Image: Adrianna Williams/Corbis
#1 Don’t Wait Until You See A Spot
Sun exposure causes pigmentation, or dark spots, to form over time. Once a dark spot forms, it is much harder to tackle.
So the idea is to treat dark spots as if they were wrinkles, and address them even before they get a chance to surface. There’s a range of brightening skincare on the market targeting different aspects of pigmentation.
“Some products help to block pigment formation, some mop up free radicals that contribute to pigment formation, and others prevent the transfer of pigment from cells to the surface of the skin,” explains Dr Joyce Lim, dermatologist at Joyce Lim Skin and Laser Clinic.
#2 It’s Not About Having Fair Skin
That’s another common misconception. Skin experts tell us there is no way to become fairer than the skin tone we’re born with.
Dr Low Chai Ling, medical director of The Sloane Clinic, adds that brightening skincare is not about become a couple of shades fairer.
“Brightening skincare is suitable for anyone who desires more radiant and glowing skin. Your skin can have an enviable glow even if you are not fair. Conversely, you can be very fair, but look pale and have a dull complexion,” she adds.
Also read: How to make your pores look smaller
#3 Fuss-free Fixes
Multi-tasking brightening skincare is becoming increasingly popular. “In our hot tropical climate, consumers don’t want to layer on product after product. They prefer light, breathable skincare that multi-tasks to enhance skin radiance, exfoliate dull skin cells and boost hydration levels,” explains Dr Low.
Since brightening skincare can have universal benefits for all skin types and tones, the important thing is to start on your brightening regime early.
“Young skin responds well to most products because it is resilient and healthy. As such, you don’t need too much to look radiant,” says Dr Low.
So don’t wait until you notice uneven skin tone and pigmentation. If brightening is not already a key step in your daily regime, you should upgrade your age-defence regime with a brightening serum.
#4 Choosing The One For You
With the myriad of brightening products on the shelf, what should you look out for?
Antioxidants such as vitamin C, grapefruit extract and tea extracts effectively reduce pigment formation and inflammation, and mop up free radicals that also cause premature ageing, says Dr Lim.
Hydroquinone and kojic acid inhibit melanin production; hydroxy acids fight skin damage caused by free radicals; and arbutin inhibits a protein in the skin that triggers melanin production, says Dr Eileen Tan, dermatologist at Dr Eileen Tan Skin, Laser & Hair Transplant Clinic.
The important thing is to choose a product that is suitable for your skin, stresses Dr Low.
Products with alpha- and beta-hydroxy acids may work wonders for combination to oily skin, but if you have sensitive skin, you should avoid them as they may be too harsh.
#5 An Added Benefit
Naturally, having clear and lustrous skin can make you look years younger. But experts point out that brightening products have other anti-ageing benefits too.
According to Dr Lim, many brightening products contain antioxidants to neutralise free radicals that contribute to the key signs of ageing, such as wrinkles, sagging skin, uneven skin tone and a sallow appearance. So your brightening skincare is also useful if you’re concerned about anti-ageing.
Also read: 3 ways to look confident instantly
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