Skin Brightening Serums

Brightening serums can help lighten dark spots, even out skin tone and boost your natural glow. They also target dullness and uneven skin texture by removing built-up dead cells, and help fade hyperpigmentation and redness.

This hydrating serum with vitamin C-rich kakadu oil delivers an instant glow while niacinamide and alpha arbutin fade hyperpigmentation for a more even complexion. Meanwhile, cica replenishes moisture for a healthy skin barrier.

1. Vitamin C

One of the most effective brightening ingredients on the market, vitamin C reduces discoloration and dullness by inhibiting the formation of pigment. This particular serum uses a high concentration of the stuff with glycolic acid, which gently exfoliates to fade patches of hyperpigmentation and leave skin glowing. It also contains licorice extract and bearberry, which both lighten the appearance of dark spots and post-acne marks, and niacinamide to boost radiance and even skin tone.

It’s important to note that when shopping for a brightening serum, look for non-toxic ingredients and skip anything with hydroquinone, which can be a little harsh for sensitive skin types. Dr. Murphy-Rose suggests looking for formulas with a mix of exfoliators, like glycolic, lactic and salicylic acids, to slough off dead skin cells so that the brightening ingredients can penetrate more effectively, as well as pigment blocking ingredients like tranexamic acid, kojic acid and niacinamide, to brighten and fade any unwanted marks.

This formula from The Ordinary includes 12% ascorbyl glucoside solution (a form of vitamin C), glycolic acid, niacinamide and bakuchiol, which work to lighten the appearance of dark spots and signs of aging like fine lines and wrinkles. It also features peptides and hyaluronic acid to keep skin balanced and hydrated.

2. Glutathione

Glutathione is an antioxidant that occurs naturally in the body during vital bodily functions like tissue repair and protein production. It’s also a popular skin brightening treatment because it’s extremely effective and has zero downtime.

When applied topically, glutathione can lighten discolorations and brighten the skin’s tone. It’s known to prevent hyperpigmentation and reduce melasma. It also helps reduce wrinkles, fine lines and sagging by boosting collagen production.

It’s important to note that glutathione should only be used under the supervision of a doctor as it is a potent antioxidant and when taken orally, it can lead to kidney stones and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome. However, when administered intravenously, the glutathione bypasses your body’s sluggish digestive system and is instantly absorbed into the bloodstream.

The Perfect Peel Superblend includes liposomal Glutathione and combines it with melanogenesis inhibitors, antioxidants, hydrating ingredients, Skin brightening serums antiinflammatories and calming agents – all combined at low percentages to maximise results and minimise risk. This is the ultimate skin brightening serum for restoring your glow! Book yours today.

3. Niacinamide

Niacinamide may not get as much attention as fellow skin-aging stalwarts like retinol or antioxidants, but this multitasking beauty vitamin is just as effective at fighting off signs of aging and brightening the complexion. It’s especially useful for reducing hyperpigmentation, redness and pore size.

Niacinamide can also help reduce fine lines and wrinkles by increasing collagen production and enhancing the skin barrier, which is essential for keeping hydration in and pollutants out. It can even help clear acne by reducing inflammation and balancing pH levels.

While many of us obtain niacin from our diets, it is often recommended to apply topically to achieve the same results as ingesting it orally as a supplement (which should only be done under medical supervision). Niacinamide can safely be used in combination with other products in your regimen, including AHA and BHA acids, retinol, vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.

Niacinamide is a safe ingredient for all skin types, even sensitive skin. But some people may experience a niacin flush when using it, which can cause the skin to feel warm and tingly. This is usually harmless and typically only lasts a few minutes.

4. Mandelic Acid

Mandelic Acid is one of the most effective anti-aging and acne ingredients, but it’s also an excellent skin brightener. It unclogs pores, increases cell turnover and reduces pigmentation. It’s also non-irritating, which is great for dark skin tones that can be prone to hyperpigmentation from other exfoliants and treatments.

Derived from bitter almonds, mandelic acid has a larger molecular structure than alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) like glycolic acid, which makes it gentler on the skin, and more suitable for those with sensitive or irritated complexions. It’s a staple in most professional in-office peels but it’s now making its way into many serums and gentle liquid exfoliants for at-home use.

Dermatologists recommend using products with mandelic acid to treat issues like dullness, uneven skin tone, hyperpigmentation and fine lines and wrinkles. While it’s gentle, you should always wear sunscreen with it as it can make your skin more sensitive to sunlight.

5. Hyaluronic Acid

Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring compound found in the skin, and wholesale skin care products it helps to keep the top layer of the skin plump and moisturized. It can bind to more than 1,000 times its weight in water molecules and is the primary component of extracellular fluid that promotes healthy-looking skin.

When incorporated into skincare products, hyaluronic acid works as a dark spot corrector by hydrating the skin, which makes it look healthier and more radiant. It also helps to smooth out fine lines and wrinkles, brighten the complexion, and even out skin tone. When paired with other skin-lightening ingredients, such as vitamin C or niacinamide, hyaluronic acid can help to lighten and brighten the appearance of dark spots and other imperfections.

Look for a serum that contains hydrolyzed hyaluronic acid, which has been broken down into smaller elements, or sodium hyaluronate, which is stronger and more potent, Gasquet says. These forms are less likely to clog pores, making them better for oily and acne-prone skin. Hyaluronic acid is non-irritating and non-comedogenic, meaning it won’t cause breakouts for people with sensitive skin.