Kakadu Plum is the Brightening Skincare Ingredient Experts Want You to Use

It has 55 times more vitamin C than an orange.

Dark spots, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation, overall dullness...all these things can make us crave bright, even-toned skin. If this sounds like you, you probably already apply sunscreen every day and use a vitamin C serum—which are both absolutely essential—but there's another skincare ingredient you should throw into the mix, too: kakadu plum.

Kakadu plum, also known as the billygoat plum, is a small fruit native to Australia. According to the Northern Australia Aboriginal Kakadu Plum Alliance (NAAKPA), it's been used for thousands of years as traditional medicine to boost the immune system. In 2010, a study found that topical application reduced the skin's inflammatory response to light, and since then, it has risen to popularity in the skincare world for its impressive results.

"It's mainly known as one of the best sources of vitamin C, containing 55 times more vitamin C than an orange," says Dendy Engelman, MD, a New York-based board-certified dermatologist. "Because of this high antioxidant content, kakadu plum is effective at fighting free radical damage and protecting the skin, preventing hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and other signs of aging."

Apart from all the benefits Dr. Engelman listed, it also hydrates the skin and helps prevent acne. Additionally, "it promotes skin radiance and luminosity, while also helping to minimize the appearance of wrinkles," says Jenefer Palmer, founder of skincare brand OSEA Mallibu.

Dr. Engelman recommends using it in facial oils or serums for best results. "These products tend to be absorbed more deeply into the skin due to their lighter molecular weights," she explains. She recommends Wander Beauty's Sight C-er Vitamin C concentrate ($42, amazon.com) as it's infused with kakadu plum and has "a creamy texture but lightweight feel and sinks into skin quickly, making the perfect hydrating and protective base for the rest of your skincare routine." Additionally, we like OSEA's Anti-Aging Sea Serum ($88, credobeauty.com) for its bioactive formula that targets signs of aging and boosts the skin's moisture barrier.

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