Featured News Tip Sheet



Skin Brightening

The goal: porcelain-smooth, luminous skin

The problem: dark spots, lack of clear uniformity to complexion, dull skin tone

Scientific explanation: a combination of past sun damage and genetics. Dark spots occur when over activity of the enzyme tyrosinase kick-starts our melanocytes (pigment producing cells) to over-produce melanin and boom: spots. “They can be stimulated by inflammation from acne, birth control pills, stress or heat from laser treatments and they’re all made worse by sun exposure,” explains Dr. Diane Wong MD.

Perceived aging: a study out of the University of Gottingen, Germany confirmed that it’s these dark spots and uneven skin-tone, not wrinkles that create the impression of aged skin making one look older.

Safety first: the former go-to ingredient for eradicating spots, hydroquinone (already banned in the EU since 2001 as a potential carcinogen) is under the regulatory microscope in Canada. Therefore,  skincare companies have perfected safer, effective lightening and brightening ingredients that both slow the production of melanin and diminish the appearance of the resulting spots themselves.

Whitening versus brightening: A huge skincare trend in Asia, Health Canada prohibits the use of the term “whitening” and any product that actively works to change the actual pigment in skin.

Best line of attack: wear broad-spectrum sun protection every day.  Eighty percent of the signs of aging including dark spots are due to sun damage. Next, add a targeted brightening product to even out skin tone and fade dark spots from within by regulating melanin production.

Six Bright Picks:


Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 6.33.52 PMShiseido’s White Lucent Intensive Spot Targeting Serum ($140 for 30 ml) attacks spots by diminishing tyrosinase activity to decrease melanin levels and uses brightening powerhouse Vitamin C in conjunction with yomogi (Japanese mugwort) extract to eliminate melanin from spots.




Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 6.34.22 PMBiotherm’s White Detox Intense Brightening Serum ($82 for 30 ml) uses a plum extract that inhibits melanosome darkening and limits melanin intake by the keratinocytes.  Translation: skin cells don’t receive the melanin so they remain lighter in colour.




Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 6.32.37 PMDior’s Diorsnow D-NA Control White Reveal Essence  ($130) minimizes the appearance of dark spots with Transparency Enhancing Complex that slows overactive tyrosinase synthesis and boosts skins luminosity by diminishing developing spots, regulating overactive oil production, smoothing irregular skin texture and increasing collagen production.




Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 6.31.46 PMThe Mela-NO complex in Lancôme’s Bright Expert ($75 for 30 ml) contains mint extract and rose to prevents spots by slowing melanin production and licorice extract and ellagic acid to lighten existing spots and brighten the complexion.  Salicylic acid helps re-texturize skin and speed cell turnover.




Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 6.32.16 PMClinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector ($63 for 30 ml)

What’s special about this product is clinical results proved an over-the-counter product could match a leading drug ingredient in effectiveness. A patent-pending complex called CL-302 contains five synergistic brightening ingredients including glucosamine and dianella ensifolia.



Screen Shot 2014-03-30 at 6.33.27 PMEstee Lauder Idealist  Even Skintone Illuminator ($72.50 for 30 ml)

Dramatically reduces every key sign of uneven skin tone: dark spots, sun spots, redness, and discolourations. CorrecTone technology visibly reduces uneven skin tone in as little as two weeks.