Whether it is to lighten darker skin tones or fade freckles and dark spots, skin brightening cream is in high demand. But beware. Not all skin lightening skincare is made equal.
Many people in Australia wear their sun-loving nature on their sleeves…or rather, their faces. Freckles, dark spots, skin discoloration, and blotchiness – collectively known as hyperpigmentation – are common skin concerns caused from excess sun exposure. However, skin discoloration can also be caused by hormones, scarring, and acne. With the advance in skin care technology, more and more people are voting with their wallets and using skin brightening creams to diminish or reverse these effects.
Melanin is the brown pigment in our skin. It is what gives our hair and skin color. The amount of melanin in your genetic code will determine whether your skin is fair, tan, or dark. If you are fair, you will have only a small amount of the pigment.
Exposure to the sun causes skin cells to produce melanin, giving what many Anglo-Saxons may call a ‘healthy glowing tan’. However, too much exposure to the sun and the skin is unable to absorb the amount of melanin produced, causing freckles, mottled or uneven skin tone – AKA hyperpigmentation.
While fair-skinned people may associate sun-kissed tans with health, some Asian cultures consider fair skin to be beautiful and associate darker skin with manual labour and a lower standing in life.
Regardless of which side of the fence you stand, skin brightening creams are in high demand to redress the various issues to do with melanin.
Hyperpigmentation caused by UV usually appears on the face, hands and areas of the body frequently exposed to the sun.
Melasma spots, however, are a result of hormonal changes. This can occur during pregnancy, menopause or from taking the contraceptive pill. Although these spots look similar to age spots, they are larger and usually appear on the face and abdomen.
Other causes of hyperpigmentation include skin diseases and scaring. Acne, for example, can leave dark patches on the skin after the condition clears, while scaring due to surgery or other deep wounds can also mark the skin with hyperpigmentation.
Skin brightening cream
Also known as bleaching cream, skin whitener, skin lightener and fading cream, skin brightening cream contains an active ingredient, or a combination of active ingredients, to treat hyperpigmentation and lighten skin color. It works by reducing the amount of melanin in the skin.
Fountain Cosmetics’ Halo White skin brightening cream collection contains advanced ingredients such as B-White, a biomimetic whitening peptide, and Chromabright, a cutting-edge skin lightening active. Halo White Day Cream, Night Cream and Serum work together to inhibit melanin production, even out skin tone, reduce skin discoloration, fade freckles, all while nourishing your skin.
When using a skin brightening cream, make sure you use a broad spectrum sunscreen before exposing yourself to the sun, or you may undo the effects of any brightening regime.
Sunscreen will help shield your skin from UV light and control the production of melanin on a cellular level, regardless of how it’s caused.
Risks associated with some whitening products
Not all brightening creams are made equal, so check the label for a list of ingredients before you spend your hard-earned cash.
Some companies resort to using toxic ingredients such as mercury in their skin brightening creams, which can lead to mercury poisoning, and eventually find its way down the food chain!!
Although banned in Australia, there are unscrupulous companies overseas producing brightening products containing mercury, which can be bought online anywhere around the world. And don’t think mercury is used once in a blue moon, one report found that nearly 1 in 4 brightening creams made in Asia contained mercury.
Other ingredients used in brightening creams are steroids, retinoic acid, and hydroquinone. Over-the-counter brightening products should contain no more than 2% of the chemical hydroquinone.
So before purchasing a skin brightening product from overseas, check with your doctor or dermatologist and follow their instructions.