If you are one of the millions of people around the world who wish to have a lighter and a fair complexion, then you are probably looking for the most effective ways to whiten your skin. There are many cosmetics that are offering the promise of a fair, beautiful skin, but every consumer should be aware of the fact that cosmetics may include harmful chemicals that can be unsafe for the skin. While some of these chemicals can be harmful to your skin, there could be other adverse effects that may occur that could affect your health in general. According to a survey by the British Skin Foundation, 16% of dermatologists believe that lightening creams are unsafe, and 80% believe that only creams prescribed by dermatologists are safe. It is your best judgment to resort to using the natural and safe way to whiten your skin by finding good organic products and home remedy treatments that are considered safer and healthier to the skin.
Natural Ways to Whiten Your Skin
If you prefer to use the natural way of whitening the skin, there are many natural foods, vitamins, and minerals that are known to have lightening qualities in them.
When added in water or rubbed directly on the skin from the pulp, lemon can produce a lightening effect to the skin. It is said that citric acid or vitamin C is abundant in lemon, lime, orange, and other citrus fruits. It plays a major part in the production of collagen which helps keep the skin firm. Citric acid has also been shown to slow down the activity of overactive melanocytes, the cells that produce melanin in the lowest layers of the skin which causes the skin to tan or become darker.
- Aloe Vera Gel
When taken directly from the Aloe Vera plant, Aloe Vera gel can mitigate hyperpigmentation, rebuild cells and even the skin tone. Likewise, new cell growth is encouraged by the cooling effects of aloe.
- Niacin (Vitamin B-3)
Niacin is known to suppress the production of melanin (pigment) to the skin. Vitamin B applied to localized areas of the skin discoloration or dryness improves the ability of the skin to retain moisture. The result is a softer, smoother, and more supple skin.
- Morus Alba
Morus Alba or white mulberry extract naturally inhibits the enzyme tyrosinase. Tyrosinase triggers the production of melanin which is a broad term for a family of pigments in the skin that can cause skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation.
Aside from possessing many nutrients that are good for overall health, yogurt also contains lactic acid that has bleaching properties. It is applied and used in treating all skin types by simply leaving the yogurt on the skin and washing it off with a lukewarm water after a few minutes. When done once a day for several weeks, a noticeable change in the complexion will become apparent.
- Garbanzo bean flour
Garbanzo bean flour is one of the best natural sources for people who wish to lighten their skin complexion. Simply mix some garbanzo bean (chick pea) flour with a small amount of water to make a thick paste and then apply it on the face, hands and legs to whiten your skin. Allow the paste to dry and then wash off the application with water.
- Phyllanthus Emblica (Indian gooseberry)
Like the citrus fruits, the extract from this plant has an antioxidant component with unique antimicrobial properties and copious amounts of Vitamin C. Emblica protects the skin from photo-damage, effectively reducing wrinkles, holding in check the formation of melanin, and helping the skin to retain natural moisture.
Honey helps lighten the skin while also acting as a moisturizing agent. Dry skin is a common factor that contributes to blotchy, uneven skin color and tones. Honey is also an antibacterial that can help age spots dim, and smooth out acne scars. Apply a pure honey on the face, leaving it on for a few minutes and then wash it with lukewarm water. A skin lightening mask can be made by combining one teaspoon of honey and one of lemon juice, one tablespoon of powdered milk, and one-half teaspoon of almond oil. Mix well and apply gently to the skin. Apply every other day, and leave on for 10 to15 minutes, washing it off with cold water for best results.
Teas are an excellent antioxidant and researches have shown that drinking tea can lower peroxides, a major cause of skin burn and roughness.
Beetroot purges toxins through the body's metabolism. It contains potassium, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, fiber and vitamins A, B, and C that will help lighten and make the complexion look fairer.
Chemicals Used for Skin Whitening
There are also synthetic products known to help whiten your skin and they are usually commercially available at any dermatology centers and local cosmetic stores. Most of these whitening products contain the following chemicals that are known to produce skin whitening effects.
Hydroquinone is an organic compound known to be a strong suppressor of melanin. It helps to lighten the skin without any bleaching effects. Its main action is to inhibit melanin production on the skin that is responsible for hyperpigmentation and skin darkening. Some countries ban products containing hydroquinone however, owing to the speculations that it may contain carcinogenic chemicals. There is no actual study that can support the actual health risks of the chemical however. Topical applications on the other hand have reported minor negative reaction on the skin when used in high concentrations. The adverse reaction is higher among African women and the reaction usually takes place when it is applied alongside other skin lightening agents such as glucocorticoids or mercury iodine. Hydroquinone has been shown to cause leukemia in mice and other animals, however through heavy oral dosage.
Corticosteroids are often used as ingredients in cortisone cream, which is known to help reduce skin itching and dry, flaky skins. It is also used as an anti-inflammatory agent that helps prevent skin breakouts while producing a lightening effect to the skin.
Simply known as mercury, mercurials are as compound known for its lightening effects. However, it is rarely used in many cosmetics owing to the body immune system's sensitivity to mercury that can cause bodily reactions. Metallic mercury vapors or organic mercury may affect many different areas of the brain and their associated functions, resulting in many disorders, including personality changes, tremors, changes in sight (constriction the field of vision), deafness, muscle incoordination, loss of sensation and difficulties with memory.
Lastly, there are many variations of natural foods, minerals, and herbal agents that can offer the safest, not to mention the tasty ways of achieving a lighter skin tone. You can whiten your skin safely using the natural healing power of nature without the risk of toxicity. Choosing the right products to apply on the skin in order to obtain the desired whitening effect is crucial to protect yourself against the harmful effects of skin whitening chemicals that can possibly do more harm than good to your skin health.
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