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Skin Brightening | A Perfect Guide on How to Lighten Skin Tone


Mahlagha Homayouni


January 1, 2022


Skin Brightening Era

We all know (and enjoy) the magic that a judiciously applied highlighter or illuminating primer can achieve bright skin is a word that gets bandied about a lot in cosmetic jargon. Every beauty look strives for that lighted from within radiance, but what if you want to achieve it without the use of makeup? There’s good news for individuals with dull, scarred, or uneven skin: there are a variety of chemicals that may help diminish pigmentation, decrease dark spots, and produce a more radiant complexion by skin brightening hacks!

Skin brightening

Instead of relying on makeup, you may wake up with naturally beautiful skin by including these items into your regimen.


Chapter 1

Skin Brightening, Whitening, and Lightening

skin assessment

Women of all ages and ethnicities want even, clean, and glowing skin. The struggle to get glowing skin for most women starts with dark spots or hyperpigmentation caused by melanin buildup (your natural skin pigment). Genetics and ethnicity might exacerbate hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation may cause an uneven skin tone in black and brown-skinned women of African, Southeast Asian, and Hispanic heritage.

Blotchiness and spots induced by UV damage and the aging process are a barrier to smooth, bright skin for women of European or Asian origin. Dryness and breakouts induced by hormonal fluctuations connected to life changes such as menopause and stress are other obstacles to clean skin.

Even though they may seem similar, skin brightening, lightening, and whitening are not interchangeable terms. Before choosing your skincare routine, it’s critical to study all three of these categories, their benefits, and drawbacks, as well as any possible health hazards.

Skin brightening

What Is Skin Whitening

Skin whitening, also known as skin bleaching, is a procedure that aims to make your skin lighter than it was when you were born. Chemicals are often used to do this. These substances are often hazardous, and the treatments are frequently unpleasant.

Skin whitening aims to lighten or diminish your complexion beyond its natural color. Look at your underarms to see your natural skin tone. Skin whitening is contentious, as it has the potential to cause harmful side effects. Skin whitening is probably not what you’re searching for unless you genuinely want to include a medical practitioner in your skincare treatment. Because “skin whitening” isn’t something we encourage, we’ll move on to “lightening & brightening.”

All skincare should be safe, but skin-lightening chemicals have a bad track record when it comes to safety. Hydroquinone, a skin-lightening chemical linked to mercury pollution and ochronosis (a bluish-black discoloration), is to blame for this negative rep. The majority of the products are made in Asia.

When combined with other protective substances, there are variants of hydroquinone made in the United States that are safe at a concentration of 1-2 percent. Many Asian skin whitening products involve caustic substances, many of which are prohibited in the United States. Don’t be concerned.

Skin brightening

What Is Skin Lightening

In contrast to skin whitening, “skin lightening” serves a useful purpose other than whitening the skin. To comprehend what skin lightening entails, we must first comprehend what hyperpigmentation is.

Skin lightening solutions are developed to balance out skin tone and restore the skin’s natural color before hyperpigmentation develops to combat hyperpigmentation. Look at the inside area of your upper arm if you want to see your real skin tone. The purpose of skin lightening is to wipe away unsightly blemishes by blocking melanin, which is responsible for your skin’s color. “Skin Lightening” lightens discoloration, decreases pigmentation, removes blemishes, and evens out skin tone.

It is also important to note that it may be accomplished with basic skincare products and does not need any form of surgical treatment. Age spots, hyperpigmentation from acne outbreaks, and bruises are some of the discolorations that skin-lightening solutions tackle. Lightening creams operate by reducing the pigmentation of melanin in a specific region of the skin. Lightening products should only be used for a short duration.

Skin brightening

What is Skin Brightening

It’s more about restoring skin’s shine and brightness when it comes to brightening. Skin brightening products eliminate dull cells from the skin, revealing a beautiful, glowing complexion. To counteract aging and achieve a smooth, even skin tone, skin brightening solutions are an essential aspect of a skincare routine.

A good skin brightener should be made up of chemicals that have been shown to lighten skin tone, which may also help to reduce the appearance of freckles and other sunspots. A skin brightener should ideally also have anti-wrinkle properties to help maintain the young look of facial skin. Of course, as their names imply, skin brighteners should be able to make skin seem brighter and more vibrant.

