By Leila Cunningham, Head of Skin Care Products at CLN Company
The term "Skin brightening" shouldn't be mixed up with "whitening" or "lightening" your skin—both of which can expose you to harsh chemicals, dry your skin and even cause damage and inflammation. But bright, healthy skin doesn't just happen by simply wanting it. Choosing the right ingredients and perfecting the steps of your skincare routine, living a healthier lifestyle and maintaining it makes it possible for everyone to achieve a glowing complexion—regardless of your skin tone, age, or gender.*
Our skin is constantly shedding dead cells. The entire outer layer of skin replaces itself approximately every 4 weeks. When these dead cells collect on the surface, they can cause the skin to appear dull. Additionally, the skin can lose its glow if it becomes dehydrated. Skin brightening focuses on removing dead skin cells, preventing pore build up, and reducing hyperpigmentation, which can make you look tired, with uneven tone.
Skin brightening relies on five key steps: cleansing, exfoliation and cell turnover, moisturizing, using sunscreen and healthy lifestyle.
Skin cleaning is an essential step of every skincare routine. Cleansing removes most of the day's oils, dirt, make up and sunscreen. Cleansing your skin ensures that any additional products you apply can penetrate the layers.
Exfoliation and Skin Turnover
Similar to cleansing, the exfoliation step ensures that flaky, dry skin—which can lead to dullness and increased texture—is removed. You can exfoliate either through manual or chemical methods.
Aquafacial offers both - 1) manually by using silicone tips allowing gentle manual exfoliation and 2) chemically, by using specialized Aquafacial Cleansing Serum which contains 1% of glycolic acid.
One key to brightening your complexion is to boost cellular turnover. Complete renewal of the epidermis requires 40 to 60 days in the elderly compared with 28 days in young adults.† Using ingredients like AHA (glycolic acid) , retinoids, and antioxidants like vitamins C, E and D help exfoliate, encourage collagen production and boost cellular turnover.
After you've finished cleansing, exfoliating, and applying your preferred serums, it's time to moisturize. Moisturizing creates an extra barrier by locking in hydration.
Most sun damage results from every day, incidental ultraviolet (sun) exposure, rather than occasional bursts while on vacation, dermatologists recommend daily use of sunscreens.^ Using 30+ SPF with zinc oxide or avobenzone are highly recommended by dermatologist. Sunscreen should always be the final step of every at-home skincare routine.
It's all about the chemistry! Just as we care about the ingredients in our food, we should also prioritize the quality of ingredients in our beauty products.
Although individual products can perform well on their own, there are instances where the synergy of combining products can provide better results.
Retinol + Niacinamide - Retinol speeds up the rate at which your skin creates new cells. It also boosts your skin's collagen production. This can minimize the appearance of fine lines. Unlike niacinamide, retinol is associated with side effects. It’s known to cause irritation and inflammation. Niacinamide is an incredibly gentle, yet powerful skincare ingredient that helps to boost hydration and make skin smoother, brighter, and stronger. Together retinol and niacinamide help to soothe irritation caused by retinol, as well as help reduce fine lines, dark spots and skin texture.
Another recommend combination is Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid and Vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant, a combo we use in our Cleansing Serum.
Dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse MD, FAAD says that because both Vitamin C and E are antioxidants, their components create an ideal cocktail that can help replenish and repair your skin cells, especially as your skin begins to get older and less firm.
A Healthy Lifestyle
One of the most important and simple habits you can incorporate in your life – a healthy lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is not only important for your skin but for the overall health.
Moving - (walking, running, playing sports, stretching, taking yoga, Pilates, etc.) improves blood flow and overall cardio, muscle strength, balance, and stimulates your body’s lymphatic system that is central part of our immune system (to help remove waste like bacteria, viruses, toxins, etc.) to work more efficiently.
Healthy diet - incorporation of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fruit and veggies, protein (animal or non-animal), fiber (grains, seeds, nuts, veggies and fruit), healthy oils (olive oil, fish oil, avocado, nuts and seeds), complex carbs (vegetables, fruit, grains) help many organs. Many people require the inclusion of supplements. But reminder – supplements are supplements – not replacements to our diet. We recommend that you always consult with your doctor especially if you have taken medication and or have medical condition.
Water - water intake is key for hydration and a healthy digestive system. We can add supplements like probiotic and probiotics, fibers etc., but water is a key ingredient to keep the system going. We recommend having a bottle or glass of water with you at all times. It is a great reminder to drink it. If you are not a huge water drinker - teas, pressed and fresh juices, coconut water (full of minerals), soups and broths are great options for daily liquid intake.
Sleep or “ Beauty Sleep” - We're sure you heard this one before - but It is so important for us to have a regular schedule of eight hours of good sleep. Sleep is the time when the body not only rests but also recharges. Sleep is important for growth and renewal of multiple physiological systems. A study published in the British Associations of Dermatologists in 2014 indicates that chronic poor sleep quality is associated with increased signs of intrinsic aging, diminished skin barrier function and lower satisfaction with appearance. ‡
Stress - it is amazing how much stress can affect our bodies. Physical changes can happen overnight if we are exposed to short term or chronic stress. And changes to our skin like allergies, rashes, eczema, dryness, dull skin, are just some of the signs that our bodies are under stress. Going on a walk, meditating (it can be in a form of body movement or just relaxing), getting massages, breaking out of your daily routine, socializing and talking to your friends (go to that long planed lunch or concert…), playing with your kids or pets, gardening, writing journals, reading etc - are some of many ways to cope and relieve stress.
Skin is our largest organ. It is exposed to everything daily. From UV rays, free radicals, blue light, chemicals, stress. All of the factors mentioned above effect our skin. Skin is a protector, filter, and it reflects our appearance. When our skin is affected, it deeply impacts us. Therefore, daily skincare is of utmost importance. Start with small steps (adding more water to your diet, creating a more balanced diet, adding daily walks, and going to bed earlier (skip your binge-worthy series sometimes..). Properly washing, moisturizing, and protecting our skin from excessive sun exposure are crucial steps. The steps mentioned in this blog serve as a great starting point. By reading this blog, you're already ahead of the game.
† Source 2 -Sadick NS. Futuristic approaches to skin care. In: Sadick NS, Lupo M, Bersen DS, editors. Cosmeceutical Science in Clinical Practice. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 2010. [Google Scholar] [Ref list]
^ Source: 20. Dale Wilson B, Moon S, Armstrong F. Comprehensive review of ultraviolet radiation and the current status on sunscreens. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2012;5:18–23. [PMC free article] [PubMed] [Google Scholar] [Ref list]
‡ Source 4 - https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25266053/