Skin Lightening: All About the 16 Permanent Treatments

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Skin Lightening: All About the 16 Permanent Treatments

Here is something you should know about skin bleaching: it is a growing phenomenon that is taking the world, particularly developing countries by storm. In fact, it is a multi-billion-dollar industry that makes skin whitening products easily accessible to help dark-skinned individuals lighten their skin if they choose to do so.

The truth is, skin lightening could do more damage than good, especially if you are not too careful. In fact, there are tons of products that promise to make your skin lighter – for a cost.

Before you indulge in skin whitening products, check out these 16 permanent skin lightening ingredients, plus tips on how to make them work for you.

1. Answering the Multi-Million Dollar Question in the World of Skin Whitening

make your skin lighterYou might be wondering: is it possible for you to lighten your skin permanently?

The answer is yes. There are various whitening ingredients and medical procedures that promise to make your skin lighter. By lightening your skin, this means reducing the amount of melanin, the component responsible for your skin color. There are several ways to do this:

  • Bleaching
  • Decreased production of melanin
  • Damage to the cells that produce pigment

Here’s the thing: not everyone is a good candidate. In fact, these lightening products are reserved for patients who are truly in need because of an existing medical condition like vitiligo. At the same time, reducing melanin could be dangerous because this pigment is your primary defense and protection against cancer.

Despite this, there are many individuals who prefer trying various skin whitening ingredients, which you will learn more about in the succeeding sections.

2. Vitamin C: Your Skin’s Natural Defense Against Darkening

Fact: vitamin C is an important nutrient, which your body needs for proper function. In fact, it is an effective immune system booster to keep bacteria and illnesses at bay.

Did you know that it could be an effective whitening ingredient?

orangeVitamin C, which you can get from orange, lemon, and berries, is considered an antioxidant. This means it helps minimize skin-aging process and cut down melanin production by minimum of 10 percent. Aside from this, this vitamin has collagen-forming properties, which your skin needs to make it less susceptible to damage.

Despite its promises, vitamin C is highly acidic, especially if you use natural ingredients like lemon. When not used in moderation, vitamin C could cause irritation and redness on your skin.

3. Niacinamide: Your Skin’s New Best Friend When It Comes to Lightening

If you are looking for vitamins that will help you energized throughout the day, then vitamin B family will surely help you. However, there is one type of vitamin B that stands out when it comes to your skin. It goes by the name vitamin B3 or niacinamide.

What can this specific B vitamin do for your skin, especially in skin whitening? Here’s what:

  • Moisturizes your skin to keep it soft, supple, and hydrated.
  • Improves the appearance of your aging skin by encouraging collagen and elastin growth.
  • Keeps your skin tone more even-looking by inhibiting the transfer of melanosomes that contain melanin to the surrounding keratinocytes.
  • It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that prevent free radicals from damaging your skin.

fishYou can get your dose of vitamin B3 from fish, liver, bran, and yeast extract. However, too much niacinamide could lead to flushing of your skin, primarily in your face, arms, and chest. This could also lead to itching, nausea, and vomiting.

There is another vitamin that is popular in skin lightening. Read the next section to find out what it is.

4. Skin Whitening Isn’t Complete Without Vitamin A

This is the beauty of vitamins – they are multipurpose. Take the case of vitamin A. Oftentimes, you associate this vitamin with keeping your eye sight in its tiptop shape. It turns out that this vitamin could do so much more, including keeping your skin white – permanently.

While vitamin A in general helps restore your skin’s youth and vitality, there is one type of derivative that will surely shoo dark spots. You guessed it right. It is called retinoid.

Retinoid is a vitamin A derivative that unclogs your pores and speeds cell turnover to even any discoloration in your skin. Once applied, retinoid peels the damaged skin to accelerate generation of new skin.

Facts You Should Know About Retinoid

  • your doctorAvailable in drug stores.
  • When applied regularly in dark areas, you could see an improvement in your skin in just a few weeks.
  • Common side effects include dryness, redness, and flaking, which will fade eventually.
  • You should not use retinoid alongside products with peroxide since the latter tends to deactivate the effects of retinoid.

Don’t forget to ask your doctor if retinoid is fine to reduce dark spots on your face. At the same time, read the label of the products you are using to make sure that retinoid will work effectively.

5. Lighten Your Skin for Good With This Tropical Fruit Called Papaya

If there is one fruit that stands out when it comes to skin lightening, it is papaya. This is the reason why many whitening products contain this fruit because of its ability to cleanse your skin, get rid of dead skin cells, and make your skin grow.

What makes this tropical fruit stand out among the rest is its papain content. This powerful digestive enzyme breaks down inactive protein and gets rid of dead skin cells to keep your skin clear. In other words, it is a natural exfoliant that help bring out your skin’s natural glow. This also makes papaya an effective skin whitening agent.

Papaya Mask

  • Blend one cup chopped papaya, one teaspoon vitamin E oil and one teaspoon each of honey and plain yogurt until it turns into smooth paste.
  • Massage the paste on your slightly damp face and leave it there for 10 to 15 minutes.
  • Wash your face with lukewarm water to remove the paste, followed by cool water.

