How many times have you used a skin lightening product? If the answer is “often”, there are many things that you should be aware of.
Nobody wants to have dark or discolored skin. So, when people are troubled with acne scars, ageing spots, and freckles, they use a skin lightening product to get their clear skin back. Skins whitening creams or whiteners work to reduce your skin melanin, which helps determine the color of the skin. Some people apply these creams on their entire body for a complete change of complexion. The cream brings a uniform complexion in people who possess uneven skin tone.
Have you really thought how effective these skin whitening products really are? Or whether the products are doing more harm than good to your skin? If you are confused and want to find out how your skin lightening cream is affecting your skin, then you should read this article thoroughly. You will know how to lighten your skin color taking the help of some natural ingredients.
Later in the article, you will come to know about some safe and effective home remedies that will help you make your skin tone lighter. Let’s start with the things that you should know about skin lightening creams:
1. Is Skin Bleaching Safe?
This is one of the most controversial topics and one that definitely raises numerous concerns. Skin bleach makes use of chemicals to lighten the skin. However, the risk involved in using such creams is quite alarming. As a matter of fact, some of these risks can be pretty severe. The skin over which you apply the bleach becomes thin with time.
Apart from this, you might also experience pigmentation around the eye and this will result in dark eye circles. Prolonged use of bleaching creams can cause premature aging of the skin.
Keep reading to find out more about the various harmful chemicals present in most skin lightening products.
2. Are Skin Lightening Creams Effective?
Most of the skin lightening creams which contain the chemical named hydroquinone prevent the skin from producing pigments any further and this leads you to have a lighter complexion. A skin lightening cream is effective for a maximum of three months.
When you use skin bleaching cream, it lightens your skin temporarily. Skin is a dynamic organ and different factors like hormones, external factors, and nutrition, affect it. Therefore, chemical skin lightening creams may only work for a short period of time.
The assemblage of the cells in the skin creates the dark spots on your skin and cause an excessive amount of pigmentation. Skin bleaching creams hinder the excessive production of pigmentation. The melanin in the skin is produced by cells that are known as melanocytes. Melanin is the one that gives color to your skin and hair. So, the skin bleaching process interferes with the production of melanin.
Skin lightening creams are effective, but not all are able to show the results. Your pigmentation may come back if you are exposed to sunrays or if you use other chemical laden creams.
3. Remember: Not All Bleaching Creams are the Same
You need to keep in mind that not all bleaching creams are similar. If you take a look at the ingredients, you will find out that most of them contain natural or chemical ingredients.
Some of them can also contain moisturizing oils that usually lessen the irritation of the skin. Thus, it is imperative that you find the right skin whitening cream. Find out about it later in the article.
4. Beware: Mercury, the Most Harmful Chemical Ingredient of Bleaching Creams
Mercury is a neurotoxin. This, being the most common ingredient of skin lightening creams, is also the most harmful one. When you use skin products with mercury for a long period of time, you suffer from severe skin discoloration. The reason is that it settles into the skin cells and scraps off the natural pigmentation of the skin. Hereafter, it leaves a grayish-blue cast over the skin.
Mercury is a toxic ingredient and once it is inside the body, it is extremely difficult to flush it out from there. Long-term use also makes the nails darker as mercury manifest itself in the epidermis. Its absorption into the body can cause acute damage to the liver and kidney. In fact, it can also lead to neurological dysfunction.
5. Be Wary Of Hydroquinone: Another Noxious Ingredient in Bleaching Creams
Hydroquinone is an effective skin lightening agent, but many parts of the world have banned it due to its damaging effect. If the skin lightening cream has more than two percent of hydroquinone, then it can be excessively harmful to the skin. It causes skin irritation and a burning sensation.
When you stop using the product after a long period of time, you will notice darker skin. Over time, it will decline your skin’s ability to provide protection against the harmful rays of the sun. This will increase the likelihood of skin cancer. Moreover, it also thickens the collagen of the connective tissues of the body, and damages the ligaments and tendons.
