Hair & Beauty Newsletter Style & Beauty

Shopping for brightening products: Tried-and-tested essences and creams for your face

This month, EL readers test-drive brightening products with a view to reducing dark spots and patches and illuminating their complexions. Read on for the results…




Vichy Meta Whitening Essence
What you liked:
This is a lovely, pearly emulsion that is neither greasy nor sticky. The easy pump-action applicator means no wastage or spillage, and the product was absorbed easily into my skin.

Final verdict: After a few days, I’ve noticed that my skin tone looks more even and perhaps given time I will see some lightening of the dark spots. I’ll buy it again if I continue to see improvement.

Score: 2.5/5

Anu Sharma, 40   



Neutrogena Clinical Fine Fairness Radiance Essence
What you liked:
I found the cream non-greasy and easy to apply, and a little went a long way. I also liked its light fragrance.

Final verdict: This lovely product has made a subtle difference to my sun-ravaged skin, after using it for just ten days at night, after cleansing and before moisturising. I’ll continue to use it.

Score: 4.5/5

Nicola Hunter, 52




Etude House Pearl Aura Brightening Essence
What you liked:
This seemed to be something different and it promised  great benefits. Also, it was easy to use.

Final verdict: As it made my face very sticky for a long time after application, and over the time period didn’t show any brightening benefits, I felt that it did not deliver.

Score: 1/5

Georgina Bullworthy, 36 





Philosophy Brighten My Day Emulsion
What you liked:
I really liked the light texture of this product and how it made my skin feel fresh. It definitely helped to wake my face up. I also enjoyed the subtle, clean fragrance, especially as I have sensitive skin.

Final verdict: Despite enjoying the feeling of the product and its scent, I haven’t noticed any physical changes to my skin. Due to its lightness, I wouldn’t recommend it for people with dry skin.

Score: 3/5

Lucy Waring, 27