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Skin Lightening, Brightening & Whitening: Everything You Need To Know

Sola Fagbamiye

Posted on November 06 2019

Skin whitening, skin brightening, skin lightening. Ever wonder what the difference is?

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn everything you need to know about skin lightening, whitening, and brightening. You will not only learn what these terms mean, but you will also learn what is appropriate for you and what to avoid so that you can have healthy, bright, even-toned skin.

All women, regardless of age or ethnicity want even, clear and radiant skin. For most women, the challenge to achieve radiant skin begins with dark spots or hyperpigmentation caused by the accumulation of melanin (your natural skin pigment). Hyperpigmentation can be intensified by genetics and ethnicity. For black and brown-skinned women of African, South East Asian and Hispanic descent, hyperpigmentation can create an uneven skin tone.

For women of European or Asian descent, blotchiness and spots caused by sun damage and the aging process stand in the way of clear and radiant skin. Other roadblocks to clear skin are dryness and breakouts caused by hormonal fluctuations related to life changes like menopause and stress.

Even though they sound the same, there is actually a significant difference between skin lightening, whitening & brightening. Before deciding on your skincare routine, it is very important to understand all three of these categories, their pluses & minuses, and even the potential risks to your health which may be involved.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to know about these topics, including:

  • Why “skin whitening” is potentially hazardous to your health, and is not recommended
  • How “skin lightening” helps fix blemishes on your skin, and can be done naturally
  • How “skin brightening” will make your skin look refreshed, vibrant & beautiful
  • Skin Whitening
  • Skin whitening is a treatment designed to give you a skin tone lighter than the one you were born with.
  • Skin whitening can be dangerous, painful and expensive. The goal of skin whitening (or skin bleaching) is to lighten or fade your complexion beyond the natural skin tone. To see your natural skin tone, just look at your underarms. Skin whitening is controversial and could have potentially dangerous side effects. Unless you actually want to involve a medical professional in your skincare treatment, then “skin whitening” is probably not what you’re looking for.  We do not recommend “skin whitening”, so we’re going to move on to “lightening & brightening”.

n contrast to skin whitening, “skin lightening” has a positive function other than achieving a lighter complexion. In order to understand what skin lightening actually is we first need to understand what hyperpigmentation is.

Skin Lightening and Hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is a common skin condition that refers to any darkening of the skin. Dark patches form usually on the face and hands or other areas that are commonly exposed to the sun. This darkening of the skin occurs when an excess of melanin, which is a brown pigment that gives our skin its color, forms deposits in our skin. Although hyperpigmentation is harmless many people are uncomfortable with the way it makes them look.

Hyperpigmentation spots are often caused by repeated exposure to the sun. Freckles and other darkened skin areas can become darker from sun exposure. This happens by the melanin absorbing the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays in order to protect the skin from overexposure.

Another form of hyperpigmentation is Melasma. Melasma spots are larger than the spots caused by sun damage. They appear as symmetric blotchy hyperpigmented patches on the face, usually the cheeks, bridge of the nose, forehead, chin, and upper lip. They are most often caused by hormonal changes. Pregnancy and the use of birth control pills can also bring about the overproduction of melanin, due to hormonal changes.

Acne and other skin diseases may cause hyperpigmentation, leaving dark spots after the condition clears.

To deal with hyperpigmentation, skin lightening products are formulated to even out skin tone and restore the skin’s natural color before the hyperpigmentation sets in. If you want to see your natural skin color, look at the inner part of your upper arm.

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