Studies have shown that it can also have an effect on the endocrine system. However, the most concerning issue is that hydroquinone is a neurotoxin, which has a harmful effect on the nervous system of the body. The best way is to opt for a product that does not include this ingredient.
6. Kojic Acid: The Most Effective Ingredient For Your Skin
In order to have a better and healthier skin, you must always strive to use products that are made from natural ingredients. One of the best and most effective ingredients of skin lightening product is Kojic Acid.
Kojic acid is obtained from fungi that are quite beneficial for tropical purposes. It does not have any damaging effects like others do, when used over a period of time. Kojic acid works by reducing the melanin production deeper within the skin. This means that you will have real changes on your skin pigmentation, not superficial ones.
The best part of kojic acid is that you can use skin lightening products containing it regularly for a long time, without worrying about any side effects. Besides, dermatologists have also labeled this product as highly effective.
7. Alpha-Hydroxy Acid: The Safest Ingredient For Rapid Skin Exfoliation
This is a natural ingredient that is present in various kinds of food such as:
- Citrus food have citrus acid
- Spur mil have lactic acid
- Sugar cane have glycolic acid
- Grapes contain tartaric acid
- Apples contain malic acid, and many more
Manufacturers use different kinds of alpha-hydroxys acids found in various skin care products. AHA works to treat conditions like acne and acne scars. It also removes dead skin, thereby leaving the place smoother, firmer and younger looking.
AHA helps prevent clogged pores of the skin. This, in turn, leads to a boost in the collagen production and hydration of the skin. Thus, your skin appears more radiant. You will be able to choose different kinds of Alpha Hydroxy Acids depending on the sensitivity of your skin.
Let’s find out about them:
- Glycolic Acid: Glycolic acid is the AHA that enhances exfoliation and provides the skin with a natural radiance. Glycolic acids help in removing the discoloration of the skin by activating the turnover of the cell. In fact, it also reduces fine lines and wrinkles. It can serve as a subsidiary for other ingredients in skin lightening products by letting them penetrate deeper into the skin.
- Lactic Acid: Lactic acid has features that are quite similar to those of Glycolic Acid. Dermatologists recommend this for people with sensitive skin. It does not penetrate deeply and hence causes less irritation to the skin.
8. Meet Arbutin: The Invigorating and Safe Skin Lightener
Arbutin is a natural source of hydroquinone, but when you use it on its own, it is a much healthier option. It is present in Bearberry and a Canadian plant named dockweed. The molecule that the experts extract from the plants hinders the formation of melanin.
You can find three types of Arbutin in skin lightening products such as alpha-arbutin, beta-arbutin, and deoxyArbutin. Let’s find out more about these:
- Alpha arbutin is an effective skin lightening ingredient and is more powerful than the other arbutin.
- Beta arbutin obtained from cranberry, blueberry, and bearberry. The main function of beta arbutin is to eliminate tyrosinase production inside the body.
Dermatologists consider Arbutin to be a safer alternative to hydroquinone because it is much gentler than any other skin brightening ingredient that is used. It is less irritating to the skin because Arbutin releases its active component quite slowly. Hence, it is a good option for you if you have a sensitive skin.
Check on the other natural ingredients that you may find in many skin lightening products.
9. Vitamin C: The Natural Protector For Your Aging Skin
Vitamin C, also called ascorbic acid, is extremely beneficial for the skin and body. There are various benefits of Vitamin C such as:
- Vitamin C is quite vital for collagen synthesis, which is a vital part of the skin; giving it elasticity and making it look firm. It instructs the body to produce more collagen and is a vital co-factor in its production.
- Vitamin C fights inflammation and redness and can thus reduce the red blotches of the skin. It proves to be quite effective in treating rosacea and acne.
