry skin, rough skin, and all other skin types.

Formulated with salicylic acid, a beta hydroxy acid (BHA), this facial cleanser is an effective exfoliator that removes dead skin cells and promotes radiance.

It acts as a chemical exfoliant, which feels less harsh than physical exfoliants like face scrubs.

Niacinamide provides soothing properties and nutrients to the skin while ceramides work to repair your skin barrier and hyaluronic acid helps boost hydration and vitamin D provides antioxidants.

All these active ingredients help to prevent dark spots and even out your skin tone.

4. Body Merry Exfoliating Cleanser

The Body Merry Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser uses natural ingredients that can help fade age spots, sun spots, and dark spots, and clear up acne, acne scars, and premature aging from sun damage.

Formulated with 2.5% glycolic acid, willow bark, jojoba beads, and several other plant-based extracts and oils, it gently exfoliates away dead skin cells to cleanse and brighten your complexion.

The combined exfoliating powers of glycolic acid, willow bark, and jojoba beads will help to clear clogged pores and slough away dead skin, dirt and oil build-up that can cause a dull-looking complexion.

Other key ingredients in this facial cleanser include kojic acid, olive oil, rosehip oil, jojoba oil, and tea tree oil.

Kojic acid is a plant-based chemical that has been shown to inhibit tyrosinase, a protein responsible for pigment or the production of melanin formation in our skin.

Rosehip oil offers antioxidant and fine lines and wrinkle-reducing properties, olive oil is an emollient that moisturizes the skin, and tea tree oil provides antimicrobial and antibacterial properties.

For oily or acne-prone skin, you can use this cleanser 4-5 times a week. For sensitive or dry skin, you can use it 2-3 times a week.

5. Murad AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

This AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser is an intensive triple-action exfoliator formulated with a proprietary blend of powerful ingredients including salicylic, glycolic and lactic acid.

It visibly brightens, smoothes, and rejuvenates the skin’s surface.

The acids encourage cell turnover to reveal a visibly brighter, younger-looking complexion while biodegradable exfoliating jojoba beads polish away dull, dry skin for a softer, smoother skin texture.

Chemical and physical exfoliation is the best way to help remove dull, dry skin from the skin’s surface for a fresher appearance, and to improve penetration of acne treatment ingredients.

Exfoliating also helps with maintaining your skin’s hydration and improves skin moisture levels, as sodium PCA (natural moisturizer) optimizes the skin’s ability to attract and hold moisture.

This multi-tasking, chemical and physical exfoliating facial cleanser is ideal for all skin types and can be used as part of your skincare routine 2-3 times per week.

6. Dr. Song Glycolic Acid Face Wash

Wash dirt, oil and makeup from your face with this purifying glycolic acid gel that helps get rid of impurities and unclog pores while restoring moisture.

This product gives you anti-aging, anti-acne, wrinkle-fighting, and exfoliating benefits all in one while restoring your skin’s natural youthful glow.

This Dr. Song 10% glycolic acid face wash deep cleans, exfoliates, and sweeps away build-ups and dead skin cells.

It is meant to treat the appearance of dark spots, hyperpigmentation, acne scars, sun spots, age spots, enlarged pores, and breakouts.

It also helps reduce acne breakouts by toning and tightening pores, reducing whiteheads and blackheads, and restoring healthy, glowing radiance.

This face wash contains glycerin, which helps moisturize dry skin and soothe inflammation. It also has a soothing aloe vera base that won’t dry out your skin.

Dr. Song’s glycolic acid exfoliating cleanser is safe on dry, oily, sensitive, irritated, and combination skin and leaves skin feeling softer, suppler, and firmer.

Its gentle formulation won’t cause skin irritation and is also compatible with all skin types, even those with sensitive skin.

With continued and dedicated use, wrinkles are smoothed, dark circles appear lighter, and redness disappears.

7. Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser

The Mario Badescu Glycolic Foaming Cleanser is formulated with glycolic acid to remove makeup, dirt, oil, and other impurities from the skin.

It also has alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) that deep clean and refine uneven skin tone and texture.

A brightening facial cleanser that is gentle enough to be used 1 to 3 times a week.

Regular use of this product will help reduce the look of hyperpigmentation, dark spots, age spots, congestion, and blemishes.

It will also reduce the look of wrinkles, fine lines, and acne scars.

