FYI, This Brightening Mask Was Made For You (According To A Dermatologist)

Dear dull skin, your days are numbered.

by Shawna Hudson
PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images
Studio shot of a beautiful young woman feeling her skin against a grey background

If your skin had its own dictionary entry, you’d want it to read: luminous, lit-from-within, and glowing all year round. And the key to achieving that dazzling definition lies in finding the right brightening mask for your skin type.

Chock full of glow-getting ingredients like vitamin C, brightening masks can help remedy dull, sallow, or discolored complexions, while virtually erasing dark spots along the way. Nothing quite compares to a cocktail of well-formulated skin food that boosts radiance within minutes — as long you know how to choose the right formula, that is.

Board-certified dermatologist, Dr. Marisa Garshick, M.D., explains that selecting a brightening mask made for you comes down to auditing labels for three key ingredients: vitamin C, exfoliants, and antioxidants.

“Antioxidants help to fight free radical damage and improve the appearance of skin tone and texture,” Dr. Garshick tells TZR “Exfoliants (such as AHAs) work to remove dead skin cells which can help to both brighten the skin and boost radiance and glow.”

Although these are the three key ingredients to look for, Dr. Garshick also recommends seeking out a product with the hero ingredient niacinamide — it helps soothe the skin, hydrates, and collaborates well with vitamin C.

That being said, there is one thing all skin types should avoid when selecting a brightening mask. Overtly harsh or abrasive scrubs can irritate and cause micro-tears in the skin barrier: a huge no-go if you’re looking to up your glow. Micro-tears can leave skin susceptible to dryness, sensitivity and redness — basically all the skin woes you’re trying to remedy.

Now that you have the dullness-fighting dos and don’ts, it’s time to take your skin to next-level brilliant. Find your skin type below to uncover the brightening mask made just for you.

We only include products that have been independently selected by TZR’s editorial team. However, we may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.

For Oily Skin

For those with oily skin, Dr. Garshick recommends a brightening mask that features a beta-hydroxy exfoliating acid (aka BHAs). These exfoliants are key in eliminating dead skin cells and preventing breakouts.

“Salicylic acid will help to brighten the skin while also unclogging pores through the reduction of excess sebum and oil,” she shares.

For Dry Skin

Drier skin types should opt for lactic acid, a gentle AHA that also serves as a humectant — a strong moisturizing agent that helps prevent the loss of hydration. They can also help create a gorgeously flushed look on the skin when used in a brightening mask.

For Normal Skin

Normal skin types should gravitate toward products with a high dose of good, old-fashioned vitamin C. We all know that vitamin C improves your skin’s overall tone and reduces signs of premature aging, but how, you ask? “It helps with discoloration, but it can also help boost collagen and brighten the skin,” says Dr. Garshick. Increased collagen production is a must for youthful, luminous skin.

For Sensitive Skin

Those with more sensitive skin require a more mellow approach when it comes to brightening ingredients. Garshick notes, “a gentle exfoliating acid such as mandelic acid, is a great option [for sensitive skin], as this is a larger molecule. This means it’s unable to penetrate as deeply as some other exfoliating acids and, as a result, is often more gentle on the skin.”