Skin Lightening Cream


Cosmetic chemists have made great strides in the formulations of skin lightening cream, making skin whitening products more effective as well as safer to use. The use of whitening cream is becoming more prevalent around the world, both for cosmetic and aesthetic purposes, and to camouflage pigmentation problems.

Skin Lightening Cream: Global Use


The phenomenon of “bleaching” is gaining in popularity all over the world, but its practice is most prevalent in countries and cultures where there is a particular emphasis placed on lightness of skin. And although the process can be done with relative safety when a person has access to the safest, tested products, many desperate people are risking their health with black-market products and unknown ingredients.

Jamaica is a telling example of skin bleaching at its riskiest. On an island where light skin is favored in arenas ranging from fashion magazines to the job market, many people are trying to make a real change in their lives by lightening their skin.

Black market ointments often aren’t labeled with their ingredients, and the creams are often found to include the most dangerous of lightening agents. Ingredients like mercury, banned from U.S. products for its toxicity, are often the primary items in these products.

Skin Lightening Cream: Regulated Safeguards


Skin bleaching is not such a dangerous practice in countries where cosmetic products are regulated. The United States, for example, regulates the inclusion of mercury in cosmetics and skin products.

The Food and Drug Administration has warned against the dangers of mercury poisoning, and products in the United States must be labeled with their ingredients. The FDA regulates the specifics of reporting ingredients, and tests products to ensure that the labeling is accurate. In short, a consumer can be sure of the contents of any cream they choose for lightening their skin.

Skin Lightening Cream: Common Ingredients

One of the most frequently used skin lightening ingredients is hydroquinone. It functions by preventing skin from producing melanin, the pigment that gives skin its darker color. Hydroquinone will act on the skin for as long as you keep applying it regularly, but its effects don’t last if you stop using it, so it is not considered a permanent bleacher.

Hydroquinone is incorporated in a number of creams and cosmetics that can be purchased over the counter without prescription, or your doctor can prescribe a stronger concentration available from the pharmacy. Recent studies have indicated a possible link between hydroquinone use and cancer, but there has not been a proven causative link established.

Kojic acid is another common compound used in skin brightening cream. It functions similarly to hydroquinone, also interfering with the production of melanin in the skin. Kojic acid is slightly more likely than hydroquinone to cause irritation on the skin of people who use it.

Azelaic acid has been proven more effective than hydroquinone, in the sense that a smaller dose of azelaic acid will have the same effectiveness as a much higher concentration of hydroquinone. It can also be used in much higher concentrations, multiplying its effectiveness accordingly.

Unfortunately, azelaic acid also has a much higher rate of contact dermatitis and skin irritation. It has been confirmed as a cytotoxic substance, meaning that it has a destructive effect on skin cells. With that fact in mind, skin lightening cream with azelaic acid can’t be said to be healthy for your skin. However, it is effective in lightening the skin, as well as treating other skin disorders like rosacea.

Skin Lightening Cream: Natural and New Ingredients

The discussion of ingredients above has introduced some of the most commonly used components of skin lightening cream, all of which have stood the test of time with regard to their use as whitening agents.

The list is by no means all-inclusive, however, as there are many other constituents that are capable of affecting skin pigmentation. Although they are used with less frequency than the ingredients named above, you can find other active ingredients listed as components of skin lightening cream, including:

  • Alpha arbutin (extract from a plant found on northern prairies of Canada))
  • Paper mulberry (extract from the roots of the paper mulberry tree)
  • Glabridin (extract from the licorice plant)
  • Magnesium L Ascorbyl Phosphate (a form of Vitamin C that lightens skin and also protects the skin cells from UV radiation in sunlight)
  • Niacinamide (a form of Vitamin B)
  • Aloesin (extract from the aloe vera plant)
  • Beta arbutin

Beta arbutin is a natural compound derived from the uva ursi plant. It is essentially a natural form of hydroquinone, and is equally effective as a component of skin lightening cream. It also causes irritation and contact dermatitis at rates that equal the occurrence of irritation caused by hydroquinone.

This fact surprises some people, who expect that any “natural” substance is harmless and safe by definition. In answer to such an assumption, it is worth remembering that nature produces toxins and poisons as well as benign and wholesome substances.

One of the newer active agents to be found in skin lightening cream is called chromabright. Unlike the various natural extracts of plants, this ingredient is entirely synthetic, and manufactured for the express purpose of lightening skin. The substance has been tested in laboratory settings as well as on people, and is particularly remarkable for having no toxic effects and causing no irritation to the skin.

Chromabright also boasts an inherent photoprotective effect, meaning that it acts almost like a sunscreen to protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation. This is important on more than one count: it helps the skin stay healthy by blocking damaging UV rays, and also counteracts the natural effect of UV causing the skin to manufacture melanin.

 When you expose your skin to sunlight, your skin normally responds by producing more melanin, an effect that you see as a suntan. When you are trying to lighten your skin, of course, you don’t want tanning to undo the effectiveness of your skin lightening cream. Chromabright comes to your aid with its sunblock-type characteristics. With new developments like Chromabright, the use of skin lightening cream is increasingly safe and effective.


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