Chapter 2

What Does “Brightening” in a Skincare Product Really Mean?

The beauty market, as you may have seen from some of our Mahimo earlier blog posts, is fast to jump on a trend, whether it’s a trendy new ingredient or a claimed result. In some ways, the term “brightening” is in the same boat.

Many cosmetic businesses, bloggers, and others use the term “brightening” to indicate a variety of things since it may represent so many different things. Brightening is most usually used to refer to lightening, fading, or, in the most severe circumstances, bleaching. Brightening is also a term used to describe products that may reduce pigment synthesis and/or lift pigment off the skin (think dark spots from the sun or acne scars).

Brightening may also refer to products that aid to enhance cell turnover and, as a result, speed up the flaking away of damaged outer layers of skin to expose the lovely baby-soft skin underneath (think of it as a great compliment to your exfoliator).

Because the term “brightening” is used to describe a wide range of effects, the best approach to find out what a product really accomplishes is to look at the contents list. But, before we go into the components, let’s talk about why you would want to brighten your complexion in the first place.

Skin brightening

Chapter 3

Benefits behind the Skin Brightening

skin assessment

As previously said, one of the advantages of skin brightening is the decrease and/or full removal of dark spots caused by scarring, acne, sun exposure, and other factors. You may be more prone to dark spots depending on your skin type, in which case brightening creams or procedures would be beneficial.

Brightening products, as well as your everyday skincare regimen, should always be in your arsenal if you have a skin condition like melasma. Even if you don’t have melasma now, you might get it during pregnancy, which is where brightening solutions can help. Most of the substances used in brightening treatments also serve a dual purpose by providing hydration and antioxidants to your skin—and who among us couldn’t use a little extra of that?

As a result, many women choose the brightening cosmetics not just for their capacity to correct what they perceive to be skin “issues,” but also for their ability to give them the glowy appearance that we get after a tropical trip (or simply after a good night’s sleep). While brightening has a bevy of advantages that may help with many of our most frequent skincare issues (particularly as we grow older), it also has a few disadvantages.

Skin brightening

Things to Look Out When Using Skin Brightening

Most importantly, certain brightening solutions don’t perform as well on darker skin tones, so be cautious not to over-correct your dark spots by making them brighter than your basic skin tone. One of the reasons we advocate using a brightening product all over your face rather than only in trouble areas is because of this.

Another feature to look for in brightening cosmetics is a list of its components. Certain substances have not been evaluated for their long-term impact on our skin, much alone our entire health, so not all brighteners are made equal. This leads us to the following section, where we’ll go through which items to choose and which to avoid, so stay tuned!

Chapter 4

Ingredients That Are Good for Skin Brightening

Skin brightening components are divided into two groups: those that prevent melanin (pigment) from harming cells (and leaving markings) and those that accelerate cell turnover (fading existing marks and removing dead skin). Here’s a rundown of the most effective skin brightening substances and how they work:

Those Skin Brightening Ingredients That Prevent Pigment

Vitamin C

Vitamin C prevents inflammation and inhibits pigment synthesis, keeping skin bright and clear. This prevents skin from generating markings as a result of trauma (e.g., post-acne pigmentation or UV damage), resulting in a dull, uneven complexion. Avoid combining with retinol, AHAs, and BHAs and use in the morning (vitamin C is an antioxidant that protects the skin from pollution).

Skin brightening

Azelaic Acid

Azelaic acid, a natural skin brightener produced from wheat, has anti-inflammatory qualities and is especially efficient in treating redness and uneven skin tone caused by acne, rosacea, and melasma. It intelligently targets just extra melanin, not good skin, so it won’t lighten it. Azelaic acid also has antibacterial characteristics and aids in the removal of dead skin cells, making it an excellent component for acne-prone skin.

Alpha Arbutin

Alpha arbutin is a natural chemical that suppresses skin’s melanin (pigmentation) production and is a safer (but still effective) alternative to hydroquinone (a popular skin-whitening agent that has been banned in the UK). It works especially well at diminishing the appearance of dark patches caused by sun damage or breakouts. To get the most out of alpha arbutin, combine it with vitamin C.

