Saturday, February 24

skin lightning creams ; side effects and natural alternatives

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Side effects of long term usage of skin toning and lightning products


Skin bleaching or skin whitening is not a new concept or a concept that just originated in the 21st century.

Back in the olden days, women and men struggled to achieve a pale white complexion. This was considered to be a sign of beauty and social standing.

Today, lightning creams are being used to attain this sign of elegance and beauty. Although lightning creams can be used to treat a range of problems including dark spots, acne scarring freckles and melasma, extreme caution should be taken when choosing a product. Many skin lighteners contain chemicals that pose serious health risks if used for prolonged periods. Adverse effects however may differ among various skin types.

Your skin could be;


Image result for cancer causing creams

a list of skin lightning creams known to cause cancer

Normal skin

Image result for normal skin

A normal skin is a term widely used to refer to a well balanced skin. That is a skin that is not too oily or too dry. Although the T zone (fore-head, chin and nose) may be a bit oily, sebum and moisture is balanced.

Dry skin (xerosis)

Dry skin is used to describe a skin that doesn’t have as much moisture as a normal skin. It is usually caused by a significant loss of water and is mostly found in women than men.

Oily skin

An oily skin is characterized by a glossy shine and visible pores. It is a skin type with heightened sebum and moisture production. This is the type of skin that is most prone to acne comedones( blackheads and white heads)


Image result for combination skin skin

This term refers to a combination of all the skin types listed above. It varies in the T-0zone area and on the chicks of the face.




Image result for hydroquinone

Hydroquinone is a toxic chemical that is used in black and white film processing, manufacturing rubber and is found in some hair dyes. Hydroquinone is used in most creams and lotions because it is an active bleaching agent slowing the production of tryosinase enzymes and reducing the amount of melanin formed.

  • It is cytotoxic, mutagenic and carcinogenic. Meaning it is toxic to cells of the body, and can cause cancer of the skin.
  • It can cause thyroid disorders
  • It can cause liver disease
  • It is also known to cause adrenal dysfunction
  • It can also make the skin more susceptible to sun ultraviolet radiation which can lead to serious sunburns.



Image result for mercury in creams

Mercury is a toxic chemical that is readily absorbed into the skin and is not easily removed.

  • Mercury causes skin rashes
  • It causes skin discoloration and scarring
  • Long term use of mercury for skin lightning purposes can cause severe liver problems.


Always check your skin lightning products for mercury before usage. Any product containing mercury will have the words “mercuric” “mercurico” “calomel” “mercurous chloride” ”mercury”


Image result for corticosteroids in creams

Steroids are generally used in facial creams and body lotions to reduce inflammations of the skin such as acne, eczema and other skin irritations. However, the use of steroids is usually for a few short weeks and is under the supervision of a skin specialist.

But when creams containing steroids are used for the sole purpose of lightning, there are a lot of adverse side effects that follow.

While the use of topical corticosteroids lightning the skin very quickly in a matter of days, it is because these corticosteroids are actually vasoconstrictors. This means that they constrict or tighten blood vessels below the surface of the skin reducing the free flow of blood, hence making the skin to apper white and pale.

Another side effect of steroids on the skin is the slowing down of cell regeneration so less melanocytes is formed, leading to a decline in the production of melanin. The result of slowing down the skins natural cell renewal is that the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) becomes thinner causing the appearance of green veins in the skin.

An unmonitored use can lead to many problems

  • Susceptibility to chemical and environmental factors.
  • An increased risk of skin damage resulting from exposure to the sun or ultraviolet radiation.
  • In severe cases, can cause cushing’s syndrome which affects the adrenal gland.

Also read here, Natural and safe alternatives for skin lightning.


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