Lighten Up

Brightening Tips to boost any beauty routine

DO… scrub up

Exfoliation is the key to radiant, fresh and youthful-looking skin, removing dead skin cells that can’t reflect light and contribute to a dull complexion, replacing them with fresh new skin cells beneath. Chemical and physical exfoliation provide similar results through different methods and can both work wonders to boost skin radiance. Michelle Doherty, Director of Alpha-H, explains: “Physical exfoliation is recommended for skin that is resistant to change, where it may need more encouragement to loosen the bonds that hold cells intact. Oily, combination conditions with breakouts, blackheads, pore expansion and thickened, coarse skin will benefit from an immediate change in texture, tone, skin smoothness and suppleness. A chemical exfoliant is preferable for ageing, tired, pigmented skin and both intrinsic and extrinsic conditions. It will not only work to improve the surface and texture by gentle exfoliation, but it’s intuitive ability is to work under the skin, stimulating, repairing and improving the quality of the skin’s natural moisturising factors.” Both methods have their place in any brightening skincare routine, according to Cassie Lomas, Make-Up Artist for skin care and make-up brand B: “I tend to recommend a manual exfoliator once a week and would recommend using chemical exfoliants in your everyday routine.”

DON’T… forget to boost brightness from within

Whatever topical treatments you choose, brightness and radiance can be further enhanced from within. Drinking plenty of water will help to eliminate toxins to prevent dullness, and to keep skin looking and feeling healthy and hydrated. In terms of diet, essential fatty acids (EFAs) like omega 3 and omega 6 help skin to stay plump and radiant. These can be found in oily fish like sardines and tuna, and in nuts, seeds, eggs and soya beans. Antioxidant-rich foods like brightly coloured fruit and vegetables help to counteract free radicals, which destroy the collagen that helps to keep skin plump, smooth and radiant, while zinc is also crucial; a deficiency can cause skin dullness and stubborn blemishes, so make sure zinc-rich foods like seafood, wholegrains and mushrooms are regularly included in your diet.

DO… choose ingredients carefully

Brightening lotions, serums and creams can all help to add luminosity to lacklustre skin and counteract the potentially dulling effects of environmental aggressors like UV, pollution and smoke. Doherty says: “I recommend a daily application of a high strength serum that doesn’t contain buffering agents. Brightening ingredients to look out for include vitamin C (stabilised, such as ethyl ascorbic acid or VCIP), niacinamide 5% or higher, ferulic acid, liquorice, white mulberry and any other proven ingredient who’s primary function is to inhibit melanin synthesis.” Ensuring skin is well hydrated with a good moisturiser will also help, while brightening pigments and particles such as mica offer instant brightening results. To ensure the longevity of the skin’s radiance, UV protection is key; broad spectrum sunscreen applied after the rest of your skin care products will help to prevent the melanin build up that can darken skin and reduce its radiance.

DON’T… underestimate the power of make-up

Skin care is crucial for lasting skin radiance, but make-up offers an instant fix and amazing results. For a bright and beautiful complexion, Lomas suggests: “Illuminating primers are great for brightening the skin when used as a base under either a foundation or tinted moisturiser. You can also mix your illuminating primer with your base to give you a lighter finish. Choose base products with hydrating ingredients such as B. Even Foundation. Applying a highlighter to the high points of the face, for example the brow bone, tops of cheeks and cupid’s bow, will instantly add a touch of radiance to the skin. Use a circular foundation brush to really buff your products into the skin; this will take away any excess and give an illuminating glow that you shouldn't need to powder.” Cream blushers and highlighters will increase the glow factor as they’re more hydrating than powder formats and help to lock in moisture. 

DO… tackle dark spots

Hyperpigmentation (dark spots) is a major hindrance when it comes to skin radiance, and a common issue for consumers. Skin treatments to tackle this issue have launched in abundance in recent years, claiming to break down the melanin build up that causes the issue. In order to treat dark spots successfully, the cause must be identified first. Doherty says: “Dark spots can be caused by skin trauma, sun exposure, medication, hormonal changes and some invasive skin treatments. Visit a professional skin clinic to seek advice if you are unsure, and don’t forget that daily application of a high rated SPF will help to reduce further irregular deposits of surface melanin.” Treatments that tackle dark spots tend to include the brightening ingredients previously mentioned, and vitamin C and its derivatives are particularly common, claiming to break down pigmentation and neutralise toxins to prevent further damage.

The brand guide

Philips VisaPure
is a gentle, easy-to-use electronic device that massages the skin to remove make-up, dirt and dead skin cells ten times more effectively than manual cleansing. Featuring ‘Dual Motion’ technology, it rotates and vibrates to remove deep down dirt and stimulate micro-circulation beneath the skin’s surface. Fully waterproof and rechargeable, VisaPure revitalises the skin in just one minute, helping to achieve youthful, brighter skin. It has two speed settings, for a gentle, soft cleansing or a deeper, more intensive clean. RRP £150, Philips, philips.co.uk.

L’Oréal Revitalift Laser Renew Peeling Lotion Night
is described by the brand as the first home-use skin care regime proven by independent EU scientists to match the skin renewing effects of professional IPL treatments. Formulated with a blend of controlled skin peeling agents glycolic and lipohydroxy acids, in combination with a compound that prevents the lotion becoming more acidic, it helps to reduce dark spot formation and to speed up skin cell turnover. It also contains anti-inflammatory centella asiatica; l-niacide, a vitamin B complex shown to fade existing dark spots and prevent new ones; and fragments of moisturising hyaluronic acid to plump up wrinkles. RRP £24.99, L’Oréal Paris, loreal.co.uk.

Nip + Fab Glycolic Fix Exfoliating Facial Pads
contain glycolic and lactic acid to stimulate cell turnover, for a smoother and brighter complexion. The pads also contain hyaluronic acid and blue daisy to soothe, and witch hazel to improve skin tone. The pads should simply be wiped across the cleansed face, neck and décolleté once or twice daily. RRP  £12.95, Rodial, nipandfab.com.

Sleek MakeUP Precious Metals Highlighting Palette
enhances the complexion with a fresh, radiant glow. The versatile face and body highlighting palette includes three velvet cream formulas and one powder to suit any skin tone. The highlighters can be used on cheekbones, cupid’s bow, inner corners of the eyes and bridge of the nose to add a radiant glow and a luminous polish to the skin. RRP £9.99, Sleek MakeUP, sleekmakeup.com.

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