Product Review: Kahina Giving Beauty Brightening Serum

When I was in the 5th grade, my then best friend and I wrote a poem together about our freckles.

We both had them, we both hated them, so we did what any normal school kids would do: We got together after school and wrote a rhyme about trying to scrub them out with some soap and a washcloth. (Spoiler alert: Didn’t work.)

People who say freckles are cute are usually in the enviable position of not having them. That said, now that I’m a grown up and I know better than to fight what nature gave me, I’ve kind of learned to love them. July rolls around and whoa, whoa, whoa: I look like the most Irish girl you’ve ever met. That can be kind of fun. But as any woman with freckles knows, they can be a bit of a pain when it comes to color-matching and looking kind of bright and glowy.

Not that I’ve been inclined to do anything about it. I would obviously never use mercury-contaminated hydroquinone on my face. But when Kahina’s Brightening Serum popped up in my mailbox, I was so excited.

Here was a product full of natural actives—antioxidant green tea, seaweed, white lilly, argan oil—that could possibly correct hyperpigmentation and fade sun damage from a brand I trust more than almost any brand in our category. Here was a product not promising to scrub out my freckles as I’d wanted to do as a preadolescent but to simply…brighten and even my skin. Who doesn’t want that?

So I took the bait, and it worked.

I’ve been using the serum for about five weeks, twice a day. It’s not drying or irritating to my high-reactive skin. And while I loved it right away, the results were more retiring. But about three or four weeks in I could say with confidence: This s*#t works.

My freckles aren’t gone, and thank god (see above). But my skin is noticeably more even, the freckles under my eyes have faded, and the overall look and feel of my skin is improved. The color of my skin is more even from forehead to chin. Taken together these feel like signs that I’m not making it up.

Gosh, Kahina. You’ve done it again.

Now before you go out and buy it, which you should, freckles or not, wait for our deal tomorrow. (!!!)

And in the meantime: Have you ever tried a skin-evening cream or something for hyperpigmentation? And do you, like me, my childhood bestie Simone, and Anne of Green Gables, have freckles?

Ingredients: aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) leaf juice*, water/aqua/eau, argania spinosa (argan) oil*, undaria pinnatifida extract, lactobacillus ferment, glycerin*, pancratium maritimum extract, oryza sativa (rice) seed extract*, spirulina platensis (algae) extract*, butyrospermum parkii (shea) nut butter*, sodium hyaluronate, diglycerin, pinus pinaster, cetearyl glucoside, rosa damascena (rose) flower oil*, pelargonium graveolens (geranium) leaf/flower oil*, lavandula angustifolia (lavender) flower oil*, santalum spicatum (sandalwood) wood oil, tanacetum annuum flower oil*, vanillosmopsis erythropappa (bisabolol) wood oil, boswellia carterii (frankincense) resin extract, maltodextrin, mentha spicata (spearmint) leaf extract, sclerotium gum hydrogenated lecithin, p-anisic acid, rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary) leaf extract*, helianthus annuus (sunflower) seed oil*, xanthan gum

29 Responses to “Product Review: Kahina Giving Beauty Brightening Serum”
  1. Michelle says:

    Thanks for the review, I have been eyeing this up for a couple of weeks. I have some acne scars (and freckles!) that I’d love to clear up a bit. But quick question…will it make me even more pale than I already am?

  2. Emma B says:

    I do have freckles, but I actually like them and wish I had more. I always envy people with clear milky skin and freckles (insert commercial image with a pretty woman in the grass). What I hate is my bumpy pink cheeks (rosacea). Does this do anything lighten redness too?

  3. Pepper says:

    I adore my freckles!! I get them across the bridge of my nose in the summer and they make me feel precious. The pale skin that accompanies my freckly nose though is a little blotchy in places, and I get redness around my nose and chin. If this stuff would help even my skin tone I’m sold!

  4. danielle says:

    I have this, bought as soon as it came out and love it! I don’t have freckles but a couple of sun spots and some mild reddness and this has helped beautifully. I use with my Kahina facial cleanser, which I have been loyal to for one year and my skin looks great! (and I am in my 40″s)

  5. Janelle says:

    Excellent review! I will definitely try this out for acne scars!

