Refresh Report
Want Brighter Skin? Look for These Ingredients
Posted on 25 Jun 2022
Banner Image

The Clean Beauty movement has taken off, and beauty gurus and skincare brands everywhere are coveting that glowy, dewy finish. 

What’s the secret to achieving this look?

The answer: a flawless base! Dewy, glowy appearances start off with a clean slate and great skin. 

As such, the newest skin brightening products in the market claim to get rid of dull complexions, diminishing dark spots and reducing hyperpigmentation. From vitamin C serums to eye creams and sunscreen types, brightening serums promise all of the above - but what are they really doing?

Here are the key ingredients to look for when buying skin brightening products: 

Vitamin C

We know vitamin C originates from citrus and other fruits and vegetables, and it’s also an active ingredient in many skincare products. When applied topically to the skin, this vitamin promotes the production of elastin - keeping the skin firm and plump. As an antioxidant, it helps to fight hyperpigmentation and reduce the visibility of scars. 

Vitamin C is frequently paired with minerals like zinc to provide the optimum immune defense. These usually come in tablet or edible form, necessary for growth, development and repair of all body tissue. This isn’t exclusive to your body’s inner healing process - but to your skin as well! Encouraging the repair of body tissue means that vitamin C also helps to lighten dark spots on your skin, smooth wrinkles and boost collagen formation. 

If applying during the day, it is important to pair your vitamin C serums with SPF, as vitamin C alone does not stop absorption of UVA and UVB rays. 


Niacinamide is a vitamin found in foods like meat, milk, eggs and some vegetables. When used on the skin, it aids in the production of keratin. This is the protein that keeps your skin firm and looking healthy. It holds great benefits for those dealing with ageing or sensitive skin, retaining moisture levels and thus acting as a natural moisture barrier. 

This vitamin is also frequently paired with retinol for their complementary effects - namely several high-end anti-ageing products. This pairing is said to lessen any irritation or dryness of the skin, also great for acne breakouts. 

Niacinamide is also often paired with vitamin C, as this mixture amplifies the benefits of each other. This includes inhibiting melanin from reaching the skin, as well as suppressing the formation of age spots. 

Image by Enecta via Unsplash

Azelaic acid

Azelaic acid holds significant antibacterial properties that are known to clear dead skin cells. This reduces the appearance of scars, as well as combating acne and pimples

For those with rosacea, azelaic acid is an active ingredient in skincare prescriptions. Azelaic acid is known to clear pores of any bacteria that may be causing your breakouts, encouraging a higher cell turnover so healing occurs quicker. In turn, minimising scarring. 

As it is an acid, dermatologists suggest you begin with topical use on alternate days - especially if you have sensitive skin. With time, incorporate azelaic acid to your everyday routine for optimum results. From its presence in oils, to serums to moisturisers, look for azelaic acid in your next skincare purchase. 


Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, presenting the active ingredient in many moisturisers and creams pushed by beauty favourites like Kiehl’s and Sephora. Most notably, retinol helps to reduce the effects associated with hyperpigmentation and wrinkling - namely, the adverse effects of UV rays. 

Dermatologists recommend the use of retinol skincare at night - not in the daytime. Use of retinol products in between your cleanser and moisturiser is a good way to ease your skin into the benefits of retinol. Pair retinol with aloe vera gels for the optimum support for skin renewal and collagen boost. 

Hyaluronic acid

Hyaluronic acid is used in many Korean skincare products, with highly moisturising benefits. The acid holds moisture extremely well to your skin, making it a great ingredient for after-sun care - healing sunburns and aiding in recovery. 

Evidence suggests that hyaluronic acid helps promote tissue growth, reducing the appearance of scars and lightening the skin simultaneously. 

Look for hyaluronic acid in your sunscreens for extra defence to harmful UV rays. While promoting extra hydration that you need with excess sun exposure, it also helps reduce any signs of premature ageing that are caused by the sun. 

Lactic acid

Lactic acid, in certain concentrations, helps the skin get firmer and thicker. This happens as lactic acid increases cell turnover and inhibits the production of melanin - making it a great light exfoliant for the skin, treating any dark spots or uneven patches on the skin. 

In addition, lactic acid when topically applied also helps give an overall smoother appearance with less lines and wrinkles. 

Due to its acidic nature, lactic acid should not be used right before any sun exposure. It is best to incorporate lactic acid to your nighttime skincare routines!

Final tip: Schedule monthly TLC time for your skin

Want a fast-track to brighter skin? Try the Renew Glow Facial by our friends at Bskin - all in the comfort of your home. 

Complementing your skincare routine with a regular skin treatment schedule can give your skin an added boost in the form of professional help for looking the best it can possibly be! Book in with us here.
Refresh Report
Busy schedule? We planned out the beauty service options you can have within a one hour break
We’ve curated for you a list of The First Refresh beauty fixes that get you that precious TLC recharge within an hour, tops!
Want healthier hair? Break these bad habits that damage your hair
No description
Let's be friends, but like, over the internet