The Best Brightening Face Masks

As seasons change, so do our skin’s needs. Because warm air holds more water vapor than cold air, the humidity in the summer keeps our skin from needing the extra dose of moisture we tend to require in the colder months. Frolicking in the sun last summer may have also added freckles and sunspots which we may be eager to fade.

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Here’s a roundup of our favourite brightening face masks:


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If you’re partial to the pumpkin spice latte (and let’s be honest, we’ve all felt seduced), this mask is a must. It contains glycolic acid, which is a natural acid derived from sugar cane that helps exfoliate skin, stimulate cell turnover, and fade sunspots. Pumpkin and manuka honey add moisture that holds. While it does feel a bit like you’re rubbing your face in pumpkin pie, the tingling and a clearly brightened complexion after application prove that this is an effective and affordable mask.


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If you’d rather stick with some tropical fruit, this mask by Living Libations provides exfoliating, fruit-derived AHA’s (alpha hydroxy acids) which brighten and refine the skin. This mask feels almost like a serum, making the small bottle last a long time, unlike some thicker masks you have to slather on. Living Libations boasts environmentalist superstar Shailene Woodley as a loyal customer, who raves about their “next-level, beyond pure” ingredients.


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Dr. Hauschka’s revitalizing mask is perfect for those with sensitive skin. Chamomile soothes, while borage and carrot extract clarify and provide moisture. Inflamed skin is calmed, blemishes fade more quickly, and blood circulation improves, leading to a more even complexion. This mask is gentle enough to be left on overnight.


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A good introduction to sea buckthorn, this tiny, taut, orange berry is found thriving in the harsh altitudes of the Tibetan Himalayas. Sea buckthorn fruit extract and papaya enzymes help slough off dead skin cells while clay deep cleans pores, leaving your skin feeling cleansed, refreshed, and brightened.


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Not technically a mask, these pads had to be included on our list because of their powerful alpha and beta hydroxy acids, which exfoliate the skin, soften fine lines and age spots, and stimulate cell turnover. Depending on the sensitivity of your skin, you can apply without rinsing and wake up to a smoother, brighter complexion. Just remember to wear sunscreen as hydroxy acids make your skin more sensitive to UV rays.

Sofia Banzhaf
Sofia Banzhaf is a holistic nutritionist, actor, and writer in addition to being a contributing beauty writer for KHACHILIFE. Her novella Pony Castle was the recipient of the Metatron Prize for Rising Authors and was handpicked by Amazon to become a Kindle Single in November 2015. As a long-time Lyme sufferer, Sofia appreciates the way our body and skin tells us what's going on inside and that well-being and beauty require a multi-faceted approach.