Those Skin Brightening Ingredients That Speed up Cell Turnover

Glycolic Acid

Glycolic acid works by removing dead skin cells from the upper layers of the skin. Fresh, young skin cells replace the dull, dead skin cells as they are eliminated. This helps to make the skin seem whiter and brighter, as well as reduce scars and discoloration over time. After cleaning and before applying serums and moisturizer, use in the evening. After then, avoid utilizing retinol or vitamin C.

Skin brightening

Retinol (Retinoic acid)

Retinol breaks down into retinoic acid when applied to the skin, which promotes cell turnover in the top layers and activates cell regeneration in the lower layers. Skin becomes brighter and cleaner as each regenerated layer approaches the surface, and blemishes or scars gradually diminish. Use in the evening, avoid stacking with AHAs, BHAs, or vitamin C, and always apply SPF the next morning.

Lactic Acid

Lactic acid, like glycolic acid, dissolves the top layers of dead skin cells, triggering a regeneration process that brings fresh new cells to the surface and brightens the skin. Lactic acid molecules are bigger than glycolic acid’s, so it doesn’t penetrate as deeply and is less prone to irritate the skin. After cleaning and before applying serums and moisturizer, use in the evening. After then, avoid utilizing retinol or vitamin C.

Chapter 5

Ingredients That Must Be Avoided in Skin Brightening

Hydroquinone, a chemical that efficiently bleaches the skin, is used in many brightening cosmetics. While hydroquinone is generally considered safe for lighter skin tones, it may have unfavorable cosmetic impacts on those who have darker skin tones. This is especially true if you just want to use the brightening product on certain areas of your face – you can wind up appearing like a leopard!

There have also been questions regarding the safety of using hydroquinone on your skin, and the judgment is still out on whether or not using it in your beauty regimen might have long-term consequences.

Skin brightening

An Easy Way to Reverse Dull Skin for a More Brightening Complexion

A dull complexion, unlike dark spots, pimples, and fine wrinkles, might be difficult to see. That said if you’ve ever glanced in the mirror and wished your skin was a little bit brighter, more radiant, and just plain healthy-looking, know that it is feasible to have a brighter complexion.

Dull skin is a catch-all word for skin that doesn’t seem to be healthy. A buildup of dead skin cells, debris from the day (such as pollution), or even dehydration are some of the causes. First and foremost, how can you get rid of dull, lifeless skin and brighten it?

Specify the root of the problem. Different variables, like nutrition, lifestyle, and daily skincare routines, may all play a part, and little modifications can help you remedy the problem. We asked our physician for advice on how to brighten our skin naturally and boost our face lightness.

Lessen Your Alcohol Intake

Alcohol has been shown to significantly dry and dull the skin. It may also cause an increase in blood flow to the skin’s surface, resulting in a flushed look that, in certain cases, can become permanent over time in some individuals. You should drink clear alcohol if you want to avoid seeing the effects of alcohol on your skin. Always drink water along with your drink if you want to avoid seeing the effects of alcohol on your skin.

For the Sake of Skin Brightening, eat consciously

What you consume determines who you are. Nutritional quality and the sorts of foods you eat have an impact on your skin’s health and appearance in a variety of ways. Increase the amount of foods rich in fatty acids in your diet, such as fish (particularly salmon), walnuts, and flaxseed, in your daily routine.

Skin brightening

In order to maintain healthy and brightening skin, fatty acids must be present since they stimulate collagen and cell synthesis underneath the skin’s surface. Consider it as nurturing your skin from the inside out. Additionally, consuming foods that are high in antioxidants may aid in the prevention of skin irritation and free radical damage.

The antioxidant content of nuts and seeds such as walnuts and pumpkin seeds, as well as tomatoes, may help to protect your skin, whilst dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and can help to make your skin more supple. Also, make sure your diet is high in probiotics since the healthier your stomach is, the better your skin will be as a result.

Always Wear Sunscreen

In the opinion of our physician, exposure to the sun reduces the skin’s ability to retain vital fatty acids and hyaluronic acid, which may result in dullness and the formation of a pigmentation known as lipofuscin. “Sun protection factor (SPF) should be used every day, and the amount of SPF needed depends on the time of day,” she notes. “When doing outside activities such as hiking, swimming, walking, or running, wear an SPF 30 every day and an SPF 50 when doing inside activities.”

