Review & Comparison: Ultraceuticals Even Skintone Serum and Ultra Brightening Serum
I loooove my AHAs and BHAs. AHAs work best for refining skin texture and skin tone, while BHAs work best for exfoliating pores. So what’s not to love? They help keep my acne and breakouts at bay, help reduce my pigmentation (by helping my skin cells to turnover quicker), refine skin texture so that it’s smooooth and even in colour! You can find products which contain either AHAs or BHAs separately, but together they work even harder at improving your skin 🙂 With so many products on the market, it’s so difficult to choose something suited perfectly to your skin type. I had this conundrum when Ultraceuticals released a seemingly similar product to their Even Skin Tone serum, the Ultra Brightening serum. I should start off by saying that I wanted a concentrated serum to do my chemical exfoliation for me, so that I got the best results. I would pick chemical exfoliation over physical exfoliation (think, those grainy scrubs which you manually rub over your face) any day, because chemical exfoliation won’t irritate your breakouts and pimples should you suffer from acne (if anything, it might make the inflammation worse). And if you use a serum regularly, then over time it’s doing a more consistent job. Ultraceuticals is a great Australian brand which makes cosmoceuticals – products containing tested and tried (scientifically) ingredients which are proven to work.
Both of these serums contain about the same amount of AHAs and BHAs, plus some added ingredients to help brighten and smooth the skin like, Niacinamide (which is vitamin B3 and is an anti-inflammatory) and Bearberry extract (slows the melanin process, so your pigmentation spots stop deepening in their tracks!). However, the Ultra Brightening serum contains even more ‘brightening’ ingredients which help to brighten and fade pigmentation spots more quickly. It is also a little bit more expensive. Here is the official description for each serum:
Even Skintone Serum ($100): “Ultraceuticals Star Performer, Even Skintone Serum now comes with a new and improved formula to give even better results. This enhanced formula gives you a visibly brighter, smoother and more refined complexion. Regular use of just 2-3 drops each application will dramatically diminish the look of discolouration and pigmentation and reveal a brighter, smoother, strengthened and clarified complexion and will enhance the benefits of all other products which follow.”
Ultra Brightening Serum ($135): “This advanced brightening formula is designed to visibly reduce the appearance of mild to advanced hyperpigmentation and help enhance clarity and luminosity. This potent formula contains a powerful combination of Artocarpus Lakoocha and Bearberry Extract.
Under medically supervised testing this serum was found to be as effective at improving the appearance of pigmentation as a prescription strength tretinoin and hydroquinone cream. It also contains high levels of AHAs and BHA to visibly exfoliate and clarify the skin.”
I can only tell you about my experience in using both serums. Both keep my acne and breakouts at bay (I will still get the occasional spot, especially if I’m tired or stressed) and both keep my skin feeling and looking very smooth. I had about 1 or 2 sunspots, but my biggest concern was post acne pigmentation marks – you know the red marks which linger on and on after the spot has disappeared. I had originally been using the Even Skintone serum but thought that the Ultra Brightening serum may fade my post acne marks even faster. While it helped fade my sun induced pigmentation marks very quickly, it still took a while to fade my post acne pigmentation marks (it was still quicker than not using a chemical exfoliant but still). So for me, there wasn’t much point buying the more expensive serum and still experiencing the same result. Funnily enough, even though my skin was used to the level of AHAs and BHAs contained in the serum, the Ultra Brightening serum would make my skin tingle after almost every single application of the serum which I thought was interesting (I was expecting it to stop after a few uses) so I think the ingredients are quite strong. It didn’t make my skin red or inflamed (so I didn’t experience a reaction to the serum) it was just the active ingredients working!
I’ve now gone back to my Even Skintone serum which I love <3 (and it’s cheaper – win!). Both serums are great, it just depends on what results you are after and what kind of pigmentation you are fighting against. For me the Even Skintone serum maintains my smooth and clear skin, so it’s something I use regularly (every second night to be exact). If you are looking into using a AHA and BHA serum for the first time, I would go with Ultraceutical’s Even Skintone serum in Mild. It contains slightly lower amounts of AHAs and BHAs, so that your skin becomes gradually accustomed to the chemical exfoliants (and you won’t have to worry about shocking your skin and seeing a bad reaction – oh and it’s the perfect version of the treatment for sensitive skin). I first began with the mild version and still saw great results, so you aren’t loosing out by starting your journey with AHAs and BHAs there. They even have an Even Skintone serum Concentrate – which is even stronger than the two serums I discuss above! I haven’t tried that particular version as I assume it would be very heavy duty, so probably not for me! Both serums contain 30ml of product. You can always email Ultraceauticals questions or even request a skin consultation, so keep that in mind if you’re not sure what product to go for. You can buy their products online here from their official website.
Do you use any skin care products containing AHAs or BHAs? I think every skin type can benefit from AHAs and BHAs. Oily skin types benefit from AHAs and BHAs because they clear out blackheads (find a new home blackheads!), prevent breakouts and help calm inflammation, while dry skins benefit because AHAs and BHAs clear away all of that dead skin keeping moisture from penetrating down into the deeper levels of your skin (which make the skin look dull). Sensitive skins on the other hand, can also deal with different types of pigmentation, so as long as you use a gentler formulation, you should still find that it works for you to (and the anti inflammatory ingredients would help calm the skin down, including redness), while normal skin can benefit because the chemical exfoliants keep skin bump free and maintain skin tone. Just remember that it’s best to use these types of serums at night as they can make your skin more sensitive to UV light 🙂
Oh and just to brighten your day/evening, here is a little turtle attempting to eat a ‘gigantic’ strawberry!
Until next time beauties!
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