If you've been following me on other social media channels (you are, right?) I've been going on and ON about something called Brightenex. This topical cream was developed by Dr. Obagi for ZO Skin Heath to lightens hyperpigmentation. It does NOT contain Hydroquinone, which is kind of a breakthrough for those of us with stubborn hyperpigmentation. According to the good doctor, here is what it does:
A blend of potent retinol (1.0%), melanin inhibitors and antioxidants are released to rapidly brighten and even skin tone quality. Additionally, this comprehensive multi-action formulation minimizes skin redness caused by environmental factors and helps maintain an even and restored skin tone.
BRIGHTENEX™ Multi-Action System
- Dual pigmentation reversal with vitamin A and ascorbic acid-2 glucoside
- Bio-active levels of vitamins E and C, and stachys officinalis antioxidants
- Multistage glutathione, soy isoflavones, and N-acetyl glucosamine melanin inhibitor system
- Retinol (1.0%) microencapsulation in an oleosomes delivery system
Here is the deal. Brightenex works. It will lighten your skin. Your hyperpigmentation will fade. Mine did. But that isn't the end of the story.
It's also a very strong topical. My skin is generally really hearty. I did have to baby it back to health after using a BB cream with methyl methacrylate, so maybe it's not as tough as it once was, but it's certainly normal. Brightenex worked better for me than lasers, peels and anything else I've tried.
However, no matter when or how I used it, it also caused extreme micro-peeling on the third day after initial use. I also felt like I had a bad sunburn from time to time. My skin was never able to adjust, no matter how many days I did or didn't use it. I also got it on the back of my hand accidentally, where I suppose the skin is thinner. The Brightenex caused scabbing. I accidentally got it on my neck, transferred from my pillow, and it caused what looked like a serious burn and was very painful. Luckily, after a dermatologist consult, it was determined to primarily be a histamine reaction from the Brightenex and NOT A BURN. Still my skin reacted in a very strange way. This is strong stuff.
At the end of the day, Brightenex works. It's not for those with sensitive skin or those afraid of a little discomfort and peeling. I would suggest being very, very careful if you opt to use this. If you have tried everything else and nothing is working, this might be for you. But start slowly and be very careful. You'll get results, but it comes with some peeling, discomfort and potential, temporary side effects.
Sent for review. I'm not a doctor, so ask yours before using this or any other strong topical.
Official disclosure/disclaimer statement can be found here.
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