The trend of the so-called whiten and brighten skin is not new; it happens all over the world for centuries simply because white skin is associated with high class, refinery, and higher caste (especially in the Asian region) while dark skin is related to manual labor. And now the trend is increasing for complicated reasons. Read on to find out more.
Truthfully, whitening your skin is not really a problem if you want to have it. The question is the increasing trend is solely due to vanity reasons and factors associating with it so in a way, ethics and moral code are involved somehow in this type of product, especially when the marketing value used to promote the products, as a study done by researches in James Cook University have pointed out and raise concerns regarding the trend, citing for various worrying reasons.
For example, a woman has been told that she’s too dark to get a job, gets herself some skin whitening products and bam! She gets her dream job. What more with a Cameroonian singer promotes her skin whitening products, claiming that the product is solely to tackle cases of hyperpigmentation – well, in my opinion that’s not really true – 1 in 3 of African uses skin whitening/bleaching products (both legal and illegal) and the trend is emerging in other countries as well where dark skin is quite predominant.
These products work by reducing melanin pigments exists naturally within our skin (the melanin cell is actually what gives our individual skin color). Generally, this stuff is used to treat hyperpigmentation like melasma, age spots, liver spots, and freckles though it can also be used to lighten naturally dark skin.
And no matter how the product is cited to be natural, these stuff do carry some risks as you’re technically changing the tone of your natural skin color that are made by genetics here, with the risk difference very much depending on the key ingredients used, and how quick the results can appear to see the difference.
Other potential risks include of faster premature aging as your skin is much more vulnerable to UV rays, fence increasing the chances of skin cancer. Your skin can also get thinner, easily irritated, and possibly develop pigmentations in other areas (yikes!).
So yeah, if the product claims to whiten your skin as quickly as within a week, beware. These products obviously use one or two ingredients that are quite dangerous to be used on your skin for daily use, what more the ingredients are available via prescription (like hydroquinone), legally.
For example, possible (culprit) ingredients that are used to deliver quick results in skin whitening is mercury, a toxic element that can affect to the kidneys and problems related to the nerves and brains. Plus the toxicity of mercury can also pass to your baby via breast milk and during pregnancy.
In conclusion, while there’s not really a problem when it comes to using skin whitening products (I mean, it’s nice to have your skin looking white and smooth isn’t it?) the key is to know that you shouldn’t put your skin at risk in order to get the ivory skin you always dream of. Plus, no matter what your color is, having a healthy skin is much more important.