Pepta-Bright

Price:
$29.99 - 1.01 fl. oz.
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Category:
Skin Care > Retinol Products > Lighteners Without Hydroquinone
Last Updated:
5/28/2014
Jar Packaging:
No
Tested On Animals:
No

Pepta-Bright, which, strangely and depending on where you live, is also sold under the names Pepta Bright Intense Brightening Treatment and Pepta Bright Even Skin Tone Enhancer, is a product we're categorizing as a skin lightener, because it's meant to improve uneven skin tone and leave the complexion looking, well, brighter. The brightening doesn't happen, at least not from the standard way, which is from using cosmetic pigments like mica or titanium dioxide to optically brighten and make skin look more radiant.

Where this fragrance-free product has potential is for lightening brown spots and, yes, improving an uneven skin tone that resulted from sun damage. Pepta-Bright contains three skin-lightening ingredients that have a growing body of research attesting to their effectiveness. One by one, they are: undecylenoyl phenylalanine, phenylethyl resorcinol, and Dimethylmethoxy chromanyl palmitate.

Undecylenoyl phenylalanine is a white powder composed of amino acids and fatty acids. It is believed to work by interrupting the pathways in skin that stimulate excess melanin (skin pigment) production. Although this ingredient's research pales in comparison to what's known about hydroquinone and many forms of vitamin C, it is a promising ingredient that is worth considering in products meant to lighten brown spots and help even out skin tone (Sources: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, September 2011, pages 189–196 and December 2009, pages 260–266; and Clinical Experiments in Dermatology, July 2010, pages 476–476).

Phenylethyl resorcinol is a synthetic antioxidant that, when compared to gold-standard skin lightening ingredient hydroquinone, has scant research behind it. The most compelling research looked at the results of a cream with phenylethyl resorcinol plus three other skin-lightening agents. The product was applied over a period of 3 months by 20 women, all of whom also used sunscreen. At the end of the study, it was determined that the women's dark spots decreased by 43%. The problem is we don't know how much of this improvement is due to phenylethyl resorcinol, as it wasn't used alone, which is the case with Pepta-Bright (Source: Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, March 2013, pages 12–17; and September 2011, pages 189-196).

Dimethylmethoxy chromanyl palmitate is a peptide (trade name Chromabright) that has limited but intriguing research on how it interrupts the pathway for melanin (skin pigment) synthesis. There's not much research, but it does appear promising (Source: www.healthestatejournal.com/Print.aspx?Story=4710). Please keep in mind, however, just because an ingredient is new doesn't mean it's better.

In the end, this deserves consideration because, with daily sunscreen use (essential to improve dark spots and uneven skin tone) Pepta-Bright stands a good chance of improving discolorations and uneven skin tone. This missed our top rating because the formula, which is suitable for all skin types, lacks a mix of other helpful anti-aging ingredients such as plant-based antioxidants and repairing ingredients. However, it's definitely among the more affordable skin-lightening products that stands a good chance of working (but again, you've got to be good about applying sunscreen).

Pros:
  • Lightweight lotion texture is easy to apply.
  • Inexpensive.
  • The skin-lightening ingredients it contains have emerging research supporting their effectiveness.
  • Fragrance-free.
Cons:
  • Lacks a mix of anti-aging ingredients that would make it a more beneficial product.

Pepta-Bright™ is a cream-serum designed to help improve the appearance of uneven skin tone. The unique formula is light weight yet rich in texture. Pepta-Bright™ helps to promote overall skin clarity and brightness, leaving a more luminous and radiant complexion.

Water, Caprylic Triglyceride, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Isodecyl Neopentanoate, Isononyl Isononanoate, Propanediol, Arachidyl Alcohol, Undecylenoyl Phenylalanine, Sodium Lactate, Behenyl Alcohol, Glyceryl Stearate, Octadecenedioic Acid, Polyacrylate-13, Phenylethyl Resorcinol, Dimethylmethoxy Chromanyl Palmitate, Nonapeptide-1, Sodium Hyaluronate, PEG-100 Stearate, Triethanolamine, Arachidyl Glucoside, Polysorbate 20, Phenoxyethanol, Polyisobutene, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin, Xanthan Gum, Dextran

Promising high performance, innovative products, Canada-based Indeed Laboratories is a small, drugstore-sold line specializing in anti-aging-themed products meant to make skin look better in high-def, which is to say real life. Their best-known product, and not surprisingly the one we're asked about the most, is Nanoblur. This product is essentially a silicone-based wrinkle filler and pore smoother that works, though no better than many other, similar products. All of these types of products work (temporarily, of course) to improve skin texture and fill imperfections to a degree that they're slightly to moderately less noticeable. Where Nanoblur makes its mark is the price point, which many will find enticing.

Although we're not reviewing the complete collection from Indeed at this time, we've looked over their other offerings and were a bit dismayed to see the claims for some being likened to cosmetic corrective procedures like Botox or dermal fillers. Despite what's being claimed, peptides, whether natural or synthetic (and as an aside, you want the synthetic peptides as they're engineered to be much more stable in the product and on skin) are not age-erasing miracle-workers on par with the procedures a cosmetic dermatologists offers. Peptides are intriguing ingredients for skin and they do have benefit, but no one is getting less Botox or canceling their dermal filler appointment because topical peptides did the same thing "without the needle".

This is a line that seeks to avoid fragrance, and that's always to skin's benefit, and their modern-looking packaging will help keep light- and air-sensitive ingredients (like retinol) from degrading. If you keep your expectations realistic and don't expect miracles from these products, you're far more likely to come away satisfied. For more information about Indeed Labs, call 877-884-9086 or visit www.indeedlabs.com

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About the Experts

Paula Begoun is the best-selling author of 20 books on skin care and makeup. She is known worldwide as the Cosmetics Cop and creator of Paula's Choice. Paula's expertise has led to hundreds of appearances on national and international television including:

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The Paula's Choice Research Team is dedicated to helping you find the absolute best products for your skin, using research-based criteria to review beauty products from an honest, balanced perspective. Each member of the team was personally trained by Paula herself.

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