Skin brightening

Do Not Skip Exfoliation

You may not like hearing this, but no matter how dry and dull your skin is, you will not be able to moisturize dead skin away. Exfoliation is essential for achieving a more radiant complexion, and there are a variety of ways to include it into your daily regimen. Using a washcloth or an exfoliating cleanser or scrub, you may gently exfoliate your skin.

For a more thorough exfoliation, consider microdermabrasion treatments or a skin cleaning brush. For best results, exfoliate your skin once or twice a week. If you have sensitive skin, start with once a week and gradually increase the frequency as your skin tolerates it. You may get a brighter complexion by exfoliating on a regular basis. By doing so, you are regularly sloughing off dead skin cells and enabling new, plump skin cells to rise to the top of your skin, which is a critical step in attaining a brighter complexion.

Start Your Day with Vitamin C for a Skin Brightening

A daily intake of orange juice enriched with vitamin C is beneficial for preventing colds, but vitamin C is also a nutrient-rich antioxidant that fights the symptoms of aging and is well-known for its skin-brightening properties. Vitamin C also has other benefits, like protecting the skin from free radicals caused by ultraviolet radiation, brightening dark spots, and improving the overall look of your skin.

Skin brightening

Sleep well

Getting at least eight hours of sleep every night is beneficial for your overall health, but it’s also beneficial for your skin, according to experts. Several critical cell regeneration processes take place during sleep, according to our dermatologist, and a lack of sleep will directly contribute to poor skin regeneration, resulting in weary and dull skin. For those who have difficulty falling asleep at night, consider a pillow spray to aid in your sleep to help you fall asleep more quickly.

Use Hyaluronic Acid-rich Moisturizer for Skin Brightening

Have you ever had the sensation that your skin felt peeled, dry, and tight after washing? Increasing the amount of hyaluronic acid in your moisturizer is essential for a well-hydrated, brighter complexion—especially if you pick a moisturizer that contains the ingredient. Hyaluronic acid, more than any other component, aids in the retention of moisture that is essential in skin brightening.

Skin brightening

Chapter 6

Skin Brightening; Last Stand

The environment has a direct impact on our skin’s appearance. In certain cases, dull skin is caused by factors such as excessive sensitivity, which causes the epidermis to produce a thicker layer of protective layer on the skin, resulting in a dull and gritty texture.

Additionally, pollutants may accumulate on the skin, causing it to get congested, clog the pores, and result in the formation of blackheads. For those who live in a more polluted city, employing treatments that balance your skin’s microbiota, such as a probiotic mask, may assist you in achieving the radiance you want.

We at Mahimo are here to help you find the best cosmetic and skincare products, which are our experts’ choices. So, feel free to contact us and send your feedback in the comment section below, and let us know you follow Mahimo on social networks.

Skin brightening


Is it possible to lighten skin tone?

Skin lightening, or skin bleaching, is a cosmetic procedure that aims to lighten dark areas of skin or achieve a generally paler skin tone. It's usually used to improve the appearance of blemishes such as birthmarks and dark patches (melasma).

How can I whiten my skin in 3 days?

Wash your face with your mild cleanser. Apply the Licorice Powder-Tomato Paste or Turmeric Mask and leave on for 20 to 30 minutes. Wash off the mask with warm water and pat your face dry. Apply the Lemon Juice Toner and let it sit on your skin for 20 to 30 minutes as you did on the morning of day one.

Does vitamin C lighten skin?

On top of that, vitamin C is an antioxidant, meaning it protects skin cells from damaging free radicals caused by UV exposure. It also inhibits melanin production in the skin, which helps to lighten hyperpigmentation and brown spots, even out skin tone, and enhance skin radiance.

How do tomatoes lighten skin?

Just cut a tomato in half and rub all over the skin, letting the juice saturate into the pores. Leave on for 15 minutes and wash off. Acts As A Skin Lightener- Not only do tomatoes act as an astringent but also help wake up the dullest of skins.

Can vitamin E lighten skin?

Does vitamin E lighten the skin? Some people use vitamin E with lemon juice or other ingredients to bleach the skin. There is no evidence that this works, and these products can cause side effects that include: damage to the skin.

Can turmeric lighten skin?

Turmeric doesn't darken the skin. In fact, turmeric has skin-lightening properties which help you get rid of dark spots effectively without causing any side-effects. Using turmeric along with other moisturizing ingredients such as milk or honey will help improve your skin complexion.