Skin Brightening Serum: What Is It and How Does It Work?

If you’re looking for a way to achieve brighter, more radiant looking skin, it can be hard to find the right product. If you’ve done some research, you might’ve come across products called skin brightening serums. Skin brightening serums can sometimes be confused for skin whitening products, leading some shoppers to skip over them entirely. Skin brightening serums are actually a different thing entirely, so here’s what to know about them and how they can transform your regimen.

What is a Skin Brightening Serum?

A skin brightening serum is a product with high performance ingredients designed to visibly reduce dullness and discoloration. They’re sometimes called skin brighteners or skin lightening (not skin whitening) products. All of these products are designed to help brighten uneven skin tone for a more uniform look.

How Does Brightening Serum Work?

Others work by targeting visible inflammation resulting in an effective exfoliation leaving the skin to appear polished and refined. And others work by helping minimize the effects of sun damage. Many skin brightening products also incorporate hydrating ingredients to help visibly improve your skin’s cells and reduce the appearance of dryness. This can help extend the results of your brightening serum – after all, nourished skin always looks more radiant than dry or damaged skin.

A Guide To Brightening Serum Ingredients

There are a variety of ways that skin brightening serums achieve results, and it can be difficult to know what to look for. Here’s how to shop for skin brightening treatments.

Ingredients To Avoid

One of the most common ingredients for skin brightening is hydroquinone. This compound works by inhibiting melanin production, eventually fading dark spots. It’s sometimes called a “bleaching” ingredient, even if it doesn’t actually whiten the skin. However, it can still have negative impacts, especially for darker skin tones. Hydroquinone is no longer used in many skincare lines due to some concerns about its long-term effects. It’s best avoided in favor of other safer, naturally derived products.

Ingredients to Look For

Natural skin brightening ingredients are some of the best available on the market. One of the most prolific is vitamin C (in the form of ascorbic acid). Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help combat against free radicals and sun damage, contributors to dullness and texture. Arbutin or alpha arbutin are naturally derived relatives of hydroquinone that has been known to minimize the look of dark spots. It’s also an antioxidant that can help with environmental damage. Finally, acids like kojic acid, hyaluronic acid, lactic acid, and glycolic acid all have brightening properties by helping exfoliate and hydrate. Along with the above options, make sure to look for moisturizing ingredients like glycerin to further boost your skin’s look.

How to Use Skin Brightening Serum

It’s best to use certain skin brightening serums in the morning so you can get receive their many benefits throughout the day. Ingredients like vitamin C help with free radical and sun damage, helping preserve the appearance of  your skin. Just make sure to use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30+ in the morning. However, it can also be beneficial to use your skin brightening serum at night to help reverse the visible effects of sun damage, especially if it contains moisturizing ingredients. You can even try our Prevention & Correction Duo which contains vitamin C complex for the morning and a retinol anti-wrinkle complex for nighttime.

Follow these easy steps when applying your skin brightening serum:

  • Wash your face with a gentle, foaming cleanser
  • Apply toner with a cotton pad, gently swiping away dirt and debris
  • Apply a few drops of skin brightening serum all over your face and neck, gently massaging with your fingertips
  • Finish with a non-comedogenic moisturizer

Skincare Products from Epicuren Discovery

At Epicuren Discovery, we offer everything you need to achieve radiant, glowing looking skin. Our products are made with naturally derived ingredients so you don’t need to worry about harsh chemicals. Browse our online product catalog to get started or take our skin quiz to learn more about the right products for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use skin brightening serum every day?

This can depend on the ingredients of your skin brightening serum. Some ingredients can be too harsh when used every day and can cause dryness or irritation. Others can be used as much as twice per day. It’s always best to follow the specific instructions on your product’s box.

When should I apply brightening serum?

There are benefits to applying brightening products in the morning and at nighttime. Make sure to assess the rest of your skincare regimen to determine the right time – if you already use treatments in the morning, it’s best to use it at night to avoid using too many products at once, for example.

Can I leave serum overnight?

Yes! It’s best to allow your skin to fully absorb serums and treatments overnight. Make sure to apply a nighttime moisturizer to help lock in the hydration and benefits while you sleep.

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