By makeup artist Meghan Combes and Beauty Editor Karen Chou-Tiam

For people with skin conditions or blemishes, choosing a whitening treatment is a very important activity. Other people might choose a whitening treatment to help them to feel more confident. Whatever the reason for using them, these treatments can make your complexion look as fresh and beautiful as a magnolia blossom.

Diorsnow White Perfection Anti-Spot & Transparency Brightening Serum

This serum can be used as a spot treatment or as an overall face brightening serum. Combining the power of Edelweiss with mallow extract and a Transparency Enhancing™ complex exclusive to Dior, the product activates a brightening mechanism deep in the dermis to lighten dark spots, add transparency, and give uniformity of tone and texture, resulting in a brighter, whiter complexion. $219

Eve Lom WHITE Brightening Mask

The active ingredient in these sheet masks (made of 100 per cent natural cotton) is Dermapep™,  clinically proven to improve pigmentation and unify skin tone. Niacinamide, a potent amino acid, regenerates skin faster than natural skin turnover which improves elasticity and firmness. Stored in the fridge for a cool, spa-like experience at home. There are eight masks per pack, so treatments are cheaper than going to the spa! $195

Guerlain Blanc de Perle Rosy Whitening Essence

A highly concentrated serum packed with antioxidants and skin brightening minerals, this product has some pretty hefty clinical results. Women in a study saw a three-time improvement in complexion brightness after one month and 97 per cent of participants noticed a significant improvement in the appearance of dark spots after two months. In a separate trial, women saw a seven per cent reduction in “yellow” tones. $165

Note that if you want the best result you have to put your hand in your pocket. However here are three less expensive options that work very well.

SUNDAY RILEY Tidal Brightening Enzyme Water Cream

This easy-to-use moisturizer fits into a skin routine easily. Being water based makes it ideal for both evening and morning applications. Papaya enzymes work quickly and effectively to remove and slough off dead skin cells revealing healthy, bright, glowing skin. This antioxidant-packed moisturizer has been clinically proven to increase hydration by up to 68 per cent in 15 minutes, and with all that added moisture comes added brightness. $28-$85

Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Cleansing Foam

This is a gentle purifying foaming cleanser, but it definitely packs a brightening punch. It has been proven to protect and balance the skin’s natural moisture barrier. A dose of micro white powder removes surface impurities which improves overall skin clarity and luminosity. For a more dramatic result, Shiseido recommends to use the whole White Lucent system, however, the cleanser alone as been proven to brighten the skin as much as 26 per cent in the first wash. $50

Benefit Cosmetics ’That Gal’ Brightening Face Primer

This is a silky, rose-coloured primer that delivers instant brightness. It smooths the skin to allow for a perfect foundation application, or can be worn alone for a dewy, “fresh” face. The best part about this primer is that it allows for touchups throughout the day. Use a damp sponge and zap, you are re-brightened! $40

When compared to professional treatments such as cryotherapy, lasers, microdermabrasion and repeated chemical peels, topical skin lightening treatments are actually quite cost effective.

Skin whitening products can be a little daunting for some people, however the results are worth it.