7 GLOW-READY BRIGHTENING PRODUCTS
By Maybelle Morgan, 15 May 2018
When the residual effects of a particularly savage winter are still plastered all over your face, it’s definitely time to take action. We’re (hopefully) over the worst of it now, but dull skin and uneven tone are all-year-round complaints that particularly heighten in the cold weather. Good news? They can all be easily remedied with the right beauty arsenal, of course…
We gonna be all light
As the summer season fast approaches, no one wants to be plastered in makeup. But everyone knows, the more simplified your beauty routine, the better condition your skin needs to be in. And I’ve been through the mill with it: dry patches, scarring, dark spots – you name it. So, in the name of all that is good (vitamin C, collagen and hyaluronic acid...etc), here are the seven best brightening products on ASOS right now…
There’s a reason GLAMGLOW has a cult following. Its range of face masks target various problem areas, and… actually work. I tried the brightening mud treatment and, on its recommendation, used it three days in a row. Warning: you will experience a tingling sensation – but I found it kind of pleasant, like it was physical confirmation that it was actually ploughing away. Blended with various acids (salicylic and lactic), the gritty-textured mask gently exfoliates while delivering a powerful punch of vitamin C, which massively ups the radiance of your face. After three days, I was a convert. Dark spots were actually faded and my face felt super smooth.
And the award for best packaging goes to… well, this serum from Dr. Dennis Gross. It comes in a dark glossy bottle to stop air and light interacting with the ingredients, and you just apply one pump – trust me, it doesn’t look like a lot, but it goes a long way – onto a cleansed face before moisturising. The gel-like serum is packed with clinical strength vitamin C and plumping collagen amino acids. Although I didn’t notice a massive difference on dark spots, I definitely felt my skin had a better texture after a couple of uses, especially on oily areas.
Now, with great power, comes great responsibility. The majority of brightening products are generally dense with acids or vitamin C, which can make your skin more sensitive to the sun and actually make dark spots worse. To avoid reversing all the progress your skin is making at night, you’ve gotta load up on the SPF, which is where this NIOD protective formula comes in. Unlike any sun protectant you’ve probably ever seen, the lightweight formula (so no white streaks or greasy feel) comes in a glass bottle and is applied with a nifty dropper. Bonus points go to the fact it also protects against pollution, smog, infrared and blue light (yep, the stuff emitted from your phone).
Pore refiner or medieval apothecary potion? Yep, the packaging’s pretty cool (all brown glass bottle and minimal labelling), and the actual product doesn’t disappoint, either. The refreshing anti-ageing liquid consists of soothing green tea, cress sprouts, turmeric and olive leaf, and works to gently exfoliate for smoother skin. After cleansing, swipe over the face with cotton wool, before applying moisturiser. Disclaimer: it’s potent stuff, but it works. My complexion was left a lot clearer and even. However, it does rock quite a strong smell and can be a little stingy. I would use it twice a week max.
Specifically formulated for dark spots and pigmentation, this intensive serum consists of vitamin C, daisy and pea extracts. Unlike other serums I’ve used before, the formula is super creamy and actually feels like it’s moisturising your face. And the bonus? It smells so good. It’s definitely not an overnight miracle, but my skin was gradually and incrementally left brighter and more even. As it does feel a little tacky, I'd reserve use to just the night.
One of your five a day
For those of you that have decided vitamin C is your brightening weapon of choice, this cream from Indeed Labs packs a punch. Formed of 22% L-ascorbic acid (the purest form of vitamin C) and 2% hyaluronic acid, the latter deals a whole load of moisture to your skin, prepping it for the vitamin C, which delivers the potent anti-ageing, smoothing mechanism. All you need is one pea-sized blob at night to eventually fade away marks and slough away dull skin. It works but can be a tad harsh, so might not be suitable for sensitive skin. I'd only use it a couple of times a week.
Eyes on you
The eyes are the window to the soul. Well, what if your eyes have recently been deprived of too much sleep and seen a few too many boozy sun sessions? This eye cream from Benefit has you covered. Super rich, it contains a combo of hydrating botanical extracts to moisturise and soothe your poor undereye area. A few pats of the formula with your pinkie finger and dark circles are left brightened and smoothed out.