Brightening, Whitening, Lightening. Oh My!

Image by Ben Hasset

Image by Ben Hasset

About a year ago, I was intimated by the sound of products that brightened. Everyone seemed to love them, and I had no idea what they actually did, and if I even needed them in my life.

A lot of these products hit the market during the k-beauty boom, and I was too scared to touch them because I thought it would bleach or actually lighten my skin. I just recently started to play with these products due to my dark spots caused by acne, and I wanted to get rid of them. So into the world of brightening, whitening, lightening, fading, bleaching I go.

This term “brightening” is used pretty loosely. These products can either block pigment production, lift pigment out of the skin, or it can increase the cell turnover to help exfoliate faster (revealing baby soft skin).

Why would you want to brighten your skin? If you have uneven skin tone, sun spots or old acne spots this stuff may be for you! A bit of warning, if you have a darker skin tone you have to be careful with which brightening product you put on your face, could overcorrect your dark spots creating the opposite effect!

Now that you know these brightening products do not all do the same thing, to be safe I would look for products with Vitamin C in them. Keep an eye out for hydroquinone, as it’s the ingredient that bleaches your skin.

Brightening Ingredients
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acids, Alpha and Beta Hydroxy Acids, Retinol, Kojic Acid.

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Most Vitamin C serums irritate my skin, making my face look red instantly. When I tried Sunday Riley’s CEO Rapid Flash Brightening Serum it quickly became one of my go to brightening products. It contains 15% of Vitamin C, and comes in a cream form. I like that it’s easy to apply and absorbs very fast into my skin.