Bright, smooth, and glowing skin is an aspiration shared by many people. For women specifically, lightening the skin is essential to their beauty and confidence. To achieve this goal, oftentimes women turn to certain techniques to lighten their skin, otherwise known as skin whitening, lightening and brightening. All three methods are common in what they do but they can sometimes be confusing as to what the differences are. The reality is that these three techniques differ in many ways, and some might even be dangerous for the skin.
Lightening the color of the skin is performed for many reasons. As already mentioned, some women prefer to lighten their shade for the sake of beauty and fashion. Others may want to get rid of spots or marks left behind after a disease or skin condition. And yet others may not even want to change the color of their skin; rather they wish to merely brighten it and bring out the natural glow in it.
All of these goals are common reasons that women pursue skin products to lighten their skin. The main categories these skin techniques fall into are:
Skin Whitening – which can be dangerous and unnatural
Skin Lightening – which is a technique to help combat spots or marks
Skin Brightening – which is a method to achieve brighter, radiant skin
Skin Whitening: Unnatural and Potentially Hazardous
Skin whitening, also commonly referred to as skin bleaching, is mainly used to beautify the body by whitening the skin from its natural color to a lighter color. This process is done by altering the “pigmentation” in the skin, or the color in our skin. Certain products such as creams, soaps, and pills can be used to achieve this process, but it’s not always a safe option.
There’s a large discussion on whether skin whitening treatments are safe or not. What’s proven is that overusing or misusing skin whitening products can certainly give you a high chance of damaging your skin or gaining acne. It can also expose your skin to harmful ingredients if the products aren’t natural, resulting in potential irritation or negative effects to your skin.
All of these risks should be avoided, which is why alternative methods exist for skin whitening. Firstly, products that are natural can help combat traditional skin whitening dangers. Swiss Botany has two popular skin whitening products that are natural and very effective. You can try out these products to gain a better tone and protect your skin from harmful ingredients:
Natural and Powerful Skin Whitening Cream: This product features powerful and wholesome ingredients that are safe for the skin. The cream can be used to treat scars, discoloration marks, or any part of your skin. It’s a great natural alternative for skin whitening.
Whitening Cream for Sensitive or Intimate Areas: This cream is very useful when applying whitening creams to sensitive or intimate areas. It protects delicate skin and produces an enhancing whitening effect. Skin irritation or rashes can be easily combated against using this cream.
There are also other options that can be used instead of skin whitening, like skin lightening and brightening. These two alternatives have similar effects of skin whitening, with additional benefits offered by each method. Trying these options can help you achieve your skin whitening goals without having to put your skin health at risk.
What is Hyperpigmentation?
Before getting into skin lightening, it’s important to understand what causes our skin to become darker and why we have skin lightening as an option to combat it. A common condition that darkens the skin tone is called hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation is when the skin becomes darkened in certain areas because of an increase in color. The way this happens is through pigments called “melanin” found in our skin. The more melanin we have in our skin, the darker our skin becomes. Pigmentation, in general, is normal for everyone- we all have pigments that color our skin. However, hyperpigmentation is the excess amount of melanin being formed in our skin, causing our skin to darker in certain areas.
Hyperpigmentation can result in darker patches in the skin, spots or marks left after acne, increased pigmentation due to sun exposure, and even freckles which are quite common. Oftentimes, the discolored skin that has formed after hyperpigmentation can become even darker after exposure to sunlight. The reason this happens is because the melanin in our skin absorbs the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays to protect your skin from being too exposed to the sun. Therefore, if you have certain areas of your skin that you do not want to get darker, it’s important to dodge the sunlight if you can.
Sometimes hyperpigmentation can be a direct result of other skin conditions like acne. Once the acne is gone, there can be dark spots left over.
Hyperpigmentation is not fun to deal with and can become frustrating to maintain. However, products have been made to combat it and produce a lightening effect onto your skin. Trying these products can help you lower your melanin content and reduce hyperpigmentation.
What is Involved in Skin Lightening?
Now that you understand what hyperpigmentation is, treatments like skin lightening seem very significant and important to battle skin discoloration.
Skin lightening is commonly used to get rid of spots or marks on your skin. The marks are caused by hyperpigmentation and can often be removed with skin lightening products.
The difference between skin lightening and skin whitening is that skin lightening seeks to restore your skin to its natural color before any spots developed. This is different from skin whitening because whitening is to lighten your skin beyond its natural color- resulting in a completely different shade.
Skin lightening is also seen as more acceptable and positive, whereas skin whitening is often seen as dangerous and not recommended. Oftentimes dermatologists will prescribe skin lightening products, as the skin discoloration can usually be treated. This includes spots left from different skin conditions, acne, and dark patches.
Skin lightening products are able to reduce the pigmentation in our skin, thus resulting in less melanin and lighter skin color. When applied to a certain area, the skin will reduce in color until it matches the natural skin tone of the surrounding areas. This can treat hyperpigmentation and leave your skin even and clear.
Skin Lightening Products
The skin lightening products out there range from creams to soaps to prescription products. Some are natural, while others contain ingredients that aren’t pure and can be potentially hazardous. Swiss Botany focuses on creating natural alternatives to unnatural products to help people gain the same effective skin lightening without having your skin exposed to potentially dangerous ingredients.
Before getting into the best skin lightening products, it’s important to cover some of the dangerous treatments that aren’t preferred, like Hydroquinone.
