Millions of men and women worldwide spend a lot of time, effort and money on skin whitening products and treatments. The skin lightening industry is worth billions of dollars. In fact, experts project that people will spend around $19.8 billion on whitening cream, lotions, and all other procedures involved in skin brightening by 2018.
While it looks better when the whole body has a uniform complexion, the facial skin color is very important to be fair and free from blemishes. The face, however, is prone to skin imperfections like pimples, acne and dark spots.
What Causes Skin Blemishes
Before finding what the best whitening creams are in the market, it is important for you to know what can damage your skin.
That way, you can avoid these factors and take care of your skin better. Dry, dark and/or damaged skin may be due to one or some of these factors:
- Exposure to the sun
Lack of sufficient hydration
- Lack of enough rest and sleep
- Lack of exercise
- Unhealthy diet
- Hormonal changes caused by conditions like puberty, pregnancy and menopause.
- Vices like smoking.
- Skin disorders like Vitiligo and Scabies or as manifestation of other health problems
- Exposure to pollution
- Aging Process
The aim of skin care is to look at what causes the problem. Scar lightening cream or bleaching creams will not be effective or can only manage the problem for a while if you don’t address the root of the problem.
When you have known what causes the skin imperfections, you can choose what product or procedure suits your case well. It would be best to discuss the matter with the doctor and/or the dermatologist.
A Closer Look At Whitening Cream Ingredients
There are dozens of whitening creams sold in the market today. The only question is, which will you choose? You don’t just pick whatever product whose ads impress you. You need to read the label. The main ingredients in some scar lightening cream and brightening cream are as follows:
- Hydroquinone – This chemical fades dark skin areas by lowering the production of melanin, the pigment cells of the skin. The drawback here is that FDA found it to damage the skin. Studies also link it with cancers like leukemia.
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs) – They help remove the layer of the skin where hyperpigmented cells have accumulated. AHAs also hasten the rate at which cell turnover occurs.
The disadvantage of AHA-containing products is hypersensitivity to the sun by as much as 50 percent more.
- Tretinoin – This substance promotes skin peeling and pore unclogging. Experts caution people with its use as they can be more sensitive to UV rays and it can worsen acne.
- Mercury – Although banned in places like Europe and United States, there still are products that contain mercury. The said element stops the formation of melanin. The warnings to the public are to watch for side effects like poisoning.
These mentioned ingredients can yield results faster. Yet you may want to think twice before using them.
Five Natural Options
If you want safer options, you can turn to whitening creams that contains any of the following active ingredients:
- Vitamins C and E – These antioxidants are said to be potent in lightening the skin. A study suggests that Vitamin C can raise the levels of glutathione in the body.
- Kojic Acid – A by-product of the Japanese wine Sake, Kojic Acid stops the body from producing melanin.
- Arbutin – Like many other ingredients, arbutin, which comes from the berry family, lightens the skin though inhibiting melanin production.
- Cinnamomum Subavenium – This Chinese herb stops tyrosinase, an enzyme that triggers the melanin production.
- Glutathione – The human body produces this antioxidant in small amounts. Made in the lab, Glutathione can whiten skin by turning eumelanin (the type of melanin that causes dark skin) into pheomelanin (the melanin present in fair-skinned people).
Are you still skeptic about the whitening cream sold in the drug store or supermarket? You can make your own whiting cream at home. The ingredients are in your kitchen. Here’s a recipe for a rich and soothing night cream:
Almond-Yogurt Night Cream
Prepare the following ingredients:
- Three or four pieces of almonds pulverized with a food processor
- One 1/2 cups of plain and organic yogurt
- Two tablespoons of lemon juice
- One teaspoon of honey
- A pinch of turmeric powder
In a bowl, combine all ingredients and stir to blend the mixture thoroughly. Apply a small amount of the natural whitening cream on skin every night. Store the cream in the refrigerator to keep it fresh.
Reminders In The Use Of Lightening Creams
In whitening, you are sloughing off the dark layer of the skin before its time. That is why; there are important things to remember when using whitening products:
- Use the beauty whitening cream only as directed.
- Use the product regularly for desirable results.
- Stop using the whiting cream upon first sign of negative reaction. Even a little redness should not be ignored.
- Temporary redness, burning sensation and itching can be a part of the process in some bleaching creams.
- Use sun block creams as you can become more sensitive to the sun when using a whitening cream.
- Include your neck when applying creams for even skin tone.
- As much as you can, avoid using cream whitening that contain Mercury, as it is toxic to the body.
- Pregnant women are advised not to use whitening products especially those that contain Hydroquinone as they can cause harm to the fetus.
- In any product, it would be best to consult first the doctor or the dermatologist to know its safety and efficacy.
More than adding to beauty, your skin provides protection to the whole body. Before you choose what whitening cream to use, know its effect to you as a whole. Becoming fair needs not risk your life just because of a bad reaction to a whiting cream.