The desire for fairer, brighter skin is nothing new. Skin brightening and whitening are some of the procedures people consider to elevate their appearance. While these terms are usually used interchangeably, the two are completely different.
With skin brightening, the aim is not to reduce skin pigmentation but to increase the brightness and glow of the skin.
When the skin no longer has a radiant tone, it’s essentially dull skin. Weather changes or lifestyle choices like alcohol or smoking are a few things that might contribute to dull skin.
Dead skin cells are regularly eliminated by the skin. Every four weeks or so, the entire outer layer of skin replaces itself. These dead cells can make the skin look dull when they accumulate on the surface. Dehydration can also cause the skin to lose its radiance.
People can brighten their skin and lessen the look of dullness by exfoliating their faces to remove dead skin cells and adding moisture.
Exfoliation, moisturizing, and use of face rollers are examples of natural methods of skin brightening.
The most effective skin brightening ingredients include Vitamin C, glycolic acid, niacinamide, retinol, and other alpha and beta hydroxy acids(AHAs and BHAs).
These ingredients work to gently exfoliate the skin, reduce the appearance of dark spots, resulting in a brighter, more even skin tone.
Skin lightening, often known as skin bleaching, is a cosmetic procedure that tries to make darker patches of skin lighter or to give the skin a more uniformly whiter tone.
While it has become popular among people looking to improve their appearance, there are significant risks associated with the process.
The most common methods used for skin whitening are topical creams, pills, and intravenous injections. The creams contain ingredients such as hydroquinone, mercury, and corticosteroids, and arbutin, which inhibit melanin production in the skin.
However, overuse of these products can lead to skin irritation, mild burning and increased sensitivity. Additionally, being exposed to the mercury in these products could cause serious health problems.
Similarly, oral pills and injections are designed to reduce melanin production in the skin. However, these methods are considered unsafe as they can cause damage to internal organs such as the liver, and they can even lead to an increased risk of skin cancer.
Another significant risk of skin whitening is the perpetuation of colorism and discrimination. By implying that lighter skin tones are more desirable or beautiful, skin lightening feeds into the dangerous belief that darker skin tones are undesirable. This belief system leads to discrimination that is harmful and unfair.
Lightening reduces the skin’s melanin pigmentation and achieving a paler skin tone. Brightening on the other hand aims to enhance the skin’s luster and glow. More than anything, brightening is about giving the skin some new life.
Skin brightening products are generally safe to use and can be very effective in creating a more youthful and radiant appearance. Skin lightening products, however, should be avoided due to the serious risks associated with their use.
It’s always best to stick to natural skin brightening ingredients, such as vitamin C and niacinamide, rather than using chemical-based skin lightening products. Remember, your skin is your largest organ, and how you take care of it really matters. Because you are a GEM.