Skin lightening products are popularly known as bleaching creams. They are usually applied on the face by those who have chloasma or melasma (also called "pregnancy mask"). Chloasma and melasma are the brown spots around the cheeks, eyes and above the lips. The main factors which cause these dark pigments on your face are sun damages and hormone changes.
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Unlike a sun burns, spots caused by chloasma or melasma are hard to get rid of. They discolor the face and cause drastic unevenness to your skin tone.
Scientists have designed skin lightening products to lessen skin's discoloration due to damaging sun rays. Skin lightening products also exfoliate darkened skin cells when applied. Most skin lightening products come in either gels or lotions. These contain a white crystalline chemical called hydroquinone.
This skin bleaching agent can reduce pigmentation due to freckles, melasma, and chloasma when it's applied to the skin for a period of several months. Products containing hydroquinone are a long term solution.
When using any skin lightening product containing hydroquinone, sun exposure should be avoided as much as possible because it reverses the effects of the chemical and increases skin pigmentation. Applying the sunscreen is very important when using skin lightening products, as the sunscreen lotions will reduce further amounts of sun damage to the skin.
Skin lightening products containing more than 2% of hydroquinone are illegal, dangerous and will damage the skin permanently. Depending on the depth of the discolored pigment, laser treatments are also an option to lighten large patches of skin.