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Brightening Creams

6 Favorite Brightening & Lightening Creams New Year, Brighter Skin

This month BWB has found the best products to gently but effectively lighten and brighten your skin.

The arrival of the New Year signifies a new beginning for many of us. We often commence our journey into the upcoming year by letting go of anything that has been weighing us down during the previous year. For me, inviting in new light and healing energy helps me to purge this aforementioned negativity. I find that our skin can also benefit from a similar ritual. The aftermath of summer and the depths of winter can leave our skin dull, exaggerating uneven skin tone and hyper-pigmentation. What better way to start the New Year off then with bright, glowing skin?

To properly let go of and heal hyper-pigmented skin for good, we must first acknowledge what causes discoloration. Melanin is what gives our skin its pigment, and it is produced by cells called melanocytes. When these cells become damaged or over stimulated they produce greater amounts of melanin, depositing it unevenly throughout the skin, resulting in dark spots, uneven skin tone and even thick, rough patches.

Once the causes of pigmentation are addressed, proper skin care can certainly improve, reduce, and reverse dark spots.

The most common causes of abnormal melanin formation (or hyper-pigmentation) are inflammation due to sun burns and sun exposure, acne and psoriasis, pregnancy, various forms of oral and internal birth control, hormonal changes in the body, certain drugs, medications and topical applications.

Finally, hydroquinone, a commonly used topical ingredient to reduce hyper-pigmentation, has been proven to actually contribute to hyper-pigmentation and has been banned from many countries. The U.S. has proposed a ban, which has yet to pass.

Once the causes of pigmentation are addressed, proper skin care can certainly improve, reduce, and reverse dark spots.

This month BWB has found the best products to help your skin function normally despite environmental and hormonal influences, as well as gently but effectively lighten and brighten your skin.

I love the delightful smell of jasmine it exudes, and I recommend using it in place of your toner.

1. Vie Radiance Brightening Essence

Designed to inhibit the enzymes responsible for yellow and brown pigments. Glabridin, which comes from licorice root, is the star ingredient here, and plankton is used to hydrate and detoxify. I love the delightful smell of jasmine it exudes, and I recommend using it in place of your toner right after cleansing in the evening and first thing in the morning before you apply any other serums or moisturizers.

Complex 27 treatment is made up of 58% active ingredients that target dark spots, uneven skin tone and pigmentation.

2. Complex 27 Bio-Perfecting Correcting Serum by M.E. SkinLab

One of their newest creations. This treatment is made up of 58% active ingredients that target dark spots, uneven skin tone and pigmentation. It even helps clear up hormonal related break-outs! Key ingredients are: centella asiatica, a common thread throughout many of their products and a powerful anti-inflammatory. The combining forces of stabilized vitamin C and gleditschia extract (originally used to combat cancer cells) stop the production of melanin. It also includes lysine aspartate, an amino acid that encourages new collagen and smooth skin. This product is gentle enough to use morning and night, and is so effective that you will quickly be choosing to use their other amazing products.

3. Eminence’s Bright Skin Licorice Root Exfoliating Peel

It has a combination of ingredients that produce immediate action. Eminence uses gigawhite, a natural alternative to hydroquinone, to break-up hyper-pigmentation. It is combined with licorice root, daisy blossom and lactic acid, and I can assure you will see brighter skin in no time. They also use an interesting ingredient called baobab, which is an oil from the Baobab tree, and is high in omegas. Use this peel in the evenings, 2-3x’s per week, followed by a nourishing face oil or moisturizer.

This is not only a great brightening cream it’s also an amazing anti-aging.

4. Eve Lom Brightening Cream beautifully combines botanicals with science

You can smell the herbs when applying it and, the cream feels calming and nourishing. But don’t let this serenity fool you! This moisturizer includes a powerhouse of players. Dermapep blocks melanin production, Chinese root extracts fight free radicals, rose otto oil soothes, betaine acts as an anti-inflammatory, and these are just a few of the key ingredients. This is not only a great brightening cream it’s also an amazing anti-aging, improve the health of your skin, use it all the time moisturizer!

5. Natura Bisse’s Diamond White Glowing Mask

A spa worthy treatment that not only brightens and lightens the skin, it also heals irritation and reduces redness. Some key ingredients are: betaine, which is derived from sugar beets and prevents hyper-pigmentation; radish root, a great anti-oxidant and detoxifier; pomegranate, which evens skin tone; and bisabolol, a form of chamomile that reduces irritated skin and redness. I applied this mask for 20 minutes. It left my skin looking so bright and clear that I proudly went out make-up free.

6. Colbert MD Illumino Anti-Aging Brightening Mask

A cellulose mask that is designed to lie on your skin, allowing for optimal penetration of ingredients. Colbert uses niacinamide, a derivative of vitamin B3, to reduce melanin production and existing pigmentation. It also protects the skin from further UV damage. Swiftlet Nest extract, lactic acid, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid are just a few of the other ingredients that make this mask so effective. I noticed an improvement in my dark spots the first time I tried this.

Beauty Editor coup de coeur…
Phytomer’s White Lumination Radiance Cleansing Oil

The perfect compliment to all of our favorite lightening products. I LOVE how it transforms to a milky emulsifier when it is added to water and it gently but successfully removes make-up and impurities without stripping your skin. Sea Lily is added to regulate melanin production and vitamin C helps to break up dark spots.

So here’s to a New Year of brighter skin that is free of dark spots, and a New Year’s resolution to wear sunblock every day!

Vanessa Baumann

Vanessa Baumann has been a licensed, medical aesthetician in New York for over twenty-three years, currently working with one of Manhattan’s top plastic surgeons. She has also launched Rejuvanessance , a site and blog devoted to skin care products, advice and the quest for glowing skin.
www.rejuvanessance.com

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