Most people would love to bleach or even their skin tone, but do not know how, and they ask "What is Skin Bleaching?". In this guide we will learn the basics of bleaching and how to bleach skin. Skin bleaching is a type of beauty treatment regimen normally applied to the skin to remove unwanted blemishes and skin discolorations, this form of treatment balances out the overall color of the skin and evens the skin tone. There are a variety of products available for bleaching the skin and these products are virtual available everywhere.
Skin lighteners or skin lightening products are also called whiteners, skin brighteners, fade, and bleaching creams. These products are effective because the reduce the melanin levels of the skin. A lot of people who make use of these lighteners, use them to treat defects such as skin discoloration due to hormonal imbalance or age spots and acne scars. It is not uncommon for brighteners to be used to lighten darker toned skin.
In this guide we are going to delve into the science behind your skin color, how skin bleaching products work and the safety guidelines you need to adhere to when using skin lighteners.
The Science Behind Skin Color
The color of our skin is dictated by the melanin levels within the skin. Melanin is what gives the skin it's color, this pigment is created by a skin cell which is called melanocytes. The more melanin you have in your skin cells, the darker your skin tone would be. On the other hand, the amount of melanin in one's skin cells is primarily determined by inherited genes and DNA. Other factors that may affect melanin levels include hormones, exposure to the sun's UV rays, skin damage and skin contact with chemicals.
Quite often changes in our skin color are temporary and the skin tone would after a while revert to their original color, however there are certain discolorations to the skin that tend to become permanent, discolorations such as age spots and liver spots are more prone to becoming permanent.
How to Bleach Skin and How Skin Lighteners Work
Skin lighteners make use of an active ingredient or combination of active ingredients to reduce the melanin levels of the portion of skin where they are applied, making that portion lighter toned. They are quite a handful of active ingredients used by various lighteners, one of the most popular is Hydroquinone.
In the U.S., the ingredient Hydroquinone is under regulation by the FDA. Hydroquinone is present in a concentration of at least 2% in most over the counter skin lighteners. A dermatologist may also write a prescription for skin whiteners that have twice that concentration, up to 4% of hydroquinone.
Although hydroquinone is very popular, other skin lightening products use other primary ingredients such as steroids or retinoic acids, these compounds are derived primarily from Vitamin A. A few others make use of organic type active ingredients like Kojic acid, a substance produced from fungus, and Arbutin which is an element commonly found in some plant species.
Safety Measures to Keep in Mind When Using Skin Lighteners
Although it is generally safe to make use of skin whitening products on your own, it will be beneficial to your Dermatologist before applying a lightening product. Make sure you adhere to specific instructions regarding the use of these products.
Be conscious of the mercury levels in the skin lightener you intend to use. Watch for misleading pseudo-names for mercury such as mercuric, mercurous, mercurio or calomel.
Ensure that products you get over the counter have maximum concentrations of the active ingredient, Hydroquinone of 2%.
If the labeling on your product does not indicate the concentration of hydroquinone, do not automatically assume it's safe to apply. Not every label is correct. Even though the U.S. Authorities through the FDA closely monitors hydroquinone levels, some products from foreign countries may have more hydroquinone in them than what is deemed acceptable by the FDA.
Other forms of skin lightening treatment include microdermabrasion, laser therapy, and chemical peels that evens out the skin's tone. Do ensure that you consult your health professional, before embarking on these advanced treatments. dermatologist, or pharmacist to ensure the products you're using are safe and appropriate.