Many have been wanting to be a lifelike Snow White because of her perfect porcelain skin. Wake up! This is a not fairy tale. Obsession with having white or whiter skin has become a major game changer in the beauty industry.
For most people, the challenge to achieve radiant skin begins with dark spots or hyperpigmentation caused by the accumulation of melanin. Hyperpigmentation can be exacerbated by genetics and ethnicity. For black and brown-skinned women with South East Asian and Hispanic descent, hyperpigmentation can create an uneven skin tone.
Blotchiness and spots caused by sun damage and the aging process stand in the way of clear and radiant skin. Other roadblocks to clear skin are dryness and breakouts caused by hormonal fluctuations related to life changes like menopause (for women) and stress.
Even though they sound the same, there is actually a significant difference between skin lightening, whitening & brightening. Before deciding on your skin care routine, it is very important to understand all three of these categories, their pluses & minuses, and even the potential risks to your health which may be involved.
The goal of skin whitening (or skin bleaching) is to lighten or fade the complexion beyond the natural skin tone. Skin whitening is controversial and could have potentially dangerous side effects.
Unless you actually want to involve a medical professional in your skin care treatment, then “skin whitening” is probably not what you’re looking for. We do not recommend “skin whitening”, so we’re going to move on to “lightening & brightening”.
In contrast to skin whitening, “skin lightening” has a positive function other than achieving a lighter complexion. In order to understand what skin lightening actually is we first need to understand what hyperpigmentation is.
Hyperpigmentation spots are often caused by repeated exposure to the sun. Freckles and other darkened skin areas can become darker from sun exposure. This happens by the melanin absorbing the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays in order to protect the skin from overexposure. Another form of hyperpigmentation is Melasma. Melasma spots are larger than the spots caused by sun damage. They appear as symmetric blotchy hyperpigmented patches on the face, usually the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, chin, and upper lip. They are most often caused by hormonal changes. Pregnancy and the use of birth control pills can also bring about the overproduction of melanin, due to hormonal changes.
The goal of skin lightening is not to bleach your skin, but to fade out unwanted blemishes by inhibiting melanin, which gives your skin its color. “Skin Lightening” reduces pigmentation, lightens discoloration, eliminates blemishes and evens skin tone. Importantly, it can be done through simple skin care products and does not require any type of medical procedure. Skin lightening products target particular areas of discolorations like age spots and hyperpigmentation from acne breakouts and bruising. Lightening creams work to reduce the melanin pigmentation in a particular area on the skin. Lightening products are best used for a limited period of time.
Here are 7 Safe Alternatives in getting lighter and brighter skin.
1. Kojic Acid
• This ingredient is produced after rice is malted for the making of sake. By inhibiting melanin, which is known to darken the skin, kojic acid brightens and lightens your skin instead. It comes from fermented mushrooms inhibits the overproduction of melanin in unevenly pigmented skin. This makes it a potent ally in brightening everything from freckles to melasma. Kojic acid has become revered worldwide for its skin lightening abilities. It, therefore, makes sense that it is found in numerous skin lightening products.
• Niacinamide increases ceramide and fatty acid levels in skin effectively increasing hydration levels in your skin. This ensures you softer, smoother skin which is less prone to irritation. In the long term, well-hydrated skin ensures your firm and wrinkle-free skin. It also actively reduces jagged pigmentation and age spots effectively lightening and soothing your skin.
3. Glycolic Acid
• Glycolic Acid is the most active and beneficial of the Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) in skin care. It is generally used as a natural skin exfoliant and moisturizer. It does not only evens out skin discoloration but also helps minimize fine lines and wrinkles. AHA’s such as Glycolic Acid can assist other ingredients in skin lighteners by allowing them to penetrate farther into the skin.
4. Lactic Acid
• Lactic Acid mimics the properties of Glycolic Acid but is typically better suited for individuals with sensitive skin. AHA’s such as Lactic Acid can assist other ingredients in skin lightening by allowing them to penetrate farther into the skin. Consider this as a sister of Glycolic Acid because this is also an AHA.
5. Lemon, Oranges and Citrus Extracts
• Packed with Vitamin C and citric acid, lemons are made with organic bleaching agents that not only brighten your skin but also give it a healthy glow as well. Not only do lemons leave a refreshing scent on your skin, but they also contain citric acid which is a well-known natural bleaching ingredient. Just make sure to apply a rich moisturizer to your skin after the lemon treatment, to avoid dryness.
Like lemons, oranges have bleaching properties that can really lighten your skin. On top of that, these super-fruits also pack a vitamin C punch and make your skin feel more elastic and soft.
Citrus extracts are a rich source of vitamin C which destroys free radicals in your body. Free radicals are cells that cause aging. Citrus extracts give your skin a radiant glow while rejuvenating it from the inside. Lemon juice naturally whitens skin and effectively removes dark spots. It is also used to mildly exfoliate your skin due to its acidic content by safely peeling off the top layer of your skin. Researchers have also found that citric acid can be used to significantly reverse photoaging and sun damage.
• Made popular in Japan, Mulberry extract is another all-natural choice that will deliver results with consistent use. It may not be the most effective or potent, but it will get you a lighter skin tone over time. They are widely used by many people all over the globe for purposes of skin lightening. Significant research has been gathered to prove the anti-tyrosinase activity of mulberry plants produces desirable effects as far as skin lightening is concerned. Furthermore, the extract is known to slow down the aging process. It contains rich anti-oxidant properties thus making it extremely beneficial for preventing wrinkles formation As a result, someone who uses mulberry extract will have flawless, silky smooth skin for many years to come. The roots and the barks contain excellent healing properties and this is one of the main reason why they are used for producing mulberry extract popularly used as a skin lightener. The extract can additionally be used for removing residual rough skin as well as impurities that may be present on the skin. The extract is also recommended by cosmetology experts because it lowers melanin production that occurs as a result of UV exposure. When used as a skin lightener, mulberry extract resolves all issues related to uneven skin tone thereby allowing a user to have a pleasant skin tone after use.
• Found in a wide array of ointments, lotions, pills, and soaps, this ingredient is packed with antioxidants and designed to effectively lighten the skin. Not only does this ingredient help with skin whitening, but it also contributes to tissue repair and regeneration.
Skin lightening is not skin bleaching. If you want to restore your skin’s natural tone there are many over the counter natural skin lightening products. There are other safer ways you can have. Shinagawa offers Glutathione Inject, a safer way to lighten your skin to give a more natural and radiant glow.
To know the safer ways how you can get lighter skin, call our Patient Care Lines: (+632) 368 5238 | (+63) 917 862 7454 | (+63) 921 217 0517 and get a FREE CONSULTATION.