  6. Kahina Team says:

    Hi all – thanks for writing in with your questions and experiences!

    @Danielle – nice that you mention using our Cleanser and our Brightening Serum in conjunction. They’re a fantastic pair. The papaya enzymes in our Cleanser deliver that gentle, daily chemical exfoliation while the argan oil soothes and calms to eliminate redness. The Brightening Serum helps treat existing hyper pigmentation while *preventing* future discoloration. I would highly recommend this duo (along with our Antioxidant Mask) for the ultimate in gentle brightening from Kahina. Thanks for contributing your experience with those two products!

    @Pepper & @EmmaB – our Brightening Serum will help with redness. How? One key task for reducing redness in general is to reduce inflammation and the causes of inflammation. Antioxidants (like those found in argan oil!) are great anti-inflammatories. The protection from various ingredients – undaria pinnatifida, pinus pinaster, aloe vera, lavender, tanacetum annum (has high % of anti-inflammatory compound cam-azulene), bisabolol, and rosemary- in our Brightening Serum will also help reduce inflammation caused by environmental exposure (sun/UV, exhaust fumes, general air irritants). I encourage you to check out our blog, , as we are posting more information like FAQs and ingredient spotlights to help answer all your questions.

    @Michelle – It will not make you paler than you already are. The Brightening Serum helps to avoid the OVER-production of melanin (that which results in uneven spots caused by UV exposure or minor scarring).

    Hope this helps!

  7. Ally says:

    I don’t have freckles, save for one on the top of my left ear. I always wanted them as a kid, is that weird? This serum sounds wonderful! For years I’ve used Suki (like YEARS) and now I’m slowly not with the exception of their intensive nourishing cream, formerly called their brightening cream. I always notice that my skin looks healthier and more even when I use it. It’s also a nice under eye cream. If nothing else, I love it as a cold-weather moisturizer. It smells lovely, is clean, never breaks me out or irritates my ridiculously sensitive skin, and protects my mug when the mercury drops.

  8. Rebecca says:

    I use my DIY for lightening/brightening, made with Kahina argan of course, and LOVE it. I was eyeing this new serum, though. The actives are very different from my mix. What does it smell like??

  9. Mimi says:

    I’ve been using Rebecca Bailey’s lightening recipe for about 6 weeks now and that sh*t works too! (Rebecca, you totally rock so hard, I can’t stand it.) Can’t wait to try Kahina’s version, so hurry up already Friday because momma is ready to drop some coin.

  10. Rebecca W says:

    I’ve lived with freckles my whole life, and not the cute smattering across the bridge of my nose but a full-face, every-summer-try-to-wash-what-I-think-is-dirt-but-is-really-a-new-freckle, muddy complexion kind of freckly. I’ve always hated it! I have some that are obviously freckles, but most are just a spot that are slightly darker than my natural skin shade, and some that are slightly darker than that but still not obviously freckles. Am I making any sense?

    I came across this serum a few weeks ago and thought I might like to try it to reduce my freckles, only reason I haven’t bought yet is because it doesn’t promise to do so. I might still purchase it to see if it will reduce the rosiness on my cheeks (it’s really not a problem but….I just wanna control how “blushed” I look).

    Even if just the lighter freckles fade, I would be sooo happy!

  11. Kahina Team says:

    @Rebecca the scent is a light, slightly botanical/floral scent. Take a look at the essential oils in the formulation and it should give you an idea. The texture is very light – much more like a typical serum (and NOT like Kahina Serum, which is heavier and with many oils).

    @Rebecca W – freckles are hyper-pigmentation (too much melanin production). Freckles can get darker with increased UV exposure. Kahina Brightening Serum is definitely targeted to freckles – and to any discoloration that is due to excess melanin. Melanin production is stimulated by UV exposure, certain hormones, and also superficial wounds (these cause an inflammatory response which triggers melanin). Hope this clears things up – pun, of course, intended!

