Reduction of melanin concentration is the primary focus of skin whitening products. Beyond merely lightening the skin, there are products that target moles, birthmarks and other skin zones with abnormally high pigmentation to match their tone with the surrounding skin.
Bleaching Skin – Compounds and Ingredients
Exfoliating creams or chemical peels and lasers are commonly used for skin whitening. Before melanin synthesis, products that contain tretinoin or retinoic acid are normally used in bleaching skin discolorations. During melanin synthesis, products with hydroquinone, arbutin and kojic acid are applied on the skin to inhibit the production of melanin. Alpha hydroxyl acids and niacinamide treatments are used on the skin in case the melanin has synthesized into a dark pigmentation. Although clinically proven for bleaching skin, some of these compounds can also cause long-term effects. Tretinoin increases sensitivity to ultraviolet A and B rays, so users need to avoid skin tans and too much sunlight. Hydroquinone’s antioxidant abilities can also cause skin irritation when delivered in high concentrations. Too much hydroquinone has also been linked to leukemia in certain studies.
Body Bleaching – Different Options
Laser hyperpigmentation removal is a procedure that is said to reach the deeper layers of the skin compared to creams that promise a whiter complexion. Requiring several sessions, this laser treatment can also address age spots, melasma and freckles. Another form of invasive body bleaching treatment is cryosurgery, in which liquid nitrogen is used to destroy skin cells, cause extra melanin to peel off and, furthermore, promote dermal regeneration. There are do-it-yourself kits to bleach the body, although they come with risks that could render the product ineffective. Hydroquinone is applied first, testing it on a part of the skin to ensure that it will not trigger an adverse reaction. This body bleaching compound is then spread on the abnormally colored area. The moisturizer and sun block are applied last.
Facial Bleach – Products
Doctors recommend skin lightening creams that do not contain hydroquinone, which has been flagged as a dangerous chemical for the skin. Salons that offer facial bleach services mix bleaching creams and activator powder before they are applied on the skin. With a brush, the product is spread on the face including, the bridge of the nose, in a downward motion on the side of the face and sideways when doing the upper lip. Toner on flattened cotton balls are sometimes placed over the eyes while the bleach remains on the face for eight to ten minutes. The cream is removed with wipes in a downward fashion. Nothing should be applied on the face after eight to ten hours to avoid irritation. Sunblock can be used long after to protect the facial skin.