Skin Bleaching-is it Dangerous?


Skin bleaching is a billion dollar industry. There was a controversial episode on the Tyra Show where she interviewed several women who bleach their skin on a regular basis and one woman even bleaches the skin of her three young sons before they go to school. There are some cultures, such as in Asia, where the lighter the skin, the more beautiful a woman is considered. Here is an article from the Global Post. It is interesting how far they will go make themselves as white as possible, while in other parts of the world such as here and the US, woman strive to be tan.  Alas the modern day woman comes in all shapes, sizes, and yes, colors too. That is what makes us unique and beautiful. 

Is it dangerous? Well that depends. Are you using Clorox to bleach your skin? (Hard to believe, but some people actually do that) Then yes, it is. But really what you need to watch out for is a certain ingredient that is used in skin bleaching products called Hydroquinone. This ingredient is a carcinogenic, meaning it causes cancer, and has been banned already in the UK. Since it is not yet banned in other areas, you should check the ingredients of your skin bleaching product thoroughly. What you want in your skin bleaching product is the safer skin bleaching agent Alpha Arbutin. There is a great site called Cosmetic Database that you can search for your product or even by individual ingredient to find out just how toxic it is for your body. 

Women want to look their best, so it is understandable that they would have the desire to get rid of acne scars, discoloration, age/sun/liver spots, or just lighten the overall appearance of their skin if they want to. This can be achieved a number of different ways. 

A very effective one is Laser Resurfacing. This is a process where the laser removes precise layers of skin from the discolored area making the overall skin color lighter and more even. Many people use this for scars and birthmarks. 

Others go for a skin bleaching cream. Again, watch for that pesky cancer causing ingredient, and you should be fine. A few large cosmetic companies have gone into the market of skin bleaching and put out some good, safe, products. Clinique launched Even Better Clinical-Dark Spot Corrector and M.A.C. released the Lightful Collection from Japan which creates a lighter, brighter skin tone over time. The top rated more intense skin bleaching creams are Matkari, MEDliten and Revitol, although I did have a friend who purchased the somewhat silly named skin bleaching cream called Divine Derriere and it worked great for her and yes, it is safe for body parts other then the derriere! 

There are numerous other products and procedures that are sold and done usually at high end salons, spas, or dermatologists. If you are smart about the ingredients, skin bleaching can be done safely and effectively. A no brainer if you want to keep your skin from getting any darker or more damaged is of course to wear sunscreen on a daily basis. Call your local establishment to get more info or make an appointment for skin bleaching. 

Have you tried skin bleaching before? What products worked or did not work for you?