Lets face it is hard to stay out of the sun on a day to day basis. All this exposure over the years leads to sun spots/age spots, basically discoloration of the skin. Over time from UV damage our pigment cells or melanocytes can start to overproduce melanin (skin pigment) and form clusters of melanin in the skin AKA sun spots. These sun spots will not go away on their own. Once the overproduction is in full swing one would either need to zap their sun spot with a laser or embark on the brightening serum journey.  

There are 2 styles of brightening serums:

Bleaching Brightening Serums/Creams: these typically contain hydroquinone which is a chemical based ingredient to bleach the skin. Over use can lead to ocrynosis which is a gray-brown or blue-black hyperpigmentation. It can also lead to increased skin cancer risks as a user will burn much quicker than a non user.

Naturally derived ingredients: such as Vitamin C, Niacinamide and licorice to name a few. These work on preventing the melanin production in the skin and restoring the pigment to normal levels. It does take longer than the hydroquinone but has no side effects.  

Should we bother using a brighteing serum?  

Well yes, an even skin tone is one which most aspires too. I do encourage and actually persist that my clients wear a SPF daily as there is no point spending money on brightening products to lighten and restore pigment production if there is exposure to UV without a sunscreen; this will darken the very pigment you are trying to lighten. Not to mention the UVA effects on the skin but that is for another time … Anyone using a brightening serum should use a mineral SPF (preferably zinz oxide as this protects from both UVA and UVB) daily. Yes daily! Even if you work in an office and enter the office at 5am and leave at 7pm, its all about creating healthy skin habits. Wear it every day and you will not get caught out.  There are some amazing mineral sunscreens out there now that are just like using a moisturiser, the feel and smell great and don't clog your pores.

Post Break Out Marks

Don't you hate it when you get a spot, but then the spot goes and you are left with a pigmentation mark or as a facialist would say, post inflammitory hyperpigmentation. A fancy bunch of words to say you are left with a little brown stain/mark on the skin whilst your skin fully repairs. Brightening serums can help with this as well as the use of a vitamin A product. Vitamin A will not only speed up the healing, but it will help fade the mark sooner. Using a facial scrub once a week can also speed up the turnover of the cells and therefor speed up the healing of your little brown post acne mark. 

Which Brightening Serum to Use?

My favourite serums are Cosmedix Simply Brilliant and Skin Matrix EnlightenMe. This is based on the results I have seen my clients get over time as well as their ingredients. You can use a naturally derived brightening serum ongoing. The Hydroquinone preferably for a very short time if at all.

What is your favourite Brightening Serum and Why?

Happy Skin Days,

Sarah Wilkinson X


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