This glycolic acid cleanser contains extracts from chamomile, marshmallow, sage, and st. john’s wort, and yarrow.

These soothing ingredients can help to cleanse and balance your skin after being overworked.

It is designed to be used one to three times a week as a supplemental cleanser and should not be used with topical prescriptions or on acne-erupted or sensitive skin.

8. Origins Ginzing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser

The Origins Ginzing Refreshing Scrub Cleanser is a two-in-one facial cleanser fortified with panax ginseng to help boost visible radiance and fade dark marks.

It also contains energizing caffeine from coffee beans to visibly refresh and recharge your skin.

It is also formulated with natural jojoba and carnauba wax to gently remove dirt, oil, and dead skin.

Consistent use will help your skin look smoother and brighter and feel perfectly refreshed and the uplifting natural essential oil blend of grapefruit, lemon, and spearmint will energize you so you’re ready to face the day.

For best results, gently massage into wet skin in circular motions, avoiding your eyes.

To increase exfoliation, leave on your skin for at least one minute without scrubbing and rinse thoroughly.

This cleanser is gentle enough for use in your daily skin care routine, ideal for normal, combination, and oily skin is vegan, cruelty-free, and gluten-free, and comes in recyclable packaging.

9. VASANTI Brighten Up Exfoliating Face Wash

Vasanti is a Canadian skincare brand that develops vegan-friendly and cruelty-free beauty products that use high-quality natural ingredients with lots of skin benefits.

Vasanti Brighten Up Face Wash effectively sheds and exfoliates away dead skin cells to help reveal a radiant and vibrant complexion.

It’s gentle and powerful, and it’s enriched with natural ingredients like papaya enzyme and aloe vera that soothe and heal.

It will exfoliate, and fight common skin concerns like dull skin, dark spots, acne scars, fine lines, and wrinkles, and minimize pores to reveal a radiant complexion.

It also contains coconut, which penetrates deep into pores to lessen dark spots, blemishes, wrinkles, and large pores.

And is infused with dermatologist-grade microcrystals, which provide a microdermabrasion experience without the potential for redness, irritation, or sensitivity.

This face wash is paraben-free, gluten-free, vegan, cruelty-free, contains no plastic beads, and is suitable for all skin types.

10. Juice Beauty Green Apple Brightening Gel Cleanser

Rejuvenate your skin’s natural luminosity by using the Juice Beauty Green Apple Brightening Gel Cleanser.

It targets dark spots, uneven skin tone, discoloration, and rough texture to reveal a more refined-looking complexion with visibly restored radiance.

This gel cleanser utilizes malic acid from organic green apples and raw cane sugar to perform a chemical exfoliation, dissolving impurities and removing dead skin for a smooth and refined texture.

It also uses coconut-based cleansing agents to help remove all traces of makeup and dirt while mineral-rich algae deeply hydrate and nourish.

And a blend of sage, lemon, and dandelion botanicals purifies and protects the skin from free radicals and external aggressors.

Ideal for photo-damaged and aging skin, and suitable for most skin types, unless you have very sensitive skin, cystic acne and are prone to rosacea or other skin condition.

This gel cleanser is free from parabens, petrolatum, and artificial dyes or synthetic fragrances.

11. NEOSTRATA Enlighten Ultra Brightening Gentle Facial Cleanser

The NEOSTRATA Enlighten Ultra Brightening Cleanser is designed to enhance exfoliation and gently cleanse the skin.

It is suitable for daily use and all skin types.

It is formulated with neoglucosamine a compound that removes dead skin and offers you better results than with other kinds of chemical exfoliants.

The gentle formula allows for deep cleaning and mild exfoliation, giving you smoother and rejuvenated skin.

This brightening face wash also utilizes a mix of plant and fruit extracts.

Including mallow, peppermint, apricot extracts, hibiscus seed extracts, lavender extracts, and orange peel extracts to brighten and clarify the skin.

This wash removes excess oil and makeup, moisturizes the skin and leaves it healthy and refreshed.

It can also help to fade the subtle signs of aging, like fine lines and wrinkles. 

12. SkinCeuticals Glycolic Renewal Cleanser

Formulated with 8% glycolic acid and 1% phytic acid, SkinCeuticals Glycolic Renewal Cleanser has amazing powerful ingredients.

