Skin lighteners is a booming business in Asian countries. Young people are using natural or synthetic skin lighteners rampantly. The majority use synthetic lighteners. Consumers don’t understand the side effects caused by synthetic skin lighteners compare to natural skin lighteners. Below is the list of natural & synthetic skin lighteners.
Synthetic skin lighteners
- Hydroquinone[chemical which lightens the darkened skin]
- Mercury.[is a chemical also known as quicksilver]
- Topical corticosteroids[anti-inflammatory preparation ]
- Topical retinoids[compound derived from vit.A]
Natural skin lighteners
- licorice extract
- Aloesin[aloe vera]
- Yeast derivatives
- Soy proteins.
Out of all these, three synthetic skin lighteners that should be avoided by any consumer are as follows.
Hydroquinone: bleaches your skin by decreasing the number of melanocytes present. Melanocytes make melanin, which is what produces your skin tone. Studies show that hydroquinone may cause cancer. It is banned in the majority of countries.
Mercury salts: inhibit the formation of melanin, resulting in a lighter skin tone. It may cause kidney damage after prolonged use.
Topical steroids:: Slowing down skin cell turnover so reducing the number and activity of melanocytes (pigment cells). Skin becomes thinner over a period of time.
It is wise to use time-tested skin lightening ingredients which are herbal, Ayurvedic & botanicals in nature.
e.g. licorice extract, ginseng extract, soy proteins, polyphenols, yeast derivatives, flavonoids.
Natural products take time for action but synthetic acts fast. So people go for synthetic.
The recent outcry about the word white & subsequent ban & dropping of the same from all cosmetics has not deterred the consumers from using the whitening creams.