One of the biggest criticisms of skin lightening products are that they jeopardize the health of the skin. It’s a misconception that continues to run rampant to this day – even with all these major skin care brands carrying some type of skin tone correcting line. People still perceive skin lightening and skin brightening products to be harmful.
In reality, this is far from the truth.
Gone are the days where the active ingredients in skin lightening products were steroids, mercury and high levels of hydroquinone. In the last 10-15 years, researchers have developed numerous healthy alternatives that inhibit melanin production just as effectively, if not greater than those toxic skin lighteners, but without any harmful effects.
One of the reasons why I started this blog was to inform the public about these healthy, non-cytotoxic, and efficacious skin lightening ingredients/products . Skin lightening products in today’s market are not only undoubtedly safe to use, but promote the health and vitality of skin, and act as strong anti-aging agents.
Anti-aging is a huge concern in skin care. It is something we are all trying to achieve – consciously or not within our skin care regimens. We either want to maintain the present youthful look of our skin, reverse past damage, or simply make our skin look the best it can at any age.
A skin lightening regimen in general fosters the fundamentals of anti-aging skin care. There is great value placed on daily sunscreen use, as well as minimizing excessive sun exposure. UV radiation is one of the leading causes of premature aging in the skin, and practicing sun protection is the ultimate prevention.
It doesn’t just have to do with prevention though. The active ingredients found in skin lightening and skin brightening products today are some of the most revolutionary ingredients within skin care. These ingredients are backed up by independent studies demonstrating profound abilities to create healthier, younger, brighter and more resilient skin.
Skin lightening ingredients run the gamut in categories (antioxidants, peptides, alpha hydroxy acids, plant extracts etc.) but share a unique trait, and that is to treat pigmentation concerns as well as anti-aging concerns (fine lines, wrinkles, uneven texture etc.).
Below are a list of just some of the popular ingredients used in skin lightening today, and their incredible anti-aging benefits:
Skin Lightening Benefit: At 5%, can effectively treat hyperpigmentation including UV induced. Source
Anti-Aging Benefit: Effectively treats fine lines and wrinkles. It also treats inflammatory skin issues such as rosacea and strengthens skin barrier function. Source I, Source II
Products: InstaNatural Niacinamide Vitamin B3 Serum, Olay Pro-X Even Skin Tone Spot Fading Treatment
Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid & derivatives)
Skin Lightening Benefit: Lightens skin color, adds radiance and luminosity, as well as minimizes UV induced hyperpigmentation. Source
Anti-Aging Benefit: Stimulates collagen production and offers superior antioxidant and photo protective benefits. Source
Products: Skinceuticals C+E Ferulic
The skin lightening AND anti-aging effects of vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid) at optimal levels is nothing short of astounding.
Skin Lightening Benefit: Reduces the amount of excess melanin in the skin. Rapid cell turnover benefit allows newer cells with less melanin content to rise to the surface. Effect is enhanced when used with skin lightening serums. Source
Anti-Aging Benefit: Stimulates collagen production, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and smooths out skin texture. Suppresses enzymes which attract UV induced damage. Clears excess keratin and treats pore issues. Source
Products: Rx Retinoids, FutureDerm Time Release Retinol 0.5%
Alpha Hydroxy Acids
Skin Lightening Benefit: Breaks up excess melanin in skin cells. Fades acne marks, dark spots, and blotchy skin. Source
Anti-Aging Benefit: Encourages cell turnover, smooths out rough skin texture and dry spots leading to smoother looking contours on the face, boosts protein regeneration in the skin, reduces the the look of fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating collagen. Source
Products: Refresh Skin Therapy Fruit Acid 15% Gel Peel, Neostrata Toning Solution Level 1
Matricaria Chamomilla Extract
Skin Lightening Benefit: Effectively treats UV induced hyperpigmentation. Source
Anti-Aging Benefit: Promotes skin cell regeneration, reduces inflammation and skin redness. Source
Products: Naruko Magnolia Brightening & Firming Serum, Clinique Even Better Brightening Moisture Mask
Skin Lightening Benefit: Brightens skin and prevents UV induced hyperpigmentation. Source
Anti-Aging Benefit: Anti-inflammatory, soothing agent. Holds antioxidant properties. Source
Products: Eminence Organic Skin Care Bright Skin Licorice Root Booster-Serum , Innisfree White Tone Up Essence
Skin Lightening Benefit: Inhibits both melanin transfer and tyrosinase activity. Lightens melasma. Source I, Source II
Anti-Aging Benefit: Anti-inflammatory agent. Source
Products: UNT EX White LaserWave Anti-Pigment Renewal Serum
Skin Lightening Benefit: Inhibits tyrosinase powerfully. Source
Anti-Aging Benefit: Has UV protective and antioxidant abilities. Source
Products: Indeed Labs Pepta-Bright Even Skin Tone Enhancer, PFB Vanish + Chromabright
Skin Lightening Benefit: Lightens UV induced hyperpigmentation. Source
Anti-Aging Benefit: Reduces look of fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen (procollagen-1) synthesis. Anti-inflammatory. Increases skin moisturization. Source I, Source II
Products: Medik8 White Balance Click, Paula’s Choice RESIST Pure Radiance Skin Brightening Treatment
Skin Lightening Benefit: Alternative to hydroquinone. Combination of 7 alpine plant extracts – lightens hyperpigmentation primarily through intense tyrosinase inhibition. Source
Anti-Aging Benefit: Free radical scavenging abilities, calms redness. Antioxidant. Source
Products: Bioelements LightPlex GigaWatt Dark Spot Corrector
Skin Lightening Benefit: Treats many pigmentation disorders including melasma and UV induced hyperpigmentation. Inhibits tyrosinase very well. Source
Anti-Aging Benefit: Reduces inflammation, improves skin texture. Source
Products: Arcona Lightening Drops (aka Brightening Drops)
Skin Lightening Benefit: Alternative to hydroquinone – can lighten several hyperpigmentation disorders. Non-cytotoxic. Source
Anti-Aging Benefit: Potent antioxidant activity within the skin, calming/anti-inflammatory agent. Source
Products: PRESCRIBEDsolutions A Bolt Of Lightening: Skin Lightening Serum, Innisfree Whitening Pore Synergy Serum
The bottom line is that there are many benefits from using skin lightening products that go beyond treating pigmentation concerns. These products promote skin health and are excellent anti-aging treatments that can be used to keep skin looking its best.