Your skin color is dependent on melanin, a type of pigment produced by specialized cells called melanocytes. This pigment is also responsible for giving your hair, eyes and skin their individual color. This follows that the more melanin you have in your skin, the darker your coloring will be.
As to how much melanin you have in your body depends on your genetic makeup. If white skin runs in your family, then there is a higher possibility that you will have whiter skin, as well.
Skin bleaching is a type of cosmetic practice of using either natural or chemical substances in an attempt to do the following:
Lighten skin tone. Provide a more even skin complexion. Suppress or lessen melanin production to avoid further
In other words, the primary purpose of skin lightening is to limit melanin production, which makes your skin lighter.
Skin lighteners contain bleaching ingredients, either one or a combination of lightening agents, which reduce melanin in the specific area where it is applied. There are various bleaching ingredients that can aid you in this process such as hydroquinone, retinol, and kojic acid. There are also various methods you can choose from to even your skin tone.
Chemical Peels Dermabrasion Microdermabrasion Laser Skin Lightening
Lightening agents like hydroquinone are ideal for small areas of your skin only, and not your entire body. Consequently, one study revealed that one in every four skin lightener products from Asia contained mercury. This could lead to the following risks and side effects, such as:
Premature aging of skin, especially when used long term. Many skin lighteners contain steroids, which increase your risk
of infection, thinning, and poor wound healing. Permanent and untreatable skin discolorations. May cause allergic reactions or skin irritation. Increases your risk of developing health problems from steroid
Search two to three articles about skin lightening and find out the most common ingredients. If you noticed, you will always find lemon juice skin lightening in the list. This is because lemon is one, if not the most effective lightening ingredient from Mother Nature.
This is what makes lemon juice ideal for skin lightening:
Natural antioxidants. Rich in vitamin C, which helps clear dark spots and patches on
your skin. Helps reduce melanin production. Contains citric acid, which is known to whiten and gently
exfoliates your skin to get rid of dead skin cells.
Yogurt This milk by-product contains lactic acid that has bleaching properties. Honey Its antibacterial properties helps fade age spots, bleaches your skin, and acts as a
moisturizing agent. Oranges Just like lemon, oranges vitamin C content is known to lighten your skin and
even your skin tone. Aloe Vera This herb has cooling effect that aids in new cell regeneration, rebuilds
damaged tissue, and improves hyperpigmentation to get back your skin color. Oatmeal It helps exfoliate your skin, thereby gets rid of the old skin cells and out with
the new ones. Gram Flour This is one of the best natural skin lightening ingredients because of its
various nutrients that helps keep your skin healthy. Turmeric Helps maintain the right levels of melanin in your skin to maintain an even skin
tone. Papaya This tropical fruit contains papain, a natural bleaching agent, and brings glow
back to your skin. Cucumber This natural food binds collagen and makes sure that your skin remains
smooth, firm, and supple.
Not everyone in the planet was born with white skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes. In case you belong to the darker scale, you will always feel pressured to do something to change your color. Admit it. You are always tempted to reach out for that cream that says, Skin White on it.
That is whats happening to people, especially women in many African countries. This makes skin bleaching a global phenomenon and a multi-billion dollar business. Consequently, many cosmetic companies incorporate and sell products aimed at lightening your skin.
Societies from all around the globe associate lighter skin with beauty and power, thereby creating a psychological impact among people to color their skin and make them whiter.
Skin bleaching today symbolizes psychological issues like self-esteem and self-perception that plagued the world since international slavery. Because of this, many people, especially women feel pressured to avail of lightening products in the hopes of achieving the fair skin of their dreams.
The term, "psychology of colorism" shows how color preference is the cousin of racial prejudice. The difference between the two is that colorism makes distinctions within a nominal racial group instead of across groups. This follows that people attribute more power and higher status to those who belong in the whiter skin category compared to individuals with darker skin.
Colorism is more prevalent not just in African communities, but also in Asian countries. Believe it or not, there are even billboards that showcase products that could make your skin glow.
Cosmetic procedures like chemical peels can damage your skin. Although they can effectively whiten your skin, there is no assurance your skin will remain in tip-top shape, especially after going through such a harsh procedure using chemicals.
The solution: go natural.
There are lots of natural skin bleaching ingredients that you can find inside the supermarket. You can even go to a local market near you and you can find lemons, oranges, potatoes and even aloe vera, which you can use to lighten dark spots. In case you need specialty items such as raw honey, health food stores and legitimate websites sell them.
Here is the best part and perhaps the deciding factor why many women opt for natural skin bleaching: it is cheaper compared to the other lightening treatments available.
If you've noticed, a dozen lemons or a few aloe leaves wont cost you hundreds of dollars compared to lightening products, or thousands of dollars opposed to a laser skin whitening procedure. You will even be able to save a good amount of cash for other equally-important expenses.
Allergies: There is a possibility of developing allergic reactions, even to natural ingredients.
Sensitivity: For people with sensitive skin, using natural foods high in vitamin C may cause a rash, irritation, and burning sensation.
Measurements: The sizes of the natural ingredients like lemon, orange, and potato differ, which means the concentration may differ, too.
Patience: The effects of natural skin bleaching may take longer to see and more effort on your part before you notice any changes in your skin.
Tips and precautions to keep in mind before using any skin bleaching agent:
Educate Yourself: Take note and make an effort to read the ingredients in the label.
Talk to Your Doctor: Discuss your plans and goals with your dermatologist about using skin bleaching products, regardless if it is natural.
Limit Your Dosage: If you prefer to use over-the-counter skin lightener like hydroquinone, stick to not more than two percent concentration.
Test First: Always test a natural skin bleaching agent in small parts of your skin before committing to it.
Be Aware: Pay attention to your skins reaction after using skin lightening agents.
Above all the benefits and risks that come with skin bleaching, here is the most important tip you should remember: love your skin.
Skin bleaching has its pros and cons, depending on which side of the scale you belong. For some, it is necessary, while there are many others who simply want a change in their appearance. Whatever your reasons are for going through skin bleaching, keep in mind that real beauty is not defined by your skin color.