The ingredients help stimulate the skin’s natural exfoliation process and minimize the buildup of dead skin cells, as well as tackle stubborn spots.

Formulated with 8% glycolic acid and 1% phytic acid, SkinCeuticals Glycolic Renewal Cleanser has amazing powerful ingredients.

The ingredients help stimulate the skin’s natural exfoliation process and minimize the buildup of dead skin cells, as well as tackle stubborn spots.

This is one of the best cleansers to help fade away dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

It works by dissolving dead cells without stripping moisture from the surface of your skin.

That’s possible thanks to the refreshing aloe barbadensis leaf extract, and hydrating glycerin in the formula.

They enrich the skin’s barrier to moisturize, refresh, and soothe the skin. 

13. Insta Natural Vitamin C Cleanser

Get rejuvenated blemish-free skin with the Insta Natural Vitamin C Cleanser.

This face wash is a mix between a serum and cleanser that utilizes natural ingredients like its main ingredient, vitamin C, coconut water, sugar cane, and aloe vera extract.

It nourishes the skin while fighting the signs of ageing, dark spots, fine lines and wrinkles.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can neutralize free radicals and help your skin’s natural regeneration process while supporting collagen production.

This gentle face wash unclogs pores, prevents acne and blemishes, and is great for all skin types.

This cleanser deeply penetrates the skin to boost hydration from within. It gives your skin a really deep clean and tightens pores, leaving you with soft, clean, and healthy skin.

With daily use, it can keep your skin looking healthy and refreshed.

14. La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Cleanser

La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Cleanser is a foaming cream cleanser specifically formulated to target dark spots and brighten dull and uneven skin tones.

It makes skin softer and leaves it brighter over time.

This deep cleanser removes dirt, oil, and other impurities and leaves your skin feeling fresh and radiant.

This skin brightening face wash is formulated with lipo-hydroxy acid, a derivative of salicylic acid.

Lipo-hydroxy acid exfoliates without causing irritation, penetrating the layers of the skin slowly to lessen irritation, and stimulating collagen and elastin production.

The La Roche-Posay Pigmentclar Cleanser creates a creamy foam to help combat dullness, hyperpigmentation, discoloration, and skin tone unevenness.

And delivers a refreshingly clean sensation. It rinses cleanly, leaving skin soft and radiant and is a good option for combination, oily, and acne-prone skin.

And the best part is it’s also gentle enough for daily use and is highly effective, making it one of the best facial cleansers for dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

15. InstaNatural Glycolic Cleanser

best facial cleanser for dark spots

InstaNatural Glycolic Cleanser deep cleanses and gently exfoliates with glycolic acid to remove dead skin cells, redness, and blemishes, and help to moisturize and maintain healthy, glowing skin.

It also helps to reduce breakouts, the look of pores, dullness, fine lines, and wrinkles.

This anti-aging face wash is formulated with arginine, which helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. And chamomile flower and cucumber fruit extract to soothe the skin.

Also included are green tea extract, an antioxidant that can help with DNA repair and protects against photoaging, centella asiatica to repair and moisturize, and vitamin e.

Rosemary leaf extract an antioxidant with antibacterial, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.

This face exfoliator and cleanser can rid your face of dry flakes and patches, and also help chapped skin on other parts of your body.

As with other gel cleansers, it lathers easily, leaving your skin feeling fresh and renewed. With consistent use, your skin will be brighter and smoother.

16. Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser

best facial cleanser for dark spots

Botanic Tree Glycolic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser is an exfoliating face wash that helps fight hyperpigmentation and gets rid of dark spots, and even acne scars.

Formulated with bamboo extract to moisturize and soothe, tea tree extract to fight acne, and shea butter to fade dark spots, this acne face wash deeply exfoliates to fade redness, scarring, and any discoloration.

This cleanser uses 10% glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and seaweed extract to target excess oil, dirt, and makeup to unclog pores and minimize breakouts.

This is sulphate and paraben-free and is ideal for sensitive, oily, cystic acne-prone, aging, and dull skin.

However, if you’re sensitive to essential oils, be aware that this contains both peppermint and lavender oil.

17. PCA Skin Pigment Bar

best facial cleanser for dark spots

The PCA Skin Pigment Bar is a solid cleansing bar that comes with a sponge that you add water to and then use to create a rich lather.

