What's the deal with brighteners? Here's everything you need to know about these products, plus how to find the right one for your specific skincare concern.
If you've strolled by a beauty counter lately, you've probably noticed a spate of products promising to brighten your skin. A bright complexion "pertains to light reflecting off the skin's surface, something known as radiance," explains Leslie Baumann, MD, a dermatologist in Miami. Most brightening products aim to reduce melanin in the skin and exfoliate the dead layers on top, which can dull its appearance. "Visual elements such as reflective pigments are often added to reflect light," says Dr. Baumann.
Brightening as a trend began in Asia (it's called whitening there), and brands like SK-II, Amore Pacific, and Shiseido brought it to the U.S. Here, three of the best brightening products to help with your complexion concerns.
Jouviance Exfoliant Gentle Purifying Scrub
To effectively brighten, "I believe exfoliation is the best approach," says Dr. Shamban. A gentle scrub like this one from Jouviance, which contains natural particles, is a good option.
Dermadoctor Kakadu C Brightening Daily Cleanser
In a pinch, you can always fake brighter skin with makeup. Swipe a cream highlighter, like this one from Glossier, onto cheeks and blend for instant glow.