Skin Lightening Innovations: 11 Things to Understand About Injectables


questionsSkin lightening has seen a lot of innovations lately. One of the much-hyped trends now is the use of injectable skin whitening products. But, a lot of controversies surround the use of these products, leading people to ask many legitimate questions, such as: Are these products safe? How do they work? Should you expect any side effects with their use?

This article will delve into the world of injectables. It will try to answer as many asked questions about injectables like: what they are, how they work, are they safe, their pros and cons and their benefits, too. So stick around right until the end of this article to learn lots more about this skin whitening innovation.

1. The What’s: Injectables and Their Main Ingredients

Your bodyYour body, especially your skin, needs a variety of healthy nutrients, vitamins and minerals. What your skin needs the most is a daily of dose of antioxidants. Think of antioxidants as your skin’s first line of defense against anything harmful.

Eating processed and chemically-loaded foods and beverages piles up toxins in your body. Moreover, you get exposed to pollutants, chemicals and harmful sun rays on a daily basis. However, the ill effects of these things are far worse on your skin than any other body part.

All the piled up toxins increase the amount of oxidative stress in your body. Oxidative stress is like a poison that eats up your skin from the inside. It is responsible for uneven skin tone, signs of aging and frequent skin eruptions.

Antioxidants neutralize the effects of oxidative stress. Researchers at the University of Miami support the vitality of anti-oxidants in skin care. These antioxidants make sure that your skin remains light, smooth, even and glowing.

Glutathione and vitamin C are the most potent antioxidants. These are especially useful when it comes to skin care and skin lightening. There is a good amount of research evidence that supports the use of glutathione and vitamin C for skin lightening.

Based on these facts, most injectables use glutathione and vitamin C. But what does research say about the efficacy of injectables? This article will get to that in just a bit, so read on.

2. Injectables “supposedly” work by decreasing skin darkening pigment “melanin”

Your skinYour skin is a complicated structure and home to countless chemical reactions. Moreover, it contains a wide variety of cell types.

One of these chemical reactions is “melanogenesis”. Melanogenesis is a reaction that ends with the production of skin pigment. Skin pigment, or melanin, controls your skin color. If your skin has more melanin, it will be darker and vice versa. All these processes take place in skin cells called “melanocytes”.
This means, if you could stop melanogenesis, you could have a lighter skin tone. Most skin whitening products, including injectables, work on this principle. But how, exactly, injectables stop melanin production? Glutathione and vitamin C achieve this feat in two ways.

  • sun raysAntioxidants decrease the amount of oxidative stress in your body. Researchers have found that melanocytes fall prey to increased levels of oxidative stress. In other words, the building levels of oxidative stress increase melanocyte function. These triggered melanocytes produce a lot more skin darkening melanin than normal. This is when you have a darker and uneven skin tone. This is the same reason why your sun exposed areas are darker than the rest of your body. The Ultraviolet (UV) sun rays promote oxidative stress and melanogenesis.
  • Antioxidants have direct inhibitory effects on Melanogenesis, as well. Researchers at the University of California found that glutathione is a potent depigmenting agent” Melanogenesis is a multi-step chemical reaction taking place in your skin cells. A lot of enzymes catalyze different chemical reactions occurring during melanogenesis. One of these enzymes is tyrosinase.

Tyrosinase is the center piece for melanogenesis. It helps convert a chemical tyrosine into melanin. So, if you block the activity of tyrosinase, your skin will have no melanin at all. Glutathione reduces skin melanin content by inhibiting tyrosinase activity.

Vitamin C works in a similar fashion. It scavenges body toxins and protects your skin against UV light induced oxidative stress. The darkening of skin also down slants with the regular use of vitamin C creams and lotions. That is because it interrupts the activity of tyrosinase and melanin production.

3. The Scientific Evidence: Reasons the Jury is Out on Injectables

Glutathione and vitamin CGlutathione and vitamin C are potent and indeed work to lighten your skin. But, should you expect superior outcomes by using their injectable forms? Do we have any data on whether these injectables actually work? The one-word answer to both these questions is no.

Here is the explanation for you.

Researchers and dermatologists have long hailed the efficacy of anti-oxidants in skin brightening. That is why you would see a lot of antioxidants in almost all the skin whitening products in market. Every brand claims that their cream or lotion has the highest anti-oxidant content in it. You will see glutathione and vitamin C as the main ingredients on the labels of most of these products. That is for a good reason too.

