This Article is About
skin lightening products
melanin production
topical lotions
high potency
tingling sensation
skin cancer
skin tone
The Skinny On Skin Lightening Products
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There are numerous of skin lightening products available in the market today. In Asia and Africa, skin lightening products lead the cosmetic industry. Women in these parts of the world equate lighter skin tones to power and beauty. Cultural critics are highly critical about this turn of events because they think that the hype over pale skin has a lot to do with colonial mentality. Other countries like Japan, on the other hand, dare to question this claim. White skin for some Asian countries has always been a sign of beauty and purity, even before the “white colonizers” came.

This article won’t talk so much about the cultural aspect of skin whitening. We are really here to talk about the adverse health concerns regarding skin lightening products.

When you’re buying over-the-counter topical skin lightening lotions and creams, you need to look at the ingredients on its label. A common skin lightening agent added to cosmetic products is hydroquinone. This chemical stops the process of melanin production in your skin. Melanin is responsible for your skin tone. In a nutshell, a person with higher levels of Melanin has a darker skin tone.

Although higher concentrations of hydroquinone can make your skin lighten faster, it’s not safe to use products which contain more than 2% of this chemical. High concentrations of hydroquinone can cause severe skin thinning, and later on, skin cancer if you’re overly exposed to the sun.

Studies have shown that hydroquinone is more effective when it’s combined with less than 1% of retinoic acid and/or 1% to 4% of Kojic acid. You need to be careful though, because you might not agree with these chemicals if you have very sensitive skin.

Because of the high potency of chemicals contained in skin lightening products, it’s necessary to take your topical lotions and creams out for a test run first. Apply a small amount of the moisturizer onto the back of your hand. If you feel any itching or tingling sensation, quickly rinse this off and discontinue use. If your skin remains unaffected for more than 24 hours, it’s probably safe to use the product.

If you don’t want to risk your skin and you’re unfamiliar with the manufacturer or the new product, you can always do prior research. If most consumers are happy with the skin lightening cream or lotion, there’s very little chance that you’ll be unsatisfied with it yourself.

To be very safe, only purchase skin products that have been approved by the dermatologist board.

Skin products containing hydroquinone need to be kept out of sunlight. Exposure to UV-rays makes hydroquinone turn brown and lose its potency as a skin lightening agent. If you’re buying topical creams with hydroquinone in it, make sure that it’s packaged in a secure tube or dark container. Always keep topical skin lotions and creams in cool, dry places.

Skin lightening products can also come in tablet or capsule forms. A popular skin lightening agent is L-Glutathione, which is a derivative of Vitamin C. It’s not a skin lightening agent per se, but an anti-oxidant. The lightening effect on your skin is caused by skin regeneration and the flushing out of toxins from your body.


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