The skin-lightening category is competitive, and new products crop up annually with the promise of technological advances and novel ingredients—which is the cue for the Advanced Brightening Lotion from Elure, a division of Syneron Medical. If you're battling dark spots and discolorations, you may be wondering whether this fashion magazine-touted lightener is worth its high price tag. The short answer is "no", there isn't anything groundbreaking about Advanced Brightening Lotion—but read on to find out why.
The Elure skin-care brand consists of three products, a cleanser, night cream and the Advanced Brightening Lotion. The Advanced Brightening Lotion is the focus on this small line, which is based around a single ingredient to support Elure's discoloration-fading claims: the fungus-derived enzyme ligninase (patented by Elure under the trade name, "Melanozyme"). At this point, the Beautypedia team doesn't plan to review Elure's cleanser or night cream.
Ligninase was originally utilized to lighten pigment-discolored wood pulp for paper production (Source: Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 1984; 234:353-62). Years later, it was theorized that melanin, the pigment in human skin, would respond equally. However, (as miracle ingredients go) there is no peer-reviewed or independent research to support these claims.
Advanced Brightening Lotion is packaged in a dual-chamber container; one side contains a blend of ligninase, silicone, thickeners and glycerin. The other side is a solution containing hydrogen peroxide; once the two are mixed upon application, the ligninase is supposedly "activated" with hydrogen peroxide and works its skin-lightening magic. This is more gimmick than anything, given Elure has combined ligninase and hydrogen peroxide in their other products without separating them. It does help make Advanced Brightening Lotion seem more special, though.
Once you dismiss the effectiveness of its star ingredient (given the lack of independent supporting research), we see that Advanced Brightening Lotion hangs its hat on that one allegedly brilliant ingredient. The rest of the formula lacks any beneficial antioxidants, cell-communicating ingredients, or even a tiny amount of proven skin-lightening agents. Its blend of emollients and thickening agents makes this formula only suitable for normal to dry skin not prone to breakouts. Beyond these disappointments, there is the fact that this formula contains hydrogen peroxide, which exposes skin to damaging free radicals (see More Info for additional details).
Like so many of the (self-proclaimed) revolutionary skin-care products relying on a single ingredient, the claims around Advanced Brightening Lotion are more hype than fact. If you are looking for products that contain ingredients research has demonstrated actually can lighten discolorations, see our list of Best Skin-Lightening Products.
- Contains a few ingredients that provide moisture to skin.
- Lacks the proven ingredients necessary to lighten discolorations.
- Ridiculously overpriced given the numerous better, less costly alternatives on the market.
- Contains hydrogen peroxide, which generates damaging free radicals on skin.
Research about hydrogen peroxide for skin is clear, and it isn't good news. Hydrogen peroxide kills skin cells and generates skin-damaging free radicals. There is no research showing hydrogen peroxide has anything to do with repairing skin or fighting wrinkles. Although it can function as a disinfectant, that has nothing to do with younger-looking skin. Besides, the cumulative problems that can arise from exposing your skin to a substance that is known to generate free-radical damage, impair the skin's healing process, cause cellular destruction, and reduce optimal cell functioning are serious enough that it is better to avoid its use. (Sources: Journal of Drugs in Dermatology, July 2011, pages 753–761, and December 2010, pages 1523–1526; Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, March 2009, pages 127–135; Carcinogenesis, February 2008, pages 404–410; and Cellular and Molecular Biology, April 2007, pages 1–2).