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Boost Glow with a Brightening Serum

Discover the power of natural skin brightening ingredients!

Written by: 100% PURE ®

Your skin is celebrating youth and glow with all things natural – and you won’t have to ditch your jammies or couch for this VIP party!

Every gal likes to keep a great brightening serum on standby, especially after a long winter (or lots of time indoors). Lightweight moisture and illuminating components to support essential skin function are a plus – and ditching on skin bleaching chemicals is a big plus.

If you’re ready to build more radiant skin and a more balanced complexion, follow along! We’re exploring all the very best brightening ingredients for glow and vitality.

Red Alert: Brightening Serums to Avoid

In your quest for sunny skin, you’ll likely come across a few ingredients with less than pure intentions. There’s a difference between a brightening ingredient – especially natural ingredients like those we’re using – and a brightening chemical.

Ingredients like hydroquinone can irritate and cause long-term damage to the skin. You’ll likely see an immediate reaction of redness and irritation, which can quickly escalate to dryness and imbalance.

So before you begin your brightening serum strategy, brush up on the key differences between skin brightening and skin lightening.

Brightening serum
Exploring Plant-Based Brightening

When you think of natural brightening ingredients, let us guess: the first that come to mind is citrus. Famous brightening fruits are lemon and orange, but the range of fruits under the citrus umbrella is diverse.

Citrus juice and citrus essential oils are some of the ways you’ll see these fruits incorporated into products like brightening serums and scrubs. Citrus fruits contain enzymes and acids that actively eat away dead skin cells, which in part contributes to their brightening abilities.

Free radicals upset the balance of our skin by disturbing molecular bonds, while antioxidants battle free radicals to support optimal skin function. This means that the antioxidants in skin care promote healing and balance at the cellular level. That’s what we like most about our favorite brightening components – they work deep within the skin to heal against daily environmental damage that can dull the skin.

Our Favorite Brightening Serum Ingredients

So who are the top brightening all stars in the world of clean, non-toxic skin care? Go ahead and sit back – we’ll handle the introductions.

Lemon, Lime, and More
We’ve already mentioned citrus, namely lemon, lime, blood orange and bergamot. These citrus ingredients are also antioxidants, but also carry a boost of antibacterial power.

When using citrus fruits in your nighttime routine (to avoid photosensitivity, especially for sensitive skin), you can expect to see clarified pores, firmer skin, smoother texture, and a radiant glow.

Matsutake Mushroom
Another ingredient you’ll find in our glow-focused products is matsutake mushroom. Mushrooms are naturally high in vitamin D, a nutrient that addresses dryness and signs of aging. Matsutakes can also calm common inflammatory skin concerns like eczema and psoriasis.

Most importantly, these mushrooms contain kojic acid: a key element in skin brightening. This ingredient breaks away skin discoloration for an overall smoother, clearer complexion.

Fermented Rice (Sake)
Mushrooms aren’t the only magic ingredient packed with kojic acid: sake (fermented rice water) is another brightening powerhouse with this nutritive component. Kojic acid works in daily brightening serums and beyond by preventing a surplus of melanin production in our skin, which might otherwise darken scars or age spots.

Bear berry

Bearberry is a petite fruit that grows on shrubs, and features some of the most coveted skin care benefits for boosted glow. Bearberry offers antibacterial benefits that promote a clearer complexion, while working similarly to the kojic acid in sake and mushrooms by inhibiting skin pigmentation. This berry supports skin cell turnover to produce new, clearer skin faster.

We love a multi-tasking skin ingredient, and that’s just what we’ve found in licorice root. It gives our skin the break we need from UV damage by helping with repair, while also soothing acne and inflammation.

Most importantly, licorice fights dark spots and uneven complexions to keep skin supple, firm, and bright. Using licorice extract in a brightening toner, moisturizer or brightening serum is one of the best ways to keep your skin clear and glowing.

Spots and Serums – Which Brightening Treatment Is for You?

For those of us that struggle with our complexion, deciding the best product to treat our discoloration can be overwhelming. Most of us go for texture, thinking we can scrub the dark spots away – but brightening power is more than skin deep.

So what makes one type of product better than another? Each product can have its benefits, and which one you choose all depends on your brightening needs.

Dull Patches
If you have heavy environmental damage from wind, sun, or cold, skin can become thicker and more dull over time. Certain areas simply need a bit of elbow grease to get them looking more radiant; employ a facial scrub packed with brightening fruit acids and antioxidants to buff away rough, dull skin.

Stubborn Dark Spots
If you have concentrated areas of discoloration to tackle, a dark spot corrector should definitely be a part of your routine. Our Dark Spot Remover is a powerful, targeted treatment that addresses acne scars, visible dark marks on the skin, and stubborn sun spots.

Overall Brightening
For a more noticeably radiant complexion, you’ll need to take a widespread approach. Our Brightening Serum is recommended for PM use, because of its potent fruit acids and brightening agents.

This serum can be layered over a spot remover, working with your other products like a well-coordinated symphony. For a brightening serum that won’t cause photosensitivity in the daytime, try our sake-infused Fermented Rice Water Serum.

Nighttime Maintenance + Repair
If you’re a skincare queen looking for the best of both worlds, double down on your skin brightening routine with a hard-working nighttime treatment. The Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidants Potent PM Serum is made with a literal dream team for more luminous skin: 10% vitamin C, 10% niacinamide, 10% vitamin E and 1% retinol.

This PM brightening serum works hard to lighten excess pigmentation and promote a more balanced glow, while keeping your skin hydrated and plump as you slumber.

Love serums of all shapes and sizes? Check out our ultimate guide to 100% PURE™ serums, find out how to apply serum for max results, and find out which one is your match made in healthy skin heaven!

Frequently Asked Questions About Brightening Serums

Can I use a brightening serum if I have sensitive skin?
While many brightening serums are designed to be gentle, some contain potent active ingredients that might irritate sensitive skin. Always patch test a new product before fully integrating it into your routine and choose formulas specifically designed for sensitive skin when possible.

Can I use a brightening serum every day?
Most brightening serums are safe for daily use. However, those containing high concentrations of active ingredients like vitamin C or acids might be better used every other day or a few times a week. Always follow the instructions on the product packaging.

Why is my skin purging after starting a new brightening serum?
Skin purging can occur when you introduce a new product that accelerates skin cell turnover, causing a rapid exfoliation process. This is a temporary phase and should pass within a few weeks. If irritation or breakouts persist, discontinue use and consult a dermatologist.

Is it normal for a brightening serum to tingle upon application?
Some active ingredients in brightening serums can cause a slight tingling sensation upon application. However, if the tingling turns into a burning sensation or causes redness or discomfort, wash off the product immediately and discontinue use.

Can I use a brightening serum if I have dark skin?
Absolutely. Brightening serums aim to reduce hyperpigmentation and enhance overall radiance, making them suitable for all skin tones. However, darker skin tones are more prone to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, so products that are too harsh might exacerbate this. Choose gentle formulas and always wear sunscreen, as sun exposure can worsen hyperpigmentation.

We carefully hand-select products based on strict purity standards, and only recommend products we feel meet this criteria. 100% PURE™ may earn a small commission for products purchased through affiliate links.

The information in this article is for educational use, and not intended to substitute professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment and should not be used as such.

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