It is one of the quirks of our modern world that many people with pale skins are striving to get the best possible tan (while risking skin cancer) and some people with darker skins are using over the counter lightening creams to achieve pale skin.
In some parts of the world, in particular India, Japan, Korea and China, lightening creams are seen as a normal part of the beauty regime for women and the creams are also being used by black and brown skinned people the world over, becoming more popular by the day.
While the philosophical questions regarding the practice of using skin lightening creams can be saved for another day, today we would like to point out some of the dangers involved with the use of these harsh creams and products.
You are further exposed to sun damage
The purpose of lightening creams is to change the melanin layer of the skin, by reducing their concentration and therefore the darkness of the skin. However, dark skin has a natural protection from sunlight and removing this can lead to a higher risk of skin cancer, melanoma and just plain old sun damage including wrinkles and freckles.
Even the safest lightening creams (those with a 2% or less active ingredient) will still cause sun sensitivity that you may not be used to. This means that it is important to wear sunscreen and to cover up whenever possible.
Lightening creams contain nasty chemicals
Due to the very harsh chemicals used in lightening creams, it is recommended they are only ever used by a dermatologist for the treatment of conditions such as vitiligo. However many can be bought illegally and could contain banned substances, steroids and bleaching agents that are not allowed to be used in cosmetics. These are absorbed into the skin and can cause illness and skin damage including:
– Skin bleaching that is permanent
– Thinning of the skin
– Uneven colouration
– Redness and irritation
Whatever your reason for choosing to lighten your skin, it is incredibly important that you do so through a licensed dermatologist who can ensure you get the best results for your skin type. Additionally, be aware that you are now one of those pale skinned people who cannot lay out in the sun. Your first experience of sunburn and possible skin cancer may be just around the corner.