Brightening, Lightening or Whitening?

I get so many enquiries from ladies (mainly) asking which of our products will brighten them up and just as many asking which products will lighten their skin. Can I confess that these questions confuse me? As such I have to ask more questions to clarify the result the person is seeking. After months of clarifying, I can conclude that most people use the terms interchangeably and wrongly. Yes I said it, in the wrong way. My 2 pence on the subject will seek to explain the different terms, so that you know which products and specifically which ingredients can help you. I’ve added whitening too as many products use this term.


This is fairly straightforward. Your skin is looking a little dull and tired but can be easily rejuvenated. Exfoliation is probably the simplest approach. Your options are physical exfoliants or chemical exfoliants. Many skincare professionals recommend chemical exfoliants, as harshly administered micro beads can irritate and aggravate the skin more than help it. Vitamin C is also another great ingredient to add to your regimen for brightening up dull looking skin and achieving a glow.



You want to enhance your complexion by working on discolouration, hyper-pigmentation, dark spots, acne scars or sun damage. Your goal is evening out your skin tone, restoring what you once had and that ever-popular glow. You just want to make the best of your skin. For someone like you, products containing arbutin, kojic acid, bearberry extract, licorice extract, and azelaic acid should help. If prescribed and used under the careful instruction of a professional, hydroquinone can be amazing.



Now this terminology is used in parts of Asia where whiter skin is considered more beautiful. A lot of brands aimed at ethnic skin have also adopted the it. This group of people want to go beyond brightening and lightening and wish for a more dramatic effect; which is to be a few shades lighter. They may or may not have discolouration issues. They may have been lighter in their youth and want to recreate that. Or perhaps they just admire a fairer complexion and want it for themselves.  This is what I would call ‘bleaching’. To this category of people I say, I am sorry but I don't subscribe to this notion and as such none of our products will permanently lighten or whiten your skin. I'm sure many will still try and purchase some of the products from the "lightening category" and they may even feel it's working for a while, until it isn’t.


My take on it? Make your skin the best it can possibly be! It’s as simple as that. Learn about your skin, do your research, deal with any skin issues, see a dermatologist and/or aesthetician if you must and make sure your skin is in its best state everyday. The goal should be to glow, whether you're brown, fair or a melanin goddess. This article turned into a soap box mounting, mini rant but if it can make just one person feel a little more comfortable in their own skin, then I achieved my objective.