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How Skin Whitening Products Work

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Although the days when the elite upper classes used white lead to develop a powder white skin complexion are gladly gone, skin whitening is still very much in demand and fuels an entire range of cosmetic skin whitening products.
It used to be a commonly held belief (and still is in some parts of the world) that whiter complexions were a sign of noble birth, probably because it meant you were well of enough not to have to work under the searing heat of the sun. Also, people used to think that a more white skin complexion would make wrinkles and other signs of aging less visible.

Skin whitening Products Today

However, times have changed and beaches are crowded with people wishing to get a tan because now that bronze sheen on their skin is associated with all round good health. Asian women, however, try their hardest to get and keep as white as possible a tone to their skin.


The basic understanding was the same, whiter skin complexions were an indication of noble birth and even to this day geishas wear white foundation products to become as white as possible.So what do today’s cosmetics offer and what can they achieve?


Almost all large cosmetic brands have cosmetic products that specifically target the Asian Market. When Lightful released their skin whitening product some criticized it on the basis that it was just another way of promoting an old and racist stereotype that encouraged darker skinned women to feel inferior.


Skin whitening products explained


Primarily, these products block or reduce melanin production by hindering the production of tyrosinase and breaking down the production of melanin. This means it doesn’t bleach the skin like is commonly believed, but it just stops the skin from producing the substance that darkens the skin’s color.


Some of the most commonly used chemicals in these products are hydroquinone (used topically), other well known alternatives to hydroquinone are Alpha Hydroxy acids (glycolic and lactic acids) Vitamin C and are present in many of today’s cosmetics either because they’re high in anti-oxidants or are chemical exfoliants that help get rid of older layers of skin that usually can cause blockage and blemishes.