The most recent celebrity accused of skin bleaching is Jamaican Dancehall artist, Vybz Kartel. Kartel has defended his skin lightening by saying it’s the same as tanning, wearing weaves or getting collagen injections for the lips – simply put, it’s a personal choice to change something about your own body. However, in the same way as excessive tanning or sun exposure can lead to skin damage and even cancer, unsafe skin lightening practises can lead to thinning of the skin, cancer and a condition called ochronosis where the skin becomes thick and dark in patches. There are safe skin lightening products available but these are not often discussed. The dangerous products seem to get the most mention, especially with the numerous stories we read about latest celebrities who have bleached their skin.
Many skin lightening products that are responsible for drastic changes in complexion contain harmful ingredients such as hydroquinone and mercury. Hydroquinone is banned in many countries in the world and even in the US where it is not banned, the concentration of the ingredient that can be used in over-the-counter skin lightening products is restricted to 2%. Concentrations over 2% are only available with a prescription and are recommended for short term use on small areas of skin.
If you want to lose weight, that is a personal choice but there are safe and unsafe ways of doing it. Eating a healthy balanced diet and taking regular exercise is a safe way to gradually lose weight without harming your body. Starving your body by eating one small meal a day to lose weight quickly is unsafe and quite frankly, stupid. In the same way, the choice of lightening your skin is a personal choice but it has to be done safely. Using laundry soap (yes, people actually do this!) or hydroquinone-based products to get 10 shades lighter in 3 months IS NOT safe. Using natural remedies or skin lightening products that contain only natural ingredients that even the skin tone and gradually treat hyperpigmentation is a far better option.
The motives behind skin lightening should also be talked about. Most people who purchase skin lightening products actually do not hate themselves, but they do want to fade blemishes or even the skin tone. There is such a taboo about buying skin lightening products that many people are too embarrassed to buy them in store and often have a hiding place at the back of the bathroom cupboard so guests don’t see them and get the wrong idea. Thanks to a small group of people that includes celebrities like Vybz Kartel, Sammy Sosa and Lil Kim who have taken drastic skin lightening measures, it’s not easy to shake the taboo.
There is a clear difference between bleaching and lightening. Skin bleaching is unsafe but skin lightening done safely can help those that suffer from hyperpigmentation, such as acne scars, age spots or melasma, achieve a beautiful and even skin tone.
For more safe skin lightening products, visit our skin lightening shop today.