How Does a Skin Brightener Work & How to Select The Top One?

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
 

There are various reasons why people choose to undergo skin brightening procedures and treatments. Some of these reasons are cosmetic while others are medical. Skin brightening is a process through which skin complexion is considerably lightened and skin blemishes such as sun spots and age spots are gotten rid of. Skin brightening evens out the tone of the skin and gives it a radiant and more youthful look. Basically, the purpose is to reverse* the effects of skin dulling.

Why Does the Skin Get Dull with Age?

Skin Brightening

One of the main reasons for dull skin is age. Many older individuals have experienced dull skin and its effects. The skin has to, deal with many kinds of harmful substances every day. These substances damage skin cells. When the skin is young, these skin cells are quickly and easily replaced in a process called skin regeneration. As the skin gets older, its ability to replace worn out and damaged skin cells gets compromised. Thus, when skin cells are damaged, they are not replaced. Dead cells build up and result in dull skin. The loss of elasticity and turgidity by the skin also plays a role in making the skin look older and duller.

What are The Symptoms?

Dulling of the skin occurs slowly over a number of years. It is therefore difficult to notice it at once especially in areas such as the arms and legs. There are however some symptoms that one should be on the lookout for. These symptoms include; the appearance of blemishes and marks on the skin especially on the face, arms, chest and shoulders, a loos of skin luminosity and radiance, roughness of the skin in various regions and the appearance of lines and wrinkles on the skin. When these symptoms occur, they signify skin damage and consequently skin dulling.

Who is Affected Most?

As much as skin dulling can be brought about by aging, there are other factors that worsen or aggravate the situation. For instance, individuals who are exposed to the sun for long periods of time are more likely to experience skin dulling. This is because, ultra violet rays from the sun damage skin cells thus damaging the whole skin. Other individuals who are affected greatly are those who live in high pollution areas such a towns. Unhealthy lifestyles also increase* the chances of skin damage. When all these factors are combined with old age, it is obvious that skin damage has a very high probability of taking place.

What is a Skin Brightener?

To minimize the effects of skin damage such as dulling, a skin brightener can be used. A skin brightener lightens up the skin complexion and evens out the skin tone. Skin brighteners are usually sold in form of creams where one has to apply the cream in a certain spot or over the whole body. Areas where a skin brightener is usually used include the face, arms, legs and chest. Apart from lightening the complexion, skin brighteners also reduce* the intensity or get rid of skin blemishes such as sun spots and age spots.

How Does a Skin Brightener Work?

Skin brightening works by removing* dead skin cells and blemishes from the skin. This means a layer of the skin has to be gotten rid of. Many skin brighteners have components that exfoliate the skin. Exfoliation simply means the removal of dead skin cells. Apart from removing* dead skin cells, skin brighteners may remove* a thin layer of skin thus effectively getting rid of sun spots and other blemishes. After all this is done, a lighter and brighter layer of skin is revealed.

Main Ingredients of Skin Brighteners

In order to achieve the intended effects, skin brighteners consist of a number of ingredients. The following are some of the main ingredients used.

  • Hydroquinone – This is one of the most commonly used components in skin brighteners. Hydroquinone is a substance that has for many years been used in the treatment of skin conditions such as freckles, brown patching and melasma. When used in the appropriate amount and manner, it can be very effective in skin brightening. The only downside of hydroquinone is the risk of cancer. However, studies have shown that when it is used in small amounts the danger of cancer is drastically reduced*. The only side effects are itching swelling and redness of the skin.
  • Kojik Acid – This component is used to achieve the same purposes as those for hydroquinone. For maximum benefit, hydroquinone and Kojik acid may be used together in cycles. The major side effect of Kojik acid is the development of allergy.
  • Glycolic Acid – This is the best component when it comes to skin exfoliation and the treatment of conditions such as roughness, pigmentation and skin dullness. Side effects include irritation and mild skin burns*.
  • Vitamin C – The best thing about vitamin C is that you do not have to get it from a skin brightening cream. It can be found naturally in vegetables and fruits. Vitamin C helps in treating sunburns, reduction* of wrinkles and treatment of skin dullness and sunspots.
  • Azelaic acid – It is very similar with hydroquinone. Side effects include allergic reactions.

How to Select The Best Skin Brightener?

Not all skin brighteners work the same on all skin types. Before going out to buy a skin brightener you have to first determine your skin type and then know which brightener will work best for you. You should also consider the main purpose for which you need the skin brightening cream. Different skin brighteners are ideal for treating different conditions. Finally, consult your dermatologist. He or she will have the best advice on what skin brightener to use.

Conclusion

Skin brightening is a helpful yet risky experience. To reduce* the risk of dangerous side effects, ensure that you have consulted widely and extensively with a professional. You should also be on the lookout for any negative and adverse side effects that may result from the use of a certain product. If you are affected adversely, seek medical help immediately.

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Author

Expert Author : Linda Daniels (Consumer Health Digest)

Linda Daniels is a true creative force, having worked as a seasoned writer, editor and consultant in the fashion and beauty industries. Connect with Linda on Facebook for constant updates to her projects.