|Skin Lightening Products
Recently, new products that will even out
skin color for a more attractive look have
become available. These new treatments diminish
dark spots and blotches caused by aging and
freckling. They can be purchased over the
counter in the cosmetic section of your local
store or through beauty product websites.
Dark spots are caused by long term exposure
to the sun or by hormones. Skin cells that
have been affected no longer produce even
amounts of pigment, resulting in a spotted
or patchy appearance. Lightening products
suppress the enzyme that creates pigment,
and while these products are not as effective
as prescription lightening creams, chemical
peels, or laser resurfacing, they are less
expensive and do not require a trip to the
If you are thinking of buying
a skin lighting
product, consider the following:
- Products that contain hydroquinone, the active
ingredient in many prescription lighteners,
are the most effective. Over the counter
lighteners have lower concentrations of hydroquinone.
They will, however, make skin more sensitive
to sunlight and can irritate some skins.
These products should not be used in the
summer and never for more than 60 days at
- Other lighteners are made from natural ingredients
such as azelaic acid; mulberry, bearberry,
or licorice extracts; or recently developed
plant compounds that supposedly suppress
pigment production. These products can also
contain other products that help by exfoliating
- Darker skinned women have more pigment, and
so can frequently have more
spots and blotches. They should
not to overuse lighteners,
as this can cause
permanent skin damage.
- Lighteners will not work for woman who are
pregnant or who are taking
pills or hormone replacements.
In fact these
products can make the problem
worse if it
is hormones that are causing
pigment to darken.
Always read and follow directions and discontinue
the use of any skin lightener that causes
redness, inflammation, or itching.