Skin brightening products have become a bit of a craze recently with celebrities like Jessica Alba using them to get a lighter and more even complexion. But what do skin brighteners actually do to your skin and are they really safe?
Let’s take a look at the key ingredients in the current skin brightening products on the market and see what your skin brightener is actually doing to your skin.
What Do Skin Brighteners Do?
In a nutshell, skin brighteners target hyperpigmentation of the skin and reduce the discoloration. Women have been using it for a long time to reduce the pigmentation around acne scaring etc. Skin brighteners and skin lighteners have become popular products in places like Japan, China, Korea, India and Africa because they bleach the skin or prevent/reduce the production of melanin in the skin giving you a lighter skin tone.
But are skin brighteners actually safe? Well there’s actually a lot of debate and conflicting advice out there when it comes to skin brighteners so let’s have a look at the ingredients in the best skin brighteners on the market.
Watch Out For Hydroquinone
Hydroquinone is one of the main ingredients in skin brightening and skin lightening products. But hydroquinone is actually a pretty horrible ingredient for your skin. Hydroquinone has had links to skin cancer as it actually increases your sensitivity to UV Rays.
Since your skin is more sensitive to UV Rays when using products that contain hydroquinone, you’re actually doing yourself a disservice. If your skin is more sensitive to UV rays then you’re more likely to get hyperpigmentation of the skin. Your skin will produce more melanin and therefore go darker. So isn’t it actually pretty counter-productive to use products with hydroquinone in if you want to achieve a lighter skin tone?
Not only does hydroquinone increase your susceptibility to skin cancer and your skins sensitivity to the sun but it also carries a risk of Ochronosis. Ochronosis is where the skin proteins actually become pigmented and your skin ends up getting a blue/black tint. So, even though hydroquinone is used for lightening your skin, it can actually darken it over time.
Hydroquinone carries so many risks that it’s actually banned in numerous countries across the world. Basically, if you’re looking for the best skin brighteners, you want to make sure that they do not contain hydroquinone. Not only is it damaging to your skin but it’s pretty counter productive when it comes to skin lightening over time.
Hydroquinone is also an irritant to the skin. Some people have reported burning sensations in their skin because it’s essentially a bleach. Sometimes people have been able to reduce the irritation using harsh cleansing products like shampoos etc but either way you just don’t want that stuff on your face.
So What Products Should You Use?
Thankfully because of the studies into the damaging properties of hydroquinone – and its subsequent ban – companies have started researching products that naturally brighten your skin without damaging it. When choosing a skin brightener, the best skin brighteners contain kojic acid, arbutin and azelaic acid.
What natural skin brighteners such as Zeta White or the Chanel Le Blanc range of skin whitening products do is to reduce or even prevent the production of melanin. The Chanel range contains a product called TXC or transexamic acid cetyl ester which has is claimed to reduce the skins production of melanin. Whereas Zeta White contains a number of different natural ingredients that are said to completely prevent the production of melanin in your skin.
With the increase in skin brightening products on the market that don’t contain hydroquinone, it’s actually become a lot safer to invest in skin brighteners now. The best skin brighteners shouldn’t harm your skin.
So, what do skin brighteners really do to your skin and are they really safe to use? Well it really depends on what sort of skin brightener you’re looking at. If your skin brightener contains hydroquinone then it’s doing a lot of damage. You’re running the risk of giving yourself skin cancer or causing ochronosis. Our advice? If any of your skin brightening products contain hydroquinone, throw it out. Now.
Luckily there are safe and natural ways to brighten your skin. The best skin brighteners out there should contain ingredients that naturally reduce or prevent your skins production of melanin. You should look for natural ingredients and things like kojic acid, azelaic acid and arbutin to make sure that you’re actually getting the best skin brightening products you can.
Do you use skin brighteners or skin lightening products? What would you recommend as the best skin brightening products? We’d love to hear from you!