Skincare terminology can be very confusing. Many people use different terms, despite sharing the same skincare goal. Skin brightening is the process of using skincare products to reduce dullness, even skin tone, and fight off any hyperpigmentation, achieving a bright and radiant complexion. This should not be confused with processes involving skin bleaching. Skin whitening is a cosmetic procedure which involves bleaching the skin and using harsh chemicals to achieve a lighter skin tone - this is not recommended!
Do wear SPF.
One sure way to reduce dullness & skin discolouration is by avoiding unprotected exposure to UV rays. Hyperpigmentation is exacerbated by sun exposure, so SPF is a must in order to prevent further darkening of discoloured skin.
Do seek out active ingredients.
When we want to see a change in our skin texture or tone, actives are the way to go. Actives are clinically proven to change the skin in some way, making them a highly effective way of treating any pesky skin concerns. Ingredients like Vitamin C, AHAs & BHAs, Alpha Arbutin and Niacinamide actively work to even tone by speeding up the renewal of skin cells and/or controlling melanin production.
Don’t overuse products
When we find a new product which helps us achieve our skincare goals, it’s easy to get a bit carried away. It’s extremely important to keep in mind that overusing products, particularly those with active ingredients, often does more damage than good. This can harm our skin barrier, resulting in duller and more irritated skin than before.
Exfoliation is one of the best ways to achieve glowing skin. Removing any buildup on the skin allows for a brighter, smoother complexion. This is done either through physical exfoliation i.e. scrubs, which use abrasives to physically buff away dead skin cells, or chemical exfoliation i.e. Alpha-Hydroxy Acids and Beta-Hydroxy Acids, which work to break down the bonds which hold skin cells together, effectively getting rid of the dead cells.
BHAs include: Salicylic Acid.
Do be patient, be consistent
As much as we hoped they would, results don’t happen overnight. For all those good ingredients to get to work on brightening our complexion, they need time. Depending on the product, application should be somewhere from daily to weekly; this allows our skin to turn over new cells and make a change. Luckily, active ingredients encourage a quicker cell turnover, so we can expect to see faster results with products containing brightening ingredients like AHAs and Vitamin C. All in all: consistency is key!