Skin Whitening is a Controversial Subject

Skin Whitening

Skin whiteningis quite controversial in many parts of the world.  This is primarily because the shade of a person’s skin has caused racial prejudice for centuries. In the western world getting tan and getting a darker skin is thought of as beautiful. In many countries getting a whiter skin or avoiding skin from getting darker is a sign for a higher class of social position.

Dangerous Ingredients for Skin Whitening

Some of the compounds that have been used for the purpose are dangerous.  Mercury and strong bleaches have been used in the past , although they are not used as frequently now.

Hydroquinone is still the most frequently chosen whitener.  Though it is thought to be safe and less damaging than some alternatives, its inclusion in cosmetics has been banned in some parts of the world, including most countries in the European Union.  Its use is thought to be accompanied by an increased cancer risk .

Safer Solutions for Skin Whitening

Exfoliation, sometimes combined with the use of retinoids, can effectively lighten heavily pigmented areas.  Chemical peels or face creams are usually used for this purpose.  They are especially effective for age spots and other kinds of sun damage , while anti aging is best done with a wrinkle cream.

See Exfoliation creams

Some heavily pigmented areas will fade on their own with time, particularly if sun exposure is reduced.  Reducing sun exposure, wearing a hat and using a good SPF sun-block is the safest and most effective way to reduce sun spots. The sun rays and UV rays are the number one cause for skin cancer. The sun UV rays cause the skin wrinkles and spots and within years the tanned skin can turn into Melanoma (Skin Cancer).

See this sun overall lotions:

Most Safe Skin Whitening Creams

Enzymes that break down melanin (responsible for the skin’s pigmentation) are another safe alternative.  They are found in some of the over-the-counter skin whiteing lotions & creams.  One of the active ingredients is bird guano, specifically those from the Japanese bush warbler . 

The best skin whitening creams work by inhibiting melanin production.  That is the pharmacological activity of hydroquinone . 

There is a recently discovered alternative.  It is a natural extract from the cyperus rotundus plant, frequently called extrapone nutgrass in some countries.  There are no undesirable side effects to accompany its use.  It acts as an anti-irritant.  So it should feel soothing when it is applied.

If you are sure that you want to lighten your complexion, nut grass extract is the ingredient to look for.  Just be sure to use caution when you go out in the sun.  Use a strong sun-block containing zinc oxide and wear a hat whenever possible.

Melanin provides natural skin care protection against sun damage.  Inhibiting melanin production for skin whitening increases your risk of it.

Avoid the risk of skin cancer – always protect yourself from the sun.


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