Last tip: make sure to use green papaya since it has more papain content, which means it is more effective in lightening your skin.

6. Hydroquinone: Another Lightening Soldier for Your Skin

skin lightening ingredientsYou met retinoid earlier as among the permanent skin lightening ingredients. When it comes to skin whitening, there is one ingredient that will always pop in the list: hydroquinone.

Hydroquinone is an ingredient used to lighten dark patches of your skin. What makes this a favorite is its ability to inhibit melanin production and eliminate brown discolorations on your skin.

Hydroquinone’s ability to lighten your skin may cause redness, stinging, dryness, and mild burning. In rare cases, hydroquinone could cause blistering, cracking of the skin, and allergic reaction like itching, rash, trouble breathing, severe dizziness, and swelling.

If you plan to use this ingredient to whiten patches in your skin, make sure to stick to 0.5 to two percent concentration only. Higher concentration of hydroquinone requires prescription from a dermatologist. More importantly, don’t use this in long-term to minimize or prevent the side effects from paying a visit.

There are tons of controversy surrounding hydroquinone, which led to banning in several countries. This next ingredient is different.

7. Boost Your Skin’s Line of Defense Against Darkening with Kojic Acid

One of the popular skin lightening ingredients used in many products is kojic acid. Unlike hydroquinone, kojic acid is an all-natural compound derived from fungi. It works by suppressing the production of enzyme tyrosinase and stopping the production of melanin to give your skin an overall lighter appearance.

whitening productsYou can buy kojic acid in its raw form. However, it would be easier for you to buy skin lightening treatment with kojic acid since there are other whitening ingredients that come with it like corticosteroids to help lighten your skin. The best part is it has longer shelf life because kojic acid has the ability to resist spoilage and oxidation.

When you buy whitening products with kojic acid, make sure to limit the concentration to one to four percent. Otherwise, common side effects include itching, irritation, and severe dry skin. Higher concentrations and prolonged use can also lead to a painful rash called contact dermatitis.

8. Glutathione: The Most Common Ingredient Known to Lighten Your Skin

Here’s a simple task for you: go to the nearest drug store and check the ingredients and labels in whitening ingredients. Do you see anything in common?

Most ingredients contain glutathione. Aside from pills, you can also get it through injection, which is more effective. In case you opt for injection, make sure a qualified physician should administer this. In case you prefer the natural way, you can get your glutathione supply from garlic, broccoli, spinach, avocado, and asparagus.

Here’s the deal with glutathione: it is one of the most powerful antioxidants that could help whiten your skin by:

  • Binding with tyrosinase to prevent enzymatic pathways from producing too much melanin.
  • Reducing the free radicals in your body to prevent activation of tyrosinase that is responsible for increasing melanin production.

As a result, you get not only clearer and whiter skin but also improve the quality and health of the largest organ in your body.

There is no doubt that glutathione could whiten your skin. However, this doesn’t mean you are safe. Side effects include lower zinc levels and could trigger asthma attacks in case you have one. Further, experts need to conduct more extensive research on the long-term effects of this ingredient.

There are more lightening ingredients that could help lighten your skin permanently. Make sure to keep reading and stick to the end to find out what these ingredients are plus safety tips to remember to minimize complications.

9. Up Close and Personal with Licorice, an Ayurvedic Herb

If there is another herb you should include in your list of permanent skin lightening ingredients, make sure to add room for licorice. Believe it or not, it could create wonders to your skin.

What can this ayurvedic herb do to help lighten your skin?

Licorice, particularly the root extract contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties such as flavonoids and saponins to help clear your skin. It also has smoothening and brightening action to help to help minimize hyperpigmentation and sun spots.  These characteristics promote not just whiter but also smoother, brighter, and more hydrated skin.

Here’s the important part: licorice root could also suppress tyrosinase, a melanin production catalyst that triggers darkening of the skin.

Licorice rootsLicorice roots are available in health food stores. Blend it with chopped cucumbers until it forms into paste and apply it on your skin every night. You will notice an improvement in your skin in just a few weeks including brighter and whiter skin. Your skin becomes more hydrated too.

Last reminder: only use this licorice and cucumber paste on dark areas only. Otherwise, this could deplete the potassium levels in your body.

10. Get to Know Arbutin That Helps Whiten Your Skin

You may not notice it but one of the most common ingredients in skin whiten products are arbutin. This ingredient is naturally obtained from plants located in the north Canadian region. There are two types:

  • Alpha Arbutin – Most effective and powerful type in the arbutin family
  • Beta Arbutin – Although less effective, this main purpose of this type of arbutin is to prevent the production of tyrosinase in your body.

Let’s focus on alpha arbutin.

skin rednessBetween the two, alpha arbutin is the most effective. Both types are designed to block tyrosinase activity, but the alpha version is 10 times better and more powerful than beta. It is also more stable and more efficient, which makes it a favorite in many skin whitening products. The best part is that irritation is minimized and helps reduce skin redness known as erythema.

You might be wondering if there are any natural ingredients you can use to make your skin lighter permanently. The answer is yes. However, it will take some time, months even, before you see noticeable results.

