Without daily work schedules and errands, we often find ourselves in the sun for hours on end. Then, finally, we realise that we have acquired a stubborn tan that won’t go away. Additionally, the increasing pollution, dirt in the air, sun rays, and cruel climatic conditions further dulls our skin and strips away its glow. That’s where a skin whitening cream comes in as your knight in shining armour.
The goal of whitening cream isn’t to change your skin tone. We are all aware that skin colour has nothing to do with beauty, and all skin colours are beautiful. The goal here is to bring out your skin’s natural radiance and glow, reduce the appearance of dark spots, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation on your skin, and give an even skin tone. This article has broken down all the information you need to know about skin whitening creams.
What is a skin whitening cream?
Skin whitening products, also known as bleaching creams, lighteners, skin brighteners, or fading creams. Their mechanism of action is decreasing the amount of melanin, which is a pigment generated by skin cells that control how light or dark our skin looks. Many people use skin lighteners to treat skin problems such as dark spots, acne scars, or hyperpigmentation connected with hormones.
You can apply the creams all over the face for a brighter skin tone or for spot treating areas of the skin where there is discolouration. These areas include areas around the mouth, spots, under the eyes, around the nose, or any other place with darker pigmentation.
Types of skin whitening creams
Skin whitening creams come in various types of lotions, creams, serums, and oils. They can also be given in injectable form by a dermatologist.
- Creams and oils – If you have dry skin, these are ideal for you as they tend to be a heavier inconsistency.
- Serums are best suited for oily skin types as they are light in consistency and won’t clog your pores.
- Lotions – For a combination skin type, lotions are best suited due to their consistency between creams and serums.
Ingredients and use
There are various active ingredients in skin whitening creams. Look for a cream that includes
- Kojic acid (obtained from certain fungal species) is a popular remedy, but be careful as it can irritate sensitive skin.
- Alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) is also used as a skin bleacher: these are usually exfoliating creams as AHA is a skin exfoliant that removes skin cells and increases new cell production.
- Azelaic acid (occurs in wheat, barley, and rye): If you are diagnosed with celiac disease or are gluten intolerant, avoid using azelaic acid because it comes from wheat.
- Arbutin (extracted from the bearberry plant)
- Vitamin C
- Liquorice and grapeseed
Dermatologists prescribed drug-based creams to use as agents to treat specific areas, including corticosteroids, tretinoin, and hydroquinone. While hydroquinone is a commonly used agent, Tretinoin is also known as all-trans retinoic acid. You may also use it to whiten specific areas, specifically in conjunction with steroids and hydroquinone. These agents limit your pigment-making cells and reduce the production of tyrosinase. Most people show the first signs of skin whitening within a couple of days.
Skin concerns targeted by skin whitening creams
Hyperpigmentation is a general, normally harmless condition in which specific patches of skin are darker in colour than the normal surrounding skin. This darkening occurs due to the overproduction and deposition of melanin in the skin. This brown pigment produces standard skin colour. Skin whitening creams reduce this production and give a smooth, even complexion.
Dull and damaged skin
Due to consistent exposure to the sun and environmental pollutants, the overall appearance of our skin tends to become dull. Tanning and sun damage is a common concern in many people. Using a skin whitening cream, especially one that contains exfoliating agents like AHAs, rejuvenates the skin by increasing cell turnover and removing dead skin cells. It gives a glowing and radiant skin tone.
The skin develops scars when a pimple punctures the skin profoundly and injures the tissues beneath it. Skin lightening reduces the appearance of these scars. That is where some people prefer getting injectable skin-lightening agents.
Hormonal imbalances and endocrine disease
Diseases like Addison’s disease, in which the adrenal gland doesn’t produce enough of certain hormones, can also result in skin darkening. Those with Addison’s disease secrete a high level of adrenocorticotropic hormone. It stimulates the melanocytes to produce more melanin, resulting in skin darkening. People who suffer from these illnesses may use skin whitening creams to correct the darkening effects.
Certain myths surrounding skin whitening creams
- They are used to change the skin tone to appear white because white skin is the only skin tone that is beautiful. However, it is false, and all skin tones are gorgeous, no matter how light or dark your skin tone is.
- They cause cancer. Animal experiments have linked hydroquinone with cancer, but those animals were fed and injected with it. Many human administrations stop at topical applications, and no research suggests toxicity in humans. Many dermatologists even refuse the cancer connection.
- There are many affordable skin whitening creams, such as the Ponds bright beauty cream.
Now that you are aware of the basics of skin whitening creams try one for yourself. Remember to do a patch test before and enjoy your radiant, glowing skin.