In a previous article, we discussed the different types of skin, including the Fitzpatrick Skin Type. While skin type is determined by genetics, skin color and pigmentation can be influenced by environmental factors, such as exposure to UV radiation. Every woman desires to have fair and radiant skin, and as the saying goes, “fair skin conceals many flaws.” Even if the skin has imperfections, fair skin can mask them.
To start, let’s discuss the process of skin pigmentation before delving into the methods of achieving fair skin. The epidermis of the skin contains a certain number of melanocytes, which varies according to skin type. When melanocytes are stimulated by UV radiation, they produce melanin and store it in melanosomes. These pigment granules can move within the melanocyte and, when transported to other skin cells, cause the skin to darken.
Many women may believe that using skin whitening products will transform their yellow-toned skin to a snow-white complexion. However, the “whitening” effect advertised by beauty products does not mean unbridled skin whitening. It only aims to restore your skin to its basic tone. In other words, if your skin tone is naturally dark, it will never be possible to become whiter than your natural skin color.
Sometimes, dull and yellowish skin is not caused by excessive melanin, but rather by thickened keratin layers and insufficient oxygen supply to the skin. One solution is to remove the thickened keratin layer and inject serum to make the skin brighter. Note that this is not skin whitening, but rather improving the skin’s texture. Skin whitening can be achieved through various methods, including topical application, oral consumption, and even injections. However, the safest, most direct, and effective way is through topical application. In this article, we will mainly discuss the topical whitening ingredients, while other skin whitening methods will be discussed later.
If you have been following the news, you may have heard of people getting mercury poisoning from using skin whitening products, usually purchased or manufactured in mainland China. Mercury is known as a “poison” for melanocytes, as it can kill these cells and whiten the skin. However, when melanocytes die, they cannot be regenerated. Without melanin, the risk of skin cancer increases significantly. Moreover, with long-term use, the body absorbs mercury, which can cause permanent damage to the nervous system. It is essential to avoid such products.
Let’s now discuss the ingredients in skin whitening products.