Firming, smoothing, tightening. These are all pretty self-explanatory. What about terms like brightening? Toning? Will it make my skin color lighter? Does it involve makeup or sparkles? Is it safe?
All good questions.
Brightening products are meant to “brighten” dark spots.
It has ingredients that are supposed to help minimize the appearance of dark marks on your skin that have resulted from acne, sun exposure, or other environmental damage.
So no need to worry about it changing your skin color. It won’t. It will merely help even out your skin tone so that it doesn’t appear mottled and blotchy. Anyone can use and benefit from using skin-brightening agents.
Brightening products can have a variety of different ingredients to “brighten” skin in a multitude of ways. Some active ingredients gently exfoliate skin to help remove some of the hyperpigmented cells sitting on the surface of your skin. Some active ingredients act as antioxidants to help repair and prevent damage that can lead to dark spots.
Below is a List of Skin-Brightening Ingredients:
Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
Glycolic Acid (Alpha Hydroxy Acid)
The above ingredients are just a sample of some of the most popular and frequently-used actives to treat hyperpigmentation. They are often combined in products (although retinol and vitamin C are suspected to neutralize each other, so try not to use these at the same time).
Some of the ingredients on this list may work more effectively than others, but some can also be irritating to skin. Hydroquinone has been linked to cancer, and retinol can cause skin irritation in some.* More natural ingredients like licorice root and kojic acid are often better bets if you have more sensitized skin.
There are brightening face washes, toners, serums, lotions, masks etc. Be careful using a lot of brightening products simultaneously. As brightening products often contain exfoliating acids and enzymes, you want to make sure you’re not over exfoliating. This can cause inflammation, irritation, and flaking.
You also don’t have to have dark marks or uneven skin to benefit from brightening products. Perhaps your skin just looks dull and lackluster. Give some brightening product(s) a try. They’ll remove dead skin cells that can make skin look less dewy and fresh. Who doesn’t want that?!
We know, Channing. We know.