Everything you need to know about skin lightening treatments:
How to lighten skin, the skin whitening products work, natural and home remedies, the right ingredients, cosmetic options, lightening body skin treatments...
Let's get to it!
The sections on this page are below, so if you like you can skip to the ones that matter to you!
Why would skin "need" lightened?
Skin cells called melanocytes produce melanin, which is the darker pigment.
Some people have more of these skin cells naturally.
Other times, melanocytes activity can be increased by the following:
Is it actually possible to whiten skin?
Yes it is possible.
Depending on the cause, pigmentation can be at least faded, skin tone can be evened out and/or brightened - and yes sometimes skin can be significantly lightened.
Whatever skin lightening treatment you choose remember these two things:
Details on all treatments - from natural to doctor-only - below!
Let's start with the natural/home remedies for lightening skin.
The following natural skin whitening remedies should be done twice a day for at least 30days.
It seems excessive but natural remedies aren't as strong as other options so do require more time...
Try them and see! It could be well worth it :)
The humble tomato has acids that help lighten and brighten skin.
The big advantage of this home remedy is that it is so easy:
Remember - these natural skin whitening treatments work better if they are done twice a day.
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*Note - Turmeric can stain skin!
> Try a small amount of this mask on a hidden area first to be sure - it can be hard to take off.
Then use a cleanser with a warm wash cloth.
Follow with a gentle toner or witch hazel/rose water.
It is highly recommended to try this mask on a small patch first to see how your skin stains - it is temporary but it can be hard to remove!
However if your skin does well with this mask it is one of the best natural skin lightening treatments you can use.
These are the skin care product ingredients that actually work to lighten and brighten skin!
All of them help with darker skin, pigmentation ad uneven skin tone - to varying degrees.
This is the go-to skin lightening treatment.
Hydroquinone is a skin bleaching agent - and works by reducing the amount of melanin produced by skin cells.
You can get 2% Hydroquinone cream over the counter OTC (like this*), however it is recommended to see a doctor/dermatologist and get a 4% cream prescribed.
Obviously - this is stronger and at this strength in the right formula it has been shown to work.
- It also means your doctor can provide the right course of treatment and monitor your skin -
Glycolic acid dissolves the glue between skin cells, providing an even exfoliation and resurfacing.
It is able to penetrate the top layer of skin and helps to speed up skin cell turnover.
Both of these aspects are excellent for skin lightening and brightening (also highly effective for blackheads, oil, fine lines, etc).
Glycolic acid is best if you are looking to even out your skin tone and brighten your complexion.
Salicylic acid works by dissolving oil and dead skin cells.
It is good for spots of pigmentation like left over pimple scars (the ones that are on the surface of skin not the deeper acne scars).
It can increase pigmentation in patches when first using as it speeds up the turnover - this is temporary and the new lighter skin will be revealed!
Vitamin C (L ascorbic acid) is a proven skin lightening treatment and a powerful skin brightener.
Vitamin C also stimulates collagen production and is a powerful antioxidant - this is one skin ingredient that should be used by everyone!
Retinol speeds up cell turnover so darker cells will be shed quicker - so this is an effective skin lightening ingredient for age spots and pigmentation.
It is even more successful when combined with Vitamin C (example: a Vitamin C serum followed with a Retinol moisturizer).
You cannot get any successful results with any skin whitening treatment without protecting your skin from the sun.
In fact, using the above ingredients without sunscreen can increase pigmentation.
A sunscreen preferably with zinc oxide* - a physical block which is also calming to skin - is your skin lightening best friend!
(It can be possible to fade sun spots purely by being diligent about protecting skin from the sun - especially on areas like the back of hands).
The two ingredients below can brighten skin - and need to be used for a minimum of 4 - 6 weeks to see results.
If your pigmentation is light, or if these ingredients are combined with any of the above, their whitening action is usually more successful:
Meladerm Skin Lightening Cream - one of the top skin whitening creams available OTC. Which is why it is quite expensive!
If you don't want to use a product containing hydroquinone, this is a good option.
Use it sparingly twice a day on any area you are looking to lighten.
Body skin in certain areas an be darker due to skin thickness and/or friction and rubbing:
It can be harder to whiten body skin due to the thickness of skin, but it is possible!
Here are the best options for body skin lightening treatments:
This page details skin lightening treatments and advice on skin whitening.
Remember it takes time and consistency, but with the right products it can be done!Home › Skin Lightening Treatments
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