Skin whitening (also known as skin bleaching or brightening) does not have to mean doing what the late pop star Michael Jackson is said to have done to his own skin. You may have age or liver spots you want to lighten; you may have areas of darker pigmentation on your underarms. For some people, the answer is to use a skin lightening cream.
The Science Behind Skin Bleaching
Safer skin bleaching products are not made with hydroquinone, which is harsh to the skin and illegal. They also do not use mercury, which can cause serious health problems. Instead, these products use alpha arbutin, licorice, kojic acid, mulberry and lemon juice. All of these products come from nature, which means your skin will be softer as you work to fade darker areas.
Alpha arbutin works to decrease your body’s production of melatonin, which contributes to your skin’s pigment. The more melatonin your body makes, the darker your skin. The process of pigmentation is called the “tyrosinase activity.” Licorice is a skin whitening agent and also helps to decrease the melatonin in your system. Unlike alpha arbutin, licorice also helps reduce skin swelling. When licorice is combined with lemon juice, its whitening properties are boosted. Kojic acid helps reduce dark areas of your skin, without being harsh. This ingredient is also used as an ingredient in Asian foods, so it is natural. Mulberry has skin-whitening properties. When used in a skin bleaching cream products, it can speed up the lightening process.
Skin Whitening for Age or Liver Spots
When a skin whitening product is massaged into dark spots on your skin, it begins to slowly reduce those spots. Over a period of about two weeks, you should begin to notice your spots becoming lighter. When the cream is used consistently, you should notice a complete disappearance of the darker areas within two to three months, although your results may be different from another person’s.
Skin Lightening for Hyper-pigmentation
For pigmentation problems such as chloasma, hyperpigmentation or melasma, a skin bleaching product, when used regularly, can slowly reduce or completely eliminate these spots.
Melasma is the “mask of pregnancy,” which happens to some women. This usually develops as a result of the stimulation of melanocytes (pigment-producing cells) by progesterone or estrogen, especially when they are exposed to sunlight. If you have developed melasma, the darker pigmentation will fade and disappear after you have given birth, but if the spots make you uncomfortable. We highly recommend you consult your doctor before trying any creams or home-based treatments.
Dark Underarm Skin
You may have noticed the skin of your underarms appears to be darker. Upon closer examination, you should be able to tell if the additional darkness comes from the individual hair follicles or not. If the skin surrounding the follicles is dark, you need to figure out if the cause is medical or external.
Acanthosis nigricans can cause darkened underarms. This condition develops as a result of increased levels of insulin in your bloodstream, making it a condition more common to the obese or those diagnosed with diabetes. Drug interactions, genetic predisposition, some cancers or a hormone imbalance can also cause this problem.
Shaving your underarms with dull razor blades or wearing too-tight, abrasive clothing can cause skin irritation leading to darkened underarm appearance. You may be using inexpensive antiperspirants, deodorants, lotions or other skin products that cause skin irritation or an allergic reaction. The acids naturally present in your perspiration can also lead to darkened underarm skin.
After discussing this issue with your doctor, he can begin treatment that addresses any medical issues you may be facing, such as diabetes, increased insulin or obesity. Once these issues have been dealt with, topical application of skin bleaching products can gradually fade the darkened skin under your arms. As with other skin issues, regular use of a skin whitening cream will give you noticeable results within three months.
Skin Bleaching Products and Supplies
These include pigment reducing complexes that will reduce discoloration, dark spots and scars within two weeks. These products do not contain steroids, hydroquinone or parabens, all of which can be too harsh for your skin or lead to other health issues.
As you treat the dark spots on your skin, exfoliation helps speed the process along. A microdermabrasion cloth gently removes the dead top layer of skin, helping to reveal the new, young – and lighter – skin just underneath.
Save when you buy a kit containing the pigment reducing complex, a microdermabrasion cloth, an antioxidant facial cleanser, eye complex or a facial toner. Once you have treated your skin with the pigment reducing cream, you need to moisturize your skin. A facial moisturizer can help maintain the softness and silkiness of your skin as you are working to lighten it.
Once you have decided you want to do something about the dark areas on your skin, talk to your doctor. They should supervise any skin treatment on which you decide. Because your skin is different from anyone else’s skin, it’s important to realize you may experience irritation or even an allergic reaction to one or more ingredients. You may even be highly sensitive. As your skin is getting accustomed to the ingredients in the skin cream, you may experience a slight darkening or redness of the areas you are treating. For these reasons, it is important to test your skin for allergic reactions before beginning to use these products. The recommended testing period is three days before using them on your face. If you show any sensitivity to the skin cream, stop using them.
Because of the sun’s harmful effects on your skin, it’s best to avoid exposure, either by using a sun blocker and avoiding exposure to the UVA and UVB rays.
Should your doctor find that your skin pigmentation originates in the dermal layers of your skin, a topical skin bleaching cream will not help lighten the darkened areas. If the extra pigmentation has developed in the basal layer of your epidermis, these products are more likely to reduce those darkened areas of skin. A qualified and licensed dermatologist is the only medical professional who can answer this question. Depending upon the deepness of the hyperpigmentation of your skin, you may find it necessary to use a skin lightening product periodically to maintain the lightening effects. If the hyperpigmentation is mainly on the surface of your skin, the results of your skin bleaching treatments should be permanent.
To receive the fullest effects of a skin lightening product, you should wash your skin using a gentle skin cleanser and tepid water before applying the product. After patting your skin dry, apply the cream evenly over your skin, gently rubbing it in until the cream has been completely absorbed. You can apply a moisturizer, sunblock or cosmetics after applying a skin bleaching cream or serum. It is not necessary to achieve pinpoint application on darkened areas. You can apply it in the general areas of where your skin is the darkest. In addition to reducing darkened areas of skin, a skin whitening product can also help reduce the appearance of sun damage, acne scars, freckles, dark spots and liver spots. If you are a member of an ethnic group, a skin lightening product will work on your skin. If you have very dark skin, you may need more time to see results.