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I don’t know about you, but my skin displays all of its imperfections freely. Joyfully, even. My skin can be completely clear, but the remnants of a very old breakout will linger for ages. There are many serums today marketed to brighten skin and even out tone, scars, or discoloration, but they are all pretty pricey. Plus, they often contain some oil or ingredient that does not agree with my temperamental complexion, making me very hesitant to give them a go. Fittingly, a favourite blog came to the rescue.

On an old nomoredirtylooks post featuring the morning routine of the awesome contributor Rebecca Bailey, she shared her DIY recipe for her own brightening serum full of active ingredients for a fraction of the cost of most. Think of the much-praised Yuli Cell Perfecto PM for a fifth of the price. I quickly made an order from the skin actives website and concocted this powerful potion for myself.

It has worked wonders.


The serum requires dry ingredients and 100ml of a viscous solution to combine them in. Rebecca added her powders to argan oil, but I stuck with plain, pure, and organic aloe vera for best results. It works better with my skin than any oil and is guaranteed not to irritate it. The simple recipe calls for,

100ml of oil or viscous solution of your choice
3 grams bearberry extract
3 grams licorice extract
1.5 grams arbutin
1 gram green tea extract

As Rebecca recommends, you can pick up all of these ingredients from skin actives. They are a reliable company that sells pure, skin active products online, and these ingredients retail for about $27 before shipping. They have a huge selection! In addition, you will also need some sort of measuring cup for liquids and a scale for weighing the dry ingredients. I already had a scale on hand.

Bearberry, licorice, and arbutin are all well-known ingredients for lightening skin. They are key ingredients in most brightening and lightening skincare products. Green tea extract is a potent antioxidant and also aids in combatting breakouts. The green tea extract is not one hundred percent necessary to enhance the brightening power of this solution, but it is a nice addition for an antioxidant boost!


The most difficult step is assembling these ingredients and tools. Once you have everything gathered, actually making this serum is a cinch.

First, measure out the dry ingredients by weighing them individually on the scale. The first time I made this, I transferred the dry ingredients into an indigo glass, dropper bottle using a funnel; then, I added 100ml of aloe to that, shook it up, and let it sit. This time, however, I didn’t yet have my aloe on hand, so I combined the dry ingredients in a clean, empty powder mask container. The finished product is below.


It’s quite a sizable payoff!

Once I’ve picked up my aloe this week, I will add it to the tub and pour out as needed. I use about a nickel-sized amount for application at night time. The product can remain gritty and reminds me very much of the Yuli Cell Perfecto PM which contains some of the same additives and also retains its gritty texture. The actives can sink to the bottom, so, just like the Cell Perfecto, be sure to shake up this solution before application to re-mix everything together. I slowly and purposefully massage the product into my wet skin after cleansing and toning and focus on areas of discoloration to really get the brighteners worked in there. Both times I’ve used this, I notice a visible improvement to my skin tone within four weeks, and it eventually totally lightened all of my problem areas. Score! And as you can see, it also produces such a great amount of product that it lasts for a very long time.

I highly, highly recommend getting your hands dirty with this DIY if you are in search of an effective, affordable, skin brightening product that will not have any negative side effects. It’s super easy to make and super potent. Enjoy! And thank you, Rebecca!

Have you tried a DIY similar to this?