People will go to great lengths to make their skin look beautiful. So many of them want to lighten their skin, or to get rid of blotches and dark areas.
Other folks want to bleach away other skin imperfections, such as freckles and acne scars.
There are hundreds of products available that will perform some sort of skin lightening, skin brightening, or skin bleaching action on your skin.
When searching for a product, it’s important to remember that not all skin lightening products are created equal. And what this simply means is, some include ingredients that are actually harmful to your health.
One such substance, hydroquinone, has been used for years in hydroquinone creams and many other facial products to quickly whitening the skin.
And to achieve even faster results, stronger doses, which require a doctor’s prescription, are used to maximize the outcome.
But what have been the long-term results from using hydroquinone?
Basically, hydroquinone affects the color of your natural skin.
This is not necessarily a good thing. Why? To reduce the dark areas of your skin, hydroquinone affects the production of melanin in your skin, and it’s the job of melanin to protect your skin from the sun.
So, even though a doctor may prescribe a small dosage of hydroquinone, it doesn’t mean it’s completely safe to use.
Like any other drug, it can be overused in hope of achieving quicker results, which in turn, can cause even more serious and long term problems.
Let’s take a closer look at how hydroquinone can affect not only your skin but other parts of your body, as well.
Once you put a hydroquinone product on your skin, it starts removing layers of skin immediately. Initially your skin will look great, but underneath hydroquinone is starting to do its ugly damage to your skin and body.
After a while of constant use, your skin can start thinning and looking older. In time, it’s quite possible that the small blood vessels of your face can become damaged.
You may notice that your skin becomes more sensitive to the sun, soaps, and other skin care products. Some users will begin to complain of inflamed skin that begins to itch and peel.
It can become very sensitive. The color of your skin can start looking unnatural.
All of the positive results that you noticed at the beginning are now gone and you may now have to deal with more problems than you began with.
Many countries have already banned the use of hydroquinone.
In Europe, the Academy of Dermatology and Venereology proved that, due to direct contact, there were cases where hydroquinone has caused permanent damage to the cornea of the eye,.
Studies in rodents have shown that hydroquinone may induce a chemical that causes cancer. It has yet to be documented in humans. But why take the chance! Let’s thank the rodent’s for the warning.
In the U.S., Britain and South Africa, Ochronosis, which is a condition that causes grayish dark or yellow looking spots, has been found in connection with cosmetics containing hydroquinone. Black skinned people are especially sensitive to this condition.
Because of this connection, hydroquinone has been banned in Australia, Japan, and parts of Europe. Let me say it again – hydroquinone is bad for you! Are you convinced yet? Let’s read on.
So, are there any safe alternatives to hydroquinone?
Yes. I know that you may be concerned with the dark and splotchy areas of your face and body and are eager to get rid of them as quickly as possible, but don’t let your emotions about your skin problems override what the facts are telling you.
Instead, look into natural skin lightening products for lighter, younger looking skin. Things like:
– Vitamin E. This simple treatment can fade blemishes and skin spots. You will see results in a few weeks.
– Vitamin A. Great for the skin by brightening it, and also fades skin spots.
– Vitamin C. Good for skin tone and removing naturally, spots and blemishes.
– Bearberry Extract. Tones the skin, making it look silky and smooth.
You can find lots of choices of natural alternatives by searching the Internet. Don’t settle for a quick fix, which can cause more problems. Staying away from hydroquinone, and any products that may contain it, is a wise decision.
The Dangers of Mercury In Skin Lightening Products
Although these products have been banned in the US, they can still be readily available via the internet, although it could be problematic to have them shipped to the US.
The biggest problem comes from Asia, where there is a huge and burgeoning market for skin whitening products.
This has resulted in an almost 100 per cent increase in sales for the past five years in a row in China, Malaysia and Singapore.
The tainted mercury skin care products are the highest selling cosmetics sold in these countries.
Of course, you would probably not be the least bit interested in purchasing a skin care product that had such long term side effects as skin cancer, poisoning, or kidney and liver damage, but those are exactly what these products have to offer to these customers.
Another ingredient, called “Hydroquinone,” has had its harmful effects so well documented, that any such products containing it have been banned in Australia, the European Union and Japan as an over-the-counter cosmetic.
Skin color is determined by the pigment coloring substance called Melanin.
This is produced by skin cells called melanocytes that are distributed in the basal layer of the skin. The higher the production of melanin, the darker the skin will be.
The melanin is also the protection for the skin, as it helps to filter out the ultraviolet rays of the sun, and if the melanin is in anyway diminished, the result can be skin cancer.
Without the protection of the melanin in the skin, the skin is extremely vulnerable.
The problem with the skin lightening products that are not natural in their creation is that they then include synthetic ingredients that inhibit the production of melanin.
The element called hydroquinone, as discussed earlier, is a very powerful and toxic chemical that is used in the photo processing industry, in rubber manufacturing and hair dyes. It is actually very caustic and harmful.
Mercury Chloride and Ammoniated Mercury are also very toxic and can only be purchased in various pharmacies by prescription, and they are both carcinogenic, or cancer producing substances.
Perhaps you’ve heard of Mad-Hatters Disease? This affliction was a result of an accumulation of mercury in the bodies of workers in the hat making industry in the 1800s.
When the workers were turning fur into felt, they had to breathe in the toxic fumes of the mercury solution that was used for this process.
Overtime, sufferers began to experience symptoms such as trembling, slurred speech, loss of coordination, loosening of teeth, memory loss, depression, irritability and anxiety.
Both of these products do lessen the melanin production of the skin, thus causing the skin to lighten, which from a cosmetic standpoint is the desired result that the purchaser wants to achieve.
However, the long-term effects are disastrous. When they are applied to human skin, both hydroquinone and the compounds of mercury will react with the ultra-violet rays of the sun, resulting in more pigmentation of the skin and a premature aging process.
It then becomes an unending and vicious cycle as more of the products are applied to lighten the skin; just the opposite tends to occur, only in splotches.
The underlying collagen thickens and the skin takes on a rough, aged and blotchy look.
Liver, kidney and other organ damage ensures as well as mercury poisoning is the result of such use.
Unfortunately, the demand for such products still outweigh the sense of caution that needs to be in place, and as long as the huge sales continue, the trend is not likely to be reversed anytime soon.