I'll be honest: For a brand that's not stocked in Sephora, Ulta, Nordstrom, or drugstores, Glytone is doing well for itself. The line makes fans of dermatologists and skin experts, and its pared-down branding reminds me of BeautyRx, a fellow dermatologist-developed line. BeautyRx's glycolic exfoliating serum was the first thing to truly revolutionize my skin, and according to shoppers, Glytone's Enhance Brightening Complex likewise transforms skin, making it brighter and smoother within days.
The formula's trick-hitter is a combination of two acids: the brand's go-to glycolic acid for toning down fine lines, hyperpigmentation, and acne, plus azelaic acid to take on dark marks. If you're at all familiar with the skincare realm, you've probably run into glycolic acid before. It's something of a wunderkind; gentle enough that it doesn't irritate skin like more intense treatments (don't let the word "acid" scare you), yet strong enough to make a concrete difference in wrinkles over time.
"Glycolic acid has been demonstrated in decades of published clinical studies and data to help with skin rejuvenation and acne," dermatologist Melanie Palm previously told InStyle. "It helps to speed skin renewal and turnover. It has also been shown to encourage new collagen growth and improve skin texture and fine lines, particularly at higher concentrations."
Shop now: $74; glytone.com
Azelaic acid likewise comes with expert accolades. "It has skin brightening and calming benefits, so it is commonly used in products designed to even skin tone and lighten dark spots," board-certified dermatologist Dr. Joshua Zeichner previously told InStyle. The acid also has "anti-inflammatory effects, making it helpful in patients with both acne and rosacea."
We love a product that can do it all — although to hear reviewers tell it, the serum especially shines at resurfacing your skin and knocking wrinkles down a peg. "Like liquid gold. My skin was visibly brighter and smoother within two days," says a shopper. "One month in, and my skin has transformed to the healthiest it has ever been. I've seen a reduction in fine lines and acne scars; my skin is so much smoother and more radiant; the amount of new acne I'm getting has dramatically reduced. I'm so thrilled by the results, and feel so confident in my own skin."
Another person writes that despite the Complex moniker, it goes on similarly to a moisturizer and doesn't irritate their sensitive skin. Others say their face's texture has "definitely improved," earning it "must-have" status. "This stuff really works," writes a different reviewer. "I've tried so many skin-lightening products before, and I've never seen results like this. My brown spots are fading!"
Everyone's skin responds differently, but according to most customers, a month is enough to see "noticeable results" in their hyperpigmentation and skin clarity (and for some, three weeks is enough to find their age spots lighten by 70 percent). That said, the brand recommends three months to see the Complex's full effects — and by month four, shoppers say it's like the clouds have parted. As a last reviewer writes, it's enough to convince them that "miracles do happen."
"I've had horrible hyperpigmentation issues for years, [and] very dark circles under my eyes. Over the past 25-30 years I have literally spent thousands of dollars buying creams to remove the dark circles," they write. "My dermatologist told me about this product, and I am saying to myself — where have you been? Love this. Have been using it for about four months morning and night, and there IS a huge difference. Thank you."
Erasing dark marks, lightening circles, fading lines, brightening skin, and vanishing acne? Sounds like the $74 Enhance Brightening Complex is accurately named, although the iPhone's "enhance" feature could never.
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