For some people, consideration of skin brightening induces a mild panic, as words such as bleach spring to mind. The skin savvy will undoubtedly have heard of the over use of hydroquinone, now banned in most European countries due to its unpleasant side effect profile.

However, a skin brightening product is no longer one which aspires to create a snow-white complexion.  A new generation of skin brighteners has emerged.  Touted as overall skin transformers, these products help fade acne scarring, lighten dark spots and give aging skin a youthful glow.  Here is a list of the most useful ingredients:

Liquorice produced from the roots of the Glycyrrhiza glabra plant. Liquorice root extract is considered beneficial in skin brightening products due to the components liquiritin and isoliquertin.  These compounds induce skin brightening by dispersing melanin pigmentation, which is responsible for dark spots, and therefore promote more even pigmentation.

Arbutin is derived entirely from natural sources such as mulberry, bear berry and white mulberry. It inhibits melanin formation, by inhibiting the enzyme – tyrosinase - responsible for producing it.  Being entirely natural, it has become a preferred ingredient for skin whitening products produced by companies who wish to avoid harsh chemicals, and is considered extremely safe.  Nevertheless, Arbutin is powerful and capable of improving the appearance of pigmentation caused by aging, sunlight and hormonal imbalances. Found in our Black Diamond Collection, Bio Cellulose Facial Treatment Mask, Y Theorem Repair Serum.

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a potent anti-oxidant which encourages collagen production in the skin. When used in skin creams, it promotes a more even skin tone.  As a result, the skin becomes stronger and the complexion appears more even.

Aloesin from the aloe plant, is another popular brightener. Similarly to arbutin, aloe inhibits the production of melanin (responsible for dark spots) by inhibiting tyrosinase activity.

Dried mulberry leaves (85% ethanol extract) have also been found been tyrosinase activity.  The active component not only reduces pigmentation but also scavengers for free radicals, which cause oxidative skin damage, thereby reducing skin damage.