These days, people bleach without totally being aware of what bleaching entails but this article is here to change that. Before bleaching your skin, there are certain things you need to know about bleaching; they include:
Not all skin bleaching is bad. Contrary to popular belief that skin bleaching is only done by those who are morally corrupt and of low self-esteem, skin bleaching often has useful medical applications. Doctors often prescribe ( although under strict guidelines) bleaching creams for skin conditions such as melasma, hyperpigmented scars, severe acne, skin spots associated with aging, etc. And really, for sufferers of these skin conditions, skin bleaching proves a useful remedy.
Your skin type determines how well your skin bleaches. Not all skin types are the same. Your skin type determines how much melanin (the hormone responsible for skin colour) your skin has. This very important because melanin concentration is often used as a metric for determining the extent to which SAFE bleaching is practised. So before you storm that pharmacy shop demanding those strange, fancy creams, do yourself the great favour of knowing your skin type: consult your dermatologist.
Bleaching creams containing hydroquinone, steroids or mercury are toxic. Most European countries have banned the use of hydroquinone, or mercury as active ingredients in bleaching creams. This, primarily, is due to the fact that these compounds have been found to be very toxic. Hydroquinone, the most common bleaching agent, has been found to cause skin cancer while mercury is the deadliest of the three, as it is known to damage the liver, brain, kidneys, immune system, heart, eyes, etc. Always check the labels of the creams you are buying, and if you see any of the 3 compounds, drop it! If you must bleach, do it right.
Getting exposed to sunlight affects bleaching. Bleaching creams make your body very sensitive to sunlight which can cause skin damage so the earlier you avoid the sun, the better it is for your bleached skin.
Use of natural bleaching products lessens the side effects. Conventional bleaching creams are the primary reason skin bleaching is preached against. So if you must do it, go 100% natural! This is because natural skin bleachers like vitamin A, vitamin C, kojic acid, arbutin, licorice, etc. are safer to use than hydroquinone or mercury-laced creams.
Skin bleaching causes serious side effects. The problems associated with skin bleaching are very grave. Even more so when creams containing hydroquinone, steroids or mercury are used for a long period of time. From skin cancer to mercury toxicity, to bleach burns, to skin thinning and allergies, to coke and fanta skin colouration, the list is endless. So just before you bleach, be aware of these potential side effects and the risks involved. This awareness of the risks, perhaps, would restrain you from abusing bleaching products and endangering your life. If you must bleach, do it according your skin’s ability and need for it. Bleach responsibly!