Skin Whitening: Methods, Negative Effects, Natural Skin Whitening

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

Appearance matters a lot. For many people, a good physical appearance is necessary for a high self esteem and good social skills. This is why people will go to great lengths to ensure that they are at their physical best. One of the most recent ways of improving* appearance is by skin whitening. This is a process that lightens the complexion of the skin and evens out the tone.

Skin color is brought about by melanin. The more concentrated the melanin, the darker the skin. Albinos, have no melanin at all. Skin whitening works by reducing* the concentration of melanin and thus lightening the color shade of the skin. Even though this process is very popular, there are a number of negative side effects associated with it. These effects have raised considerable controversy regarding the use of skin whitening products.

How to Whiten Your Skin?

Skin Whitening

There are a number of existing techniques used in skin whitening. These different techniques use different products to achieve the intended effect. You may decide to whiten your skin using chemical products. These products combine a number of components that work to inhibit melanin concentration and also to exfoliate the skin. Some of the most common chemical products used in bleaching or skin whitening are hydroquinone, Kojik acid, Tretinoin, Arbutin and Vitamin C. It is important to note that these chemicals have their side effects. They therefore should be used strictly as instructed by a medical expert.

Skin whitening can also be done naturally using a number of home made products. Some of the most commonly used ingredients in making homemade skin whiteners include lemon, eggs, papaya and milk.

Skin Whitening for all Skin types

Different people have different skin types. These skin types can either be normal, oily, dry or combination skin type. Skin whitening products react differently when applied on different skin types. It is therefore necessary to know your skin type first before using any skin whitener.

  • Normal Skin: A normal skin type is not affected much by skin whiteners. People with normal skin types can use almost any product without adverse reactions. It is however still advisable to go for natural products so as to ensure that there is no irritation.
  • Oily Skin: An oily skin requires a skin whitening cream that has a drying component in it. Good examples include azaelic acid.
  • Dry Skin: A dry skin is very sensitive. If the wrong products are used, it could get even drier and this can be damaging. A dry skin type requires natural products for whitening. A moisturizing component would also be helpful.
  • Combination Skin: This is a skin type that has characteristics belonging to oily skin and dry skin. The best products for this skin type are those that are moisturizing but not overly oily.
  • Skin Whitening Methods

    There are three main methods of skin whitening. These methods are; use of natural home remedies, use of commercial products and medical procedures.

    • Homemade Products: These are the least harmful products for skin whitening. Homemade whiteners consist of usually household products such as lemon and milk. One of the most common products used is lemon juice. It is known to have a mild bleaching effect. Other products used include flour, papaya and milk.
    • Commercial Products: These are much stronger* skin whiteners. They are intended to achieve a greater bleaching effect than homemade products. Consequently, they are considered to be more harmful. The most popular ingredients used in commercial bleaches include Kojik acid, Hydroquinone and glycolic acid. Commercial skin whiteners should be used with caution due to the higher chances of adverse side effects.
    • Medical Procedures: For those who desire quick results, there are certain medical procedures that can be performed in a hospital. These procedures include; chemical peel, laser resurfacing and dermabrasion. These medical procedures remove* the top layer of the skin so as to let a new one with an even and lighter tone grow.

    Negative Effects of Skin Whitening

    Skin whitening is achieved by use of chemicals that may affect the body adversely in a number of ways. These negative effects of skin whitening range from mild to life threatening. Hydroquinone is one of the most commonly used ingredients in many skin whiteners. Studies and tests have shown that a possible side effect if hydroquinone is cancer, especially skin cancer. This product has been banned in several countries. Other products with negative side effects include;

    • Mercury: This is one of the most toxic substances used in skin whiteners. Even in very small amounts, mercury can have adverse effects on the body. it has been known to destroy the brain.
    • Arsenic: This is a chemical that is also used in pesticides and herbicides. It can cause various types of cancer including lung, kidney and liver cancer.
    • Alpha hydroxyl: This is a chemical used in chemical peels. Due to serious side effects, it should not be used without the strict supervision of a medical professional.

    Other Negative Effects of Skin Whitening Methods are:

    • Acne: This is especially if the whitener is used for a prolonged period of time
    • Stretch Marks: This is also as a result of prolonged skin bleaching
    • Birth defects if used by pregnant women
    • Liver damage
    • Cataracts

    Why Should I use Natural Skin Whitening Cream?

    To avoid a majority of the side effects brought about by commercial skin bleaches, use natural skin whitening cream. The biggest advantage of using natural cream is that you will achieve the intended effect safely without exposing yourself to a range of diseases. Natural skin whitening cream uses natural products such as milk and aloe Vera to bleach and also nourish the skin.

    What to look for when Selecting the Best Skin Whitening Cream?

    The first step is to determine your skin type. From there, you can now choose the best cream that will work best on your skin. Secondly, as you choose a skin whitening cream, pay attention to the ingredients. Avoid creams with dangerous ingredients such as mercury. It is also helpful to seek the advice of a dermatologist on which cream to buy.

    Conclusion

    Skin whitening has been going on for many years. In the modern world, it has improved* in effectiveness and safety as a result of numerous medical inventions.

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    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.