It's common to want to get rid of age or sun spots, acne scars, and other dark spots on the skin. Many products on the market have tapped into our desire for an even skin tone.
However, it's important to be careful. Not all skin lightening products contain the same ingredients, and many can be harmful.
We've compiled a list of chemicals commonly found in skin lightening products that should be avoided. Read on to find out what to watch out for.
Although the risks of mercury are well documented, it can still be found in some skin lightening products.
Mercury should be avoided at all costs. It can lighten skin but at too high a risk.
The toxins in mercury can damage internal organs like kidneys if absorbed through the skin. Mercury poisoning is a very real risk. Never use a skin lightening product that has mercury.
These chemicals can mess with your hormones, leading to infertility and low sperm counts in men. Canada and Europe have actually banned their use in skincare products.
Although it does work as a melanin inhibitor, be careful never to use skin lightening products that contain this ingredient. It can cause more harm than good.
Hydroquinone is a skin lightener that can cause a disease known as ochronosis, which creates black-and-blue skin lesions that can become permanent.
It was also found that hydroquinone can cause tumor development in animals after enough exposure.
Be careful that triclosan doesn't show up in your skin lightening cleansers. This ingredient often found in hand sanitizers, cleansers, and deodorants is an endocrine disruptor. That means it can mess up your reproductive hormones and cause lasting problems.
Formaldehyde isn't just for dissection specimens. It's actually found in many beauty products because it can prevent the growth of bacteria.
However, according to The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) it is a known carcinogen. That means it can cause cancer.
It also can harm your immune system and cause allergic reactions to the skin.
This ingredient may show up under several names on a label: benzene, toluol, phenylmethane, or methylbenzene.
It's a solvent that's strong enough to dissolve paint!
Although it is found in some bleaching products, there is a long list of risks associated with toluene. It's a skin irritant and can adversely affect respiration. It has also been linked to nausea.
You have probably seen "paraben-free" on the labels of some products recently.
Parabens are preservatives that can keep mold, yeast, and bacteria from growing. However, they can also contribute to increased risk of breast cancer.
That's because these chemicals actually mimic estrogen in ways that can harm your body.
Be careful with the ingredient labels on your products. Read carefully and know that some ingredients may go by many names.
There are many ingredients to be careful with, but this list contains some of the most common dangerous ingredients that you might come across.
Always research any ingredients that you aren't familiar with. Be careful and remember that natural products are always your safest bet.
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