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Just Gimme The Light! Brighter Skin Is Ahead With Clarins Vital Light Serum

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Read through the list of ingredients in throat lozenges, and you’re likely to found hexylresorcinol, a molecule with local anesthetic and antiseptic properties. But as it turns out, when used in skincare products, hexylresorcinol can help diminish the appearance of skin discolorations and age spots. In fact, Clarins researchers discovered that hexylresorcinol performed as well as hydroquinone, a highly effective lightening agent but one which has found itself at the center of controversy for years due to side effects ranging from increased photosensitivity to liver damage when used in high doses and potential carcinogenic effects. The concerns surrounding hydroquinone have even prompted the FDA to spearhead a campaign to officially ban over-the-counter products containing the compound (the debate has been raging since 2006). Given the dangers linked to hydroquinone, I’ve long advised readers to steer away from products containing the compound and instead opt for natural skin brighteners like lemon juice, wild rose oil, cucumber extract, apple extract, peony extract, pure vitamin C, mushroom extract, sea lily, lotus extract, and raspberry extract. Still, these natural, plant-based skin lighteners tend to take a fair amount of time to yield visible results, so it’s beyond exciting to discover a chemical compound that’s completely safe but can speed along the journey to radiant, more even skin tone.

The new Clarins Vital Light Serum ($85 at ClarinsUSA.com) makes use of this breakthrough discovery, incorporating hexylresorcinol so that it can block the enzymes tyrosinase and peroxidase from producing the melanin that leads to unseemly dark spots. When combined with Spergularia extract, a plant genus containing over 60 species of sandspurry and seaspurry, hexylresorcinol helps to fade existing dark spots while preventing new ones from surfacing.

This lightweight, deliciously fragrant serum also boasts anti-aging properties. The formula contains Waltheria, otherwise known as sleepy morning, a plant that is used in Polynesia to treat sore throats and that, in Hawaii, is commonly used to treat bronchitis, asthma, and other respiratory woes. Aside from medicinal properties, however, Waltheria also features cosmetic advantages — it can inhibit melanin synthesis, further helping to brighten the skin, and it contains alkaloids that boost circulation and hence have firming, anti-aging effects. When combined with a potent tripeptide, this plant extract stimulates collagen synthesis and bolsters the production of fibronectin, the glycoprotein that binds fibroblasts with collagen fibers so that skin appears smoother and firmer, and wrinkles are less visible.

Lastly, the Clarins Vital Light Serum tackles the dull tone associated with skin aging, restoring a youthful luminosity to one’s complexion. This Herculean feat is accomplished via the extract of Cochlearia Officinalis, otherwise known as scurvy grass, a leafy plant once used to treat scurvy and now often used to tackle ulcers and other serious wounds. Containing as much vitamin C as oranges, this plant extract helps to stimulate proteasome activity, which tends to slow down in aging skin tissues. When proteasome activity increases, dermal cells more efficiently shed oxidized proteins and produce healthy proteins that make eliminate dullness, making sin look like it’s lit from within.

The Clarins Vital Light Serum should be applied to cleansed skin in the morning an night, before applying your moisturizer. Within two weeks, you should start noticing a difference in your overall skin tone. I, myself, have been using the Clarins Vital Light Serum for over a month, and I don’t know what I did without it. Not only have some of the more cantankerous, persnickety dark spots on my face practically vanished, but my skin looks smoother, I’ve had less problems with acne, and some of the wrinkles that were starting to creep onto the sides of my mouth and the center of my forehead have softened.

Bottom line: this is the new light of my life.

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