Brighter Ideas: Plant-Based Brighteners That Are Better Than Hydroquinone

Brighter Ideas: Plant-Based Brighteners That Are Better Than Hydroquinone

Dark spots, age spots and other discoloration is a reality for millions of women and men. However, the concept and practice of brightening the skin is far from new. For decades, skin care professionals have sought to minimize the appearance of hyperpigmentation. Some worked – others delivered mixed results. Many, however, carried risks that far exceeded their benefits.

An admittedly effective solution once widely used has proven to be a controversial one. Hydroquinone is a powerful compound that inhibits the Tyrosinase enzyme €” the enzyme responsible for melanin overproduction and helps reduce the appearance of discoloration. Many countries have banned the use of Hydroquinone because of possible toxicity to carcinogenic behavior. Brightening products in the U.S. may still use over the counter concentrations up to two percent and at higher doses from professional sources.

Instead, COSMEDIX uses plant-based brighteners with proven results. Our Simply Brilliant serum, for example, targets melanin overproduction with ten plant-based ingredients, including Waltheria and White Daisy extracts. It also includes exfoliating lactic acid to increase turnover of discolored areas to help the skin repair itself. With all brightening treatment, proper sun protection is required. Nevertheless, brighter days are ahead.

7 Tips For Great Skin

Your lifestyle plays a major factor on the health of your skin. COSMEDIX believes in a holistic approach to skin so these few simple tips will help improve your skin from the inside and the outside.


Getting a good night’s sleep will refresh your mind and body, but what about your skin? Sleep is necessary for our bodies to build up energy reserves and regenerate body cells and tissues. Getting an adequate amount of sleep each night also helps the body to metabolize free radicals.


Healthy skin starts with a healthy diet of protein, vegetables and fruits. Try foods high in skin-strengthening Omega-3 fatty acids such as sardines, chia seeds, flaxseed and walnuts. Vitamin C helps stimulate collagen production so try adding bell peppers, strawberries, kale, broccoli and, of course, citrus fruits, to your diet. Antioxidants are great for your skin whether applied topically or eaten in antioxidant-rich foods like vitamins A and E charged almond butter, wheat germ, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots and melons such as cantaloupe. Some of our favorite ways to incorporate these foods into our diets are through juicing, smoothies and constant inspiration from health and food bloggers.


There is simply no substitute for water. The majority of the human body, including 85 percent of the brain, is comprised of water. Maintain your skin’s radiant glow and improve its texture by drinking plenty of water. Believe it or not, water is one of the best method for keeping your skin healthy and supple.



Purify and refresh your skin by incorporating a weekly, at-home or spa facial treatment like a face mask €” an important step that is often overlooked in a skin care regimen. Also, choose a mask that contains exfoliating ingredients that will not only keep your skin cleansed and nourished but will also keep your skin looking fresh and radiant.


Although it’s common only to think about sun protection during the summer months, you should still use a product with an SPF during the winter season. Even in colder weather, the sun can cause damage to the skin. Prevent premature aging and the formation of lines and wrinkles by using skin care products with sunscreen that will protect your skin from harmful UV rays.


Using a product that’s packed with moisturizing properties will keep your skin looking youthful and healthy all year long. Using a daily moisturizer will keep skin supple. In winter, switch out your lightweight version for something a little thicker for intense moisture replenishment.


It is important to exfoliate to keep skin fresh and revitalized. Exfoliating both your face and your body on a weekly basis will remove dead skin cells, dirt and debris and will help your serums and treatments penetrate the skin and deliver nourishment faster. Purity Detox Scrub combines poppy, jojoba and date seeds with salicylic acid for a multilayer cleanse that clarifies pores and smoothes skin for full-body exfoliation.



The Bright Stuff

Hyperpigmentation occurs when there is an excess of melanin that creates skin that appears visibly darker. If you've been struggling with hyperpigmentation, splotchy skin or just too many freckles, you have undoubtedly come across products that promise to brighten, balance and clarify your complexion in little to no time at all. But just how effective are such products? Is it really possible to visibly brighten the skin for safe, lasting results? The answer is yes.


