The Best Skin Brightening Creams
The Best Skin Brightening Creams

The Best Skin Brightening Creams

5 minutes read

On the quest for radiant and glowing skin, skin brightening creams have become a popular choice for many. Why? Whether you’re dealing with dark spots, uneven skin tone, or dullness, a good skin brightening cream can work wonders. Here, Beauty Daily guides you through the benefits of using a skin brightening cream, the process of choosing the best cream for brightening skin for your specific concerns, plus what ingredients you should be avoiding when it comes to achieving glowing skin. 

Woman showing how to get natural looking glass skin

The benefits of using skin brightening creams 

Using skin brightening products can offer a range of benefits for your skin. Here are a few reasons why you should consider incorporating them into your skincare routine: 

Diminishes dark spots and discolouration 

Skin brightening creams can effectively fade dark spots and reduce discolouration caused by factors such as sun damage, acne, or hormonal changes. With consistent use, you can achieve a more even and radiant complexion. 

Enhances luminosity 

By promoting skin cell turnover and improving skin texture, your skin is better able to reflect light – thus brightening creams help to reveal a smoother and more luminous complexion.  

Super Restorative Rose Radiance Cream - All Skin Types

Try: Clarins Super Restorative Rose Radiance Cream, £80, which contains illuminating pearls for an instant hit of radiance. 

Boosts confidence 

Dealing with skin concerns like dark spots or uneven skin tone can affect your confidence. Using skin brightening creams can help address these issues, allowing you to feel more comfortable and confident in your own skin. 

The difference between skin whitening and skin brightening 

It’s important to distinguish between skin whitening and skin brightening. While skin brightening focuses on achieving a more radiant and even complexion, skin whitening aims to lighten the skin tone. Skin whitening creams often raise ethical concerns and should only ever be used when prescribed by a reputable doctor. 

How to choose the best skin brightening cream 

When it comes to choosing the best skin brightening cream, you should take the formulas key ingredients, your skin tone, and type into consideration. Ensuring your chosen glow enhancing cream is well suited to you will make all the difference when it comes to evening out your skin tone and brightening your complexion. 

Brightening ingredients to look for  

To achieve a radiant complexion, look for skin brightening creams that contain the following key ingredients: 

Vitamin C 

When it comes to brightening the skin vitamin C is a powerhouse ingredient . It helps to fade dark spots, even out skin tone, and boost collagen production for a more youthful appearance. Look for creams with stabilised forms of vitamin C for maximum efficacy. 

Bright Plus Advanced Dark Spot Targeting Serum

Try: ClarinsBright Plus Advanced Dark Spot Targeting Serum, £84, which contains a potent vitamin C to instantly brighten skin and dark spots. 


Niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, is another fantastic ingredient for brightening the skin. It helps to reduce hyperpigmentation, and oil production to minimise the appearance of pores, and improve overall skin tone. Niacinamide also has soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, making it suitable for sensitive and acne prone skin. 

Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) 

AHAs, such as glycolic acid and lactic acid, are effective exfoliants that can help to reveal a brighter complexion. These acids work by gently sloughing off dead skin cells and promoting cell turnover, resulting in a smoother and more luminous skin surface. However, for those with black and brown skin, the overuse of high dose AHAs can trigger hyperpigmentation – so be sparing with your use.

Chemical Exfoliation Beauty Flash Peel
Try: Clarins Beauty Flash Peel, £38, an AHA and BHA-infused liquid peel that gets to work on sloughing away dead skin cells in just ten minutes. 


Retinol is a form of vitamin A used in skincare to help brighten dull skin, as well as reduce wrinkles, unclog pores, even out skin tone, and improve texture. It gives the skin a youth boost and adds radiance by turbocharging collagen production and speeding up skin cell turnover. However, it can cause irritation, so it’s best to start with a low concentration, and work your way up over the course of a few months. Remember to wear sunscreen when using retinol, too, as it can make your skin more sensitive to the sun. 

Read: Retinol Serums Are A Must-Try For Firmer, Glowing Skin 

Ingredients to avoid  

Now you know the best ingredients to look out for when choosing a skin brightening cream, here are the ones to avoid:  


Hydroquinone is a controversial ingredient that is often used in skin whitening creams, and has been linked to potential health risks like skin cancer. Generally it is best to be avoided, so opt for safer alternatives that provide brightening effects without the associated risks. 


Mercury is another ingredient commonly found in certain skin lightening products. Not only is it harmful to your overall health, but it also has devastating effects on the environment. Always check the ingredient list and steer clear of any creams that contain mercury. 

How to brighten skin instantly

Need a quick fix? Here’s our step-by-step guide to achieving bright skin super quickly…

Step 1: Cleanse

Start with a gentle cleanser to remove any impurities and prepare the skin for treatment.

Step 2: Exfoliate

Use a mild exfoliant with ingredients like glycolic acid or enzymes to slough off dead skin cells, promoting a brighter complexion.

Step 3: Hydrate

Apply a hydrating serum or moisturiser containing ingredients like vitamin C to boost radiance and even out skin tone.

Step 4: Highlight

Use an illuminating product or highlighter on strategic areas like cheekbones and the bridge of the nose to add a subtle glow.

Step 5: Sunscreen

Finish with a broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect your skin. Sunscreen not only prevents damage but also helps maintain a bright and even skin tone.

Do skin brightening creams really work? 

The answer is a resounding yes, skin brightening creams can help give you a lit from within glow, smooth out lines and wrinkles and even skin tone. Just be sure to pick a cream that has the right ingredients at the right concentrations to deliver noticeable results, and be sure to choose reputable brands like Clarins that prioritise efficacy and safety in their products. 

Nutri-Lumiere Revive

Try: Clarins Nutri-Lumière Revive, £95, which contains kaki extract to boost skin brightness. 

Next read: Are Retinol Eye Creams Worth The Hype? The Experts Weigh In 


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