I can still remember when my mother used to tell me stories that her grandmother had told her when she was younger. Stories about life on a Virginia plantation back in the 1800s, and one of them was about skin bleaching. It seems that ladies back then used to lighten the skin on their hands by soaking them in urine that they had saved up.
So this only goes to show that skin bleaching is nothing new, and it also points up quite well that you really don’t have to reach very far if you’re interested in trying something natural. The good news is that you can find recipes online now for home made concoctions that use far less noxious natural ingredients.
What About Home Made Skin Bleaching Creams?
Ingredients like lemon juice, yogurt, sour milk, and vinegar that by the way are the very same ingredients called for in most of the recipes for home made exfoliants that you can find on line. Coincidence?? Not at all because they both in fact function the same.
That is that these skin lighteners work by dissolving away dead surface skin cells that tend to be darker in color, and by the way their effects are limited at best. They’re also contingent on you having a good supply of dead skin cells to dissolve away.
So if you’re like most people, what you have in mind is something that goes beyond the surface. Something a little more stronger that actually goes down under your skin to deliver “real results” that you and people who know you will readily notice. Results that will stick around for a while, and maybe even be permanent.
Real Skin Lightening is Now Possible
All you have to do is look at before and after pictures of Michael Jackson to know that it is possible to lighten your skin. Photos that show him as a young man then photos that show him as an adult, with very noticeably lighter skin. So if he did it, so can you.
You do have to keep one thing in mind though, and that is that his was an extreme case and “that level” of extreme whitening not only brings with it the risk of side effects, but it also can be quite expensive to accomplish. The products can be costly, and the better of them can only be used under specialized medical supervision.
Still one more thing that you should know is that not all skin bleaching products are alike. That is that some work better than others and also some bring with them the possibility of more extreme, and dangerous side effects. They also work in two distinctly different ways.
The Most Effective Skin Bleaching Agents
That is that the chemicals that are responsible for the skin bleaching effect can be divided into two groups that are separated by how they work in your skin. The first group are the active ingredients that you can find in your more readily available products, and they work by inhibiting the production of melanin.
Then the second group, are the active ingredients that are in topical creams and lotions that are only available by prescription and really only used for treating medical conditions like vitilago. That group works by actually killing off melanocytes. The actual cells that produce melanin.
Now it’s no coincidence that the better a skin bleaching agent is, the more apt it is to cause side effects, with the products that work by killing melanocytes carrying the highest level of risk. You see, your skin is there for a reason, and that is to protect your body from foreign substances entering it.
So any time you apply something to your skin that’s capable of bypassing your epidermis, or outermost layer of skin, it is going to bring with it the risk of some type of side effect. Then when you use something that also kills cells, that brings with it the risk of killing cells in other areas of your body that it might migrate to.
Keep in mind though, that the risk level for side effects, even with the most powerful skin bleaching agents, is directly related to their concentration levels in the products that they are contained. This is why if you take the time to do a little research after you become familiar with some of their names, you will see that concentrations rarely go above the 4% to 5% range.
The Most Common Skin Lightening Agents
So there’s a fine line that the makers of the most effective skin lightening creams and lotions walk when they formulate a new product. Not only must it work, which is not a problem given what’s known today, but it also must be approved for sale by government regulating agencies like the FDA.
You see, you can still buy skin lighteners in countries in Africa that contain mercury. So do they work? Yes they work, and in fact it was the Romans who first discovered the effectiveness of mercury in skin lightening cosmetics. Even so, mercury is very dangerous, and is directly associated with a whole host of serious health conditions.
So be thankful that there are regulators looking over shoulders of people who make, and import skin bleaching creams, and lotions because the fact is that the list of substances that can have the effect of lightening your skin is really quite large. Just the same though, due to strict regulations what is available to you, is really but a handful.
So look for products that contain active ingredients with names like hydroquinone, tretenoin, kojic acid, and arbutin. Either alone, or in combination because these are the four substances that have been proven in clinical tests to be the most effective when balanced against their low potential for “serious” side effects.
Does Obagi tretenoin cream for skin bleaching really work? To get your answer how it and other Obagi skin care products work learn about the active ingredients.