Three Steps to Brilliant Skin
COSMEDIX offers a simple three-step program with proven, lasting results. Designed to brighten, enhance and protect, this quick and easy regimen is the ideal solution.

Step 1: Brighten
The most effective brightening ingredients come from marine algae, tropical plants like Waltheria Indica, and more commonplace botanicals such as the white daisy and even licorice. Simply Brilliant features over ten skin-specific, plant-based brightening ingredients. This one-of-a-kind formula targets the appearance of age spots and uneven skin while preventing new problem areas from emerging all without harsh chemical brighteners like hydroquinone and arbutin that can aggravate the skin.

Step 2: Enhance
Vitamin C can help enhance brilliance and firm the skin's appearance. Pure C contains 100 percent pure L-ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) in crystal form and mixes easily with serums like Simply Brilliant to deliver a visibly radiant boost and enhance effectiveness.

Step 3: Protect
Proper sun protection is vital for achieving long-lasting results. UV exposure can unleash harmful free radicals with the power to damage the skin's appearance and worsen the look of discoloration and other concerns. Reflect offers broad spectrum SPF 30 protection in a unique spray-on formula for easy application. Nonirritating and oil-free, it provides an effective solution for even the most sensitive skin types. Also, Peptide-Rich Defense is a nourishing moisturizer with SPF 50 that provides optimal skin protection. It utilizes the power of two €˜designer' peptides and a unique blend of Moringa Oil and Trehalose to improve the look of skin by addressing firmness, tone, and texture while also providing protection against future damage.

Clear Skin 101: Learn the basics for clearer skin

Be Disciplined.
Getting your skin in balance requires time, consistency and discipline. Establish a regimen of cleaning and treating your skin twice a day to eliminate pore-clogging excess oil and cellular debris. Using an exfoliating cleanser, like Purity Clean from COSMEDIX, is an important first step toward clarifying the appearance of problem skin. As lactic acid gently removes dead skin, soothing botanicals including aloe vera, peppermint and lavender  €“  help to calm visible irritation and redness. This powerful formula also preps the skin for additional correctives such as COSMEDIX's blemish-fighting Clarity Serum. While most acne sufferers will see a difference in the first couple weeks of their skin care program, it can take up to 28 days for your skin cells to turn over.

Don't Pick.
Scratching, pinching and squeezing might feel like the right thing to do, but avoid giving into the temptation. Popping blemishes can lead to permanent scarring, increased irritation and redness. Additionally, avoid touching your skin. Dirt and bacteria from unclean fingers can find their way into pores making matters worse. A detoxifying facial mask, like Clear, can keep pores clean and help create a more comfortable complexion. Packed with problem-solving salicylic acid, sulfur and willowherb, a 10-minute application in the morning can absorb excess oil and put you in the fast lane to clearer looking skin.


Keep Clean.
To minimize the spread of bacteria and other impurities, be sure to wash all pillowcases, towels and makeup brushes weekly. If your skin is particularly sensitive, look for a detergent that's free of irritating dyes and fragrances. These common additives can rob skin of vital moisture, prompting it to produce more sebum natural oil that conditions the skin than normal, increasing the risk of clogged pores and breakouts.

Don't Sweat It.
After exercise, be sure to use a mild cleanser such as Benefit Clean to wash away sweat that can attract pore-clogging impurities and lead to body acne. For persistent blemishing, turn to Purity Clean. In addition to lactic acid, it also features tea tree oil which acts as a natural astringent. Also, exfoliating Purity Detox Scrub sloughs away potentially pore-clogging dead skin and debris.

Proof is in the Peels

For COSMEDIX, proof is easy to come by. For those looking to correct superficial flaws and revitalize the skin, COSMEDIX offers a gentle, no-downtime alternative to harsh chemical peels. Instead of forcing the skin to repair itself with damaging chemicals, COSMEDIX works with the skin's own chemistry to encourage healthy exfoliation and renewal. Using chirally correct ingredients ingredients purified at the molecular level for maximum potency with minimal irritation risk COSMEDIX peels are powerful enough to dramatically diminish the appearance of fine lines, dark spots, oily and acne-prone skin.