You can use the bar on your face or elsewhere on your body, lather and leave it on for about two minutes without worrying about irritation or dryness.

PCA Skin Pigment Bar uses a combination of azelaic acid, kojic acid and niacinamide to even out skin tone.

It also helps to fight hyperpigmentation, dark spots, discoloration, and uneven skin tone.

Azelaic Acid has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties, and can even help with other skin problems like melasma.

Kojic acid inhibits tyrosinase, an enzyme involved in melanin formation, and niacinamide helps to increase cell turnover, which brightens and evens skin tone.

Niacinamide also helps to restore the skin barrier and reduce the look of wrinkles and fine lines.

18. SkinMedica AHA/BHA Exfoliating Cleanser

best facial cleanser for dark spots

SkinMedica AHA BHA Exfoliating Cleanser gently exfoliates while cleansing your skin and improving the look of your skin tone and texture.

A luxury cleanser, this item combines alpha hydroxy acids and beta hydroxy acids naturally with jojoba spheres for improved skin texture.

Formulated with lactic, glycolic, malic and citric acid. These water-soluble acids work on the surface of your skin to improve skin texture and luminosity.

It contains salicylic acid, which is oil-soluble, to help it penetrate deep into your pores and remove impurities, blackheads and dead skin cells.

Jojoba oil spheres provide a physical exfoliation while minimizing skin irritation and licorice root extract, panthenol, and bisabolol soothe the skin.

If you prefer products that don’t contain any essential oils or fragrances, this product is not appropriate for you. It contains lavender and orange peel oils.

19. Beautific Pure Glow Skin Renewing Facial Wash

best facial cleanser for dark spots

This gentle cleanser refreshes and renews your skin while cleansing it of any impurities.

It has exfoliating rice particles that remove dead skin cells and tighten the skin.

This face wash contains vitamin C, which provides instant hydration and rejuvenation for tired skin.

It can also even out your skin tone and help fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation.

This hydrating coconut oil foam base moisturizes the skin while balancing its pH level and is suitable for all skin types.

It is an effective way to brighten and energizes the skin, and help shrink enlarged pores.

20. The Body Shop Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash

best facial cleanser for dark spots

The Body Shop is a well-known vegan skincare brand. They always create their beauty products from innovative and effective methods.

The Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash is a gel-based cleanser that is ideal for fading dark spots, blemishes, and hyperpigmentation.

Made with tea tree oil, which has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, it helps calm acne, redness and inflammation, which in turn helps to prevent and lessen acne scars.

21. Tru Skin Vitamin C Facial Cleanser

best facial cleanser for dark spots

This Vitamin C facial cleanser is enriched with vitamin C, natural sun protection that helps protect the skin from UV rays and inhibits the production of melanin, which causes dark spots.

Vitamin C is good for your skin, as it helps treat dark spots and sun damage and prevents the formation of hyperpigmentation.

It also contains rosehip oil, which is known for its healing properties and lightening scars.

It is also infused with natural ingredients such as borage, oregano oil, orange peel, tea tree oil, and aloe vera that also help cleanse your pores and promote healthy skin.

This is one of the best acne face washes and the best facial cleanser for dark spots.

It’s lightweight, recommended for all skin types, has antioxidants to help promote your skin’s natural health, and can be used twice a day.

22. Belli Anti-Blemish Facial Wash

best facial cleanser for dark spots

Anti-Blemish Facial Wash is a favourite skincare product for women struggling with pregnancy acne, adult acne, sensitive skin, or hormonal breakouts.

This facial cleanser can be used daily morning and night to target breakouts and hormonal acne that may lead to dark spots and blemishes.

Belli is a skincare brand that offers safe and effective products and is recommended by most OB/GYN and dermatologists because they can be used safely by pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Their products are free of harmful and toxic compounds and have not been tested on animals.

This facial wash is made up of lactic acid, which keeps your skin moisturized and feeling less dry.

And acne-fighting ingredients like glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and benzoyl peroxide. It also contains lemon peel, green tea, olive oil, and cucumber extracts.

23. Eve Hansen Vitamin C Cleanser

best facial cleanser for dark spots

This facial cleanser is great for getting rid of blackheads, hyperpigmentation, and minimizing pores.

It’s made with all-natural ingredients to gently remove dead skin cells while preserving your natural hydration levels.

