When most people hear about “skin whitening cream”, they think of a cream that bleaches the skin. Well, that’s just the basic function of a skin whitening cream. It can actually help you with so many other skin issues that have been making you uncomfortable.
In this buying guide, you will learn a lot about skin whitening cream. The information will make you understand the full extent to which the cream can be applied.
Skin Whitening Cream: How Does It Work?
If you took biology class, you must have heard about a dark pigmentation found in the skin. This pigment called melanin is what gives the skin its color.
The more melanin your skin contains, the darker your skin will be. This makes melanin the determinant of our skin color, as well as the sun and age spot on our skins.
The melanin levels can be increased or reduced. When you increase the level, you get darker skin and when you reduce the level your skin becomes lighter. One of the most popular ways to increase melanin level is by tanning which results into a darker skin. And one way to reduce melanin level is through the use of a skin whitening cream.
When a whitening cream is applied to your skin, it simply reduces the melanin level by inhibiting melanin production. The skin is constantly replaced and if the melanin isn’t sufficient for the new skin, it gets lighter. However, patience is required when it comes to getting the results of a skin whitening cream. Some products take weeks before visible signs are seen while others can even take months.
Skin Whitening Cream: Its Uses
Even though the name is already a give-away to its uses, the basic function is not all there is to it. Most people readily know that a skin whitening cream is used to whiten a dark skin. But what else does it do?
A skin whitening cream can also be used to treat a lot of skin-related issues. Age spots, hormone-related discoloration, freckles, acnes, and sun spots are some of such skin issues. It is also used to whiten specific body parts that are differently colored from other body parts.
The Ingredient Called Hydroquinone
It is very essential that we discuss this very important ingredient that is found in skin whitening creams.
The effectiveness of hydroquinone when it comes to lightening the skin is second to none. However, there are some implications attached to it.
Hydroquinone is an ingredient that is usually found in prescription whitening creams. This is due to the side effects of this application. During studies using rodents, possible symptoms of cancer was observed. Ochronosis: a condition that causes the thickening and darkening of the skin has also been associated with hydroquinone usage.
Regulatory bodies have restricted its use except by prescription. Despite this restriction, some skin whitening products still contain hydroquinone in a concentration of about2%. These sorts are still being sold without prescription.
If a product contains a concentration of about 4%, then it must be used according to prescription. Do NOT use a product that has a concentration higher than that without prescription.
Hydroquinone may look like the ultimate skin whitening ingredient but there are healthier alternatives to it. These ingredients offer more risk-free potentials and can easily be accessed. Let’s take a look at some of them, shall we?
Ingredients Your Skin Whitening Cream Should Contain
Your skin whitening cream is only as effective as the ingredients it contains. Here are some ingredients that can cause your skin to become lighter.
This ingredient traces its root back to Asia and is produced by several types of fungi. Kojic acid primarily helps to fight different kinds of pigmentation and age spots.
This ingredient is gotten from bearberry plant and is a glycoside. Its function is very simple which is to hinder melanin production in the skin. It is skin-friendly, safe and a natural ingredient
Rice Bran Protein
Remember we said that a skin whitening cream generally brings about whitening to skin issues. One of such skin issues are dark-circles which rice bran protein combats effectively.
It causes the skin’s color to blend and whiten it as well
This wonderful extract serves as an exfoliator and the result is a glowing skin complexion.
It reduces melanin levels by attacking it head on and this in turn makes the skin lighter.
It is an anti-inflammatory that can tone your skin in addition to lessening the visibility of scars, blemishes and scars.
It has the ability to work directly on reducing the production of melanin in the skin which will cause the skin to be whitened. It also prevents acne and is generally a great skincare ingredient.
This ingredient can whiten the skin but it performs other functions as well. It speeds up cell production and prevents the development of bacteria.
This is used in age spots reduction.
Tego Cosmo C
Tego Cosmo C is a derivative of amino acid and is capable of maintaining the skin’s pH level.Apart from that, it can also whiten the skin as it contains skin whitening properties.
Other names for niacinamide are nicotinic acid or Vitamin B3. Popularly used as an anti-aging ingredient, niacinamide also invigorates and moisturizes your skin.
The wrinkles on the face can contribute to the darker-looking skin complexion. Argireline solves this issue by relaxing and straightening the features of the face.
This is also one of such ingredients that counter dryness just like the evening primrose oil. It moisturizes your skin by locking in moisture and nourishing it.
Evening Primrose Oil
A skin whitening cream most times makes the skin dry. This dryness is effectively countered by the evening primrose oil in your product. It achieves this by effectively moisturizing your skin.
This is another moisturizing agent that battles wrinkles and enhances skin cell production. Faster production of skin’s cell is important because newer skin cells can easily be inhibited of melanin production.