Blueberry Smoothie
Combining antioxidant Blueberry Extract with stimulating L-Lactic Acid and Blue Corn Meal, Blueberry Smoothie is a powerful yet gentle exfoliating treatment. This COSMEDIX treatment effectively corrects an assortment of superficial skin concerns from sun damage to multiple degrees of discoloration. Blueberry Smoothie is so impressive it's among COSMEDIX's top-selling professional treatments.

Pomegranate Treatment
Pomegranate Treatment infuses the skin with powerful antioxidants while helping to stimulate collagen to smooth over rough skin and correct uneven texture and tone. Combining L-Lactic Acid with some of nature's most effective free radical fighters including Resveratrol from red wine, Pomegranate Seed Oil and Astaxanthin a marine antioxidant 500 times more potent than vitamin E Pomegranate Peel is a remarkably gentle catalyst for change.

Benefit Peel
Benefit Peel truly is a peel for all skin types. Utilizing encapsulated Retinol, this stimulating antioxidant peel is especially effective at neutralizing hyperpigmented, problem and prematurely aged skin types.

Purity Peel
A unique blend of chirally correct acids, Purity Peel is the answer to oily and acne-prone skin. Made with encapsulated retinol and salicylic, pyruvic, tartaric and mandelic acids, this maximum strength clarifying peel effectively exfoliates problem skin, helps to unclog pores and eliminate toxins and impurities with amazing results.

Consult a professional if you are ready to upgrade your peel experience and try a COSMEDIX ELITE peel.

The Truth About SPF

SPF, or sun protection factor, is a standard measurement of a sunscreen's ability to protect the skin against sun rays. Dermatologists and medical professionals recommend a minimum SPF of 15. When applied on a daily basis it will properly shield skin from potentially harmful solar radiation.

The lighter a person's skin, the more sun protection they need. An SPF of 30 is recommended for fair skin. Having a deeper skin tone, however, does not exempt you from wearing sunscreen. There is no such thing as a safe tan. Even those with deeper skin tones need protection, as the melanin in dark skin creates only an SPF of 4€”not nearly high enough to block UV rays.

It is also important to realize that SPFs are not mathematically linear. In other words, applying SPF 10 on top of SPF 20 is not the same as applying SPF 30. Similarly, SPF 30 does not have twice the amount of protection as SPF 15. In reality, SPF 30 blocks only four to five percent more UV rays than SPF 15. The solution to this complex equation? During periods of prolonged exposure, apply two layers of sunscreen to ensure complete coverage, and reapply throughout the day.


Shield Your Skin from Aging
Ninety percent of what we associate with aging is a result of overexposure to UV rays. Just compare the sun-exposed skin on your arms and legs with the areas on your body that are generally covered; the difference in skin tone and texture is evidence enough. Here are a few ways that prolonged, unprotected sun exposure can take its toll with visible effects:

  • Skin Pigmentation €” UV rays induce melanin production that stimulate hyperpigmentation, otherwise known as sun spots and discolorations.
  • Collagen Production €” Solar radiation injures fibroblasts, the connective tissues that secrete skin-rejuvenating collagen and elastin, causing deep lines and wrinkles.
  • Moisture Levels €” UV light impairs the skin's barrier function and reparative abilities which leads to dehydration and a leathery appearance.
  • Cellular Damage €” Excessive and repeated sun exposure can permanently damage skin cell DNA resulting in serious skin conditions.



Choose the sunscreen that fits your needs.

Hydrate + with Broad Spectrum SPF 17
This daily moisturizing sunscreen incorporates soothing emollients, including jojoba, wheat germ oil and glycerin, to nourish and protect skin's natural moisture factor while a physical SPF helps to lessen damaging UV radiation.

Reflect with Broad Spectrum SPF 30
With a lightweight, physical SPF of 30, Reflect contains chirally correct L-glutathione, a potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and is also oil-free.

Peptide-Rich Defense with Broad Spectrum SPF 50
Nourishing designer peptides help prevent visible signs of aging from glycation and protect from the harsh effects of the sun. It's the optimal skin protectant that penetrates the skin to firm, tone and improve texture.