  12. Rebecca says:

    Hey Kahina Team, can you compare how you think this serum would work for hormonal hyperpigmentation vs. sun damage? Thanks : )

  13. Anne says:

    I didn’t even think I needed this… but I want it now…

  14. Anaiah says:

    I adore my freckles, and have always thought they give a person more character. I have never tried skin-tone-evening solutions, because if anything, I wish the freckles I have were more pronounced. Now, if they can make something that will even the rest of my skin tone, but leave the freckles in tact, I would be all over that.

  15. Guilly says:

    I should’ve known you’d be running a deal!! Unfortunately I bought it a week ago. I love this stuff.

  16. Rebecca W says:

    Thanks Kahina Team! Good pun. :) Does that mean acne may have exacerbated my freckles?! :O

    I’m North of 60 so you’d think they freckles would calm down more in winter, at least, but maybe they just need a kick start and I can control future melanin production with UV protection…which, admittedly, I haven’t historically been good about.

    I’m also Irish and Scottish…for the whole of my life, I’ve understood freckles were genetic but a TCM practitioner noted my freckles and said it was my toxic liver.

    Good question Rebecca! I already have a hormonal imbalance so I’m curious to know the answer as well. I would think, at least in theory, that anything that reduces melanin production would work regardless of the cause….

  17. Rebecca W says:

    Oh, I hope it’s a great deal ladies otherwise I’m gonna have to sit this one out. :( Didn’t realize it’s $72/oz…

  18. Amy says:

    Sounds delicious!
    I was wondering when/how you apply a “brightener” into your routine….

  19. Kahina Team says:

    @Rebecca – good question. Pancratium maritimum – white lily – has been shown to inhibit the action of a hormone that signals melanin cells to make melanin. But both pancratium maritimum and wakame (undaria pinnatifida) work to inhibit melanin production in general, whether it’s stimulated by hormones or UV exposure. Wakame inhibits more than 90% of tyrosinase activity, tyrosinase being the enzyme that triggers melanin production.

  20. Sarah C. says:

    I can’t wait for the Friday Deal Tomorrow!!

  21. Nancy says:

    No freckles, just pesky brown spots …the ones that are easy to get and close to impossible to get rid of..
    Since finding about Rebecca’s lightening DIY well over a year ago, I’ve been dutifully making it and applying twice/day. I’ve also reported/commented many times over on the effectiveness of her recipe. It does work, really does.
    The base of her recipe calls for Kahina’s Argan oil which is awesome (as is their cleanser and antioxidant mask)..
    I’ll be looking forward tomorrow’s deal..

  22. Marc Rodri says:

    I would definitely buy this product for the removal of acne scars. But can you tell how many times it would take to clear up! Shell we use this product twice or once in a day.

  23. Kahina Team says:

    @Marc – hi there- thanks for asking! You can use it once or twice a day. We recommend twice a day. The most important thing here is consistency and also giving it time to work. For acne scars, I would give it the full four to six weeks of use. As a reminder, when I say acne scars, I mean the hyperpigmentation that occurs post-acne – NOT any kind of pitted scar, which has more to do with collagen than hyperpigmentation/discoloration.

    @Amy – I think it would be helpful to check out our blog. that is a good one. I’ll also be posting one early next week about the three best practices.

  24. Rebecca W says:

    Where can I find Rebecca’s DIY recipe?

  25. Rebecca says:

    @Rebecca W, my DIY was last posted in the comments here:

    @Kahina Team, thanks for that info!

  26. Rebecca says:

    Ha! @Mimi, I just noticed your comment. Thanks : ) and I’m so glad it’s working for you.

  27. Rebecca W says:

    Thanks Rebecca! No wonder I couldn’t find it…lol. Now hopefully I can find/order all the ingredients North of 60!

  28. yoning says:

    one quick questions! I would love to get this but I wonder if this is safe for pregnancy? I don’t see anything on the ingredients list that warns me but I just wanted to double check!

  29. jaime says:

    Will this work on broken capillaries to fade them maybe?

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