It has omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are necessary and aids the production of skin cells. And just like we stated above about the functions of allantoin, hemp oil performs such functions too.
Vitamin A is a well known skincare ingredient and is capable of stopping acne and restoring the skin’s shining complexion. One function which is very important as regards the skin whitening process is its ability to protect from UV rays. We will discuss more about that below.
Aging is one factor that causes a skin to lose its glow. With the help of Aloe Vera in your skin whitening cream, fine lines and wrinkles are dealt with. Also skin irritations are treated with its healing properties.
We can’t write individually about all the ingredients you’ll find in your skin whitening cream but we’ll just list them. Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Rose distillate, Orange extracts, Octocrylene, Barberry extract, Glycolic acid, Azelaic acid, Retinoids/retinol, Green tea, Avobenzone. Chestnut seed extract, Octisalate, Emblica extract, Cysteamine, Mulberry extract.
Ingredients to Avoid
It is essential to know what ingredients your product should contain. However, it is more essential to know what it should not contain. We already mentioned hydroquinone earlier. You can only use it if it was prescribed and NOT without prescription.
Other ingredients to avoid include mercury, artificial colors and steroids. Products that contain these ingredients will no doubt burn and damage your skin as you use them continuously. Some of them also can cause skin cancer.
Other Issues to Consider When Buying a Skin Whitening Cream
Product’s existence in the market
There are lots of stories about skin damage that some people have experienced due to using a skin whitening cream. How can this be remedied? One way is to ensure the product you intend buying has stood the test of time.
We strongly advise against buying a newly manufactured product especially from those brands that are NOT recognized in the skincare industry. Rather, go for a skin whitening cream that has been in the market for a while. Even if it is not from a top brand, there must be a good reason why it is still around. The fact that it has stood the test of time means a lot.
Read product’s reviews
Do you want to know how effective a skin whitening cream is? If you do, then you need to read what others are saying about the whitening cream you have in mind. Reading the product’s reviews will enable you discover the pros and cons of that said whitening cream.
So visit the manufacturer’s website and read up on the product. If the manufacturer does NOT have a platform where one can get easy knowledge about a product, run away. Every trustworthy brand or company would have a platform for customers to get information from.
The effect of skin whitening creams can be quite obvious. And if things go contrary to the expected desire, then it’s important you can easily access your product’s manufacturer. Even before making a purchase, contacting the manufacturer and seeing their response will give credence to the product you’re buying. Therefore, check on the container for the customer care number before you buy a skin whitening cream.
Some sort of guarantee from your manufacturer concerning the skin whitening cream you intend purchasing can be reassuring. A product that assures you of visible effects within a stipulated period is testimony to the brand’s credibility.
Some (even though very few) manufacturers promise a refund if you don’t get results. We are sure you’ll like such deals, so we believe it is worth considering when buying a skin whitening cream.
Exposure to sun
You must be wary of the sun if you intend to whiten your skin. This is because the sun can cause an increase in the melanin level of your skin. The effect will be a darker skin and this is counterproductive to your intention.
However, you need to be careful of the sun’s UV rays as well while whitening your skin. This is because a lighter skin will NOT give you adequate protection from the sun’s UV rays. Naturally the darker our skin is, the more protected we are from the sun’s harmful UV rays.
We also recommend you get a sunscreen to protect yourself from the harmful UV rays. This is especially necessary when you begin the skin whitening process. Your sunscreen must contain an SPF of about 30.
In addition, you should wear protective clothing whenever you are going out. Hats and sunglasses can be really helpful is those outing situations. Do NOT expose one part of your skin over time to the sun; this will cause skin discoloration.
Choosing the Perfect Skin Whitening Cream
- Choose a skin whitening cream that is suitable for the body part you want to whiten.
- Choose a skin whitening cream based on the purpose you intend using it for.
Do you want to reduce dark pigments on your skin or you want lighten your entire skin? Do you want to deal with hypo-pigmentation issues such as scarring or vitiligo? This must be duly considered.
Tips When Using a Skin Whitening Cream
- The use of an exfoliator in addition to your skin whitening cream will enable you to achieve your goal faster.
- Ensure that your skin whitening cream is one that can be properly absorbed into your skin.
- Always wash and cleanse your skin before applying the cream.
- Do NOT expose your skin to the sun immediately after applying your skin whitening cream.
- Before using a skin whitening cream, use a cleanser to get rid of makeup residue. This will enable you achieve the best results.
- If you discover any form of skin irritation while using any product, discontinue using it immediately.
- Make sure that your skin is well moisturized after using the whitening cream. This is very necessary since a skin whitening cream has the potential of causing skin dryness.
- Use the whitening cream as instructed. If a product is to be used for a specific period of time, do NOT exceed it for any reason whatsoever. Failure to do so might result in some unpleasant side-effects.
Has this buying guide been helpful? Let us know in the comments section.