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How to Lighten Skin Naturally

Updated on July 31, 2012

People of all ages can experience skin problems such as dullness of the skin and discoloration. Age spots, acne spots, melasma and uneven complexion are some of the most common conditions. Skin lightening has become very popular because of its ability to improve the appearance and continuity of color in skin.

Unfortunately, there is much controversy because the most prominent products used to lighten the skin may be harmful. Skin whitening products are available in soaps, lotions. pills and creams. The controversial ingredient used in many of these products is called hydroquinone. Hydroquinone has the ability to inhibit the production of melanin which is responsible for skin pigmentation. It is very effective at whitening the skin but excessive amounts can lead to darker, thicker skin and disorders of the blood. Studies conducted with hydroquinone have shown that it causes leukemia in mice and other animals. In 2001, it was banned from cosmetics in Europe. Another toxic ingredient found in many creams on the market is ammoniated mercury or mercury(II) chloride

There is no need to risk your health with these types of products when you can learn how to lighten your skin naturally. Promoting and maintaining healthy, radiant, younger looking skin can be done safely, gently and without irritation or harsh side effects. It is important to find the right natural ingredients that will work best with your skin type. Highly pigmented birthmarks and moles can be whitened to match the surrounding skin. Vitiligo sufferers can lighten unaffected areas to obtain a more uniform appearance.

Natural products that work in a similar manner to hydroquinone are Alpha hydroxy acids, kojic acid, azelaic acid, glutathione, tretinoin, arbutin, niacinamide, licorice extract, vitamin C, uva ursi (bearberry) extract, scaber extract, morus bombycis (mulberry) (bearberry) extract, broussonetia papyrifera (paper mulberry), morus alba (white mulberry) and extrapone nutgrass.

Exfoliation is effective if you have dull or blotchy skin which may be due to an excess of dead skin cells, dirt and sebum in your skin pores. Skin cells are shed naturally but this process can become inefficient due to a number of factors such as toxin build up in the body, poor circulation, sebum build up and external pollutants. Exfoliation gets rid of excess dirt and oil on the skin, and excess skin cells, clearing your pores and allowing them to breathe. Clean pores will allow for healthy skin cell turnover, diminish blemishes and acne scars and give you a much clearer complexion.

One of the major factors leading to scarring and discoloration is dry skin. When the skin is dry it loses its elasticity and ability to heal properly. When the skin becomes exposed to heat, cold weather, wind and UV rays the skin is easily damaged. Scarring is caused by abnormal healing by the skin and can look like freckles and dark sun spots. It is important to moisturize after cleansing and exfoliating the skin. When exposed to the sun(uv rays are present in all weather conditions) always use a natural, moisturizing sunscreen. Dullness and discoloration of the skin is often the result of poor diet. A healthy diet consists of at least 60 percent raw fruits and vegetables and should include a number of whole grain products. Avoid processed foods and products high in sugar and unhealthy fats. Eating a proper diet will help the skin to shed cells, heal properly and increase the skin’s protection against the sun and external pollutants.

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    • charu7_2000 profile image

      chikki 

      7 years ago from india

      nice one!!

    • profile image

      Pm 

      7 years ago

      Nice article, after nearly damaging my skin using bleaching creams I can appreciate others talking about how to lighten skin naturally

    • Dviews profile image

      Catherine D. 

      7 years ago from Canada

      Wow! Thank you for a very informative Hub. I personally did not know that Hydroquinone if use in excess could cause further discoloration etc.

      Thank you for all the other alternatives.

      A very helpful hub. Keep on hubbing hubber :)

    • profile image

      Xia 

      8 years ago

      Thanks for such a informative article. Its more helpful.

    • Gabriella D'Anton profile image

      Gabriella D'Anton 

      8 years ago from Los Angeles, Ca

      Thank you for this well documented hub.

      As a skin care specialist I back-up your information 100% and I am happy you shared your knowledge with the hub community

    • aloevera4life profile image

      aloevera4life 

      9 years ago

      Nice positional information. What about these aloevera gel? Any views?

    • profile image

      strawberryhemangiomaoninfants.com 

      9 years ago

      Strawberry Hemangioma on Infants

      Presently, the phrase hemangioma is utilized to mention a strawberry blotch that is among most cases establish on youngsters and infants. Strawberry Hemangioma is primarily distinguished in new born little ones and is the largest common tumor form on toddlers. However, the hemangiomas are marks yet they don't get noticed until after some weeks following birth. Plus they are often common among female infants more than among the male ones lots of them turn up as a unique solitary mark. The situation is perceived by a combo of hard blood vessels, which are established under the skin area. Nevertheless, the principal root in regard to strawberry hemangioma is mysterious likewise there is no recognize force that may prevent a toddler's growth or development. For more info no all types of birthmarks go to www.strawberryhemangiomaoninfants.com

    • Daniel Carter profile image

      Daniel Carter 

      9 years ago from Western US

      Really glad to have information about natural skin whiteners. I'm sure there are a lot of people who are glad to have access to this info. Thanks!

    • profile image

      Skin care 

      9 years ago

      nice post.

    • Rachael Rush profile image

      Rachael Rush 

      9 years ago from Los Angeles

      This post was great. I was just talking with a friend about similiar things the other day. It sounds like your tips on exfoliating will help. I will give her the news. Thanks you!

    • profile image

      Odean 

      9 years ago

      Thanks alot, this was really helpful.

    • Julie McM profile image

      Julie McM 

      9 years ago from Southern California

      Very helpful information about skin care, and skin lightening.

    • JPSO138 profile image

      JPSO138 

      9 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      Simple and short but carry a lot of useful information. Keep those hubs coming!

    • ocbill profile image

      ocbill 

      9 years ago from hopefully somewhere peaceful and nice

      I always think I'd skim through it but as usual I end up seriously reading an interesting topic like this one. Good Hub

    • profile image

      elynjo 

      9 years ago

      This is helpful, I will keep this in mind. Thanks.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 

      9 years ago from Texas

      Good info as always! Thanks! :)

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