We don't often hear much about skin lightening - except when it's concerning Michael Jackson. Unfortunately, the media and the King of Pop have given skin lightening products a bad rap, when in reality they are a godsend to many individuals suffering pigmentation tribulations.
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Skin lightening is a convenient, safe and fast topical method for whitening overall skin tone and for fading any skin discolorations - such age spots, and freckles. In addition many people suffering severe skin disorders such as chloasma, melasma and scarring use skin lighteners.
Over-the-counter skin lightening products contain 2-percent of an ingredient called hydroquinone. Hydroquinone, is a strong inhibitor of melanin production. Melanin is the substance that gives our skin its pigment. Acting as an obstruction, skin lighteners are applied topically on the skin to disrupt the synthesis of melanin hyper-pigmentation. As a result they fade skin discolorations. Any skin lightening product that contains more than 2-percent hydroquinone should never be used, as it can cause permanent skin damage.
Skin lightening products work most effectively when the pigment, or discoloration, is located on or in the epidermis. When the pigment is deep underneath the skin, laser light therapy is a more successful option.
For individuals who experience skin irritations from hydroquinone, azelaic acid is an alternative. Azelaic acid is another efficient agent used for lightening the skin.
Since sun exposure is the primary causes of hyper-melanin production, using skin lightening products or laser treatments without applying sun protection
is a waste of time. Therefore, remember to smooth sunscreen or sunblock all over your skin when you're exposed to the sun.
Skin lightening products range from $20 to $100 online, but always consult with a doctor or dermatologist before using any pigment altering products on your skin.