Hydroquinone: The Good and The Bad
If you’ve been looking into skin lightening options, there’s a good chance you came across an ingredient called Hydroquinone. This ingredient is very popular for its effective results for skin lightening, but it may not be the safest option to settle with.
While it can provide great benefits for removing dark spots and marks on the skin, Hydroquinone contains hazardous ingredients like mercury and glucocorticoids. The ingredient ended up being banned by South Africa and remains looked down upon by the skincare industry.
The ingredients in Hydroquinone can cause potential irritation to the skin, like itchiness or redness. It can be difficult for people to handle it as it can get intense. There are also other side effects like dark spots being left on your skin after using Hydroquinone for an extended amount of time. Despite the popularity of this ingredient and effectiveness, the side effects are things which people don’t want to experience, which is why natural alternatives exist to provide the same skin lightening in a safer manner.
Natural Alternatives to Hydroquinone
There are several skin lightening alternatives to Hydroquinone that are pure and natural:
Lemons are known for their skin enhancing features, which include skin lightening. The ingredients that make lemons great for lightening the skin are citric acid and vitamin C. Citric acid is great for lightening blemishes on the skin and restoring it to an even tone. While it can cause potential irritability on the skin, it is only minimal and does not contain harmful ingredients like Hydroquinone. Vitamin C is an excellent skin lightener as well and is effective for bringing out the brightness in the skin.
You may be surprised to hear that lemons can also help with wrinkles and aging problems. The vitamin C content nourishes the skin with a protein called collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein in our body that helps with skin structure. Unfortunately, as we get older, the collagen in our body slows down its production, which causes our skin to lack in structure. This is how fine lines and wrinkles are formed. With vitamin C, however, the collagen is reproduced and thus helps decrease aging signs.
Swiss Botany has its own product that focuses on vitamin C, called the Vitamin C Eye Gel. This gel is great for reducing dullness around the eyes and bringing out a bright appearance. It’s great for combating the aging features around your eyes as well. This product can be the solution to your lightening as well as aging problems.
Licorice is a sweet treat as well as an effective skin lightener. It can powerfully combat hyperpigmentation and leave your skin free of spots and marks. It’s great for your skin in other areas too, like controlling the oil on your skin, as well as relaxing your skin from irritation. Therefore, people with sensitive skin should look into using products with licorice in them, like our Natural Skin Brightener With Mulberry & Licorice. It’s safe and healthy for your skin and can prevent irritation, unlike other products.
Honey is a great ingredient to apply to your skin. It is soothing and calm and can benefit your skin in many ways. Honey can lighten your skin as well as moisturize it at the same time. Applying honey onto your skin can impact how your skin feels and can be used with different ingredients as well for added benefit.
Oranges are a tasty fruit to eat and a great skin lightener as well. Using the peels of the orange, you can make a paste and apply it to your skin. You should expect lighter skin and even smoother texture.
All of the ingredients and treatments mentioned are much safer than Hydroquinone due to their natural elements. Skin lightening can be achieved used these methods and can help you restore evenness. Remember that the aim of skin lightening is to help your skin achieve its natural skin color rather than changing it altogether, the way skin whitening would. Using skin lightening treatments can help you gain an even skin tone and natural color.
What is Skin Brightening?
Skin brightening is yet another technique used for enhancing the skin’s appearance. What distinguishes brightening from lightening or whitening is that it merely seeks to add radiance to the skin, without altering any other features. Brightening focuses on achieving glowing and youthful skin by removing dull appearances. It’s also usually natural which is great for your skin.
Enhanced Brightening with Vitamin C
An excellent and effective ingredient used in skin brightening is vitamin C. What makes vitamin C so great is that it can bring out the glow from your skin and tackle darker areas. Vitamin C is found in many foods as well, like strawberries, oranges, and kiwis, which makes it easier to gain more of.
Another great function of vitamin C is that it aids in collagen production. Collagen is actually the most abundant protein in our body, and its function is to provide structure to the skin. Without collagen, our skin would be saggy and very messy. Thanks to collagen, we’re able to have tight, smooth skin.
As we grow older, however, our body slows down its collagen production. This affects us by giving us wrinkles and fine lines. To avoid this, it’s essential to increase your vitamin C intake through other sources. This is where eating healthy fruits and using natural products comes in. Keeping up your vitamin C levels is great for the health of your skin.
Products That Help with Skin Brightening
One of the best products out there for skin brightening is the Enhanced Skin Brightening Vitamin C Gel. This product not only features effective skin brightening, but it also has vitamin C included in it. These ingredients combined together provide many benefits for your skin, including getting rid of darker areas and nourishing the skin with brightening features.
Another great product for skin brightening is the Natural Skin Brightener With Mulberry & Licorice. This product is natural, includes helpful ingredients like mulberry and licorice, and fades dark spots. It can also cure uneven skin tone on top of brightening your skin, which is a great alternative to skin lightening. Using this product to gain brighter skin is a great alternative to other treatments and can help you achieve the glow you’re looking for.
Which Option Should I Choose?
Striving to achieve brighter and even skin is something many people are looking to do. The different methods involved in this can vary in their effectiveness, ingredients, and potential harmfulness. As already mentioned, skin whitening may not be the go-to option due to the unnatural ingredients it includes, which can cause poor skin health. Skin lightening is a better alternative when evaluating it through the safety perspective. Finally, skin brightening is mainly all-natural, providing results with pure ingredients. Choosing the option that is the most natural and welcoming to your skin is key to finding a suitable solution for your skin enhancement needs.