Neostrata have recently released a range called Enlighten recently, which claims to lighten spots and reduce hyperpigmentation. Will it work?
You may remember a recent post here on non-hydroquinone skin lighteners – for more information on the whiteners mentioned here, you can refer back to that.
Neostrata Enlighten Ultra Brightening Cleanser ($39.95 for 100 mL) is a creamy cleanser that foams lightly. It’s very gentle and non-stripping. It contains:
– NeoGlucosamine – This is the trade name for N-acetylglucosamine. It slows down the production of melanin-making tyrosinase enzymes.
– Alpine plant extracts (Gigawhite) – This is a blend of 7 extracts that’s used in a number of whitening products, but not much independent testing.
I’m generally skeptical of wash-off products that contain active ingredients (although they sometimes can deliver active ingredients effectively). It’s a lovely cleanser to use, but if I had to choose one product, it would be a leave-on products. Which brings me to the next product…
– “Peptide” – From the ingredients listing, this refers to oligopeptide-34, which has a few non-peer-reviewed studies that are quite enthusiastic.
– Licorice extract – There are a range of pigment-reducing flavonoids in licorice extract, including glabridin (acts on tyrosinase to slow melanin production) and liquirtin (disperses melanin).
– Alpine plant extracts (Gigawhite)
– Vitamin C – This interacts with copper in tyrosinase enzymes to slow down melanin production.
I’m very impressed by the line-up of lightening ingredients in this serum. Both NeoGlucosamine and licorice extract appear quite high up in the ingredients list, and while Gigawhite and oligopeptide-34 haven’t undergone much independent testing, they have enough going for them for multiple companies to have produced products containing them.
Neostrata Enlighten Pigment Controller ($49.95 for 30 mL) – This is another nicely textured serum-like product, in an ait-tight opaque pump-top tube. It contains:
– Retinol – This acts in a number of ways to reduce pigmentation – it also increases skin permeability so the other ingredients can sink in.
– SabiWhite – This is the trade name for tetrahydrocurcumin, a much less vividly coloured close relative of curcumin, the main active ingredient in turmeric. While tetrahydrocurcumin suffers (like many other skincare ingredients) from a lack of independent testing, curcumin and turmeric have quite a lot of studies behind them to support their effectiveness in reducing melanin, as well having as a host of other skincare benefits.
– Vitamins C & E – While vitamin C acts to reduce melanin, vitamin E doesn’t do much except help prevent damaging oxidation as an antioxidant.
Here are the ingredients lists, if you’re curious (cleanser, serum and pigment controller):
Overall, the Neostrata Enlighten range contains a combination of clinically tested whitening ingredients and a couple of less well-tested whiteners in really nicely formulated products – it’s a nice change from the usual list of active ingredients that have little to offer besides moisturising power. It’s generally agreed that a mix of lightening ingredients is better for lightening than a higher concentration of a single ingredient, and these products seem to have been formulated with this in mind – I experienced zero irritation while using them. I’ve been very impressed by the Neostrata products I’ve tried so far – they use ingredients that have hefty scientific backing, put them in well-designed, no-fuss formulas, and package them in appropriate containers that prevent the ingredients from being degraded quickly.
These products were provided for review, which did not affect my opinion. For more information, see Disclosure Policy.