The Eve Hansen Vitamin C Cleanser uses antioxidant vitamin C to reduce dark spots, sun spots, redness, fine lines, and wrinkles and make skin smooth and radiant.

It also helps to improve firmness and elasticity by targeting these issues before they occur.

The face wash is loaded with natural and organic plant-based ingredients like aloe vera, which provides a soothing experience for your skin.

After washing your face, it leaves it feeling clean and rejuvenated.

This brightening cleanser foams up when emulsified with water and leaves your skin balanced and refreshed.

It’s vegan, cruelty-free, paraben-free, ideal for all skin types and made in the USA.

FAQs

What causes dark spots and hyperpigmentation?

Hyperpigmentation and dark spots can be caused by a variety of triggers, including direct sunlight exposure, hormonal changes, trauma/physical harm, and environmental conditions.

Sun exposure triggers the formation of melanin, which is the pigment in human skin, hair, and eyes that gives skin its colour.

Extended exposure to the sun can lead to an increase in melanin production.

This type of hyperpigmentation is called age spots or sun spots, and they normally occur on areas of the body that are exposed to the sun such as your arms, hands, face, neck, and chest.

The type of hyperpigmentation that is often triggered by hormone changes is called melasma and often happens during pregnancy. It can also be triggered by oral contraceptive use.

Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation occurs in response to skin being wounded or damaged. Those who experience acne and breakouts often deal with hyperpigmented scars and marks.

How to prevent dark spots and hyperpigmentation?

Regardless of which treatments you use for hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and uneven skin tone, always wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher.

Everyone should wear sunscreen even people with darker skin tones.

Applying sunscreen even on cloudy days is the key to keeping your skin healthy.

You should also be wearing protective clothing and avoiding the sun during peak hours when UV exposure is high.

These precautions help to minimize your chances of developing hyperpigmentation.

What ingredients fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation?

The most common ingredients found in products that fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation are l-ascorbic acid (vitamin c), arbutin, niacinamide, salicylic acid and alpha hydroxy acids.

  • Vitamin C helps to fade hyperpigmentation, one of the ways it does this is by inhibiting tyrosinase activity. Tyrosinase is an enzyme that can be found in the cells where melanin is being produced.
  • Alpha hydroxy acids like glycolic and lactic acid help to dissolve old, dead skin cells and make way for new cells in the skin. This process can lead to a more even-toned and brighter complexion in the long term.
  • Tranexamic acid is a compound that has the potential to help decrease pigment formation and may be able to offer treatment for skin conditions like melasma.
  • Niacinamide has multiple benefits for the skin such as brightening, increasing cell turnover and inhibiting melanosome transfer in the process of pigmentation.
  • Salicylic acid is a chemical exfoliator that travels deep into pores to clear away congestion, excess oil, and dead skin cells, and reduces the look of hyperpigmentation.
  • Alpha arbutin is a water-soluble active that also inhibits tyrosinase activity and helps reduce melanin production. It is often used to fade hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and scars.
  • Retinoids help fade dark spots and hyperpigmentation by decreasing pigment-producing cells, inhibiting tyrosinase in pigment-producing cells, and decreasing melanin content. They are highly effective over a longer period of time, working to decrease the look of wrinkles, fine lines, and uneven skin tone.

What are other ways to get rid of dark spots on my face?

There are countless other creams and serums like vitamin C serums that are designed to help fade and lighten dark spots on your face.

Laser treatments, chemical peels, or exfoliators are other options you could look into. There are various techniques that offer faster results and are safe for your skin. However, these treatments can be expensive.

Why do I have these dark spots on my face?

Dark spots on your face can be a sign of an overproduction of melanin in your skin. These dark areas can be caused by sun exposure, stress, certain medications, and hormonal changes and have a protective function for the skin.

Exposure to UV light can cause dark spots; melanin is what helps your skin adapt to UV light exposure and give you more protection from any future sun damage.

Final Thoughts

There is no perfect solution for over-the-counter products for skin discoloration. By adding a facial cleanser for dark spots or a serum to your skincare routine, you can add to your arsenal of hyperpigmentation and dark spot fighting products.

If you do not see improvement with over-the-counter products, consider visiting a dermatologist. There are professional treatments, like chemical peels and laser therapy, that can help fade your dark spots and improve hyperpigmentation.

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