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BUSTED: 4 skin depigmenting and brightening myths and the truth behind them


BUSTED: 4 skin depigmenting and brightening myths and the truth behind them

Recently we've noticed some attention-grabbing headlines and articles about skin "lightening" or "brightening" that have left us with growing concern about how easy it is to get misinformation on treating dark spots and uneven skin tone. So what's real and what's fiction? To set the record straight, here are the top 4 skin brightening myths, and the truth behind them.

MYTH:"Pigment lightening" or "brightening" really just means "skin bleaching".

FACT:The truth is there are some products on the market that claim to "whiten" the skin, and indiscriminately lighten any skin they come into contact with (and frankly, they use ingredients we have never worked with in our 25+ years formulating skin care products). We can't vouch for these types of skin bleaching/whitening products.

But there is a separate category of skin care that works specifically on Hyperpigmentation – a real skin concern characterized by an uneven distribution of melanin that causes dark spots and discoloration – which can be caused by hormonal imbalance, injury, and UV exposure. They are completely safe brightening products formulated to specifically target onlydark spots and uneven skin tone.


MYTH:You can't brighten a dark spot without lightening the surrounding skin, too.

FACT:Some pigment-fading formulas try to eliminate hyperpigmentation by damaging melanin-producing cells, causing adverse effects like skin bleaching. However, using a dark spot corrector specifically formulated to target cells that are overproducing melanin by breaking the chain in production, you can gently fade even the most stubborn dark spots without effecting surrounding skin. Bioelements LightPlex GigaWatt Dark Spot Correctoris a hyperpigmentation treatment that's safe for all skin types and tones. It contains a trio of key ingredients that fight signs of photo-aging, promote skin brightness, and inhibit tyrosinase – the enzyme that mediates the amount and rate at which pigment is released.

Ultimately, if you want to safely and effectively treat dark spots or an uneven skin tone, these three steps should be in your daily at-home skin routine:

1. Exfoliate dead skin cells prior to applying a brightening treatment to help the active ingredients penetrate the skin more effectively.

2. Treatindividual spots using a dark spot correctorformulated to zero in on excess melanin, or an overall skin brightener for more an even, luminous skin tone

3. Protect current hyperpigmentation and prevent future discoloration by applying a broad spectrum sunscreen as the last step of your daily skin routine.


MYTH:Lightening products will help eliminate acne scars.

FACT: After the site of a skin condition or injury has healed (like acne) – often a scar or colored mark of hyperpigmentation may remain (called PIH, or Post Inflammatory Hyperpigmentation). But scarring and hyperpigmentation are two  different things. Scarring, like pits formed post-acne, are changes in the texture of the skin.

While we do recommend using lightening products, like LightPlex GigaWatt Dark Spot Corrector, to improve the dark spots left behind by acne, you'll need other products to help with the rough or pitted texture of scars. Exfoliating at home and even through a series of chemical peels in the treatment room combined with the proper lightening products will give you the results you're looking for, but you can't just rely on one product to do the work. Read more about how to deal with post acne marks here.


MYTH:Once a dark spot's color is improved and tone is brighter after using a corrector, it will stay that way.

FACT:Maybe… that depends on you. UV rays are a catalyst for hyperpigmentation – no matter what it's original cause may have been. So if you continue to skip SPF, your hyperpigmentation will continue to appear. Wear a broad spectrum sunscreen every day to prevent new dark spots from forming.

Learn even more about hyperpimentation here. Have you heard of any skin care myths that need to be busted? Tell us in the comments! Don't forget to sign up for our newsletter here.

3 Responses


I have had melasma for almost 10 years, I’m 34. I’ve had laser pixal treatments and have spent thousands of dollars to remove it. Is there anything that will actually work? I can only wear so much make up a day to try and cover it.

Barbara Salomone
Barbara Salomone

Hi Antonia – There are new studies that do in fact link diet to acne- a 2002 study published in Archives of Dermatology sites links that certain foods such as refined carbs, saturated fats, and other processed food can develop acne- foods with a high glycemic index, which can cause insulin levels to spike- which in turn can lead to increases sebum production and clogged pores.nIn regards to your question about dermatologist-administered peels, we cannot comment on other manufacturers’ peels specifically, but thanks for your input – look for a future post on the peel topic coming soon!


The whole myth about chocolate causing acne and breakouts. I can see how it would break somebody’s skin out, but can PURE cocoa really break someone out (aside from allergies and malpractice)? I would really like to educate clients (even my own family and friends) about what we eat and how it does/doesn’t affect our skin. Also, aside from facts or myths, can we discuss peels? I’m educated as a professional with the Bioelements Lactic Acid Peel but i’d like to know more about Dermatologist administered peels. Thanks!

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