Skin lightening entails the changing or reduction of skin pigmentation by preventing the production of Melanin which is responsible for skin pigmentation, this can be to correct anomalies such as spots, freckles and other discolorations from acne, burns and laser treatment. Skin lightening can also be for the purpose of beauty enhancement and this has been an issue surrounded with so much controversy. In as much as this article is not about the controversies involved, it is important to note here that just like tanning if done the right way skin lightening can contribute largely to ones self esteem and invariably beauty enhancement. Beauty after all runs deeper than the skin.
One method of skin lightening is by laser therapy, this practise however has been open to abuse and trained cosmetic doctors have complained about the increasing number of beauty salons who apply this treatment with little or no training and controls in place, thus endangering the lives of their customers or in the least creating more skin problems for them. Another setback of this method is the cost; the use of laser to correct skin blemishes and scars is very expensive. Skin lightening can also be achieved by the use of cosmetic products many of which contain hydroquinone and mercury based chemicals.
Hydroquinone though considered very effective and affordable is believed to be very unsafe. It has been linked to harmful side effects such as Leukaemia in animals. Although it has not yet been confirmed to cause cancer in human beings, application of hydroquinone can cause skin irritations such as rashes. The question thus arises is it worth the risk? Definitely not for me, especially when one considers that the use of hydroquinone has been banned in several countries. Mercury on the other hand is toxic and its application to the skin can result in poisoning with deadly consequences. Skin lightening does not have to be a costly or risky venture and nature has bestowed us with plenty of useful fruits, plants and herbs.
For instance, fruits like papaya (paw-paw), lemon, lime and orange which all contain Vitamin C have skin lightening effects in addition to other nutritional values when consumed or applied to the skin. So they help to enhance beauty and healthy living from inside out and there are no harmful side effects. Other examples include; the kojic acid ester extracted from Japanese mushrooms and extracts of Asafoetida a South Asian herbal plant. The list goes on to include arbutin which can be extracted from many types of berries and pears; extracts from milk and sugar crops like sugar cane and pine apples known as Alpha hydroxy acids. In nature we find safe, effective and affordable means of skin lightening and while this is not a product review it will only be apt to mention one or two tested and tried natural beauty products.
Makari for instance produce a wide range of skin lightening products which are 100% natural and do not contain hydroquinone, another effective range is upurea with absolutely no synthetic chemicals. Skin lighten can be achieve with out the risk of endangering ones well being and at a reasonable price too. That is the right way to go about it.