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