The buzz around our skin-brightening skincare & makeup

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While past makeup and beauty trends have favoured tanned skin and heavy foundations, the last few years have seen a move towards lighter, brighter skin palettes. It’s a trend that has given rise to 'skin-brightening', a term for products and techniques that help lighten the skin, and in doing so reduce dark spots and pigmentation.

Antipodes Global Beauty Expert Deborah Sampson says a major driver of the skin-lightening trend has been Asian consumers. “A fair complexion has been highly prized across Asia for centuries as a sign of affluence and glamour.”

Deborah says skin-brightening creams work by using an active ingredient, or a combination of ingredients, that reduce the amount of melanin (a naturally occurring pigment) in the skin.

“Skin colour is determined by the amount of melanin in the skin and how much melanin you have is primarily determined by your genetic makeup. However, sunlight exposure, hormones, pregnancy, skin damage and exposure to certain chemicals can also affect melanin production.”

Over time, higher levels of melanin in the skin can trigger localised changes in skin colour, resulting in darker brown ‘age spots', freckles, blemishes, and pigmentation.

“This is where skin-brighteners come into their own by helping restore a youthful glow and even complexion. They work to give you bright, radiant skin," says Deborah.

An effective skin-brightening product is our Apostle Skin-Brightening Serum, which combines mineral-rich Waiwera water with antioxidant-packed Vinanza Grape & Kiwi to minimise pigmentation and restore even skin tone.

“Vinanza Grape & Kiwi is a botanical extract from New Zealand grape seeds and kiwifruit which has been clinically proven to brighten and lighten skin by inhibiting melanin production. It can also improve elasticity and firmness and keep the skin moist and supple.”

Our brand new skin-brightening duo of products also targets melanin-related trouble spots. Manuka Honey Skin-Brightening Light Day Cream is packed with hydrating and healing New Zealand manuka honey, Vinanza antioxidants from grape seeds and kiwifruit, and peony flower. 

“Peony flower extract has been proven to be hugely beneficial in brightening the skin,” says Deborah. "It contains a powerful compound that blocks melanin-stimulating cells."

Manuka Honey Skin-Brightening Day Cream also contains bee venom powder, which has been ethically and sustainably sourced in New Zealand. This key ingredient helps to stimulate blood flow, increase collagen and create healthy skin cells.

And for the delicate skin area around the eyes, Manuka Honey Skin-Brightening Eye Cream is a luxury formulation that not only helps to brighten this sensitive area, but also encourage skin regeneration.

It blends the powerful antioxidant cocktail of Vinanza grape seed and kiwi skin with manuka honey and mamaku black fern extract, which is effective in tightening and firming skin around the eye area. Manuka Honey Skin Brightening Eye Cream also contains an exciting new extract from the Persian silk flower, which contains an active skin-brightening compound. This can help fade dark circles and reduce puffiness under the eye area.

When it comes to makeup, our Performance Plus Skin-Brightening Mineral Finishing Powder can further enhance your skin by providing a subtle shimmer.

“Again, we’ve included Vinanza Grape & Kiwi antioxidants to lighten and brighten skin, but we’ve also added light-reflecting mica minerals which cleverly minimise unwelcome shine and make your skin glow," says Deborah. "Introduce all these products to your daily skincare routine and you'll love your new, skin-bright look."