Brightening Skincare Trends for 2016

Dewy, luminous porcelain skin is as much the standard as it is an art form in South Korea — and "dewy" is not to be confused with the dreaded oily or shiny face. If you're anything like me, you have always been envious of the white, porcelain skin of Korean pop stars. Take Kim Tae Hee, Song Hye Kyo, and Han Ji Min for example. They are, in my opinion, the epitome of the classic Korean beauty. You cannot get anymore perfect than what they already are. Skin brightening has long been a trend in Asia and will continue to rise due to its robust demand, particularly in Asia Pacific; where fair, translucent skin is associated with - prosperity, beauty and youth.

When it comes to brightening skincare, we like to be in the know about what we put on our face. A slew of new innovations are on tap for 2016, so we asked the experts from The Sloane Clinic for their predictions of the products and ingredients that will be huge this year. Trends come and go, but great skin is always in style.

1. Are there any new trends in brightening skincare?

The pursuit of the ultimate radiance is bringing brightening skincare beyond just fading spots or curbing melanin production. It's gone more multi-dimensional and broad-action that is also about achieving skin that's more refined in texture, more plump and dewy, less sallow and less blotchy at the same time. This will translate to perfect colour balance and light reflectance, and hence, a more luminous, clearer complexion.

Beauty buffs the world over may have hit the jackpot this year with Shiseido's incredibly exciting new line-up of WHITE LUCENT products, all of which promise to work like popular cosmetic laser  procedures to boost the luminosity of your complexion. 

2. Is brightening skincare can be for everyone, even if I  don't desire to be super fair?

Yes. Skin brightening has come a long way, both in terms of advancements in product technology, as well as the concept behind it. The beauty industry has moved from one-dimensional words like "whitening" or "lightening" that doesn't capture the whole idea of evenness, radiance, luminosity, and all the things that these brightening products are really about. Whatever our skin colour, an even-toned, uniform complexion with a lit-from-within healthy glow is now being increasingly recognized as one of the most critical characteristics of beautiful, youthful skin - worldwide. 

3. Any general dos and don'ts when it comes to brightening skincare?

For optimal efficacy and efficiency, the combination of products in the skincare regime is as important as each individual product. With 14 steps involved in pigment production, do consider a multi-prong approach with a cocktail of different active skincare ingredients that will address all major mechanisms of melanin formation to fade existing visible spots or uneven skin tone, and reduce new spot formation for best and long-lasting results. 

Do ensure that your regime covers all major grounds with the simple "CPR" approach as well: 

- Correction (eg spot lighteners, cell-renewing acids)

- Protection (eg good sun protection,antioxidants)

- Repair (eg barrier-strengthening ceramides, good hydration, antioxidants, anti-inflammatories)

Don't overdo it (as with all things), especially for those with more sensitive skin. E.g. too much high concentration vitamin c products, or combination of AHAs with retinoids can irritate skin and cause redness, flaking and more dullness. 

If you're not getting the results you desire, do approach your skin doctor who can help formulate a multi-modal approach that might include skincare, clinically-proven treatments, as well as oral supplements to boost skin radiance from inside and out. 

For example, new-generation lasers such as the Fraxel Light laser at The Sloane Clinic further raises the radiance bar by introducing laser-assisted skincare delivery.

Pairing of Sloane Inc. White Plasma serum with gentle Fraxel Light laser delivers a more uniform tone, immaculate smoothness, and supreme brilliance that are greater than the sum of its parts. 

For deep stained-in splotches such as melasma, The Sloane Clinic's Brilliant Skin Program employs Fraxel laser to bring about deep dermal renewal that improves both resistant and hidden spots, along with collagen rejuvenation for the radiant clarity and supple smoothness even sun-kissed skin would covet. The Sloane Clinic's Divine Whitening Program takes an alternative approach with Pigment Laser to neutralize excess pigment for a fair, flawless translucency many Asian ladies dream of.

4. When it comes to brightening products, does it help to start young? If so, why?

As with most things in life, prevention is always better than cure. Even before spots and uneven patches surface and become visible to the naked eye, or lines appear as skin's collagen structure becomes noticeably weakened, cumulative damage and skin ageing occurs. But the focus in beautifully carefree youths should be mainly be in protection and prevention.

Religious sunscreen to keep the UV rays off is a good start – but it’s insufficient to keep the spots away. Studies suggest adding antioxidants to your daily regime will complete your defense against skin-wrecking infrared radiation, pollution and free radicals, too. A perfect example of beauty and brains, Sloane Inc. BB powder has SPF50 reinforced with antioxidant fullerene (a product of advanced nanotechnology) to combat ageing environmental forces, acne and unwanted shine throughout the day. Not only does the Crystal Tomato oral whitening supplement shield every inch of skin from within with powerful natural antioxidants, it calms spot-triggering inflammation and reduces production of brown-black melanin to give you a fair, rosy glow from top to toe.


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The Skin Radar is an online avenue which documents my tumbling thoughts, ideas and musings from my daily life, mainly based on skincare and beauty. It is designed to take the clutter out of beauty journalism to provide trustworthy and objective insights, new finds and sneak peaks- all in a beautiful and clean platform.

I test all products & treatments with age and skin colour in mind, break down the latest health fads, and source for expert opinions from international skincare leaders. All in all, my goal is to make sure that I am on top of every beauty innovation and skincare trend the world has to offer.