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The adverse effects of bleaching creams.

Updated on January 8, 2015

The dark side of bleaching creams.

Many people use bleaching creams to lighten skin blemishes or achieve a more even skin tone. However, there are also those who use them to clarify their skin tone, changing their appearance gradually.


The sale of cosmetics, designed to amend or alter the color of the skin, has increased thanks to the high demand for this type of creams and lotions. In the market there are all kinds of lotions, creams and treatments to enhance or change the color of the skin. However, the cosmetic companies that manufacture products for skin lightening, not usually inform their clients of the potential damage that these products can cause.


Light skin, as an ideal of beauty, is dramatically increasing populations of the Middle East. Mothers in Law crave their children to have girlfriends with fair skin. Men, young and old, prefer women with light skin. This ideal of beauty has come to such an extent that women of all social and economic levels, become completely incredible lengths to get a clear skin.


In these countries, many techniques are used to whiten the skin, including: chemical bleaching of the skin, the use of bleaching creams, bleaching soaps, pills, laser treatments and even surgery.


The skin of women in the Middle East has a more compact surface layer with higher levels of melanin. Has a larger melanosomes causing less degradation and dispersion of these. Also produces more melanin in response to UVB light, unlike the white skin. Because of this protection with melanin, the skin of oriental women tend to have fewer wrinkles.

Therefore, the products created for skin whitening can affect the genetics of it in the eastern women, and destroy the natural elements that integrate and protect the skin. There is a lot of cosmetic products, created to whiten the skin, which contain chemicals that can be very harmful to the skin of people.


These are some of the dangerous chemicals that may contain products for skin whitening:


  • Hydroquinone: is the most common ingredient. It is used in many cosmetics, in hair dyes and certain medical preparations. Because it is considered a possible carcinogen (a substance that stimulates the production of cancer cells) and can cause serious respiratory problems, this substance is banned in the UK, Canada, in the countries of the European Union and Japan.
  • Mercury: many creams designed to lighten skin containing this product, usually in the form of mercuric chloride or ammonia mercury, a potent carcinogen. Toxic levels of mercury induce severe poisoning causes neurological and kidney damage and can also enhance the appearance of psychiatric disorders. In pregnant women it can cause serious fetal deformities.
  • Alpha hydroxy acids: are typically found in facial chemical peels. These should not be used without strict medical supervision because they can cause death by overdose.
  • Arsenic: sure, reading the word, you thought right "poison" which is what it is exactly. Certain creams and bleaching products also contain this chemical.

Hydroquinone or mercury applied to the skin react with sunlight and oxidized, leading to an increase in skin pigmentation, premature aging and loss of the protective barrier.


Therefore, the more product is applied on the skin appear darker spots. This gives rise to a vicious circle. By altering the natural structure of skin, and inhibition of melanin production, the person is more susceptible to skin cancer.


Prolonged use of hydroquinone cosmetics made thick collagen fibers, which damage the skin connective tissue. The result is a skin blemishes and rough irregular appearance.


Many of these creams and products are manufactured in India, Pakistan, China and Morocco.



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