Helping Hands: The Power of Professionals

We think we know our skin best. We live with it day in and day out. We read labels on skin care products and take them home for a trial run. We mix up our own organic ingredients and slather them on our face hoping to create a miracle cure for our skin woes fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars and blotchiness. However, no one knows the skin better than the people who treat it every day your skin therapist, your aesthetician. From clinical-strength corrective products to complex procedures, like peels and facials, there's a reason why the most effective treatments require a professional touch. If you're looking to visibly transform your skin’s appearance, you probably have questions about which products and procedures are best for you. Fortunately, COSMEDIX skin care professionals have the tools and the know-how to help you achieve your healthiest complexion ever on the only face you have.


See Your Aesthetician
Wrinkles, dark spots, acne you know what concerns you most. However, each condition is unique and what helps one person's skin might not work for yours. Using COSMEDIX's 7-Point Skin Analysis, a COSMEDIX skin care professional can accurately identify the source of your unique skin concern. Weighing such factors as sebaceous activity, skin thickness and accumulated photodamage, a qualified skin expert can then tailor a regimen to your needs and eliminate time and money-wasting guesswork.

Facials can be used to combat a number of skin concerns including mild discoloration, lines, blemishes and oily skin. Among professional skin care's least invasive procedures, facials generally affect the upper, superficial layers of the skin and require little to no downtime. COSMEDIX facials are particularly gentle though powerful enough to produce real, noticeable change.


Unlike most peels that wound the skin with harsh chemicals, COSMEDIX professional treatments use chirally correct, natured-based ingredients to encourage healthy renewal. Known as metabolic peeling, this process can penetrate from superficial to medium depth and correct a broad range of troublesome concerns including oily, problem skin, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and sun damage.

Finding a Skincare Professional

Click here to locate a COSMEDIX skincare professional in your area.


Get Skin Fit

It's true. Your face can get out of shape. As we age, our skin loses elasticity, making it harder to return to its original shape after years of smiling, laughing and daily movements. Fortunately, there are some simple steps you can take to help improve your skin's fitness. By getting your skin in shape, you can easily prevent many signs of premature aging and even correct some that have already begun.

Drink More Water
Proper hydration is an essential part of any workout and skin fitness is no exception. Aside from moisturizing the skin's surface, drinking enough water each day will also help flush toxins and increase circulation and elasticity, leaving skin supple, clear and glowing.

Start Fresh
Just as stretching prepares your body for a jog, cleansing prepares skin for your regimen. That is why it is important to look for a cleanser that not only washes away dirt and impurities, but also maintains the skin’s delicate pH and moisture balances. COSMEDIX cleansers such as Benefit Clean and Purity Solution deep clean without stripping away the skin’s natural oils so you can begin your regimen with a truly clean slate.


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Apply Before You Dry
Like a sponge, your skin absorbs products best when it is already damp. To make the most of your topical hydrator, apply directly after cleansing and serums, when skin is still damp (not drenched) and pores are open. This traps in moisture and allows the ingredients to work more effectively and for a longer duration.

Be Sun Smart
The leading cause of premature aging (wrinkles, lines, discoloration, etc.) is overexposure to harmful UV rays. While it is impossible to avoid sun exposure, regularly applying a moisturizer with a sun protection factor such as Peptide-Rich Defense can easily offset potential damage and nourish the skin with essential nutrients.

Be Firm
The best way to tackle stubborn wrinkles and thinning, sagging skin is to target weakened elasticity at its source. By using products designed to help firm and tighten problem areas around the forehead, mouth and eyes such as Serum 16, we can aid in rebuilding skin definition and smooth over the signs of premature aging.


Debunking Skin Myths

It's hard to decipher fact from fiction when it comes to skin care. With an ever-increasing desire to improve the health and appearance of your skin, let's explore some of the most pervasive falsehoods and a few enlightening truths.

