Some of the typical reason people buy skin lightening or skin bleaching products are to reduce the appearance of scars, moles, freckles, sun spots and hyperpigmented areas of the skin.
Safe and Natural Ingredients for Skin Lightening
The dangers of Hydroquinone and more recently the discovery of mercury in some skin whitener products should make us more aware of the ingredients that are used to make the skin lightening creams and lotions we use on our skin. Here is a list of 10 Skin Lightening ingredients that are safe to use for your skin whitener and pigmentation treatments:
Kojic Acid - derived from Koji (a Japanese mushroom). It lightens the skin by inhibiting the production of an enzyme in the skin called tyrosinase, which has an effect on the amount of melanin the skin produces. Kojic Acid is a very popular natural ingredient found in skin lightening products.
Alpha Arbutin is a safer alternative to hydroquinone, and is commonly found in skin lightening products.
Beta Arbutin (Bearberry Extract) is derived from the leaves of bearberry, blueberry and cranberry plants, and works in a similar way to kojic acid. This may cause some skin irritation to people who have sensitive skin.
Mulberry - this natural skin lightening ingredient is extracted from the roots of the paper mulberry plant. Much lower concentrations are required to have the same effect as kojic acid and hydroquinone.
Glutathione - a powerful antioxidant with several health benefits, including cleansing the liver. This natural skin lightening ingredient is often used in skin lightening pills and skin lightening soaps.
Papaya - contains the papain enzyme which gently exfoliates dead skin cells. Green papaya contains more papain enzyme than orange papaya. Used mostly in skin lightening soaps it is sometimes used in skin lightening creams as well.
Licorice Root - works to inhibit the enzyme tyrosinase which limits the amount of pigment produced. Having anti-inflamitory properties, is it particularly effective at fading suntans.
Vitamin A (Retinol) - increases the renewal of skin cells.
Vitamin B3 (Niacinamide) - has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, inhibiting melanin production in the skin. It is found is some skin whitening products and sun screens.
Vitamin C - concentrations of about 10% work to suppress the production of skin pigmentation. A derivative of Vitamin C is Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate and it is the ingredient in this form that is commonly found in skin whitening products. Vitamin C also protects the skin from ultraviolet rays.
An effective skin lightening treatment usually combines several of these ingredients in order to produce the best results.
Why You May Consider Skin Lightening or Bleaching
Freckles can be bleached
Some people are born with dark birthmarks which can occur anywhere on the body. When you use skin bleaching you can fade these birthmarks so that they are not so noticeable. Skin bleaching or skin lightening is a cosmetic enhancement that is used to boost confidence levels and feel good about your appearance. If you are concerned about sun spots, freckles, birthmarks or other uneven skin pigmentation you may want to consider skin lightening or bleaching to achieve the complexion you desire. Skin bleaching is easy to perform at home and in most cases quite safe. Skin lightening or bleaching can also be done at a beauty salon. Skin bleaching is the process of getting rid of freckles, age spots and any other imperfections that may be the result of too much sun exposure. It takes a few processes before you get the full effect of skin bleaching and achieve the skin lightening result you are looking for. There has been a recent trend in intimate area lightening. This includes anal bleaching, vaginal bleaching, underarm bleaching and nipple bleaching.
5 Dangers of Skin Bleaching
Don't use skin bleaching as a method of getting rid of moles - these should be looked at by a doctor and not simply bleached. Bleaching may lighten heavy birthmarks a bit but will not remove them completely. Skin bleaching has the best results when used to lighten freckles and other small imperfections that are usually caused by the sun.
Pregnant women tend to develop what is called the "brown or pregnancy mask". They get freckles and brown spots on the face and these marks usually fade after the birth of the baby. It is not advisable to undergo skin bleaching while pregnant, and the marks will go away after the baby is born and hormone levels are back to normal. These marks can reappear with overexposure to the sun.
Skin bleaching is meant to even out your complexion, not change it. It will get rid of freckles and age spots but you should not use it excessively. Over bleaching can be as dangerous at over tanning. Just like you should not over bleach your hair, the same applies to your skin. Overdoing the process can cause major irritation your skin to flake.
One of the dangers of skin bleaching is that it could cause an adverse skin reaction. In order to avoid this, you should test the skin bleaching product on a small part of your skin before you use it on your face. If there is any sensitivity or irritation, you should discontinue use.
Follow the instructions! Using double the recommended amount will NOT speed up the process. Skin bleaching does not work overnight, but will even out the skin tone and lighten up the dark spots that are bothering you. Follow the directions in order to avoid the dangers of skin bleaching.