We are in a world where people think that those with black skin color are inferior or they’re worth not being recognized in the world.
And this has made many both men and women to go after skin whitening or bleaching just to get a fairer skin. But they never know that it exposes them to the dangerous after effects of bleaching because it’s not natural.
Moreover, I do not advise my audience to go for skin whitening in other words called bleaching, aside bleaching one can consider other natural ways to achieve skin lightening or brightening depending on your goal.
Also I have come to understand that many people are confused about skin brightening vs skin lightening vs skin whitening.
Therefore today in this article we will be answering that question to clear our audience so as to enable them to make the best decision for the choice of their skincare.
Without much ado…let’s move on!
Skin Brightening vs Skin Lightening vs Skin Whitening
When you talk about skin brightening, it has to do with restoring vibrancy to your skin, to make your skin radiant and glowing. In this case, the color of your skin remains more or less the same.
Skin lightening has to do with reduction of pigmentation and discoloration and makes the skin lighter in color. This simply means the inhibition of large production of melanin by the skin to enable lightening of dark spots, patches and even out your skin tone.
Skin whitening is also known as skin bleaching. This is an extreme form of lightening which involves the use of chemical peels, injections or laser therapy. These methods have a very nasty side effect that you may not like.
So if you’re going for this just know their consequences before subjecting yourself to such.
Why Do Your Skin Get Darker?
Your skin gets darker because of a particular skin cell called Melanocyte.
Both black and white skin color contains melanocytes. Melanocytes specialize in production of the protective skin-darkening pigment called melanin.
Melanin is what gives your skin the brown color you’re seeing everyday. The more melanin your skin produces, the darker you’ll be.
That’s why some skin lightening creams contain compounds like vitamin c and licorice extract in them that can slow down the production of darker pigments and ease the symptoms of hyperpigmentation.
Aside from melanin, there are other factors that can also contribute to your skin darkening. Let’s consider some of them below.
Causes of General Skin Darkening
1. The Sun: This could be your problem if you’re in the tropics where we get a lot of sun. Skin produces more melanin when it is exposed to the sun and that will make your skin darker even the more.
2. Injury to the Skin: Whenever there is any injury to brown skin like rashes, scratch, wound or acnes, the sun produces excess melanin because it is irritated. and this leads to darkening of the skin.
3. Hormonal changes: Pregnancy is the common cause of this or birth control pills.
As we all know that prevention is better than cure so let’s take a look at some of the preventive measures you can put in place to prevent further skin darkening.
- Form the habit of using sunscreen daily. Not only when you’re going out, but even when you’re at home.
- Avoid kneeling on your knees and resting on your elbows. It makes them darker.
- Avoid scrubbing your skin harsh body scrubs like sugar.
- Avoid fragrance and added color in your skincare and cosmetics if you have sensitive skin because they’re the commonest cause of skin irritation.
Remember that any thing that irritates skin can eventually lead to dark spots and patches.
However, whether you want to go for skin brightening or skin lightening, try your best not to use most skincare that contains mercury.
Mercury is a very cheap and popular whitening ingredient used by most beauty companies in the production of their skincare but this same mercury is very dangerous to human health and has been banned in so many countries so beware of it.
How Do I Know If My Cream Contains Mercury in Them?
- Look at the lists of ingredients on the skincare label. According to the Food and Drug administration (FDA), a product contains mercury if you check the label and words like “mercurous chloride,” “calomel,” “mercuric,” “mercurio,” or “mercury” are listed on the label, mercury’s in it—and you should stop using the product immediately.
- Look out for warnings that tell you to keep the products away from silver, gold, rubber, aluminum, and jewelry because mercury can damage all these items mentioned.
Signs and Symptoms of Mercury Poisoning
- changes in vision or hearing
- memory problems
- numbness and tingling in hands, feet or around mouth
Things you Should not Use on your Skin
I use lemon juice on my skin because lemon juice has a lot of skin benefits though I don’t have sensitive skin anyway but it can be dangerous to someone who has sensitive skin because it can react with the sun to cause burns on your skin unless you use it at night.
You may feel that using hot water helps to really remove dirt from the skin. No, it actually dries out the skin and makes it more fragile. bath with lukewarm water instead.
Unless specified, body lotion is just for the body and should not be used on the face. The skin of the face is very sensitive and easily reacts to certain chemicals that would not be problematic on the body.
Also some of the things in body lotion make you break out with rashes or acne. That’s why facial moisturizers are often more expensive than body lotion.
Harsh exfoliation with sugar scrubs can cause microscopic tears in the skin which can make the skin react by becoming inflamed and eventually getting darker. avoid harsh scrubs and brushes on your face.
Cinnamon is not bad but some people have violent allergic reactions to cinnamon and may develop burns on the skin.
Alcohol is added to skincare to make them lighter and dry faster on the skin but some people find alcohol very irritating and drying on their skin.
Unscented does not mean the same thing as fragrance free. Fragrance free means that fragrance materials or masking scents are not used in the products. But unscented generally means that the product may contain chemicals that neutralize or mask the odor of other ingredients.
For people who want a very brighter and lighter skin that radiates and glows, you should choose skin lightening over skin whitening.
Because the former (skin lightening) has no side effects due its ingredients are more of natural ingredients than chemicals whilst the latter is more of chemicals and has both long term and short term nasty effects.