Skin Care

By Tia Albright

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Not everyone is going for airbrush tanning and fake bake. Here are some of our porcelain-skinned Hollywood favorites: Cate, Dita, Julianne, Rachel and of course, Nicole.

Associated with beauty, purity, and nobility in Asian cultures, skin whitening, lightening, and brightening is all the rage. Historically and culturally it’s most apparent in the traditional face painting of Geisha. These female entertainers began painting their faces white to establish themselves in society. A white face showed that a woman had not spent her life working in the fields and signified nobility and wealth.

Today, the desire for lighter and brighter skin has become prominent in the United States. Whether it’s the pesky freckles around your nose you’ve been annoyed by since childhood or an uneven skin tone you’ve developed with age, there’s a treatment to lighten and brighten. Utilizing ingredients that bleach away existing spots and prevent the future production of melanin that causes hyperpigmentation, companies have created their own lines of products that either work separately or in a system. Lighten up with one of these magic potions!.

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The skin lightening and brightening pros at SK-II have new product. The SK-II Whitening Source products utilize their unique SK-II Derm Complex of Vitamin B3, ascorbyl glucoside, and Pitera, the company’s signature ingredient, to restore moisture and balance skin. The Whitening Source Clear Lotion uses the complex as well as glycerin to help exfoliate dead, dull, and discolored skin cells preparing it for a more intense treatment. And, peppermint leaf extracts leaves skin refreshed. After prepping with the lotion, the Whitening Source Dermdefinition adds a powerful punch of brightening. This formulation helps restore bright skin and reduce discoloration with the highest concentration of the SK-II Derm Complex. The potent solution resets the skin’s tone and improves color by stopping the overproduction of melanin to prevent further skin discoloration.

Available at Saks Fifth Avenue, and www.saks.com

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The new kid on the block, Dermalogica’s ChromaWhite TRx will be making its debut this fall. The C-12 Concentrate is a highly potent brightening and conditioning treatment that uses brightening peptide, botanical skin brighteners, and algae extract to minimize discoloration and improve skin clarity. The algae extract helps to control the continued formation of melanin. The non-greasy gel formula absorbs quickly into skin leaving a smooth. For a more intense treatment, the Extreme C formula offers a more potent punch of the formula, and the white tea extracts help to accelerate skin brightening and strengthen the skin’s defenses to prevent future pigmentation. The powder is simple to apply and rubs easily into the skin.

Available at www.dermalogica.com

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Shiseido researchers have developed the multi-target vitamin C to fade dark spots and discoloration. Their White Lucent Brightening Refining Softener Light utilizes this formula to diminish age spots and improve skin clarity. It brightens the overall appearance of skin by working in the surface layers to create an even-toned complexion and remove dullness. The Spot Deacti-Complex also helps to diminish the appearance of spots and prevent future spot formation. This fresh-scented refreshing lotion leaves skin smooth and soft. Also, the White Lucent Brightening Moisturizing Gel utilizes the same complexes to diminish spots while using Asian plant extracts to improve the skin’s moisture balance. The gel to fluid formula is easy to apply and leaves skin feeling fresh.

Available at Sephora stores and www.sephora.com

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Flower power is right. Trusted skincare line Kinerase is once again putting their key ingredient, kinetin, to work. Using synthesized kinetin found in the blue anemone, scientists create the powerful moisture-boosting extract to improve the appearance of aging and sun damage. The Brightening Anti-Aging System uses kinetin along with six other active ingredients to brighten skin. The Brightening Face Serum, used twice daily, helps to reduce the appearance of discoloration and dark spots. A luxurious flamenco peal extract rejuvenates skin and leaves it luminous. You’ll notice an immediate radiance after applying the product only a few times. When you’re on the go or need a little bit more there’s the Concentrated Spot Treatment. This super skinny tube (it can fit right in your purse) is a click pen that contains a higher concentration of the Brightening Complex for a more intense treatment.

Available at Sephora stores and www.sephora.com

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Created by beauty experts at Shizuka New York Day Spa, KojiLac-C Skin Brightening Cream takes the desire for pure, undamaged skin and makes it a reality. The cream contains active vitamin C to brighten and sooth skin, green tea extract to reduce dryness and irritation, and hydroxyacids, such as salicylic acid, to enhance skin lightening and minimize hyperpigmented cells. The Koji-Lac CHQ 4% Pads offer an intense, easy-to-use treatment to reduce hyperpigmentation. Hydroquinone, a whitening agent, is mixed with Kojic Acid, Vitamin C, and green tea to work as an antioxidant brightening agent to improve the appearance of skin.

Available at Shizuka New York Day Spa, 7 West 51st St., and www.shizukany.com

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More than half of your body is made up of water, so why not use it to brighten up your skin? Revolutionary company H2O Plus has taken this natural element and combined it with other active ingredients to create an oil-free, water-based skincare line. The Waterwhite Brightening Milk Cleanser with purified water and live yeast cell derivative, which is used to accelerate collagen production and cell oxygenation resulting in rapid depigmentation to reduce discoloration and brighten skin. For a more effective treatment, follow up the cleanser with the Waterwhite Brightening Tonic. The fragrance-free spray mists the skin with its brightening agent to even skin tone and retain the skin’s luminosity. Dead sea salt in the spray helps protect the skin while improving its appearance.

Available at H2O Plus, 511 Madison Ave, and www.h2oplus.com

Originally published July 2008
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