There is a huge volume of research on this matter. In a lot of studies, people have experienced improvement in skin tone after using skin products having glutathione and vitamin C. One such research included 30 healthy females. Researchers asked those females to apply a skin lotion containing glutathione in it. They applied the lotion on their skin twice daily for 10 weeks.

researchersAfter 10 weeks, researchers assessed the skin tone of those ladies. The results were stunning as 76 percent of the participants experienced significant improvement in their skin tone. Also, none of them reported any adverse effects with the use of the given lotion.

Researchers have noted similar results with people using vitamin C-containing topical applications. In a Japanese research, scientists studied the skin whitening properties of vitamin C. The study participants applied a 10 percent vitamin C cream on their faces. In fact, 19 out of the 34 participants experienced significant improvements in skin color.

In a nut shell, a lot of scientific data backs the efficacy of topical anti-oxidant products. Do clinical research backs injectable preparations too? The simple answer is no, at least not yet.

conventional creamsTo date, there is no satisfactory clinical evidence about injectable skin whitening products. We are not sure whether these products work better than the conventional creams. In fact, we are not even sure if these products work at all.

Naturopaths and complementary healthcare providers call glutathione “the mother of all antioxidants.” They argue that injectables are the only form that can benefit your skin. According to them, that is because of two reasons. First, your body does not make enough of these anti-oxidants on its own. Second, only a fraction of the actual antioxidants makes it to the target areas of your body after oral or topical use.

That is why, naturopaths quite frequently use a cocktail of vitamins and antioxidants. They use this injectable for the treatment of a number health conditions. They also use it for cosmetic purposes, like skin whitening. They claim that using such injectables works and makes your skin brighter and lighter. But, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.

Randomized Control Trials (RCTs) are the best scientific way of finding out if a drug or a product actually works. There are tons of RCTs proving the efficacy of topical anti-oxidant products. But, there is not even a single RCT that supports the use of injectables.

4. Injectables and the FDA: What You Should Know

The Food and Drug Regulatory AuthorityThe Food and Drug Regulatory Authority (FDA) approves whether a product or a drug is safe for you. So the FDA has to approve any cosmetic or drug before it hits the market. If you plan on using these injectables, you should go through the FDA warnings first.

“These products pose a potentially significant safety risk to consumers. You’re essentially injecting an unknown substance into your body and you don’t know what it contains or how it was made,” says In Kim, a pharmacist at the FDA.

The FDA has warned consumers not to use injectable skin whitening products. According to this authority, there is insufficient evidence about the efficacy of these products. Also, there is no information regarding the safety profile of these products.

There have been incidences where FDA inspectors have confiscated injectables from different stores. You cannot get these injectables from a pharmacy, at least in a legal way. Why is that? You will know that in a bit.

The FDA report even suspects that injectables contain certain ingredients coming from human sources.

5. Why Injectables Require a Prescription

pharmacySince these injectables are not approved by the FDA, you will not see any pharmacy selling them. You can only get them through online vendors or in some spas.

FDA labels injectables as drugs instead of simple cosmetics. That is because you use veins or muscles to administer them. Any injectable, by definition, is a drug and requires prescription for use. Once something gets labelled a drug by the FDA, it has to go through a rigorous process. It has to show its efficacy in animal and human trials. The product makes it to the market after a lot of testing.

Human trials aside, there have not been even animal trails making use of injectables. That is the reason you cannot get these products, at least through legal means. It is extremely risky to use any product you have to obtain illegally, so avoid doing so at all costs. You could harm yourself and you are supporting an illegal operation, too.

6. Using Injectables: Risky Business for Your Body

injectablesThe use of conventional skin care cosmetics is pretty straight forward. You do not need expert skills to apply a cream or a lotion to your face or any other body part. But, the story is different with the use of injectables. As the name indicates, you have to inject these products into your body. You have to inject them either into your veins or muscles. That is perhaps not doable at all by yourself. You will definitely need to see some qualified expert for that.

It is less likely any qualified health practitioner will help you. That is because injectables are not approved by the FDA. So prescribing or administering them to anyone can get your healthcare provider into trouble. Injecting something, in itself, is quite complicated and troublesome. Above all, it can sprout a lot of complications. You will know all about injection related complications in a bit.

