Your 2017 Update on Brightening Products

Within the beauty industry, March is known as “brightening month”. That means all the brands launch their key brightening products for the year at this time, and in Asia where brightening is the biggest skincare obsession, this is a trend that’s even more keenly felt – so it’s the best time of year to give your brightening routine a refresh.

Enter brightening serums, your key to getting the perfectly toned, even skin that we all dream about. These powerful products often contain potent antioxidants, like vitamin C, to help diminish dark spots, refine skin texture, and create an overall luminous complexion. By adding this one step to your routine (after cleansing but before moisturizing), you'll never have to rely solely on makeup to hide imperfections and deliver the glow you want. With claims like these, it's no wonder that almost every brand has a stake in the brightening realm. To help you choose which serum will be your new holy grail, we've rounded up favorites for every price point. Team Skin Radar loves these too, so rest assured that they're tried-and-true. Keep reading to find out which new brightening serums are the best of the best. We also revisit the perennial favourites that haven’t let us down, proving to be worthy defenders of the skin against the dreaded double Ds: dullness, and dark spots.

#1. Laniege White Dew Original Ampoule Essence
Laneige’s new White Dew line promises to give you radiance with a dewy finish. The collection contains a Mela-vita Crusher technology that claims to be able fill melanocytes with moisture to suppress and control melanin formation. It also has truffle extract to promote the destruction of melanin pigments, as well as vitamin B5 to soothe the skin and cultivate a healthy and hydrated environment to reduce melanin formation. To keep skin hydrated, the range uses Phyto Sugar Water, which is infused with Trehalose and Raffinose extracted from plants. The duo is said to be able to help skin to regulate its moisture content, while also hydrating and purifying skin to boost brightness. The Laneige White Dew line contains seven products in all, but the star producs of the collection is definitely the Original Ampoule Essence (SGD $80).

#2. SKINFOOD Yuja Water C Whitening Ampoule
When it comes to skincare, we trust Korean brands to bring us the latest and greatest. This serum is no exception. It uses vitamin C to fade spots and keep skin firm and youthful. While it doesn't compromise on quality, it does come in at a very affordable price. "This brightening ampoule is packed with Yuja extract oil, known for its high concentration of Vitamin C. It works to fade dark spots, melasma, and hyperpigmentation while stimulating collagen production and fighting signs of aging. Skinfood's Yuja Water C Whitening Ampoule (USD $39) also contains niacinamide, a hero ingredient known for repairing fine lines and dullness, as well as strengthening skin." - Noelle, Beauty Writer

#3. Vichy Idealia Lumiere Illuminating Moisture Essence
And for a more wallet-friendly supercharger, there’s Vichy’s Idealia Lumiere Illuminating Moisture Essence (SGD $75). Peony root boosts blood circulation; hyaluronic acid hydrates and reboots rosiness; while the active ingredient adenosine stimulates metabolism and cellular energy for a healthy glow. 

#4. Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Brightening and Smoothing Moisture Treatment
This is 101 when it comes to getting brighter, more even-toned skin: the higher the rate of one’s skin cell turnover, the less build-up of melanin there is, and the better skin can reflect light and appear radiant. Exfoliating is key, but this product goes beyond that. Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Brightening and Smoothing Moisture Treatment (USD $58) is meant to boost skin clarity by working on rough texture, dehydration and discoloration. "How it really works on improving skin cell turnover: it has glycolic acid that not so much peels, but softens the skin’s surface (perfect for those with sensitive complexions), making it more receptive to the other ingredients." - Claire, Beauty Intern

#Perennial Favorite - Tatcha Radiant Deep Brightening Serum
Brighten dark spots and discoloration with Tatcha's Radiant Deep Brightening Serum (USD $185). Licorice root, another antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, deserves a spot in your skincare routine for its skin-brightening abilities. Unlike some other skin lighteners, it’s gentle—it won’t aggravate even the most sensitive skin. In fact, it’s even used to treat rosacea, dermatitis, and psoriasis (its anti-inflammatory properties calm redness and irritation). Licorice root is a tyrosinase inhibitor, which means it interrupts the stimulation of the enzyme that triggers melanin production. It’s also a humectant, which means it draws moisture into the skin—perfect for maintaining that dewy glow. 
#Perennial Favorites: Sloane Inc White Plasma & Sloane Inc Dermaboost Glutathione

Perennial Favorite - SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic
No list of our favorite serums would be complete without this offering from SkinCeuticals (USD $163)—we have sung its praises time and time again. As its moniker suggests, it's a magical blend of vitamins C and E, plus ferulic acid that transforms and evens skin tone both instantly and over time, leaving behind an impeccable glow. "This has been my go-to for ages and I've never been able to put it down." - Gigi, Beauty Intern


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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.