With only a few weeks to go until Christmas you may be thinking about your skin getting ‘Christmas party’ ready!
One skincare desire that I have for Christmas is a brighter, more even skin tone!
I suffer from hyper-pigmentation. I have that type of skin that scars upon trauma and the skin on my body and on my face is peppered with a history – mosquito bites scars from holidays in Jamaica, scars from scrapes, grazes and bumps I received playing netball. basketball and hockey – especially hockey! – at secondary school and university, scars from oil burns whilst frying plantain and marks left behind from spots!.
There has been a lot of talk of recent regarding the lightening (or bleaching) of ones skin, a practice that has plagued the African, Caribbean and Asian communities for decades.
The legacy of imperialism and the perpetuation of a singular standard of what is constituted as beautiful, as well as cultural and religious influences confluence to cause women (and men!) to spend thousands of pounds on creams and treatments to ‘whiten’ or ‘tone’ the skin.
I wholly abhor this part of the beauty industry and the manufacturers/advertisers that produce such products and perpetuate the notion the ‘lighter is better’.
So I want to highlight safe alternatives to such products. Products do not contain harmful chemicals that can cause long term damage to the skin (and which are in fact banned from sale in the UK and the EU) by brands that champion all shades of beauty in their communications and advertising.
Deep set hyper-pigmentation needs to be tackled with treatments as well as topical product use (something I will be touching on more in the new year), but here are a selection of products and tools that I have used, I am currently using or I will be trialing in the near future, that brighten the skin and gradually reduces the appearance of dark marks. Please note: I am not a trained or certified beautician, the subsequent reviews are based solely on my usage and opinion.
1. Magnitone Pulsar*
I started using this facial cleansing brush about this time last year and within weeks I saw a marked improvement in the evenness of the tone of my skin. I felt confident to go ‘sans le slap’ for the first time in years. I have written about the Pulsar’s sister product, the Magnitone Lucid in my recent company.co.uk feature, so you can read the product spec there! I have found that using the brush is also a preventative measure to the formation of further pigmentation scars, as it greatly reduced the number of spots that I suffered from, especially at that time of the month!.
Purchase the Magnitone Pulsar or Lucid here, from £69.99
2. Nu Skin 180°® Anti-Ageing Skin Therapy System
Although created for and marketed to the anti-aging market, this kit is also perfect for tackling hyper-pigmentation, as the ingredients boost cell renewal and tackle discoloration. The system consists of 5 products: a cleansing wash, facial mist, serum and day and night moisturiser. I have been using the system for about 2 weeks and I have been very impressed with the results so far. The cleanser, which contains 10 percent vitamin C, is viscous and rich in texture, with a very pleasant fragrance – a little goes a long way and it is non-drying.
I also really like the serum – the Cell Renewal Fluid — which formulated with 15 percent polyhydroxy acid (which are similar to AHA’s but are said to cause less irritation). This is the exfoliating step in the system. I commend the brand for the inclusion of the measuring dispensing pipette – ensuring that the product is not over used!
The whole system cost £190 and can be purchased here.
3. Estée Lauder Idealist Even Skintone Illuminator*
This product has been on the market for a couple of years, so I was keen to try it to see if it lived up to its claims to ‘significantly reduce the look of uneven skintone‘ – as featured on the brand’s website. The brand also specified that the product was effective for all skin types, featuring current ambassador Joan Smalls in the global campaign.
I stated using the product in the summer (adding the iconic Advanced Night Repair serum in October). I found that the texture of my skin improved during this time and that it looked more luminous. There was a slight reduction in pigmentation but darker, more pronounced marks would require a more powerful product. All in all though, I felt the product delivered on its claims and I would certainly purchase again.
You can buy the serum here, £49
4. Origins Dr. Andrew Weil for Origins™Mega-Bright range.
I was sent the tone correcting serum and moisturiser from this range to test – which I will be doing in the new year! I am a MASSIVE fan of the original Dr Weil range (when my skin is inflamed, I swear by the
Mega-Mushroom Advanced Skin Relief Face Serum, which keep redness at bay and soothes any soreness), so I am looking forward to testing these products.
The active ingredients form the Rosa Roxburghii Complex, which is derived from a flowering bush that grows wild throughout Asia. Other key anti-irritant ingredients include Liquorice (one of the earliest Chinese medicinal herbs now known to brighten the skin) and White Peony. Natural optics are said to help restore translucency to skin and Vitamin C helps create a luminous, clear complexion (source).
5. The Body Shop Vitamin C Range
Loved by the Youtube sensation Patricia Bright, the Body Shop’s Vitamin C range is a full regimen that will brighten and boosts the skin’s radiance without breaking the bank. I will be testing most of the range in the new year as well, but will add the Vitamin C Facial Radiance Capsules to my routine in the run up to Christmas, as the parties and events commence! I will let you know how I get on!
Do let me know if there are any facial brightening products that you swear by to reduce hyper-pigmentation. Other products that I am a fan off and that I have featured on the blog include Antonia Burrel’s Radiant Light Facial Serum
and Dr Sebagh’s Deep Exfoliating Mask.
Leave your comments in the box below!