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Does Brightening Mean Whitening?

- June 15, 2021

We all know the skincare "buzzwords" that are included in skincare ads, labels and reviews. Think adjectives like "moisturizing", "enhancing" or "glowing".

After all, we all know that applying a "brightening" night cream won't make your face light up the room like a toddler's nightlight, that skincare needs to be integrated into our daily lives, and that consistent use of brighten whitening set can make our skin glow. But do we know what brightening skin really means?


What does it really mean when a skincare product "brightens"?

The beauty industry can be quick to keep up with trends - whether it's a hot new ingredient or a promised effect. To some extent, the term "brightening" is in a similar predicament. Because "brightening" can mean so many different things, many beauty brands, bloggers and others use the word to mean many things.

Brighten Whitening Set

 Brighten Whitening Set

Most often, brightening is used to indicate brightening, fading, or in the most extreme cases, bleaching. Brightening is also used to describe products that may stop pigment production and/or pull pigment out of the skin (think sun-generated dark spots or acne scars).


Brightening can also be used to describe products that help increase cell renewal, thereby accelerating the flaking of damaged upper layers of skin to reveal the beautiful baby-soft skin underneath (think of this as a great compliment to your exfoliator). With all the effects that the word "brightening" encompasses, the most effective way to figure out what a product really does is to look at the list of ingredients.


But before we get into the ingredients, let's discuss why you might want to brighten your skin.

The Benefits of Brightening

As I mentioned, one of the benefits of brightening is the reduction and/or complete elimination of dark spots caused by scars, acne, sun exposure, etc.

Depending on your skin type, you may be more prone to dark spots and if this is the case, you would definitely benefit from a brightening product or procedure.

As an added benefit, most of the ingredients used in brightening products also serve a dual purpose as they provide moisture and antioxidants to your skin.

Brighten Whitening Set

 Brighten Whitening Set

Another thing to keep in mind with brightening products is their list of ingredients.

Not all brighteners are created equal, and certain ingredients and procedures have not been tested for their long-term effects on our skin, let alone our overall health.

Harnessing the power of powerful ingredients such as vitamin C, retinol and lactic acid, these serums penetrate deep into the skin and remove dead skin cells, thereby reducing dark spots, acne scars, sun spots, hyperpigmentation and other sources of discoloration and unwanted texture. In addition to giving your skin a radiant glow, these ingredients are also known for their anti-aging abilities due to their rejuvenating effect on the skin, which helps with collagen and elastin production, and tightens fine lines and wrinkles. 

The best brightening serums also have moisturizing and antioxidant properties, combining emollients such as hyaluronic acid and vitamin E with these powerful ingredients to increase moisture and boost the skin's defense against free radicals that cause discoloration.

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