MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL, WHO IS THE FAIREST OF THEM ALL?
Lightening and whitening products have become must-haves in our beauty routines, but do we really know all there is to know about achieving a lighter skin complexion, and going back to a more youthful complexion?
Why does our skin tone change over the years?
Free radicals damage skin and alter its appearance. Skin’s exposure to everyday light and sun, along with hormone changes in pregnancy, see skin become darker and we notice dark pigmentation patches.
What do whitening treatments do to combat the pigmentation?
By speeding up the skin’s natural ‘turn-around’ process to obtain its healthy pre-light exposed tone. These treatments are formulated with ingredients that inhibit the transfer of melanin to the surface of skin and they even suppress the production of melanin.Recently, Dr Julie Woodward, MD, Chief Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Duke University and member of SkinCeuticals advisory board, took a very, very long flight from North Carolina, USA to visit Singapore. Bubbamama were lucky enough to meet up with her as she shared information on SkinCeuticals’ Antioxidant Authority and explained how the market’s best whitening products are composed and work towards regaining and maintaining a youthful skin tone:-
- Antioxidants must penetrate deeply into the skin’s layers in order to deliver the promised results.
- Vitamin C is one of the key ingredients but, if not in a pure form or if it has become oxidized, it will have no effect whatsoever.
- Vitamin E helps to regenerate the Vitamin C in the skin. Again, Vitamin E must be in it’s, often difficult to maintain ‘fresh’ and active form in order to work it’s magic.
Many common drugstore preparations promote Vitamin C and Vitamin E but few contain the purest forms that give the treatment it’s effective composition. For example, you may find the ingredient of Tocopharol Acetate (Vitamin E) in your whitening or lightening treatment but, although being a nice emollient, it will not act as the antioxidant we need to eradicate free radicals in the skin.
SkinCeuticals can work it’s lightening magic on your skin
This is where SkinCeuticals have developed their technology to incorporate Ferulic Acid into their Antioxidant treatments. The Ferulic Acid ensures the Vitamin C has an acidic pH of 3.5 or less so that it can penetrate the skin, and it also stabilizes the Vitamin E for a longer period of time.
What are some Whitening treatments we have discovered recently?
SkinCeuticals have combined their expertise into formulating a patented antioxidant technology. This is now made available to us in the shape of Phloretin CF that is highly effective on correcting and maintaining skin tone, reducing signs of hyper-pigmentation and giving skin an overall radiant appearance. Phloretin CF and Phloretin CF Gel have been put under the clinical studies and professional critical eye of SkinCeuticals and, after just 12 weeks, patients did see a marked reduction in dark spots and hyper-pigmention was minimized.
The DESPIGMEN Whitening and Lightening Treatment by Atache Scientific Cosmetic offers efficient depigmentation action using the latest lightening agents. DESPIGMEN brings spectacular improvements to the skin as it acts on those mechanisms that form dark patches. Skin tone becomes more even and melanin production is regulated. The complete range of Atache Scientific Cosmetic is available at Allure Beauty Saloon.
Botanical Lightening Treatment by Trilogy – A combination of natural actives to brighten, a good amount of Vitamin C, kiwi (for antioxidant power) and a mix of gingko biloba and white tea to protect skin from free radical damage. Daily use will see age spots and dark patches reduced and continued use will prevent any future pigmentation issues. [Our Beauty Editor tried and tested this product and assures us that a particularly dark patch on her forehead truly is fading. Perhaps continued use will see it completely disappear!?]
PureHeal’s Galactomyces line promises perfect skin. It will whiten and even out skin texture as well as reactivating dull skin to a healthy pure and clear complexion. PureHeal’s is also free from harmful chemicals and they carry out NO animal testing.
One of our favourite Japanese brands, SENKA, offer a wonderful whitening range. SENKA Whitening Lotion Moist (normal-dry skin) and SENKA Whitening Lotion Fresh (normal-oily skin) will fully hydrate your skin and, due to the Vitamin D, it will inhibit melanin formulations. Incorporating royal Jelly, Glycerine and two types of Hyaluronic Acid, this Whitening Lotion also increases the skin’s capacity to absorb the next product in your beauty routine (i.e. moisture or nourishing cream or your anti-aging favourite).
Whitening and Lightening the natural way:-
There are many natural ways to maintain a healthy and light skin tone. Adding foods that are high in Vitamin C and E will both improve skin tone and maintain your healthy complexion:-
- A simple fresh fruit salad to start the day gives you a boost of Vitamin C. Fruits such as papaya, strawberries, kiwi and of course orange all offer a great source of Vitamin C and have proven antioxidant benefits.
- Some foods rich in Vitamin E are sunflower seeds, sweet potato, avocado and spinach, these will all maintain healthy skin and offer protection to the sun’s damaging rays.
- Sweet Potato Soup – a tasty and healthy choice for a boost of Vitamin E (makes 4 servings) -750g sweet potato, peeled and cubed, 1.5 litres of vegetable stock, sour cream, pepper or chives (optional). Simmer the sweet potatoes in the vegetable stock until soft. Pour into a blender or food processor and whiz until smooth. Pour the mixture back into the saucepan and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Add sour cream, pepper or chives to taste.
Sun Protection to maintain your new found youthful tone
Of course, one major factor in this beauty routine to maintain lighter, whiter and brighter skin is to add in the application of a good sun protection to your regime. Minimum SPF50 to the face and neck area is an absolute must. Some sun protection products we have come across in our quest to be the ‘fairest of them all’ are:-
- SkinCeuticals Protect range offers a SPF50 physical UV defense – we note that this sunscreen leaves no white residue, absorbs quickly and skin is left matt to look like you used a makeup primer.
- Falice Towako Cosme UV Perfect Cream – this SPF50 PA+++ is easily absorbed, has a pleasant scent and is a perfect base to your chosen ‘face of the day’.
- SENKA Sunscreen – SPF50, containing 100% mineral water from Mt. Fuji that eases the application and ensures no residue or sticky feeling is left behind.
NOTE: These whitening and lightening treatments mentioned can only help you regain your unique youthful skin tone. They will not see you achieve a paler tone than the one you started with as a child!
Atache Scientific Cosmetic at Allure Beauty Saloon -Tiong Bahru Plaza (Tiong Bahru MRT) -West Mall (Bukit Batok MRT) -City Square Mall (Farrer Park MRT)
Trilogy products are available at Nature by Beauty stores in Singapore: ION, VivoCity and Parkway Parade
SkinCeuticals is brought to Singapore by L’Oreal. SkinCeuticals treatments can be found at pharmacies located: -National Skin Centre -Tan Tock Seng Hospital -Changi Hospital
PureHeal’s can be found at Sephora stores in Singapore.
SENKA is available exclusively at Watsons Stores in Singapore.