Skin Brighteners


Some of you will have experienced dull, lackluster, uneven skin tone at some point in your time. Well, I have been there, done it and even bout the t-shirt. I often write about my skin woes, and that’s because over the years I have been plagued by all manner of skin ailments, including dull and heavily hyper-pigmented skin/uneven skin tone. That’s what then led to my deep interest in the beauty world and beauty products in general; what products are best, how they work, why they work and so on and so forth.

Being prone to acne, skin that’s easily aggravated and scarred, uneven skin tone, I have over the years gone to work looking for effective yet safe skin care products in a bid to reverse years of damage and also to maintain the good results. One of the skin care products I refuse to be without is skin brighteners, not to be confused with skin whiteners.

So What Exactly Do Skin Brighteners Do?

Skin brighteners work to reverse damage to skin caused by UV rays, fade unsightly marks left behind by acne and also refresh and revitalize dull complexion. The popularity of skin brighteners over skin bleaching agents has gained paced over recent years for their safety and use of safer, often natural ingredients. These are products that will not give you overnight results and may not erase all your skin problems, but will work to substantially overhaul the quality of your skin in a safe manner.

Some exfoliate and slough away dead skin cells that give your skin that dull appearance. This also allows your other products to penetrate the skin and work better for you. Unlike some of the harsher, more aggressive products such as hydroquinone, skin brighteners may mean you have to also have some specialized facials or chemical peels to get your skin to exactly where you want it. I personally like skin brighteners because they are safer and kinder to my skin.

Ingredients Industry Experts Recommend

Alpha Hydroxy Acids such as glycolic acid slough off dead skin cells which collect on the skin’s surface, leading to dull, tired looking skin. They work to loosen dead skin cells, to give way to fresher, more glowing skin. Different types of glycolic acids occur naturally in fruits, milk and sugar cane. Glycolic acid although good, can be a little harsh for sensitive skin, for which lactic acid may be the better option. Some alpha hydroxy ingredients like papaya, which contains an enzyme that’s good at breaking down protein, are good for rapid cell turn over.

Azelaic Acid is another ingredient that is recommended for people whose skin is very sensitive. Often recommended to people of colour, the beauty of this ingredient is that it’s said to target only dark problem areas and will not lighten healthy skin. Azelaic acid is also unique in that respect, as it’s believed to be the only ingredient that behaves in that fashion. It’s been found to soothe rosacea, too.

Melanozyme, a mushroom derivative which is also unique in that it’s the only ingredient known to dissolve melanin on the skin’s surface. I personally don’t have any first hand experience with this ingredient, but I admit it kind of scares me a little. I’m also a little hesitant to try it, as it’s said to give the fastest results; while most brighteners typically take two months and over to show results, melanozyme is said to work in four weeks!

Vitamin C comes in different types; aside from Vitamin C, there’s also L-ascorbic acid and ascorbic acid. Vitamin C is a water-soluble, natural anti-oxidant that protects skin from free radicals and is believed to help collagen production. It’s been proven to be highly effective in brightening skin and ridding it of discolouration. It also works hand in hand with your sunscreen to increase its efficacy in protecting your skin against harmful UV rays. This is a personal favourite of mine.

Vitamin B3 or Niacinamide has anti-inflammatory properties, and as some of you may know, inflammation is the root of many unsightly skin problems. Once skin is traumatised, the inflammation resulting from that can leave it scarred or hyper-pigmented. This ingredient has been shown to be something of a wonder ingredient in that it tackles a whole catalogue of skin problems, among them uneven skin tone. Some of you will be happy to know that it doesn’t inhibit melanin production, but rather works over time to tackle dark marks and uneven skin tone, leaving skin substantially more even toned and brighter.

All in all, when looking to clear up your skin in order to even it out and give it a fresher, younger looking appearance, you need to look out for products that will exfoliate the dead skin cells, allowing your products to penetrate skin better and give you the best results. You also need to look out for ingredients that will target the problem areas. Combining those two aspects will ultimately give you the desired effects, leaving your skin glowing and more even. Lastly, always apply a generous amount of high factor sunscreen to guard against the reversal of all the hard work you’ve put into your skin!

Picture Credit: Krista Krushinski

Beautiful Skin, Model: Ceyonna Toler,

Home Remedies For Glowing Skin


Everyone wants healthy, gorgeous skin. Nobody likes to see blackheads clogging up their pores, or spots erupting all over their face. But not everyone is happy to use just anything on their skin. It could be because you have very sensitive skin, or you just don’t have the money to spend on store bought products. You may even be of the opinion that store bought products are over priced, and refuse to spend your hard earned money on them. Some women I’ve spoken to have expressed their concerns over harmful ingredients that are often used in many skin care products in the beauty industry. Other concerns are what some people have termed the unethical animal testing that’s widely used in the production of many a skin care product.

Well, whatever the case may be, there are many home or natural remedies that can save you all a pretty penny as well as allay all of the concerns mentioned above, if you choose to go down this route!

Lemon is packed full of Vitamin C, and is one of the products you can use to achieve clear and even skin tone. The citric acid contained within lemons helps in the removal of dead skin cells, while promoting rapid cell turn over to give way to fresh, glowing skin. Continued use of lemon on your face will help remove dark spots and lessen the appearance of uneven skin tone.