Nevertheless, these foods could help you on your road to skin whitening.

11. Get Your Daily Dose of Tomatoes to Lighten Your Skin Naturally

You already know that vitamin C is among the vitamins that help lighten your skin and get rid of blemishes. However, you often associate vitamin C with acidic fruits like lemon and orange.

What if I tell you that there is a vitamin C-rich food sans the acid but equally effective in lightening your skin – would you go for it? If yes, then say hello to tomatoes.

tomatoAside from its rich acid content, tomato has bleaching properties that could lighten your skin naturally. Although it is acidic in nature, tomatoes help balance the pH level of your skin. At the same time, its antioxidant content fights off free radicals that could contribute to the darkening of your skin.

Here’s the best part: since it is a natural ingredient, you don’t have to worry too much about side effects. Have you heard someone who suffered from tomatoes overload?

Tomato for Skin Whitening

  • Place sliced tomatoes on the dark areas and let the juice dry on your skin. Wash it with cool water.
  • Grate tomatoes to extract its pulp. Apply on the dark areas and allow the juice to dry before rinsing it with cool water.
  • Mix juice from two tomatoes with one avocado, two to three drops of lemon juice, and one-third cup of buttermilk. Mash them together and apply the paste on your skin. Leave it on for 30 minutes then wash it off with cool water.

12. Even Your Skin Tone With Soy Beans

You might associate soy beans with protein and reducing your risk of heart disease. Did you know that this natural ingredient could also help you in the whitening department?

soy beansThis is because soy beans contain aglycones, an ingredient that helps improve the appearance of your skin while reducing fine lines and wrinkles. This also helps reduce hyperpigmentation, and promotes collagen and elastin production, which leads to softer, smoother, clearer, and whiter skin.

You can add soy beans in your diet through the following techniques:

  • Top your favorite salad with roasted soy nuts.
  • Blend soymilk and fresh fruits for your smoothie fix.
  • Consider getting miso soup when eating in a Japanese restaurant.
  • Go for soy milk for your daily calcium fix instead of whole milk.

13. The Secret Ingredient That Makes Aloe Vera Effective for Skin Whitening

Once upon a time, aloe vera was known to man as hair ingredient. Later on, experts found out that aloe vera works well with the human skin too. Since then, most skin care tips allocate a spot for aloe vera.

aloe veraYou might ask why.

It is because of aloe’s bradykinase activity. This means aloe vera contains active enzymes that help reduce inflammation that could contribute to the darkening of your skin. Consequently, this plant is an effective antioxidant and has salicylic acid content to heal, lighten, and protect your skin. More importantly, it contains aloesin, which helps inhibit tyrosinase activity.

Aloe Vera for Your Skin

  • Get fresh aloe from health food stores.
  • Cut the leaf open and apply it on your skin.
  • Let it rest for 30 minutes to allow your skin to absorb its healing and whitening properties.

Do this three times a day and you will notice an improvement in your skin in just a few weeks.

14. Take Away Dark Spots On Your Skin With Cucumber

cucumberYes, you read that right. Aside from keeping eye bags at bay, cucumber is also among the unsung heroes that could lighten your skin – permanently. This is because cucumber is 90 percent water, which is crucial in keeping your skin soft, supple, and well hydrated. This natural ingredient also helps remove unwanted pigmentation and dark spots on your skin – although it may take a while before you see the results.

Here’s how to use cucumber to lighten your skin:

  • Blend one peeled and chopped cucumber.
  • Blend until it forms into a paste consistency.
  • Apply the paste on the affected area and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • Remove the cucumber paste and wash the area with water.

Here’s the thing: aside from natural ingredients, there are also medical procedures available that will help lighten your skin permanently. Do you want to get to know them? Then read the succeeding sections to find out.

15. Strip Dark Skin Through Chemical Peeling

peelingFrom the name itself, you know that this type of lightening procedure involves chemical and peeling to reveal whiter skin.

Here’s how it works?

  • Practitioner will cleanse your face and get rid of any bacteria.
  • A chemical solution is applied in your skin. It could be lactic acid, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid.
  • This chemical solution will result to a controlled wound and eventually allow the new skin to take its place.

Here’s the thing: you need to do this regularly to make sure that you will enjoy its permanent benefits. You might also feel a burning and stinging sensation, which will fade after the session.

16. Laser: The Most Effective Procedure to Permanently Lighten Your Skin

If there is one thing that promises permanent skin lightening treatment, then laser deserves the top spot in the list.

In this type of procedure, your dermatologist uses a specific type of light color depending on your skin condition. Thereafter, each light emitted targets the particular dark area you want to lighten, which makes this procedure most effective.

LaserHere’s the catch: side effects are common too, such as crusting, irritation, and minor bruising. This procedure doesn’t happen only once – with a price. You have to pay at least a hundred dollars per session, although the return would be clearer and whiter skin.

They say love your skin regardless if your color. That’s true. Don’t let beauty be defined with how dark or light your skin is. Just in case you want to lighten it, then take note if these 16 permanent ingredients, weigh your options, and think twice whether to go through any of these procedures.

The choice is yours.

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