When my mom offers me a golden nugget of advice, I don't question it, period. She is wise beyond my own comprehension and I'm pretty sure her knowledge comes from some celestial power. So when I was twelve years old and my mom told me eating blueberries was good for your skin, I took heed of her advice without second thought and have been devouring punnets of berries ever since. Breaking out? Have an acai bowl. Feeling red and splotchy? Fruit salad. Did I understand the logic of this? Absolutely not.
However on a recent google binge I discovered this article by Dr. Emmy Graber in which she explains the science behind my mom's advice all those years ago. OK, so Dr. Graber isn't prescribing the mass consumption of blueberries, but essentially she explains why antioxidants are always touted as being the God-dream for your complexion. Cue the ˜Science for Dummies' lesson on free radicals that I am totally unqualified to give, but will anyway because science is awesome, so bear with my high-school science knowledge for a second.
Put simply, free radicals are atoms floating in the air that have lost an electron because of chemical exchanges such as pollution, cigarette smoke or UV rays. These little guys then try and grab an extra electron from the surface of your skin, which causes damage and makes your skin look dull, grey, or aged. Antioxidants are compounds which provide a metaphorical shield of armour for the surface of your skin, and they kindly donate an extra electron to the free radicals so that your skins atoms won't have to.
Think of a brightening cream as the cosmetic equivalent of the buckets of blueberries I've consumed along the years. Each of these brightening creams boast a host of antioxidant and cleansing properties that will even out your skin tone and give you a brighter complexion. A typical brightener like Garnier Skinactive has SPF 15, and is enriched with antioxidant vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Lipo-Hydroxy Avid (LHA) to gently exfoliate. Others like Burt's Bees Brightening Daily Facial Cleanser contain daisy extract, and the Body Shop's Drops of Light has minerals and red algae extract.
Try these brightening products!