Apply freshly squeezed lemon juice all over your face and neck. Leave it on for anything between 10 to 15 minutes. Wash off thoroughly in lukewarm water, and apply a good moisturizer of your choice. Do this ever 2-3 days and you’ll see a marked change in your skin tone; for the better.

Potato contains potassium, sulphur, phosphorous and chlorine and has a mild bleaching effect and can help those who are grappling with dark patches and/or moderate hyper pigmentation.


Squeeze some potato juice into a bowl. Apply liberally all over your face and neck, and anywhere else you’d like to treat. Leave it on as long as is convenient for you. Rinse off in lukewarm water when ready and moisturize liberally. Repeat as often as you like. The good thing about potato is that it’s very kind on skin, and has no stinging or tingling sensation that’s likely to irritate those with sensitive skin.

Sandalwood has been used for centuries as a beauty staple in many an Indian household! It’s not surprising that most Asian ladies have such beautiful, glowing skin. Paired with turmeric, the two make for a very powerful facemask that will help you banish pimples as well as uneven skin tone.


Mix sandalwood and turmeric powder into a paste. To bind, you can use a little almond oil, rosewater, milk or witch hazel. Apply the paste to your face and leave for as long as you desire. Then massage for a few minutes, before rinsing off thoroughly with lukewarm to cold water. This method is safe to use very other day or even on a daily basis for smooth, glowing skin.

Honey is a natural humectant and draws moisture into your skin, preventing it from drying. It also enables your skin to retain moisture within the skin layers, keeping it hydrated and staving off the dreaded wrinkles. Honey applied to skin will also leave your skin soft, smooth and glowing.


Apply raw honey liberally to freshly washed skin and let it sit on your skin for however long you feel comfortable with. Rinse off with tepid water and moisturize with a moisturizer of your choice. This simple mask is gentle enough to apply once a day.

Baking soda is cheap as chips and has so many different uses, including as a very effective skin care product. It effectively balances your skin’s pH balance and can be used to address skin ailments such as pimples. The fine powder makes it a very gentle exfoliator that can also buff away all the dead skin cells, to reveal fresher, glowing skin.


Mix baking soda with a little milk, apple cider vinegar, rosewater, witch hazel or whatever you know works for you. Blend into a smooth paste and lather onto your face. Let the paste sit on your face for as long as is convenient to you, and then thoroughly rinse off in tepid water. Follow with a moisturizer of your choice.

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Supplements and Diet For Flawless Skin With A Glow


Ask any woman and they’ll tell you they’d love to have flawless skin with a glow. Yes, we’d all like that without the hefty price tag that comes with the skincare products and beauty procedures that the industry churns out at an alarming rate. Yet we all seem to have lost sight of the fact that the very best beauty care or nourishment we can treat our skin to is through diet, what we put in our bodies. After all, you are what you eat!

A diet rich in high-quality proteins such as salmon and calcium-rich foods including yogurt is a great way of nourishing your skin from inside out. You would do very well to include a lot of fruits and vegetables in your diet, because they’re packed full of protective antioxidants that your skin will thank and reward you for!

In as much as a good diet is good for great skin, you still need further help to you fight the free radicals your skin is subjected to on a daily basis. These free radicals are your number one enemy as they play a huge role in escalating wrinkles, fine lines, and other effects of ageing. Your best bet is to couple a good diet with supplements that promote optimal skin health and beauty.

Below are some of the best, recommended supplements to help you nourish and feed your skin in your quest for flawless, glowing skin and a more youthful appearance:

Vitamin D

Many people have insufficient levels of this important vitamin.

Vitamin D is believed to protect the skin from sun damage and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Kudzu extract

An ancient Chinese and Japanese vine extract that helps support collagen production and the skin’s natural support structure, improving skin tone and firmness.


Astaxanthin is a naturally occurring carotenoid pigment that gives salmon its distinctive colour. It’s packed full of antioxidants, helping protect the skin from the free-radical damage linked to ageing.


Tocotrienols are a specific form of vitamin E with potent antioxidant properties. A combination of tocotrienols and astaxanthin has been reported to reduce the appearance of fine wrinkles and discolorations while smoothing and moisturizing the skin.


Spinach is a rich source of Lutein and is important for good eye health. Recent studies suggest that the antioxidant properties of lutein may support healthy skin lipids and increase hydration in the skin.


Lycopene is a red plant pigment found mainly in tomatoes and contains impressive antioxidant properties. Lycopene has been shown to improve skin color and radiance, and reduce the skin’s sensitivity to sunlight.

Alpha lipoic acid

Alpha lipoic acid is the universal antioxidant, working with both the fat- and water-soluble parts of cells. The antioxidant properties of alpha lipoic acid have been reported to help reduce signs of skin photoageing.


The mineral calcium is vital to the health and strength of all of your bones, including your facial bones. Firm facial bones ensure that your skin doesn’t sag and wrinkle easily.

Vitamin C

In addition to its antioxidant properties, which have been reported to protect the skin from free-radical damage, vitamin C is vital for normal collagen production and the skin’s natural support structure.

Kiwi seed extract

Kiwi seed extract improves radiance, reduces the appearance of fine lines and dark circles, and improves skin moisture.

Armed with all this information, you should be able to enjoy gorgeous, glowing skin should you choose to go down this route. Do you already use any skin supplements that work really well for you?

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