Everyone aspires for a flawless and even skin. However, barring babies and a few lucky individuals, nobody escapes having to put up with acne or zit marks, and an uneven skin tone due to tanning and other blemishes. People in tropical and equatorial countries are naturally endowed with a darker complexion than those living near the poles.
While most of the Western world spends hundreds of thousands of dollars upon tanning products, people in other countries spend almost the same amount on skin lightening products! Lighter, fairer skin, supposedly a parameter of beauty, is highly-sought after in some countries. Skin lightening creams are also used by the white population for correcting uneven skin tone. In this article, we are going to understand their working in detail. We have also incorporated reviews to help you choose the best product.
Our skin tone is the result of the production of a pigment called melanin in the skin. The concentration of melanin in the skin determines your skin tone. The lesser the melanin in your skin, the lighter your skin tone. People with darker complexion have abundant melanin in their skin. Controlling the production of melanin in the skin can alter your skin tone.
This is accomplished using herbal or chemical ingredients. These ingredients inhibit or reduce the production of melanin in your skin, thereby causing your skin tone to become lighter or fairer. Depending upon the nature and concentration of the ingredients, you can expect to see the results of these creams within a few weeks to several months time span.
As mentioned earlier, skin lightening creams can be of herbal or chemical origin. Herbal ingredients are extracted from plant sources such as arbutin, licorice, scutellaria and mulberry. These ingredients produce an effective bleaching effect when combined together. They slow down the production of melanin by inhibiting the enzyme named tyrosinase. Their results become evident after 2 weeks of regular use. Chemical skin lightening creams use synthetic ingredients to produce the same effect.
Until now, hydroquinone was the most preferred ingredient for skin whitening formulations for its immense bleaching effect. However, clinical tests revealed that hydroquinone may be responsible for various diseases, with cancer being the most serious of them all. Following this, the FDA banned the use of hydroquinone from all skin careproducts. However, if you are staying out of US, your country laws may still allow use of hydroquinone in skin creams. In that case, make sure it is less than 2%. Other synthetic ingredients used in skin lightening creams are mercury, glucocorticosteroids, kojic acid etc.
These products not only lighten the skin, but also nourish and rejuvenate it. Besides, some of these products cater to the needs of particular skin types.
You can also consider using a homemade skin lightener, which is 100% safe and result-oriented. Almond oil, vitamin E, evening primrose oil, etc., can improve your skin tone in a month's time.