The dilemma of individuals affected by hyperpigmentation problems lies not only in choosing a good product, but the proper way to lighten skin. A successful skin lightening or whitening regimen does not rely on the products alone. Let me tell you why.
Skin lightening products have grown in demand as the answer for uneven pigmentation such as melasma, age spots, freckles, dark underarms, knees, elbows, acne scars or inner thighs. Regardless of race or skin color, it concerns a lot of people caused by the skin's melanin content. Melanin, in its simplest definition, defines the color of our skin.
Here are four vital factors to lighten skin effectively:
1. A good skin lightening product should be safe and potent. Ingredients such as hydroquinone, mercury and steroids are harmful substances, and banned for use in Europe and Asia. Studies showed that hydroquinone is carcinogenic and can cause skin cancer. Although some contain an approved 2% content, cautious people choose not to buy. Mercury, on the other hand, poisons the bloodstream, while steroids cause skin thinning and produces stretch marks. The safer ingredients are natural plant extracts known to deliver good skin lightening results, such as kojic acid (from mushroom), licorice (plant extract), and papain (papaya fruit). Potency is another issue because most commercial products show little or no results, ineffective or just a waste of money.
2. Choose a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays, because not all sunscreens block both rays. The UVA rays are responsible for skin cancer, aging and tanning of our skin. The UVB rays burn out skin. Good ingredients are Parsol1789 (at least 3%), Titanium Dioxide, Zinc Oxide or Mexoryl-Sx. The higher the SPF, the better. Wearing sunscreen is a must, whether you're using skin lightening products or not. Avoid overexposure to the sun particularly between 10am-3pm. Remember, sunscreen does not block all UVA or UVB rays. Even in the shade, the sun's rays can penetrate, so it's best to protect your skin physically through hats/sunglasses and long sleeved shirts for extended sun exposure.
3. Take 500mg Vitamin C supplement daily. A daily dose of at least 500mg ascorbic acid is a powerful antioxidant helps promote healthy skin and inhibits the production of melanin. Others take it with whitening pills, but will take months to see results. Your best bet is an intake of this supplement plus the use of good skin lightening products.
4. Use your favorite moisturizers with skin lighteners. Exfoliated skin that is resurfaced as a result of the skin lightening procedure needs hydration to give a rosy, whiter effect. Simply use your moisturizers 5-10 minutes after the application of the skin lightening products.
Another alternative to treat dark skin spots is laser treatment but the price tag can cost over a thousand dollars. The same with glutathione intravenous injectables that can prove to be effective, but requires high maintenance. Others resort to glutathione or metathione whitening pills, i.e., if you're willing to wait for months to get results. But the skin whitening market has been flooded by fake whitening pills, and has since confused the consumer on which pill is genuine.
On the other hand, there are expensive skin lightening soaps, lotions or creams that don't necessarily imply better efficiency over the more economical ones. There are safer, cheaper and better options to do it as described above. You just have to know where a reliable source is.
In most Asian, African and Latin American countries, fair skin radiates an aura of sophistication. On the contrary, skin tanning is the opposite trend in the United States. Although skin lightening or bleaching is more criticized in the US, both skin lightening and skin tanning are inclined on the same solutions - even skin tone, higher self esteem, or just aesthetic preferences. Fair women would still stand out than bronzed whites visiting Asian countries. The only real difference lies in one's cultural identity and tradition.
About the Author
The author has a passion for skin care, especially skin lightening. After suffering from hyperpigmentation for years, she has more information about safe and effective skin lightening products here.