Another bright idea

Posted on April 24th, 2012 by Michelle

We spend a lot of time reading about and researching beauty products and information to help make you, loyal readers, more informed and better looking.  So today, we talk about skin brighteners.  They’re everywhere you look and nobody can really tell you what the hell they do.

To me, the idea of “bright” skin is what my cheeks look like when after a brisk walk in early November.  The companies trying to define their products are tossing around words like “luminous,” “younger,” “glowing,” “younger,” “radiant,” “younger,” “brighter” … (any English teachers out there who want to remind them you can’t use the word itself as part of the definition?)

Skin brightening, not to be confused with lightening or whiting, is about all those things – and sort of nothing at the same time.  The things that dull the skin – oils, dead skin cells, dryness and so forth – are already being addressed if you have a normal cleansing and moisturizing routine.  If you aren’t currently exfoliating a couple of times a week, try it. The difference will amaze you.

But brighteners?  Many are a type of moisturizer that is chock full of vitamins and antioxidants.  What I’m using now has those things too, even though a derivative of the word “bright” doesn’t appear anywhere on the label.  And since I don’t wear makeup, it’s obvious right away whether or not my skin is bright.  But after you’ve cleansed, toned, moisturized and then “put on your face” with foundation, blush and the works, who’s to know if you did or didn’t brighten?

Brighteners often say they will also help even out skin tones, fading discoloration and reducing blotchiness, so that could make a difference in how your makeup appears on its canvas.  Ingredients to look for include AHAs and Vitamin C.  What those ingredients do, like many skin care products, is help break up dead cells so they’re easier to wash away, as well as promote faster cell turnover.  Newer skin is going to be brighter, of course, but honestly, you may already be using products that do this for you.

All that said, there’s no reason not to add brighteners to your routine, especially if you’re not a regular exfoliator, aren’t loading up on vitamins and antioxidants through your skin care regimen or your diet, or just because you want to, dammit!

There are too many choices out there, and Ulta, Sephora and drugstore.com are where you should start.  If you’re still not sure what to choose, talk to your trusted beauty adviser or Ask LookinGood, and we’ll try to narrow it down for you!

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A short history of cosmetics

150BC Romans use yellow eye shadow.

The Romans preferred to use gold-colored eye shadow which was made from saffron and painted onto the area around the sides and under their eyes. Then they used powdered wood ash to color their eyelids black. This gold color was quite significant at the time because they saw themselves as the rulers of the Mediterranean.

http://www.factoidz.com/