Categorized | Skin Care

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Everything You Need to Know About Skin Lightening Cream

Skin lightening cream is made up of chemicals which react with the composition of your skin. In most cases, these lightening creams control or restrict the melanin production of your epidermis. Melanin is a pigment produced by the cells of your body which is responsible for the color of your skin. Some people are born with browning or reddish hues, while others have a paler or yellowish skin tone. A person’s skin tone has a lot to do with his/her genetic make up and his/her skin’s reaction to sunlight.

The detailed process of these reactions may be too complicated for an ordinary person to understand, but as a consumer, it’s your right and responsibility to at least know the principles behind your skin product’s main ingredients.

Hydroquinone

This chemical is among the oldest and most used ingredients in skin lighteners all over the world. Although the amount of this chemical has been limited to 2% maximum in cosmetics here in the United States, some skin lightening cream products in other parts of the world may still contain more than the recommended amount of hydroquinone. Hydroquinone works by disrupting the production of melanin in your skin, thereby decreasing the chances of hyperpigmentation, or skin discoloration caused by overexposure to the sun.

Although it might be tempting to use products with higher levels of hydroquinone, it should be noted that extremely high concentrations of this chemicals may cause complications. In laboratory tests, it has been shown that hydroquinone overdose can cause leukemia in lab rats.

Arbutin

Arbutin is a plant extract that, like hydroquinone, limits the production of melanin in the user’s body. Studies have shown that 1% concentration of this extract can considerably lighten one’s skin. It’s a comparatively more stable ingredient compared to hydroquinone and is said to be less irritating to sensitive skin. However, the ideal concentration levels of this plant extract are still being debated by professionals. Most skin products could include this ingredient in their labels because of the hype about arbutin’s wonders as a skin whitener. However, you should check the concentration. It won’t really do anything beneficial to your skin unless the concentration is at least 1%.

Tretinoin

This chemical is also called all-trans retinoic acid, and is better known as a corrector for discolored skin. By itself, this ingredient won’t be strong enough to actually lighten dark colored skin. However, when present at certain amounts with the chemical hydroquinone, it is said to work wonders on the skin.

Some notes on how your skin lighteners are packaged

Most likely, the majority of the most popular brands of skin lightening creams will have all three of these ingredients. Keeping them well preserved is all a matter of the quality of the container, which means you need to be very careful about how these products are packaged. When purchasing your skin lightening facial cream, make sure that it is in a sealed tube or container. Avoid purchasing a skin lightening cream with the chemical hydroquinone if it’s packaged in a clear jar. Any skin product with this ingredient needs to be kept in a cool, dry place, away from sunlight. Exposure to sunlight discolors it and makes the skin lightening cream ineffective.

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