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Skin bleaching


In Japan, the geisha was (and still is) renowned for their painted white skin, which was meant to represent beauty, grace, and a high social status. Nowadays however, this practice is not continued on such a wide scale in Japan. Geishas now only paint their skin white in geisha-based ceremonies in celebration of their culture and background.

In ancient Iran, pure hydroquinone was used by many to keep their skin clear and soft, although in later years this practice became less common and it is generally accepted that this practice was the forerunner of modern day skin bleaching as we know it.

In Victorian times it was common for European women to eat or rub into their skin a concoction containing Arsenic, Chalk and Vinegar in an attempt to lighten their skin coloring. It was seen as being of high social standing to have pale skin, it was meant to portray that the paler skinned person had more time in which to remain indoors, so obviously being of better class.

Skin bleaching, whitening or lightening are terms used to describe a variety of cosmetic methods designed to lighten the skin, this was practiced mainly in parts of East Asia, the Americas, the Middle East, and Africa, but recently it has gained popularity in the UK and the rest of Europe, especially amongst the asian community.
The subject of skin lightening is a controversial topic as it is closely intertwined with the detrimental effects on health, identity, and self image. In India recently, there have been heated debates over how such products are promoted.

Generally the advertising storyline is of a darker skinned person leading a somewhat miserable life, doing poorly paid menial work and with little prospect of a happy relationship, as opposed to the person who has lightened their skin being portrayed as a successful high flyer with instant attraction for the opposite sex. These advertising campaigns only serve to highlight the problems of the Caste system which is still in evidence throughout India.

Would you like to have lighter skin? If the answer is yes, then skin lightening cosmetic products are your best option. In the past, chemicals would have been the best solution to use. Nowadays, there are a number of skin whitening cosmetic products containing a variety of ingredients that may help to lighten your skin. The greater the number of products however means that the risk of getting taken in by ineffective or worse yet, dangerous products is increased.

Unfortunately, as the popularity of such treatments increases so does the occurrence of counterfeit products, many of which are just outright fakes but disturbingly, many more contain banned substances, which go far beyond giving the desired bleached or lightened effect and can in fact be very dangerous to the unsuspecting user.

Recently, in the UK, there have been several cases of goods being seized which have been found to contain substances banned in most countries and which were being sold openly in stores across the country. The large profits involved from the sale of these products has meant that criminals have found it a very lucrative trade to get involved in.

Skin bleaching involves skin peeling, your skin becomes dry and flaky prior to shedding the darker skin. You may experience, stinging, burning, or an itching sensation, this is normal. Once the first signs of peeling become apparent, or the sting becomes uncomfortable, you should simply lessen the process according to your comfort level.

Most of these products do not produce instant results but is instead a gradual process. Results will vary per individual’s unique skin sensitivity. Some can see results within a few days, others in possibly 2-3 weeks. Some need more time, whilst others may see no results at all. You should not be tempted to overuse these products but instead follow the manufacturers instructions carefully.

There are many products readily available today, such as skin whitening pills and bleaching creams. Most skin care products on sale are not just for black skin or indian skin types, lighter skinned people also find them useful.


How to assess skin bleaching products


If you plan on undergoing any form of whitening procedures then it is important that you do it in the safest way possible and only use well known, reputable companies and products.

You should learn how to assess skin lightening products for your own safety. This can be done in several ways, one obvious method is to research some of the more well known reputable manufacturers and products through the internet. Generally most of the bigger companies will either have comprehensive web sites or product leaflets that will enable you to get a more thorough idea about how their products work. Information packs can be ordered online from most web sites which you can read at your leisure in the comfort of your own home.

Most will explain the procedures involved in clear and understandable terms and so enabling you to make good informed decisions as to the best products for your needs.

Products which have very little information are best avoided, if you can't find out what ingredients are used in the manufacture of the product then it may be safe to assume the reason for that is because the contents could possibly be harmful or even banned substances.

The very nature of these products means that there is an actual physical result from usage, so it is important that you double check the ingredients even if it is only to ensure that there is nothing included which you have a known allergy to.

The products for you to take note of and consider using should all be free of hydroquinone, mercury and steroids. You’re safety should come first.


Medical benefits


Skin bleaching does have some medical applications but only when prescribed by a Doctor or Dermatologist. The most common medically recognized use of whitening products is in the treatment of skin complaints such as hyperpigmentation or vitiligo.

Hyperpigmentation is is a common condition in which patches of skin become darker in color than the normal surrounding skin and although usually harmless the sufferer can view the darkening skin as a source of embarrassment.

Vitiligo is a chronic skin condition that causes loss of pigment, resulting in irregular pale patches of skin. The pop star Michael Jackson claims to be a sufferer of vitiligo rather than a user of skin lightening products.

In both these cases the use of bleaching products can be seen as a solution to the problem but should only be considered under proper professional advice. Most Doctors and Dermatologists would advise against such treatment for purely cosmetic reasons as the health risks far outweigh the benefits. What seems like a good idea now can come back to haunt in later years.


Understanding the dangers


Many whitening creams have been found to contain hydroxyquinone, a skin lightening chemical, as well as high doses of steroids. Although the use of hydroxyquinone is banned in UK skin cosmetics products because it causes severe skin irritation, manufactures of illegal products have continued to use it. Skin lightening creams can lead to users developing Cushing's syndrome, which is caused by high levels of steroid hormones such as cortisol in the blood.

Steroids such as the ones found in many whitening products should only be made available on prescription, especially as the levels being used can cause serious disruption to the body's normal hormone levels.

Even products that are legally sold can have serious harmful effects to the skin because the chemicals in the product tend to weaken the skin and so making it harder to fight disease and protect the body. It is especially important to take careful note of product ingredients should you be one of the many who are indulging in the latest body enhancing technique known as genital whitening, also known as anal bleaching and vaginal whitening.

It should be remembered that the genital area is a very tender and sensitive part of your body and any damage caused may not be immediately noticeable, as with any new technique or treatment, side effects only become apparent after a prolonged period of time.

You can learn more about the processes and techniques of genital whitening by using this link Anal Bleaching

Great care and thought should be given to any possible side effects before any bleaching or whitening procedures are commenced, problems are rare but not uncommon.

A perfect example is the use of sunbeds, when sunbeds first became available the would be fashionable flocked to them so that they could sport the all year round tan. It was only after a lengthy period of usage that people started to notice that their skin had been damaged and that the risk of skin cancer had been greatly increased.

Likewise with treatments designed to alter your skins natural composition, the possible harmful side effects and damage caused will not be known until a much later time, which by then may be too late to rectify.


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