Saturday, February 8, 2014

First Impressions: Skin Brighteners and Correctors

For the past two weeks I've been playing with a variety of the most raved about brighteners and correctors from ultra premium brands both green and not green. Brighteners and Correctors are a very complicated category because it is easy to confuse what the products are supposed to do. Brighteners will enhance skin, making it appear more even and "lit", which is beneficial for those who have dull and uneven skin. A lot of brighteners fade color with acids or melanin suppressants. Correctors focus on the damaged skin that contributes to the flawed complexion so they work on turning over damaged skin and making it healthy and normal again. Results usually come more quickly with brighteners because they are meant for the more superficial surface level issues while correctors often work on deeper damage.. While it is too early to call out the performers, I thought I'd post a little about the first impressions.

Texture and scent:

Shiseido and La Prairie are very similar to each other. Their serums both promise brightening with Shiseido going a step further to offer correcting. They're both light and sink into skin easily thanks to alcohol and silicones which there is a lot of. The fragrance is as expected for a high-end brand. La Prairie has sparkle pigments that resemble a subtle glitter bomb which probably gives a temporary luminosity to skin until it is washed off.

Caudalie and Tatcha are very similar in that theirs are both very fluid, milky serums with nice fragrances. The fragrances Caudalie uses in their products are so good that they've been bottled into perfumes but unfortunately, similar to Shiseido and La Prairie, they're synthetic while Tatcha uses natural fragrance. 

Kahina is also milky but a little thicker than the others. The scent is very light compared to the others but there does seem to be a mint smell.

Yuli has a plant oil base but the texture is actually more of a clear gel because of the other ingredients. This gel texture enables some material to be suspended which supposedly gives off activity over time and is supposed to be massaged onto skin to penetrate and stimulate - smart! The scent is herbal and light.

Skin Response:

After initial tests and 2 week trial runs, if I were to pick the ones that I predict would deliver the most results with extended use, I would say Tatcha's Deep Brightening Serum and Yuli Cell Perfecto. These two felt like they did the most in this short amount of time so I think given a more extended run, the results will probably keep coming.

I'll post a full rundown on these products when I've had more time but for those of you looking for some direction now, I thought this might be helpful.


  1. Great post, even if not a full review. Do you think you might post an ingredient breakdown for some of the active ingredients used in skin brightening products (besides vitamin C), such as kojic acid, licorice, or niacinamide? Also, would the active ingredients or formulations for treating post-acne scarring differ from those used for treating hyperpigmentation caused by sun damage? Thanks!

    1. Hi Alexa, unfortunately after everything that has transpired today on Twitter, I don't feel like it is worth my energy to keep up with this blog anymore but if you have any questions, you can always reach me by e-mail.

    2. Honestly, the questions were secondary to just showing some support since there weren't any comments yet and I didn't want you to think no one read it. It is solely your decision whether or not you continue to maintain this blog, but I really hope you keep up with it in spite of last night's drama. Along with Neiman's Idealist (whose interview we are all anxiously awaiting and another reason to reconsider leaving), yours is a rarity in the green beauty blogosphere because you stand by your statements, even if they are controversial. As for last night, you handled yourself well and I think in the end, you will attract more supporters than dissenters. I'll send you an email anyway since I have a lot more to say, but I just wanted to let you know that your readers support you.

  2. Sorry to hear, greenderm. I have just seen the twitter feeds... Unbelievable. I hope we'll have you back soon. Your blog is my fave. Period. I appreciate and value your opinions. Laura

  3. Please don't let what happened on twitter discourage you. I appreciate your input in this ever growing field

  4. Hi Greenderm, I also read your blog and love and value your opinions. I'm appalled at LBF's responses. I've bought their products in the past but will not be supporting them in the future. I hope you continue blogging, you have lots of readers who support you! -Lynne

  5. Please don't give up this blog! We need your voice and expertise!

  6. They'll win if you give up blogging. Please continue to share your knowledge and opinions with us.