- It is also good for the healing of wounds. Vitamin C helps in keeping the walls of the blood vessels and also the capillaries intact. It augments the collagen production in the wound and heals it at a faster rate.
- It serves as an antioxidant that protects the skin against any kind of damage. It also helps repair scars and repairs the tissue.
Apart from making your skin look flawless and clear, vitamin C helps boost your immune system and aids in weight loss. You can drink a glass of lemon juice every morning to enjoy the rejuvenating effects of lemon for your body.
10. Licorice Extract: The Ayurvedic Skin Lightening Ingredient Fights Stubborn Spots
This is one of the most common herbal ingredients that is found in numerous skin lightening cosmetics. Licorice is capable of treating skin disease because of its anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic, anti-oxidant, and anti-viral properties. The main ingredients present in licorice are glycosides-glycyrrhic acid, saponins, and flavonoids.
A recent study has found out that when licorice root extract is combined with betamethasone and retinoic acids, it exhibits an excellent skin lightening effect. The good news is that this extracts work on all types of skin. Unlike other different kinds of cosmetics, it leaves the skin unharmed.
Licorice works to block the production of melanin and thereby prevent the formation of hyperpigmentation. When used regularly, licorice leaves the skin clear, bright, and hydrated. As a matter of fact, it is a herb that is used for treating numerous other dangerous skin diseases.
Read on to find out about some more interesting ingredients of skin lightening creams.
11. Papaya: The Fruity Ingredient For Your Blemished Skin
Papaya: this tropical fruit is supposed to be the primary component of skin whitening products. This is because it contains papain and many other natural enzymes that stimulate the restoration of the skin and also lead to cell turnover.
In order to facilitate skin lightening, it is vital to slough off the dead skin cells. Papaya accelerates the cell renewal process of the skin and helps in lightening it.
The healing components work to exfoliate the skin in order to bring new cells to the surface. This rejuvenates the skin and clears the pigmentation and spots.
Nonetheless, you need to keep in mind that papaya does not have melanin inhibiting properties and hence, it won’t cause dramatic lightening of the skin. It is good for reducing dark spots and lightening the skin in general. It also deals with pimples, rashes, and burn marks. Thus, it provides a radiant glow to your face.
12. Glutathione: The Popular Skin Whitening Ingredient
Fair skin is fashionable now and glutathione has become one of the most popular options to lighten the skin. Evidence has suggested that supplements of glutathione can make the skin lighter and reduce the sunspots and freckles.
13. Indian Gooseberry: Let Your Skin Soak In The Potent Effect Of Vitamin C
Scientifically known as Phyllanthus Emblica, it is rich in vitamin C and has antimicrobial properties. Dermatologists have found that the extract contains powerful skin lightening property that is either equivalent or better than the skin lightening ingredient like hydroquinone. The beneficial effects of the Indian gooseberry are:
- It helps to protect the skin from any kind of sun damage and also reduces hyperpigmentation.
- Gooseberries help protect the skin against all oxidative stresses, as well as regulate the production of melanin, reduce wrinkles and also assist the skin to retain natural moisture.
14. Gigawhite: The Healing Ingredient to Combat Melasma
This is a skin brightener that helps treat dark spots and melasma. Experts obtain it from Swiss alpine plants that include the peppermint plant, primula, and also common mallow.
Clinical studies have shown that Gigawhite can reduce the appearance of all dark spots and skin discoloration. There is no skin irritation and, even if there is any, it is quite minimal.
15. White Mulberry Extract: Makes Your Skin Clear and Healthy
The mulberry tree has known to have several benefits. Apart from preventing cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes, it can also lighten the skin. It is the natural inhibitor of the enzyme called tyrosinase, which is an enzyme that triggers the production of melanin in the skin.
16. Lemon: A Natural Bleaching Agent
The acidic property of lemon works as a bleaching agent for the skin. It has a high quantity of Vitamin C, which augments cell growth. Lemons also contain antioxidants that fight damaging free radicals.
