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The Best Skin Brightening Products

The Best Skin Brightening Products The Best Skin Brightening Products

Your skin may become marred with dark discolorations and uneven skin tone, typically after excessive surface damage from exposure to the sun. Several over-the-counter skin brightening treatments can help reduce pigmentation and get rid of damaged skin cells for a brighter, lighter look. For the most effective brightening results, choose a skin lightening treatment that's been recommended by skin care or beauty experts.

Aveda Enbrightenment Brightening Cleanser

Skin care expert Paula Begoun tested Aveda's brightening facial wash and found it very good. She praised its "well-formulated" ingredients, such as exfoliating salicylic acid, which helps accelerate skin cell turnover to reduce surface pigmentation. Begoun also loved that it lacked irritating ingredients like fragrance chemicals.

SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel

SkinCeuticals's brightening gel comes recommended by "Shape" magazine's beauty editors. The magazine liked its use of arbutin, an herbal extract that they say is effective as a mild skin brightener. Additional beneficial ingredients include hyaluronic acid—a potent moisturizer—and skin-soothing plant ingredients like cucumber extract.

Peter Thomas Roth Glycolic Acid 10% Hydrating Gel

Glycolic acid, a type of alpha hydroxy acid, helps lighten skin discolorations and also helps to fight wrinkles, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Peter Thomas Roth's moisturizing treatment contains the acid at a strength of 10 percent. Begoun calls it "excellent," especially because it's paired with an effective pH that allows proper exfoliation of pigmented skin. It also contains antioxidants and natural moisturizers like aloe vera.

Origins Never a Dull Moment

Origins' polishing facial treatment was ranked by "Shape" magazine's editors as one of the best skin-brightening exfoliating treatments. The University of Maryland Medical Center notes that exfoliating can help with surface discolorations, as well as fine lines. The facial scrub is formulated with radiance-boosting fruit enzymes, such as papaya, plus natural exfoliating abrasives like ground mango and apricot seeds.

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