For some reason, light skin is revered over a darker one in the beauty industry. A majority of dark-skinned beauties don’t mind splashing big bucks to alter their complexion. Globe Newswire published a report claiming that the market for skin lightening products is expected to hit $8,895 by 2024.
The sad reality about skin whitening or bleaching products is that they are not only ridiculously expensive and painful but they come with a host of negative effects as well. A study published in The Toxicological and Environmental Chemistry showed that skin-lightening creams contain dangerous ingredients such as hydroquinone, mercury, and steroids that can harm the body after prolonged use.
This is where natural skin lightening comes in. Thankfully, you don’t have to expose the largest organ of your body to danger in the name of making it brighter, lighter, or whiter.
How Does Skin Lightening Work?
Ever wondered how skin lightening works? Well, the concept revolves around stopping melanin from giving your skin a specific color. The science is rather complex but the bottom line is that once melanin production is compromised, your skin will take on another color. Apart from melanin inhibition, skin lightening also lightens discoloration, reduces pigmentation, evens skin tone, and eliminates blemishes. You can choose to focus on a specific area of your body or have a robust color change of your entire body.
Let’s now dive into the ways of lightening your skin naturally.
For decades, people have used lemon to lighten their skin but does it really work? According to Dermascope, the answer is yes, albeit the process can take quite some time. Lemon juice extracted from real lemons (and not the processed version found in grocery stores) contains citric acid (5-8%) and a pH of 2.3 making it quite an acidic compound. This acid, known as ascorbic acid, is what we know as vitamin C—a natural exfoliant with the ability to lighten the skin and enhance its tone. A 2011 review of the link between vitamin C and skin health, done at Oregon University, revealed that topical and dietary ascorbic acid has great benefits for the skin.
The use of Mulberry extract to brighten the skin is popular in Japan and other Asian countries. If this study is anything to go by, Thai Mulberry plant extract contains betulinic acid that happens to be a powerful skin whitening agent. It also contains antioxidant properties that can help prevent wrinkles and hence promote silky, flawless, and smooth skin for generations to come.
Yogurt has always been recommended as an ideal prevention method against infections. Now, turns out, it can lighten the skin as well. The reason is that it contains lactic acid which is one of the strong Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA). AHA is a natural moisturizer and exfoliant, known for evening out skin discoloration and minimizing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. Lactic acid is especially ideal for people with sensitive skin.
If you subscribe to the notion that light, flawless skin is the true definition of beauty, you will have to decide whether to go natural or use chemicals. For safety reasons, the former route is recommended by science and beauty experts. Sure they may take a while to show some result but best believe, you will enjoy the results for a lifetime.