Skin lightening and skin bleaching refer to the practice of using chemical elements in order to lighten the skin tone by reducing the melanin concentration in the skin. Skin lighteners and skin bleachers on the market have the same set of ingredients that will help reduce the production of melanin and even the tone of your skin.
There are so many chemical and natural ingredients that have shown to be effective in inhibiting the production of melanin in the skin. Some of these chemical ingredients are said to be toxic while having questionable safety policies. This has added so much of controversy on the subjects of skin lightening and skin bleaching. This article provides important facts about skin lightening and skin bleaching.
Skin lightening products a.k.a. skin brighteners and skin bleachers work by reducing the pigment called melanin in our skin.
Most people use these products to treat freckles, acne scars, age spots, liver spots, hyperpigmentation and many other skin color impurities. Chemical skin lighteners or bleachers come with some unwanted side effects.
This is why it is important to use a product recommended by your dermatologist. If not, you can always use skin lighteners made of 100% natural ingredients.
These products will not have any unwanted side effects since they are made of natural properties. This is why it is important to read the label of any new product and understand the important facts before you use any skin bleaching or skin lightening product on your skin.
Melanin is a pigment that is produced in the specialized skin cells melanocytes. People with a darker skin have more melanin in their skin compared to people with a lighter skin color. How much melanin you have in the skin is determined by your genetic makeup, hormones, skin damage and sunlight exposure.
This is why people who live in tropical countries have a much darker skin compared to people who live in the colder parts of the world. If you are born in a region where there is too much sunlight exposure, you will have a darker skin compared to a person who is born in an area where there is less sunshine year around.
This is the main reason for our skin color. This is why you need to think twice before you take extreme measures to lighten your dark skin. It is best to speak to your healthcare provider first before taking any drastic action to bleach your skin. Your dermatologist is the best person to advice you on this matter.
Skin bleaching or lightening is a cosmetic treatment method that is helpful in reducing the prominence of skin discolorations. You may purchase bleaching creams over the counter as well as with a prescription.
Some people apply skin lighteners to their entire body in order to lighten the skin color. But this is a quite dangerous practice since most of the skin lighteners have mercury as their active ingredient. Bleaching can lead to mercury poisoning at times.
This is why you need to be extra cautious when following a skin lightening routine. Mercury is a toxic agent that can cause numerous kidney, nervous and psychiatric problems in people. A pregnant woman who uses a skin lightener including mercury can pass this toxic substance to her unborn child.
This is why you need to be extremely careful when using skin lighteners on the market. It is always best to consult your healthcare provider before using any skin bleacher or lightener on the market.
Skin lighteners have an active ingredient or a group of ingredients that help reduce the production of melanin in your skin. This is how these products are able to lighten your skin. There are so many ingredients that are helpful in inhibiting the production of melanin in your skin cells.
Hydroquinone is considered the primary topical ingredient that helps inhibit the production of melanin. This ingredient has potent antioxidant abilities, and comes in 2% and 4% concentrations. Hydroquinone 2% is available in most of the over the counter cosmetic products. 4% concentration is only available through a doctor’s prescription since it is much more potent in inhibiting the production of melanin in the skin.
Hydroquinone will not bleach the skin but lighten it naturally. It can reduce the risk of melanin hyperpigmentation too. This ingredient is banned in some countries like France due to fears of a cancer risk.
Research show that lesser concentrations of the ingredient are not harmful to the skin. This is why the majority of skin lighteners use hydroquinone as their major ingredient.
Arbutin is another important skin lightening ingredient that is derived from natural sources. It is an alternative skin lightening ingredient to hydroquinone. Arbutin extract is derived from the leaves of the bearberry, blueberry, cranberry or mulberry shrubs.
It is also present in most types of pears. The ingredient is found to be extremely potent in inhibiting the production of melanin in the skin. These ingredients are considered safe elements when compared to hydroquinone and the likes. This is why there are so many natural skin lightening products that use this ingredient today. There are so many medical studies that have shown the effectiveness of arbutin as a skin lightening ingredient.
