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Radiance. Glow. Clarity. Even tone. These are all outcomes of products described as brightening. But what exactly do brighteners do and which ingredients fall into this category?

Brighteners target the marks left behind by acne, photodamage, age spots, hyperpigmentation, and melasma. Their goal is to encourage a luminous, even-toned complexion, but they don’t all work in the same way.

Some brightening ingredients directly target pigmentation at the cellular level to keep it from making it to the surface in the first place. They either inhibit the enzyme tyrosinase or block its transfer to melanocytes.

Others work by increasing cellular turnover to help lift excess pigment from the surface through exfoliation.

The term brightening can also mean simply increasing radiance by revealing fresh, new skin cells through exfoliation such as Morgan Paris Mask and Scrub Products.

Products that combine both cell regulating and exfoliating agents deliver a one-two punch: blocking melanin from reaching the surface and fading existing pigmentation through accelerated cell turnover.

The two-pronged approach means results come faster and last long-term.

Products that target tyrosinase inhibition are Lustrous Skin Bright, Enzyme Infusion Peel Pads, Crystal Glycolic Facial Scrub, Anti-Oxidant Glycolic Mask and Old World Honey Scrub.

Products that target the reduction in melanosome transfer are, A Twilight Treatment and Restorative B3 Serum.