Whenever I have dark spots, I would reach for an over-the-counter or prescription skin lightening product. With the concern of hydroquinone that may cause cancer or ochronosis, a permanent skin discoloration, I think it is better to stick with natural ingredients.
Skin lightening creams which also have different names such as skin brighteners, fade or bleaching creams, and whiteners, have one aim in mind. They reduce hyperpigmentation such as liver spots, melasma, and freckles by interfering the production of melanin.
It all depends on the ingredients. Some ingredients may have some risks. The common ingredients found in skin lightening creams are mercury, hydroquinone, and steroids. Most of the cheap hyperpigmentation fading creams contain these ingredients. Following you will learn why you should avoid them.
Using mercury to fade brown spots can cause mercury poisoning. Although mercury is banned in U.S., unfortunately, almost 1 out of every 4 Asian made skin lightening products sold in the U.S. contain this highly toxic substance.
As a heavy metal, mercury can be toxic to your body. Using it can leave you with kidney, psychiatric, and neurological disorders. If you are pregnant, you can pass the mercury to your unborn baby.
Hydroquinone is the standard ingredients use in hyperpigmentation treatment creams. For the over-the-counter products, the hydroquinone concentration is no more than 2% while the prescription ones usually does not exceed more than 4%.
Some claim that hydroquinone is not safe to use. It may cause ochronosis, an untreatable skin discoloration when used in very high concentration or on long-term basis.
When you shop for hydroquinone creams, it is important to check the concentration. Don’t buy it if the label does not state the strength of hydroquinone because you don’t know if it is safe to use. Some imported skin brightening creams exceed the allowed hydroquinone concentration and even some of their labels may report the wrong concentration.
Some experience acne, skin infections, slow wound healing, and skin thinning when using steroids. If you apply steroids on large areas of skin, your body can absorb it, leading to potential health risks.
There are some risks when using dark spot removal creams. Practice due diligence by going through the label. Make sure the products are especially free of mercury as it is has the lowest safety factor.
Make Your Own Natural Skin Lightening Cream
You may want to save some money so making your own natural fade cream makes sense. Here is a simple recipe that you can try at home. With two kitchen cabinet ingredients like lemon and honey, you can prepare your own bleaching cream in a few minutes.
Add one teaspoon of lemon juice into a bowl of honey. Add some powdered milk to make it pasty. Apply the paste on your spots and leave it on for 15 to 20 minutes. Then wash it off with water. You can do this every or alternate day.
Does this recipe work? The main ingredient is the lemon juice. It contains alpha-hydroxy acids (AHAs) that is commonly used to exfoliate the skin, encouraging skin renewal. The fruit acids dissolve the dead skin cells that are found on the outer layer of the skin. By removing the outer layer of dead skin cells, there are rooms for the new cells.
However, when you use this homemade remedy, don’t apply it on any open wounds. You will experience more pain due to the acidic property of the lemon juice. If your skin is sensitive, don’t use this recipe.
Effective Natural Ingredients Found In Skin Lightening Creams
If you don’t like the idea of making your cream, then buying a natural skin lighteners is an option. Some contain a single or a combination of ingredients. You have better results when you use a combination of organic lightening agents that can reduce the amount of melanin faster.
The best natural ingredients are those that have been tested clinically to lighten dark spots. These include arbutin, kojic acid, licorice extract, and gigawhite.
- Arbutin works by inhibiting tyrosinase activity that is part of the process of producing melanin. Arbutin works similarly to hydroquinone but without side effects. It is a safe lightening agent, which does not break down into hydroquionone easily.
- Kojic acid comes from a fermentation process of malting rice. Tyrosinase, an enzyme required in the production of melanin, contains copper. Kojic acid reduces the pH level around tyrosinase, which removes the copper. Without the copper, melanin cannot be produced.
- Liquorice extract or Glycyrrhiza glabra originates from a legume, a member of the pea family. It contains glabridinin, which can absorb UVA and UVB and fade hyperpigmentation effectively. It is found to suppress the tyrosinase activity by as high as 50% without causing any damage to the cells.
- Gigawhite is extracted from 7 organically grown Swiss alpine plants. Among them are the common mallow, primula (cowslip) and the peppermint plant. These 7 plants have been tested to be effective in inhibiting the activity of tyrosinase in vitro. In one clinical trials, gigawhite have helped reduce skin discoloration with minimal side effects.
If you are using natural skin whitening creams, don’t expect fast results. The process of fading dark spots takes time. If your skin is oily and thinker, the process may take more time.
After applying the cream, make sure you avoid sun exposure as it is the key to effective dark spot lightening. When outdoors, use a physical (not chemical) sunscreen with SPF 30+ every day, even when it’s cloudy. If necessary, wear a hat and protective clothing to avoid getting sunburned. During the skin bleaching process, your skin is more sensitive to the sun. So, your skin can easily burn or tan, destroying all the results that you experience from using the products.
The most effective natural skin lightening cream without mercury and chemicals is Meladerm. It contains 12 powerful lightening agents including the 4 that are mentioned above. It works on most skin types including black. It is even safe to use on sensitive skin. Don’t compromise your health and skin with cheap bleaching creams. If you want to feel confident applying whitening ingredients on your skin without having any fear about health risk, then Meladerm is an ideal choice. Click here to learn more about Meladerm skin lightener or you can visit Meladerm official website.