I was chatting on the phone with my older sister last week about ways to improve her skincare regimen, and she made a comment I've heard so often from people but never really paused to address. This week, I thought it would be helpful to share my answers with everyone - in hopes, it will help all of us.
Skin bleaching, whitening, lightening, and brightening are terms that are often used interchangeably. Skin bleaching is essentially the same as skin whitening - Skin whitening uses stronger inhibitors such as hydroquinone or mercury to completely strip the skin of its melanin.
Question: “So what is skin brightening and how is it different, she asked? “I don't want anything that will bleach my skin please”; she added in her Naija-Canadian accent :)
My answer to her and the gist of this blog post: Skin Lightening is reducing pigmentation and Skin Brightening is increasing the radiance and vibrancy of the skin, whilst reducing discoloration and uneven skin tone. Both are similar in that they reduce pigmentations but skin brightening is more about restoring vibrancy to your skin.
When your melanin-rich skin experiences trauma: think Acne, Sun Spots, Melasma, and Hyperpigmentation or even dullness and irregular texture - whilst they all sound like separate issues and are quite possibly brought about by different causes - they all boil down to two basic concerns: Uneven Skin tone and Texture; using skin brightening products is more often the solution to fixing all of the aforementioned issues.
Chances are you, just like my sister is alarmed by the term brightening, and confuse it with skin bleaching. While there is some overlap due to years of using the terms interchangeably, they are really quite different - the former is safe and beneficial for your skin, and the latter is downright harmful and will worsen whatever skin condition you have over the long term.
Ultimately, skin brightening products help to even out your skin tone and texture, gets rid of dead cells, fades spots and blemishes, giving you a clearer, more vibrant complexion and smoother skin.
And who doesn't want clearer, spot-free skin?
The truth is you don't need to wait to experience any of the issues listed above to desire a brighter skin - all year long, your skin will go through different seasons, diets and lifestyle changes, and the wise course of action is to naturally incorporate brightening ingredients in your overall skincare game.
The following are Ingredients to look out for when shopping for Skin Brightening products:
The all-powerful Vitamin C
AHA Acids - Glycolic Acid, Lactic Acid, and their lesser-known but equally effective cousins - Malic Acid, Tartaric Acid, Citric Acid, and Mandelic Acid
BHA/Beta Hydroxy Acid
Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide)
Licorice Extract, Retinol, Kojic Acid
All of these ingredients have been proven to naturally and safely brighten the skin, fade dark spots, and reveal younger, clearer skin. In addition, many of them are antioxidants meaning they pack a punch in nourishing your skin, reduce inflammation, repair damaged skin cells.
For a quick skin brightening hack, check out our Premium Glow Luminous Biocellulose Mask; it is richly formulated with Niacinamide and Sodium Hyaluronate to brighten and hydrate your skin for a clearer, softer, plumper and flawless skin.
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