How to Apply?
- Take a cotton ball and dip it into fresh lemon juice. Apply it lightly over your face. You can even cut a piece of lemon and rub it gently over your face. Leave it on for some hours and then wash it off with water. Do this every day to lighten your skin. This simple remedy also prevents the development of future scars on the face.
- Mix one teaspoon of lemon juice along with one teaspoon of turmeric powder. Apply it on the skin and leave it for half an hour before washing it off with water.
- Make a mixture of one teaspoon lemon juice, one teaspoon honey and powdered sandalwood. Apply it on your face. Leave it for around 20 minutes and wash it off with water. Repeat this every day to get effective results.
Make sure that you do not apply these products on open wounds found on your skin.
17. Aloe Vera Gel: The Wonderful Skin Healer For Youthful Skin
Aloe is a natural ingredient that can prevent hyperpigmentation and restore the original color of the skin. The main cause of uneven skin tone is hyperpigmentation. Aloe Vera has a cooling effect which regenerates cells and rebuilds the damaged tissue. This is essential to get a healthy skin.
How to Use?
- Cut out fresh aloe vera leaves and scoop out the jelly like substance.
- Slather it evenly on the skin.
- Leave this on for about 30 minutes and then wash it off with water.
18. Just 20 Minutes To Natural Skin Lightening At Home
You can lighten your skin with some products that are easily available at your home. Check these amazing recipes:
Yogurt, the Soothing Ingredient
Yogurt that is a by-product of milk has several nutrients that are quite good for the skin. It contains lactic acid that suits all types of skin. Here is how you can use yogurt:
- Rub yogurt over your skin and leaves it for a few minutes. Wash it off with lukewarm water.
- Mix two tablespoons of yogurt with half a tablespoon of honey. Slather on your skin.
- Prepare a face mask with two tablespoons of yogurt, two teaspoons of lemon juice, and oatmeal. Not only will this brighten your skin, but also keep it supple and moisturized.
Orange, Filled With the Goodness of Vitamin C
An orange contains abundant amounts of vitamin C that works as an effective bleaching agent. Even when you consume orange juice regularly, this can have an enormous effect on the skin texture. There are two ways to use oranges to lighten your skin.
- Mix two tablespoons of orange juice and one tablespoon of turmeric. Apply it on your face. You can also apply this mixture on your hands and legs. Wash it off after about 20 minutes. It will have a profound effect on your skin if you use this mixture daily.
- Collect and powder dried orange peels. Add one tablespoon of this orange powder to two tablespoons of yogurt to make a mixture. Leave the paste on your skin for about 20 minutes and then wash it off with water. This helps reduces the spots on your skin and thereby lightens the skin. Make sure that you use this procedure only twice a week and not more than that.
Gram Flour, the Old Age Remedy for Beautiful Skin
Gram flour contains many effective components that keep your skin healthy.
- Take two tablespoons of gram flour and sufficient rosewater to make a thick paste. Apply it on your face. Leave the paste until it is entirely dry. After it has dried off, wash it off with the help of cold water.
Honey, Natural Ingredient for Skin Bleaching
Dry skin is the most common factor that leads to uneven skin tone. Honey has antibacterial properties that helps reduce age spots and acne scars. Check these face mask recipes:
- Apply pure honey over your face and then wash it off with lukewarm water after a few minutes. This is an extremely simple way to remove dead skin cells. You will find your skin to appear brighter and more fresh than it was before. Repeat this daily and you will have a radiant glow on your face.
- Use honey as a skin lightening mask. Combine equal quantities of honey with lemon juice, almond oil, and milk powder. Leave this mask on the skin for about 15 minutes. Wash it off with cold water. Repeat this at least once in two days.
Now that you know about skin lightening products and remedies, you are now ready to improve your own skin. Find out which remedies that work for your skin type and issues and delight in the confidence that a clear skin will bring to you.