Most people think brightening products are whitening products. While it's true that most brightening products help bring forward a new, fresh (and therefore lighter) layer of skin, that is not the true function of brightening products.
Brightening products serve a very different purpose. See that glowing, healthy, blemish-free skin that celebrities sport? One of the main contributors is a good brightening regime. Brightening products strip away dead cells on the surface of your skin to reveal brand new skin underneath. There are so many benefits to using brightening products.
The exfoliation not only clears away dead skin cells - it also helps clean out your pores, which prevents sebum build-up and the eventual acne. Brightening products take away the dullness in your skin - hello radiance! - and encourage skin renewal, which helps slow the ageing process. Another amazing benefit of using brightening products? Any scars and pigmentation will fade a lot quicker. WIN.
So what kinds of brightening products are out there? You have an entire range to choose from, from exfoliating cleansers to night creams and serums. Here are some products that stood out for me:
Oseque Oxygen Mask (Season 3)
This mask utilises popping oxygen bubbles to deep-cleanse and exfoliate the skin. It is pretty interesting to use - gently spread 4-6 pumps onto dry skin and watch the oxygen bubbles self-generate. They then pop on your skin, causing a funny tingling feeling (the way bubbles slowly pop against your skin when you take a bubble bath). After a minute or so, wash the mask off. This mask does contain whitening properties, so tan-lovers, beware!
This mask is a favourite with Asian celebrities, and has a huge following in Korea. Read more about it on the Glow and Glamour website.
Elemis Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash
Elemis is a UK brand with an extremely large following. Elemis products are effective and do what they are meant to. One of those products is the Tri-Enzyme Resurfacing Facial Wash. This was originally recommended to me by Val at Ponikuta.com, and I have been loving it! It is gentle enough to be used on a daily basis, and has a pleasant scent that isn't too overpowering.
As with all Elemis products, this does exactly what it says! It strips away the dull, dry areas of my skin, and smooths away most imperfections. My skin is so much more radiant and glowing.
Clean & Clear Deep Action In-Shower Facial
This is a gorgeous little treat of a product! The steam in the shower opens up your pores and 'activates' the mask. It contains Alpha Hydroxy Acid to exfoliate your skin, and works its magic all in one minute! It really wakes your skin up with a fresh minty smell and a slight tingle. For a more in-depth review, click here.
Simplicite Rosehip & Lavender Complexion Refiner
If you're a long-time reader of this blog, you already know how much I love this mask. It uses natural ingredients to brighten the skin, and it is a rub-off mask, so you're getting plenty of exfoliation. I personally love using this as a radiance-booster right before a big night. It preps the skin beautifully for makeup, and gives it an overall lit-from-within glow.
Alpha-H Liquid Gold Smoothing & Perfecting Mask
This is an amazing mask that uses glycolic acid to exfoliate that first dead layer of skin. It works wonders on pigmentation, dullness and acne. I love using this when I feel like my skin is behaving badly - any unwanted acne bumps are dried right out! Remember that you should only have it on for 10 minutes. Any longer and your skin might become irritated.
Alpha-H Liquid Gold Perfecting Daywear
Alpha-H is an industry veteran when it comes to brightening and radiance-boosting products, and one of their latest products is this amazing dual-purpose serum. If you love looking a little tan, then you might want to check this baby out! Not only does it brighten the skin and tighten your pores, this product also contains bronzing beads and light-reflective particles to give you an instant glow, so you don't need to sacrifice your tan for radiant skin. It also contains Hyaluronic acid to help keep your skin moisturised and supple.
Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector
This is one of Cliniques star skincare products. It has been clinically proven to reduce pigmentation and scars, and is gentle on the skin. Clinique's studies have shown as much as a 58% improvement in 12 weeks. This product is perfect if pigmentation and scarring are your main concerns. It helped with my sun damage on my cheekbones and didn't at all irritate my skin, even though I was using it twice daily.
*Please note that most of these products contain active ingredients, and because these strip away the old layers of skin to reveal new skin, UV protection is essential to prevent any sun damage. You should also consult a dermatologist if you are thinking of using more than one product containing active ingredients at a time.