Skin Whitening Lotion: Aboard the Skin Whitening Lotion Train

Lighter, smoother, and fairer skin – these are the promises that come with the various skin whitening lotion advertisements we see on TV, read about on the internet, and hear on the radio every single day. And with Hollywood celebrities and Victoria’s Secret models lining up the front pages of these advertisements, it’s hard to resist the pull of the hype. But how did it all start? Is it really as harmful as some medical studies say? Or is it really as effective as its advertisements shout out?
A Brief History of Skin Whitening

In the 1400s – 1600s, during the Renaissance period, European women used to obsess about achieving the palest, whitest skin shade possible. The perfect women was viewed to look pale white, as white skin was viewed as a sign of modesty, of virtue, an expression of the highest form of beauty. In ancient Persia, people who worked on the field and were exposed to too much sun used a natural chemical compound, called pure hydroquinone, as prevention from getting darker skin. And still, in Japan, during the 1200s, their Geishas (and even the male dancers) used to apply white lead powder as an opaque mineral makeup that made the person look as white as ever – but not making the actual skin turn lighter. Unfortunately, the white lead was easily absorbed by the skin, which can lead to lead poisoning. In fact, Queen Elizabeth I died because of such poisoning.

Skin Whitening Chemicals – Good vs. Bad

Following the lead controversy, the popular skin whitening lotions now turned to mercury sublimate, often used as a skin peeler that helps in removing blemishes, acne scars, and chicken pox scars. However, studies conducted showed that the use of these skin whitening lotions containing mercury sublimate led to premature skin aging, and, like lead, is very fatal when absorbed in large amounts through the skin. Because of this, a lot of different companies nowadays are continuously trying to look for ways to come up with skin whitening products using as less chemicals as possible.

Some chemicals found effective and safe to use are:

Hydroquinone at less than 2% – hydroquinone is considered one of the primary topical ingredients for lessening the concentration of melanin in the skin. Plus, the components of hydroquinone exhibit powerful antioxidant competence.

Kojic acid – a by-product of the fermentation of malting rice for sake, Kojic acid, in small doses, is shown by various researched to be effective in lessening the skin’s production of melanin.

Vitamin C – one study found Vitamin C (and its various forms – Magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbic acid, etc.) raises glutathione levels in the body, and is an effective antioxidant for the skin.

Azelaic acid – at 10% – 20% concentrations, azelaic acid is a component of grains (rye, wheat, and barley) that is used as in a cream foundation for treating acne. Some researches show it is also effective in evening out skin discolorations and inhibiting melanin production.

Mulberry extract – also known as Arbutin, Mulberry extract is an alternative lightener that is also a natural source of hydroquinone.

Skin Whitening Lotion Benefits

Aside from a lighter skin tone, some skin whitening lotions also provide other beneficial factors such as:

  • Smoother skin
  • Even skin tone
  • Radiantly brighter glow
  • Scar removal
  • Erasing signs of aging
  • Removes blemishes
  • Younger-looking skin

Types of Skin Whitening Products

Apart from skin whitening lotions, other skin lightening products abound in the consumer market. There’s a night whitening cream, a skin whitening facial wash, a knee whitening scrub, armpit and bikini area skin whitening soaps, a whitening cleansing milk, a skin whitening astringent, skin whitening supplements, skin whitening drinks, and more. The list goes on. And before you take a skin whitening bottle or a bar of whitening soap or a skin whitening lotion to the check-out counter, why don’t you schedule an appointment with a dermatologist first?

What Skin Whitening Lotion Works Best

Depending on your skin types, your friend’s skin whitening lotion, which she swears on, might not exactly be the best one for you. To determine which skin whitening lotion will work best for you, here are some questions you need to ask yourself:

  1. What’s your purpose of getting a lighter skin? Just to even out skin tone or remove acne scars or do you want overall skin whitening?
  2. Are you allergic to certain products? What are the chemical components of that product are you allergic from?
  3. How much “skin lightening” are you looking into achieving?
  4. Are you prone to blemishes? Do you have freckles, or age spots all over your face or body?
  5. Are you open to non-surgical cosmetic treatments such as peels, dermabrasions, or even IV – glutathione injections?

Once you have determined up to what extent you are willing to do to achieve a lighter and whiter skin, it’s high time to hit the road, drop by your dermatologist, and talk about what the best skin whitening solution for your skin type is.
Homemade Skin Whitening Lotions

Now if you are a bit of a worrywart, and a little too cautious when it comes to anything put on your skin, why not make your own skin whitening lotion? There are just too many out there and if you are not yet sure which one to try, you can always whip up your own skin whitening lotion at home, and save a couple of dollars for your next night out.

Homemade skin whitener 1: Mix equal amounts of lemon juice and honey. Leave on the skin for fifteen minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Homemade skin whitener 2: Mix equal amounts yogurt and orange juice. Again, leave on skin for about 15 minutes before rinsing off with warm water.

Homemade skin whitener 3: Cut a potato in half and rub all over skin. Or, you can mash potatoes and turn it into paste to spread all over the part of your skin you want to lighten, leave for fifteen minutes, then rinse.

Homemade skin whitener 4: Mix gram flour with a few drops of lemon juice, turmeric powder, and milk to create a paste. Use it as a skin whitening mask, rinse after a few minutes, and then apply aloe butter or Shea butter to cool your skin and prevent irritation.

There are just so many homemade skin whitening lotion and solutions out there. The recipes are endless. The recipes are easy. The recipes are fast.

The battle against dark, uneven skin is far from over. But which side are you on? Trying all the “miracle products” aboard the skin whitening lotion train, or a meek observer along the rails?