All these factors add up to make your use of injectables inconvenient.

7. Not Tested: Reasons Injectables are Unsafe

whitening creamsThe regular skin whitening creams and lotions are generally considered safe. Unless you are allergic to their ingredients, it is rare to have any side effects with their use.

Take vitamin C containing preparations for examples. These preparations are safe. There have been only few reports of adverse effects with their use. Moreover, the dose of vitamin C required to develop serious adverse effects is 100-200 times the dose present in most of the products. That is why, there have been no reports of life threatening complications with their use. Same goes with the use of topical glutathione preparations too.

But, things are quite different when it comes to injectables. FDA has issued a warning against the safety of these products. FDA says that these products are possibly unsafe and you should not use them.

8. Injectables: Warnings for Pregnant or Breastfeeding Women

PregnancyPregnancy and breastfeeding are two delicate conditions. The actions you take not only affect your health, but the health of your baby, too. That is why any cosmetic or drug has to be show a great safety profile before the FDA can approve its use for such females.

Vitamin C and glutathione products have acquired a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) status. That is why FDA has approved the use of these products in pregnant and breastfeeding females in the USA.

But, researchers are not so sure about the safety of injectables in these conditions. There is not enough data to approve or disapprove their use in these conditions. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should refrain from the use of injectables till further research comes out.

9. Injectables: Costly and Hard to Find, Too

dollarThe cosmetic industry is a multi-billion-dollar industry all around the world. You might be willing to spend a good fortune to have an even toned and glowing skin. Still, the price of a product is one of the biggest factors determining its usability.

Typical glutathione and vitamin C creams and lotions are generally affordable. They cost anywhere from $10 to $100. There are easy to get too, as you can get them from any pharmacy or online vendor.

In contrast, injectables are a costly option. A complete set of treatments can cost you as much as $2,000 to $4,000. Also, finding a good specialist in this field is one hard nut to crack.

10. Injectables: Reasons the Results Are Sketchy as Best

The biggest problem with the use of creams and lotions is that you have to wait a long time before your skin whitens. Also, the results with the use of these products are not lasting. The results start to fade away as soon as give up their use. These are some of the reasons why you might get inclined towards the use of injectables.

The advocates of injectables claim that these products are safe. Also, you should expect quick and lasting results with the use of these products. Again, there is not enough data that could back these claims, because there isn’t enough testing on these products.

11. Risks Vs. Rewards: Understanding the Complications of Injectables

cautionInjecting something into your body is something that is not completely safe. Doctors and nurses observe the highest degree of caution while injecting something into a patient. But, you may still face a lot of injection-related complicates, even when you do it properly.

Here are some of the many injection related complications:

  • Injecting something into your body always holds the risk of contamination. You can take all the measures to keep bacteria and viruses from entering into your body, but you cannot avoid this completely. No registered practitioner is willingly going to help with the use of these injectables. You may turn to quacks in such situation. In such a case, your chances of catching an infection increase even further. Injections are responsible for the transmission of lethal infections like AIDS and hepatitis.
  • blood vesselsThese products are usually injected into the blood vessels. There is always a risk of bleeding when you are injecting something into the blood vessels. The bleeding risk increases if you have a medical condition where you bleed too much. Also, you can face fatal bleeding if the injection is mistakenly inserted into your artery.
  • Injecting something into your blood vessels exposes you to the risk of an air embolism. An air embolism is when air gains entry into your blood through the injection site. This is a lethal condition as it can cause sudden respiratory arrest and heart failure.
  • You may develop an allergic reaction at the site of injection. The skin may not heal and the site of puncture may become painful.
  • your shoulderInjecting something into your muscles has its own risks. The greatest risk is injury to different body nerves. The intra-muscular injections are usually given in the upper arm or on your hip muscles. Injection in the arm my damage your axillary nerve, which may paralyze your shoulder. Likewise, an injection in the hips may damage schiatic nerve. This can paralyze your hips and legs.
  • You may get an overdose if you or the person injecting was not vigilant enough. An overdose of any injectable can have lethal consequences.

in the U.S.A lot of controversies surround the world of injectables. At first glance, the claims these products make sound promising and too good to be true. But, there is not enough evidence to support the efficacy or safety of these products. Above all, these products are not FDA-approved. It seems you might have to wait some time before these injectables become legal in the U.S. Until then, the use of these products is not recommended.


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