These winning coming-out-of-winter skin brighteners will even out your complexion and reveal a new lit-from-within glow
Suffering from grey-skies syndrome? Us too. But, there is a silver lining: right now, you’re keeping your sun exposure (which triggers skin to overproduce melanin) to a minimum, making it the perfect time to treat a dry, uneven skin tone with new-gen skin brighteners. ‘There are many different types of dark spots –everything from freckles that sit on the skin’s surface to long-term sun damage within the deeper layers,’ says Angelica Kavouni, cosmetic plastic surgeon at London’s leading Kosmesis Skin Clinic. ‘But at the moment, you’re not being bombarded with UV rays, so there’s no pigment building up in the skin, and brightening ingredients stand a better chance of working without interruption.’
This is also the time to speed up the three-to-six month healing period of post-inflammatory pigmentation – those purple or brown marks that linger as a result of trauma to the skin after popping a pimple – and even combat a dull seasonal pallor. ‘Sun damage is often accompanied by a loss of elastin and collagen, as well as a build-up of dead cells, which can make it much harder for light to bounce off the face,’ explains Kavouni. The quickest way to tackle it? ‘An in-clinic peel removes discolouration from the upper layers of the skin or, for deeper issues, fractional laser is highly effective,’ she says.
At home, use serums and creams laced with enzymes to break down and exfoliate dark spots; vitamin C to brighten below the surface and antioxidants to protect against future pigment production over a 12-week period. And never, ever skimp on that all-important sunscreen – it’s a year-round commitment because UV rays are still present on cloudy days, and melanin can be stimulated by low doses of blue light from computer screens. Here’s our round-up of the best skin brighteners worth investing in before summer and if you still haven’t invested in a moisturiser with SPF these are our top picks.
Words by Fiona Embleton
Never be told you look tired again. Glucosamine gently sloughs off surface dullness for an immediate fix, while a natural trio of plum, algae and molasses helps to fight pigmentation in the long term.
As you age, your skin’s ability to exfoliate itself slows down. Banish a ‘blah’ complexion with this cleanser/peel powered by pumpkin enzymes. They lift away dark spots and dissolve the ‘glue’ that holds dead cells together. And the soothing rose scent adds a pampering feel.
The best way to prevent post-inflammatory pigmentation is to avoid being heavy-handed with spots. We’ve just the thing: in two minutes, this nifty device starts to kill bacteria and reduce inflammation with a targeted dose of blue and red light. Clever, no?
The original sold at a rate of over one per minute worldwide. Now, this new reworked formula contains a whopping 12.5 per cent concentration of vitamin C to fight sallowness and wrinkles. And a little goes a long way, as it melts right into the skin.
Vitamin C is the gold standard for making skin look radiant. Trust Dior, then, to pack its serum with murunga plum, which is 100 times more concentrated in vitamin C than oranges.
Packed with dark spot-zapping extract of cactus flower and vitamin C, the results speak for themselves: expect a 33 per cent reduction in dark spots and a rosier glow.