Skin bleaching is a popular method used in beauty regimes today. In fact, many would be surprised to know that the practice of lighting the skin is something that has been passed on for centuries. While the older generations used natural substances such as milk, yogurt or chickpea flour; the technologically advanced youth of today prefers chemical methods of skin bleaching. In this article we take a look at some of the more popular forms of skin whitening and try to see what the benefits and cons of using these methods might be.
What is Used to Lighten the Skin?
The basic principle behind skin lightening treatments is the inhibition of melanin. Most of the chemicals that are employed in the making of creams and lotions contain substances that reduce the number of melanocytes (melanin producing cells) in the body. As a result, there is decrease in the color gradient of the skin and it appears lighter or fairer. Here is a list of the most commonly used substances for these treatments:
- Kojic Acid
- Azelaic Acid
All of the above mentioned components work by decreasing the ability of the skin to produce melanin. As a result they come with the added feature of making the skin more sensitive to the rays of the sun. Since the skin now has a decreased number of cells, whatever is left over is more prone to being damaged by the UVA and UVB rays of the sun. This is one of the serious drawbacks of skin bleaching creams.
Benefits of Skin Lightening Treatments
- Even Skin Tone: One of the benefits of using skin lightening creams is that it evens out the skin tone. What this means is that during the initial stages of treatment there is a marked reduction in what is known as hyperpigmentation. This means that the surface of the skin has fewer cells to hold color. The resultant is that there is an even tone all throughout the skin.
- Reduction in Skin Discoloration: In addition to the reduced hyperpigmentation, skin lightening products also make sure that there are no discolorations that are associated with aging.
- Initial Reduction of Dark Spots: While using these creams for the first few months, users normally report a decrease in the incidence of dark spots. This is also due to the principle of decrease in hyperpigmentation.
As with most skin lightening creams, e.g. http://theorganicbeautyexpert.com/best-skin-lightening-creams, these treatments require a regular application of the cream or lotion twice daily. This is because the work efficiency of the creams has been found to increase with optimal application. However, while many users feel that more is better that is not the case. Overuse of skin whitening products has a number of adverse effects.
Disadvantages of Skin Whitening Products
Prolonged use of skin lightening products leads to a number of negative effects, such as:
- Mercury Poisoning: Many of the skin treatment products have mercury in them. Overuse can increase the possibility of mercury poisoning.
- Sun Allergy: After the initial application of the creams, there is an increased chance of adverse reaction to the sun’s rays. In fact many of the creams come with added instructions that warn the users to stay out of the reach of the sun. This is because the lack of melanocytes decreases the skin’s natural barrier against the sun’s harmful UVA rays.
- Increase in chances of Cancer: The other alarming side effect of using skin whitening products is that studies have shown a direct correlation between the frequency of using these lotions and the incidence of skin cancer. Cancer is caused due to the dual action of decreased resistance to UVA rays and increase in susceptibility to mercury poisoning.
While using skin whitening creams, one must be sure to supplement smartly. The best dietary supplements that aid in reducing the harmful effects of skin whitening creams are Vitamins C, B12 and D. A combination of these vitamins can boost the skin’s natural regenerative powers and also positively impact the body’s immune system. Both are markers of healthy physiological functioning and for those who are interested in lightening their skin tone this can prove to be greatly beneficial.