Skin Bleaching or Brightening?

Many people have not considered that there is a significant difference between skin bleaching and brightening the skin. The person whose goal is the complete de-pigmentation of the skin should not be purchasing a formulation designed for the lightening of dark spots or freckles.

The manufacturers of bleaching and whitening skin products will all use various descriptions of their products such as lightening, whitening and bleaching, but technically; it is up to the customer to wade through the sheer abundance of products and find one that is well researched, suitable for their purposes, and has the right price tag.

After all, purchasing these formulations is a risk whichever way you look at it, both for your skin and your pocket so it is important to be cautious when choosing your product.

     This is a 2 Billion Dollar Industry!

The person whose aim is simply to whiten dark spots or to even the skin tone does not need to purchase a strong formulation designed to lighten very dark skin up to three or four tones lighter than its original color!!!

When one considers the possible side effects of using the wrong product, it goes without saying that our choices must be informed.  There is a huge global demand for skin whitening products  and as with any industry there are unscrupulous manufacturers within the market.

Side Effects include:

  • Itching
  • Blistering
  • Swelling
  • A gradual darkening of the skin

Symptoms of a serious allergic reaction include:

  • Rash
  • Itching
  • Severe swelling
  • Dizziness
  • Trouble breathing


Though most forms of bleaching and whitening products could cause irritation for some users, it is important to avoid products that contain hydroquinone, which can burn, scar, and thin your skin with prolonged use.

What is Hydroquinone? 

Hydroquinone is a highly toxic substance used in bleaching and skin whitening creams (to a lesser degree), and has a tendency to irritate, burn or scar the skin. This substance is also known to have caused other types of internal damage to the body.

This has resulted in restrictions of its use in cosmetics, and limiting its availability for prescriptions in the European Union. Yet despite this, many people who are seeking the complete de-pigmentation of the skin tend to ignore these warnings, believing that the use of products containing this chemical is the only way of achieve their goal -fast. Not only are they wrong, but they could regret it.


There are safer products out there on the market today which contain active ingredients that are less toxic for the suppression of melanin production for very dark skin, or for the purposes of skin lightening or whitening.



These active ingredients include:

  • Kojic Dipalmitate
  • Tretinon
  • Alpha Hydroxy Acids
  •  Azelaic Acid
  •  Arbutin

Whatever your choice, be sure to check the substances that have gone into your product and protect your skin.

Related Articles: Which Product for my Skin Colour?

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