Kojic acid is another popular natural ingredient used in a majority of skin lightening products today. There are hundreds of skin lightening products out there that use this potent ingredient to inhibit the melanin production in your skin. Kojic acid is a byproduct of malting rice for using in order to manufacture Sake.
Sake is a Japanese rice wine that is very popular across the world today. There are so many studies that have shown the importance of kojic acid in reducing the production of melanin in your skin. But kojic acid is an unstable ingredient in cosmetic products. This is because the ingredient can turn into brown as soon as it is exposed to air or sunlight.
The ingredient loses its efficacy as soon as this happens. This is why many cosmetic companies use kojic dipalmitate as an alternative to kojic acid. Kojic dipalmitate is a much more stable formulation compared to kojic acid. In fact, it is considered a potent antioxidant which will help inhibit the production of melanin in the skin cells. Kojic acid may cause skin irritations and allergic reaction on sensitive skin types.
This is why you need to consult a qualified dermatologist before you purchase any skin lightening product on the market. Your healthcare provider or dermatologist is the best person to recommend the most suitable skin lightening product to match your skin type.
This will help prevent any side effects and save your time and money in the long run.
Azelaic acid is another 100% natural compound that is helpful in reducing the melanin pigment in your skin. It is derived from grains such as rye, wheat and barley. It is applied topically in a cream concentration of 10-20%. This ingredient have been proven to treat acne as well as skin discoloration issues.
This is why there are so many skin lightening products on the market that use azelaic acid as their main ingredient. Vitamin C is another ingredient that is helpful in inhibiting the melanin production in your skin. It is a very potent antioxidant which helps lighten your skin quite effectively.
There are many products on the market that use vitamin C as their main ingredient. There are many studies to show the effectiveness of this ingredient in reducing skin color. Hence, this is considered another effective skin lightening ingredient.
Glutathione is another important substance that is found in mammalian bodies. It is a potent antioxidant which helps prevent oxidative damage to the skin cells. The ingredient has been highly rated for its skin lightening abilities. There are so many studies to show the effectiveness of this ingredient in reducing the darker color of your skin.
There are many skincare products that contain glutathione as their main ingredient. There are many skin creams, soaps, ointments and other products in this regard. The ingredient is combined with vitamin C in order to increase its absorption in to the skin.
There are many other treatment methods that will help reduce the color of your skin and make it lighter. Laser treatments are effective in reducing the skin color. Both ablative and non-ablative lasers have been found to be quite effective in reducing the amount of melasma in your skin.
But the results have not been consistent at all times. There are also so many side effects associated with laser skin treatments. Especially, laser treatments have been found to cause problems for people with darker skin tones. Cryosurgery is considered another alternative treatment to laser skin treatment methods.
This treatment method uses liquid nitrogen. During this treatment method, the excess melanin is brought to the surface and peels off in a few days. This treatment method is useful for sensitive areas where laser treatments can leave a scar. The effectiveness of this treatment method will mostly depend on the depth of the pigment. Freckles can also be treated effectively using this treatment method.
There are so many risks associated with using skin lightening and bleaching products. The potential exposure to mercury is one of the leading risks in this regard. A recent research confirmed that 1 in every 4 skin lightening products sold outside the US contains mercury.
The other risks include prolonged usage can contribute to premature aging of your skin. Steroids in some of the skin lighteners can cause skin thinning issues, skin infections and delays in wound healing. Long term use can increase the risk of skin cancers when the skin is exposed to sunlight. There are various bleaching agents that can cause skin irritations and inflammations.
Allergic reactions are very common when using some skin bleaching products. This is why you need to use a sunscreen when going out in the sun while you are using a skin lightening product.
It will help protect your skin from the harmful UV rays of the sun. This is why it is important that you talk to your doctor before using a skin lightening product.
You need to follow the instructions on the label of the lightening product to the letter. This will help prevent unwanted side effects in the long run. If you are buying an over the counter skin lightener, make sure the hydroquinone concentration is less than 2%.
The aforementioned article provides a comprehensive overview of skin lightening and skin bleaching products.