The idea of skin lightening has been around since the beginning of the cultural class structure. For example, in ancient Asian cultures, those who stayed inside, usually the wealthy and educated had fair, white skin. On the other hand, those that worked outside and were exposed to the effects of the sun had much darker skin and were considered part of the lower class.
As a result, those with darker skin tones tried to lighten their skin, using a variety of natural ingredients, so that they would not be immediately classified. Unfortunately, this process still continues today in many parts of Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Caribbean. However, in America, skin lightening is generally reserved for specific parts of the skin including lightening sun spots, moles, freckles, and intimate areas. This is because tanned skin, compared with fair skin, is considered more desirable in America.
While most skin lightening products sold in North America are generally safe to use, you may want to consult with your medical provider if you plan to lighten large areas of the skin including the face.
The Dangers of Hydroquinone
While there are many skin lightening products to choose from, most people tend to use a topical, over-the-counter skin bleaching product. Typically these products contain one main ingredient: Hydroquinone. While the United Stated still allows products that contain Hydroquinone to be sold legally, most industrialized countries including the United Kingdom, France, and Japan have completely banned the sale of all products containing Hydroquinone. This trend is sure to continue as more and more countries begin realizing the inherent dangers of using Hydroquinone.
In fact, some recent studies have shown a link between using Hydroquinone and the development of cancer in addition to a variety of other potential medical problems.
Fortunately, many reputable skin lightening, skin whitening, and skin bleaching products are effective and do not have to rely upon using Hydroquinone as their main ingredient. This is just one reason that you need to be sure to read the list of ingredients for any skin lightening product you want to buy.
Some of the typical reasons people buy skin lightening products are to reduce the appearance of scars, moles, freckles, sun spots, and Hyperpigmented areas of the skin. Additionally, there has been a recent trend in intimate area lightening. This includes anal bleaching, vaginal bleaching, underarm bleaching, and nipple bleaching.
If you plan to lighten any area of your skins, read the ingredient list carefully, and never choose a product that does not list its ingredients. These products either have something to hide or have a very weak list of ingredients. Additionally, you may be allergic to one of the ingredients and should therefore only trust companies that are upfront about their products.
Once you find a reputable skin bleaching product, be sure to follow the directions carefully. This is because you may experience some minor discomfort when trying to lighten your skin. While minor irritation should be expected, especially after you initially apply the treatment, any prolonged irritation or discomfort should cause you to discontinue use of the product.
In conclusion, skin lightening products continue to advance in terms of effectiveness and overall safety. However, may of these skin whitening products are simply not regulated enough including those products that contain Hydroquinone. Therefore, be sure to research each skin lightening product before making a decision.