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Melissa Magsaysay, McClatchy Newspapers, Published October 27 2011

Getting that natural glow

I don’t think I’m alone in wanting instant gratification from my beauty products, especially when it comes to items that claim to brighten, lighten and deliver overall radiance. If a product makes those claims, then I want to emerge from wearing a goopy mask or tingly serum on my face with skin so brilliant that it’s practically blinding.

Yes, I am pretty impatient when it comes to the efficacy of skin-brightening products. But now that I’ve switched almost all my skin care to include a more natural regimen, sometimes the results take a little bit longer to surface.

Thankfully, I’ve found a few all-natural products that deliver bright and shiny skin almost immediately. I’ve been getting comments on how “glowy” my skin has been looking, and I’m chalking it up to the following:

Ren Radiance

I’ve been using Ren’s top-selling Glycolactic Skin Renewal Peel Mask for a few years now, and every time I wipe the orange-y slime off my face, I’ve got bright and beaming skin. It tingles a little and smells like orange-flavored Vicks cough drops, but most important, as with all Ren products, there are no petrochemicals, sulfates, parabens or synthetic dyes or fragrances.

Ren has recently expanded on the Glycolactic mask to encompass a whole range of treatments, which include a micro-polish cleanser ($30), a resurfacing AHA concentrate ($45) and a radiance-perfecting serum ($55). Key ingredients in each product include glycolic, lactic, tartaric and citric acids as well as hyaluaronic acid, licorice and Tyrosinase (an enzyme that disrupts the production of melanin so dark spots stop dead in their tracks).


For a nighttime treatment, a product from cult beauty brand Caudalie seems to be doing wonders for evening out my skin tone. It’s the Vinoperfect Cell Renewal Night Cream ($68), and the stuff seems to be lightening up some sun spots that tend to gather mainly on the left side (driver’s side) of my face. It has a fresh green smell and soaks right into skin. Caudalie is another label that omits synthetic ingredients and focuses on the antioxidant-rich grape seed polyphenols that are at the center of all their products.