I Doubted "Brightening" Products Until I Tried These 5 Formulas

I've already seen a major difference in my post-acne marks.
Publish date:
April 30, 2015
clinique, brightening, acne scars, discoloration, dermalogica, paula's choice, dr. dennis gross

I have some red scarring from angry cystic breakouts that I find even the best concealers have trouble hiding some days. So I decided to test out some different brightening products and document my progress.

I wanted to test out a variety of applications, and honestly, I was a fan of all of them. I think the major factor when choosing one is how you want to use it. And generally, you want to wait four weeks to see serious results, but I’ve already seen a significant difference in just one.

IMPORTANT: Apply these products at night after cleansing (unless otherwise specified), and make sure you apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen to your face (SPF 30 or more) every single day when using brightening products. If you don’t, they won’t be very effective which wastes both money and time. Plus, your skin is super-sensitive when you use brightening products, so not applying sunscreen can actually make your skin worse.

Dr. Dennis Gross Hydra-Pure Vitamin C Brightening Serum, $95

I used this on my nose, and despite having a small pimple after day two, it’s quickly healing and I find the whole area significantly clearer. The pump is awesome, although not having something to cover the dispenser is slightly concerning when traveling with it.

Clinique Even Better Clinical Dark Spot Corrector, $49.50

This is the second product I tried that came in pump form. The serum is silky and gentle enough for use twice a day. If you want something a little easier to spread around, this is the product for you.

I applied this just below my nose and above my lip, and have seen improvements already.

Paula’s Choice Resist Vitamin C Spot Treatment, $55

I absolutely love this treatment. Containing 25% of stabilized vitamin C, this cream is tiny but mighty. It comes in a small tube, perfect for dispensing the tiniest amount for spot treatment.

I applied this to my chin and found a significant improvement in the stubborn scarring left from cystic acne. As far as price and strength for spot treating, this is probably my favourite.

Clinique Even Better Brightening Moisture Mask, $36

If you want to give your skin a significant boost in the moisture and brightening department, I highly suggest this mask! You just apply a thin, even amount to your whole face, leave on for up 10 minutes, and pat into skin or dab off with a clean towel.

I feel this has even improved the skin on my cheeks and forehead that I never even had a problem with. It’s also reasonably priced, and in a very large tube. Definitely something I suggest adding to your skincare rotation for an all-over moisture/brightening combo.

Dermalogica Map-15 Regenerator, $85

I know. You’re all like, UM SAM, what does MAP even stand for? Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate, a form of vitamin C that is proven to both lighten and boost skin’s hydration and collagen production. You can even give your moisturizer a boost by adding a pea size amount of the powder before application.

On it’s own this was sort of difficult to apply. You have to tap out a tiny amount onto the tip of your finger. The real trick is getting it from your finger and onto your face without losing any of the product. Knowing how expensive this is makes it nerve-wracking to spill any.

Having said that, it really does work. If you have the money, I definitely recommend keeping this little guy around.

It’s only been a week of using these products, but I’ve seen significant improvement in my skin already. See for yourself below!

Overall, I think it’s safe to say these products DEFINITELY work on fading acne scars, more so than anything else I’ve ever tried.

  • Have you ever used a brightening product as a spot treatment?
  • Do you have any success/horror stories using brightening products?