Skin bleaching, also known as skin lightening or whitening, is done to lighten the tone of the skin, through the use of specific chemicals. It has proved to be a very controversial subject, but the practice is prominent in contemporary societies.
Skin bleaching could be done through laser beams, surgeries, chemical peeling, pills or application of topical creams, ointments and lotions. Typically, the effects of skin bleaching are temporary, however, the new cosmetic procedures such as chemical peeling and skin bleaching promise permanent noticeable effects.
Why people bleach their skins
Skin lightening is done as treatment for uneven skin tones; especially in cases where an individual may have two varying skin tones, sun damaged skin, conspicuous birthmarks or hyperpigmentation and to change the skin tone of people who do not feel comfortable in their natural dark skin, as a result of personal preference or societal stereotyping and negative perceptions against dark skinned people.
Ways of bleaching your skin
Skin bleaching, as a sensitive issue, ought to be conducted carefully and in the best possible way. It is important that you familiarize yourself with the various skin bleaching techniques and know which one suits you best. Before this undergoing the skin bleaching procedure, one should understand their skin tone perfect so as to avoid any serious effects that may arise. Here are some useful information on the various skin bleaching techniques performed in the modern society:
Chemical skin bleaching: Chemical skin bleaching refers to the use of specific chemical compounds on creams, pills, ointments and lotions to bleach the skin. Typical chemicals used include hydroquinone, hydroquinone, Azelaic Acid, Kojic Acid, Licorice Extract, Niacinamide, Bilberry Extract, and Alpha Arbutin. As much as using these chemicals to bleach the skin has proved to be effective and so have the success rate, it has been linked, widely, to several skin conditions and even illnesses such as cancer, liver complication, hormonal imbalance and physical discomfort such as nausea.
It is advisable to take into account your doctor’s prescription when using these products and therefore avoiding counterfeit products, that often seem alluring and cheap to obtain, and ensuring that whatever chemical you use does not contain harmful substances such as mercury, steroids and hydroquinone.
Laser skin whitening: This method works by concentrating laser (light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation) beams on the skin at various wave lengths which will heat and lighten the skin, as well as treat dark skin tones caused by environmental effects.
Laser treatments are highly effective but expensive and expose one to skin conditions such as irritation, itching, burning and bruising.
Skin bleaching surgery: This method, also known as skin bleaching plastic surgery, is a cosmetic procedure that reduces the concentration of melanin pigment in the skin, until the desired skin tone is achieved. This procedure involves the use of some specific chemicals and thus, the result is a permanent, even and lighter skin tone all through the body. It is often regarded as the most successful bleaching procedure that results in little after effects to the body.
Homemade and Natural skin bleaching: If you find chemical skin bleaching techniques to be expensive or inaccessible, there are several homemade and natural ways of attaining a fair and flawless skin. This involves the use of various natural substances and techniques such as;
- Tomato – tomatoes have bleaching properties, which you might want to consider. The results are not immediately but to use them as skin lightening agents, cut the tomatoes to half and apply them on your skin a daily basis.
- Saffron – a mixture of saffron and milk, left to rest for two (2) hours and applied daily on the skin will gradually bleach it, leading to a fair and flawless skin.
- Lemons – lemons are acidic in nature, therefore they posses bleaching properties -which you may not be aware of. To use lemons in skin bleaching; cut the lemon into half and apply it onto your skin, alternatively, you can squeeze the lemon to extract lemon juice into a bowl and using a cotton ball to apply the juice directly to your skin, and let it sit for an hour before washing it off with warm water. Repeat this daily.
- Orange and turmeric – a mask made of oranges and turmeric is just what you need to bleach your skin. To make this, mix a pinch of powdered turmeric and two (2) tablespoons of orange juice. Apply this before going to bed and wash it of the following morning, on a daily basis.
- Yogurt – yogurt contains lactic acid which has bleaching properties. To use yogurt in bleaching your skin; apply yogurt on your skin and leave it for a few minutes before washing it off with lukewarm water. Alternatively, you can combine yogurt with honey whereby you mix one (1) tablespoon of yogurt to one and a half (1 1/2) tablespoon of honey and apply the mixture on your skin for 10 to 15 minutes before washing it off with water.
- Aloe Vera – to many people, aloe vera is a miracle plant. Besides being used widely in cosmetics, It can also be used to treat hyperpigmentation, which causes uneven skin tones leading to a fairer skin. To do this, cut out the outer layers of the aloe vera and remove the green, thick and jelly flesh. Apply this onto your skin and let it sit for thirty (30) minutes before washing it off with warm water.
Skin bleaching, when done right, offers you rewarding benefits. However, it is similarly rewarding to take good care of your skin on a daily basis in order to keep it healthy and fairer. These can be done through; cleansing and exfoliating your skin, using sunscreen, eating a healthy diet, avoiding smoking and drinking at least eight (8) glasses of water per day.
Finally, remember that skin bleaching is sensitive, avoid using counterfeit products that may contain hazardous chemicals substances and hence, always consult a dermatologist whenever you want to lighten your skin tone, especially before using any product for bleaching. This, you do so as to ensure you are using safe products only.