Skin lightening, sometimes mistakenly called skin bleaching, is a practice that has been around for centuries. Throughout history, there have been people who have gone to great lengths to achieve lighter skin perhaps because they think that it will help set them apart in the world.
It has been like this for some time now as many different cultures have histories of trying to obtain lighter skin. In Japan, the traditional Geisha used rice powder to lighten their face and upper back.
For upper class European societies, until as late as the 20th century, the idea of pale skin was a status symbol and used white powder to achieve lighter skin. White lead paint was even used for such purposes, often with tragic results as lead can seep into the skin leading to lead poisoning.
Prior to that, in the Middle Ages, pale faces were popular in European societies as well. Great lengths were taken to obtain paler skin. Extreme practices such as the draining of blood were performed.
Modern Day Skin Bleaching
Nowadays, there is a multitude of skin “bleaching” products used to whiten or lighten the skin. While some people use these products to reduce the darker pigmentation in their skin and actually lighten the color over their whole body, we do not recommend that practice. A better use of skin lightening products is for dealing with much smaller areas, like dark spots, patches or areas of darker skin (underarms, bikini line, and nipples).
Whole body skin bleaching is a very controversial subject as many think that one should be proud of their skin color, no matter how dark it is. However, in our society where image is everything and fame is just a controversy away, skin bleaching has become popular among certain crowds.
Our Fixation with Skin Color
One of the most amazing things about the human body is the ability to change the color of our skin. If we want to get darker skin, we need to get out in the sun. Every day, millions of people head to the beach or the tanning salon hoping to achieve what they think is the perfect skin tone.
Many consider a rich, even tan to be a sign of good health and vitality. The problem is that the effects of the sun are very damaging to the skin, especially with prolonged exposure.
The Problem with a “Healthy Tan”
When you combine the impact of ultraviolet light on the skin with the aging process, it becomes very difficult for people to avoid having dark patches of skin appear on their body. These dark patches will usually occur on the places that are continually exposed to the sun, such as the face and hands. When they do occur, it is possible to turn to skin lightening products to help resolve the spots.
The dark spots are caused because of the production of melanin in the skin. The melanin is the basis for the darker pigmentation that will appear. The sun induces more melanin, and the dark spots occur where the sun has affected the skin the most.
Skin Bleaching Products
If you are looking for products that are designed for bleaching the skin, you need to find one with ingredients that are formulated to inhibit the amount of melanin that is being produced in the skin. One of the most common products that is found in such products is known as hydroquinone.
Hydroquinone is one of the most effective compound for lightening the skin. It is designed to suppress the production of melanin, which results in lighter skin cells. The big problem with hydroquinone is that many countries have banned its sale because of the link to cancer. The benzene that is in the hydroquinone skin bleaching products is considered to be a cause of some types of cancer. That has caused many people to look for other alternatives.
Instead of looking at creams that contain hydroquinone in them and exposing yourself to any of the dangers that come from it, a better idea would be to use products that are made with more natural ingredients. The good new is that there are plenty of natural skin bleaching products that are available on the market.
Another option is to create on your own concoction using things that you might already have around your home. Some of the things that you will find in your home that will help you to lighten your skin include:
- Mint leaves
- Lime juice
- Lemon juice
- Orange peels
- Tomato juice
The key is to use these types of ingredients in a combination. They can often be combined into a type of paste that can be applied to the affected area. If you have dark spots on the face and forehead, you can make a mask out of many of these ingredients and apply it to the face for a period of time. Natural skin whitening ingredients will have to be applied many times over the course of a few weeks or even longer, but it can produce the results that you are looking for.
Keep in mind, home remedies are, generally, not as effective as a product specifically designed for skin bleaching. Or, if you are just not comfortable trying to work as a chemist in your home, you do not have to worry. There are plenty of products that are being sold that will help you to lighten skin naturally.
A good skin lightening cream, such as Amaira, one of the most effective skin lightening products on the market, will get you faster and more effective results. These products have more natural ingredients and will also contain additives that are beneficial to the overall health of your skin.
Combine a Healthy Lifestyle with the Products
If you make some changes to your overall lifestyle, you will have a lot more success in controlling the pigmentation of your skin and having what other people consider to be a healthy skin tone.
Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun. When you are out in the sun, keep the areas that are most likely to be affected covered as much as possible. The use of hats and gloves will help you keep a healthy skin tone. When those are not practical, turn to a sun block with an SPF of at least 30.
The sun is the number one cause of damage to the skin, but diet can affect it as well. Foods that are high in vitamin E and other antioxidants can help improve your skin health.