According to a 2015 industry report prepared by the Euro-monitor International, Asians contributed some 29 per cent of the US $465 billion sales made by the global beauty and personal care industry. Of this percentage, a large part was attributed to the still growing market for skin whitening products.
Shedding Light On Dark Skin
Although some people elect to get treatments to brighten their skin tone, there are instances when skin whitening becomes necessary to preserve your self-esteem. If you’ve never had to use skin whitening products before but probably been contemplating on using one, you must know that abnormal pigmentation are caused by overproduction of melanin, a mechanism which is triggered by several factors, as follows:
- Sun damage. UVB instantly burns the surface of your skin while UVA is deep penetrating, damage inflicted by which can show up several years, even decades, later. These eventually show up as age spots and hyper pigmented patches of skin.
- Hereditary.Genes determine your skin color, that includes how your skin produces melanin. Freckled parents will likely give birth to children who are prone to freckling. They have a natural inability to release enough melanin to tan the skin so, these show up as dark spots or freckles.
- Skin injuries. That can include sun burns as well as acne marks. It can feel as bad as how Katy Perryput it once when she said, “Bad skin really made me want to hide. I’d wear makeup to bed or stay in if I had a bad breakout”.
- Health condition and medications. Antimalarial drugs and brain-related meds have been found to have skin pigmentation as a side effect. Pregnancy, the presence of skin diseases as well as certain kidney and liver conditions can also make skin darken. In some cases, the skin goes back to normal when health goes back to normal, including post-delivery, and when medications, including birth control pills, are stopped. In some, the hyper pigmentation stays.
- Stress. Skin has been generally linked many times to brain conditions, including to stress. These studies have shown that skin functions can be compromised under stressful situations, most often citing autoimmune disorders that include eczema and psoriasis.
How To Manage Your Dark Pigments
Luckily for you, if your have these dark skin issues, the world of cosmeceuticals has been preoccupied about this area of skin care for a considerable number of decades by now. There are treatment routes that have been proven to restore your naturally fair and overall bright skin tone, Some of which are listed below:
- Take an OTC or a prescription cream. For prescription, you have two choices: tretinoin or retinoids (Vitamin A derivatives) or, hydroquinone that is above 2.0 per cent up to 4.0 per cent concentration. When it comes to Vitamin A derivatives, the troubles have always involved skin irritation, low tolerance, and increased sensitivity to sun damage. As for hydroquinone, it has been labeled as a suspected carcinogen. While countries in Europe, Japan, and Australia, the FDA has not ordered the same lifted from the US markets. Skin brighteners formulated with hydroquinone continue to be sold over-the-counter at up to 2.0 per cent concentration.
If you are willing to try other safer alternatives, look for topical products that use instead Vitamin C, licorice extract, kojic acid, arbutin and niacinamide as active ingredients.
- Brightening Mask. Easy DIY products are available but, more potent mask treatments are also available from skin care specialist clinics and boutiques. One such in-clinic alternative would be Cosmelan treatments. This treatment does not use any product with hydroquinone. Mask treatments are most appropriate for revitalizing skin that appears dull and lifeless, and fading superficial dark marks as well.
- Chemical Peels. These procedures use different grades of chemicals to facilitate different degrees of skin peeling. For mild peels, glycolic acid is a favorite, whereas more severe peels will require trichloroacetic acid, a chemical that you’d rather have your skin specialist handle to make sure that you don’t permanently damage your skin.
- Microdermabrasion and micro-needling. These are 2 other alternatives to facilitating skin peeling that does not use chemicals. Instead, microdermabrasion uses rough surfaces like diamonds or silica (from sand) while micro-needling uses tiny needles to systematically tear off your skin and surface a new layer.
- Laser Skin Resurfacing. There are abrasive and non-abrasive types. Some can penetrate straight and deep to where the damaged cells are located, light these up then, eliminate these from your system without the need to damage the surface layer.
When you see dark spots, quick fixes are available. However, before you sign up for any treatment, you’d want to make sure, too, that those dark marks aren’t any more serious, like cancer.