No one knows SKIN Brightening better than Asian people. Culturally, White skin equals wealth and status. There is a saying that “As long as you have WHITE skin, it can cover nine blemishes on your face, regardless if you have small eyes, pimples, large pores.”. To do proper skin brightening, there are many different skin pathways. Majority of the products out there just target one or two pathways.
So, what are the necessary pathway we have to consider?
1) The most well known-brightening via tyrosinase inhibition- use of Vitamin C. There are many different forms of vitamin C. Only the ester form is stable and is recognized by the Japanese government as quasi-drug (which people can say WHITENING!).
2) Inhibition of “stress signals”- stress actually plays a factor in skin darkening. There are effective stress inhibition materials that are proven for skin brightening. Some of them are tested better than the use of Hydroquinone (which is banned due to toxicity).
3) Reduction of melanosome maturation: This is a sure way but slower way of having brighter skin. There have been a number of product launches in 2012 using this approach.
4) Reduction of melanin transfer to keratinocyte- this is an interesting pathway which has not been looked at seriously by the cosmetic industry. This can potentially eliminate the occurrence of melasma which is often associated with pregnancy.
For a good skin brightening formulation, also look for anti-inflammatory ingredients present as inflammation also can be a source of skin darkening. ELIMINATE THAT! Additionally, with the addition of Alpha hydroxy type of exfoilator can also speed up results.
There has not been a comprehensive skin brightening product that targeted all the pathways. However, my personal favorites are Clinique Even Better SKin Dark Spot Corrector, Dr. Denese Pro C Clinical PM Brightening Serum and Shiseido Elixir White Reset Whitening Cream.