Myth No.1

Cucumbers contain special ingredients to treat puffy eyes and under eye bags.
This home remedy is tried, but not true. Cucumber slices may feel refreshing, but they  do not contain special ingredients to reduce under eye bags and puffiness. It's the chilled, high water content found in cucumber that can sometimes decrease puffiness.  Coconut extract and liquid crystals found in Opti Crystal are more effective at replenishing natural reserves and nourishing the skin around the eye area. Eye Genius has a peptide blend and light-reflecting mica to help brighten for a bright-eyed and awake look. It’s formula combats dark circles and puffy eyes as it conditions and repairs delicate eye skin with potent, clinically tested ingredients. These are a much more effective methods for brighter and rejuvenated eyes.


Myth No.2

A good cleanser should foam on the skin.
Many of us have been taught that if your cleanser foams it’s working. Not only is this false, but it is hazardous to your skin. For example, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is a highly effective foaming agent €” chemically known as a surfactant €” that is found in 90 percent of all commercial soaps and shampoos. Due to its abrasive chemical makeup, SLS is also found in floor cleaners, laundry detergents and engine degreasers. This is why COSMEDIX excludes this ingredient from our products. Although our cleaners may not foam up like you expect, they are very effective in cleansing your skin.

Try Purity Clean, Benefit Clean or Purity Solution instead.

Myth No. 3

Sunscreen is not required during the winter.
A cold, overcast day is not the nature's sunscreen. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of UV rays will penetrate through clouds €” no matter the season €”  leaving your skin vulnerable to the damaging effects of sun exposure including sunburn, unsightly wrinkles and more serious health concerns. In the winter, snow can reflect up to 85 percent of the UV radiation that reaches it, which means we are still exposed during this time of year. Furthermore, powerful UVA rays can easily penetrate through windows. So, remember to apply an SPF even if you are staying inside.

Try Reflect, Peptide-Rich Defense and Hydrate +.

Myth No.4

The best way to deal with oily skin is to dry it out.
Oily skin is a sign of dehydrated skin. Oily skin needs moisture. Hydration helps calm, soothe and support the dermal matrix that keeps skin supple and helps to maintain a proper pH balance. Attempting to dry out your complexion will strip the epidermis of its natural, vital oils and will lead to rough, flaky skin, clogged pores and inflammation. Instead of washing your face with harsh ingredients, wash with a mild, exfoliating cleanser to slough off dead skin cells without over-drying such as Purity Clean or Benefit Clean. Remember, the goal is to bring balance to the skin, not to strip it away.

Saving Face

The exfoliation we receive from peels not only corrects a multitude of skin conditions €” such as sun damage, pigmentation and acne €” it also creates the perfect environment for optimal product penetration. Because it increases cell turnover and sheds the skin’s outer layer, it allows products to penetrate deeper for better results.

So, now that you’ve received your COSMEDIX metabolic peel, how do you protect your investment?


Here are a few simple steps you can take to help keep that renewed glow, protect your investment and infuse your skin with nutrients and supportive ingredients for optimal skin health. Your skin care professional can also provide a custom post-peel regimen.

  • Incorporate a gentle cleanser, such as COSMEDIX Benefit Clean, into your regimen to remove makeup and prepare the skin to receive vital nutrients.
  • Antioxidants are a must for daily post-peel recovery to help against further UVA/UVB-induced photodamage. Affirm by COSMEDIX boasts over 10 different skin-specific antioxidants for maximum skin health and protection.
  • Sun protection is a must. COSMEDIX offers a broad range of sunscreens to ensure your post-peel results last.
  • Give your skin the benefits of post-peel vitamin A therapy with products containing COSMEDIX's encapsulated retinol. The ultimate post-peel addition to your skin care routine, you can begin using encapsulated retinol products just a week after receiving your peel.
  • In between peels, apply COSMEDIX's Pure Enzymes mask weekly to keep your skin silky smooth and boost your peel results at home.
  • If your skin is acneic, you may also apply COSMEDIX Clear Mask to keep congestion and breakouts at bay.

Remember, your skincare regimen is the foundation for everything else you do to enhance your skin. Each day, the choices we make and the products we apply to our skin can be the difference between enhancing and diminishing our results. Post peel, the goal is to continue reaping the benefits of the peel. Your skin care professional will provide a custom post-peel regimen based on your goals.