A Bright Promise — Get More Radiant Skin with the Elure Advanced Lightening Skincare System
With summer right around the corner, now is the time to tackle your hyperpigmentation woes — whether those unwanted clusters of melanin are classified as PIH (post inflammatory hyperpigmentation) resulting from an acne breakout or injury; solar lentigines, the term for those age spots that result from sun damage; melasma, a condition that causes brown patches to appear on the skin; or dark under eye circles,which can be the result of hereditary factors, poor circulation, allergies, UV exposure, and more. As temperatures begin to rise, you’re more likely to want to wear minimal makeup — which, in turn, means that you’ll hope for your skin to look as smooth, radiant, and even in tone as possible. Needless to say, the time to work towards those goals is now. Besides, most brightening skin care products do cause heightened photosensitivity so that, even if you’re diligent about applying sunscreen after you moisturize, it’s not necessarily wise to employ them regularly when you plan on spending long periods of time under the sun’s beaming rays.
But which brightening product should you employ? Well, there are several alternatives on the market. In the past, I’ve trumpeted the fantastic results yielded by Clinique’s Even Better line as well as Clarins’ Bright Plus collection (especially the serum!) and the Estée Lauder Idealist Even Skin Tone Illuminator. That being said, you have to tackle your brightening regimen with a hefty dose of patience since it typically takes 4-6 weeks for results to become evident. Sure, the Estée Lauder has the added benefit of incorporating light-diffusing particles that diminish the appearance of these pesky dark spots (a welcome optical illusion) but any real change in terms of skin tone requires a considerable amount of time.
Now, you can add another option to your brightening buffet: the three-step Elure skin brightening system, which includes the Elure Advanced Facial Wash ($55; visit elureskin.com for info); Elure Advanced Lightening Lotion ($150; visit elureskin.com for info); and Elure Advanced Lightening Night Cream ($35; visit elureskin.com for info). Launched in May 2011, Elure is a subsidiary of Syneron Medical, a California-based company that specializes in esthetic and medical products, many of them aimed at rejuvenating the skin, removing unwanted hair, and reducing the appearance of wrinkles. All Elure products can be used independently, but they work best when used together as part of a routine (think of it as a brightening Justice League as opposed to one lone Superman). These clinical-strength products are typically dispensed by dermatologists and medical spas so you should visit ElureSkin.com to find a facility in your area.
One immediate advantage of the Elure products is that they don’t contain hydroquinone, a controversial ingredient found in many skin brightening products. The FDA proposed a ban on hydroquinone back in 2006, after research revealed that the ingredient could potentially act as a carcinogen (there’s still some debate surrounding these studies), but no such law has gone into effect so that, to this day, many products containing up to 2% hydroquinone are available over the counter. Since I belong to the better-safe-than-sorry school of thinking, I strongly advise readers to steer clear of products containing hydroquinone.
If you want to go the natural route, products containing licorice extract, lemon or lime extract (both contain vitamin C, which boosts skin luminosity), white birch extract, peony extract, white lily extract, wild rose oil (a key ingredient in the Korres’ Wild Rose regimen), a stable form of vitamin C (like the Activated C used in Kiehl’s Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution), and mushroom extract. But, of course, you should expect all-natural products to take some time to work their magic — not that there’s anything wrong with this approach since slow and steady can often win the race. Besides, all-natural products tend to be more gentle, making them a smarter alternative for those with sensitive skin.
Now, if you want a product that’s relatively gentle but still includes some of the clinical-grade ingredients that appease our very Western need for instant gratification, then the Elure system is a prime choice. All three products rely on the same key ingredient: a naturally-occuring, ligning peroxidase enzyme called Melanozyme, which is exclusive to Elure and which works to break down the melanin clusters that lead to hyperpigmentation, thereby revealing more even and luminous skin. Now, if applied directly to skin alone, Melanozyme will do virtually nothing to alter your skin’s condition, which is why both the Elure Advanced Skin Lightening Lotion and the Advanced Lightening Night Cream feature dual compartments: one which contains the Melanozyme and the other containing an “activator.” The activator compartment features a 0.12% concentration of hydrogen peroxide and it’s this hydrogen peroxide that kicks the Melanozyme into action, literally activating it.
When I first started using the Elure products, I noticed very little change and became very disheartened but, once I read the instructions thoroughly (yes, ladies, it’s important to always read the instructions), I realized I hadn’t been following the steps properly. It’s essential to apply the product in the compartment labeled “1” and, about a minute later, apply the product in the compartment labeled “2.” And, of course, it’s also important to apply an equal amount of each since they’re working in unison. In the case of the Advanced Lightening Lotion, which you’ll want to apply in the morning, after cleansing, you simply have to press down on the left-hand side pump dispenser and then the right-hand side pump dispenser. No fuss, no muss. With the Advanced Lightening Night Cream, the process involves flipping open a lid shaped like a half circle and demarcated with the number “1”, then scooping out a dollop of the cream inside with the enclosed patula, then quickly closing the lid shut and repeating the process with the chamber adjacent to it. It’s key to close these compartments shut as soon as you retrieve the product needed to complete the application and to follow by twisting the top cap shut, so as not to expose the creams to the free radicals in the air.
If the process is followed with due diligence and sunscreen is applied throughout the day (there’s no excuse not to apply sunscreen!), then you should see rather dramatic results within as little as two weeks. I managed to virtually eradicate the presence of particularly stubborn dark spot near my chin that seemed to have taken up residence on my face, so I was thrilled that Elure allowed me to give its squatter self some walking papers!
I wasn’t too keen on the Elure Face Wash since I don’t think it had that much of an impact in terms of brightening and I’ve become quite attached to some of my other cleansers, but I did appreciate that it incorporated lauric acid, which has antibacterial and anti-acne benefits. Still, it was gentle enough on my skin and had a nice texture when worked into a lather. The Elure Advanced Lightening Lotion took some getting used to — because my skin is so very dry, it didn’t initially react well to the lotion and there was a period of adjustment during which I suffered through some atypical breakouts but, once that period elapsed, my skin returned to its normal appearance and then the lightening effects became more visible. That being said, if there’s one product I could whole-heartedly endorse , without any caveats or forewarning(and which I will be buying again and again), it would be the Elure Advanced Lightening Night Cream. The cream is rich without being overly heavy, it moisturizes and smoothes the skin thanks to the jojoba ester and shea butter in the formula, and it brightens the skin so nicely that, by the time you wake up in the morning, you feel like your skin has undergone a transformation. Basically, it covers all the bases.
Overall, the Elure products represent an exciting breakthrough in the treatment of mild to serious hyperpigmentation and they manage to deliver results without needlessly aggravating the skin with artificial fragrances and overly harsh chemical agents.
I actually used every single drop of product inside the Elure Advanced Lightening Night Cream and was practically scraping the jar like a mad woman once I depleted my supply — a clear indication of how much I’ve enjoyed the results yielded.
To give Elure a try, visit Elureskin.com and find a participating dermatologist or spa near you!