Skin bleaching is reducing the amount of melanin present in your skin. There are a number of synthetic products that assess you to bleach your skin, but they come with a few possible side effects. These side effects include – swelling and thinning of skin, cataracts and skin cancer. A safer alternative to these harmful synthetic chemical bleaches are natural ingredients.
Why should we prefer natural ingredients over synthetic ones?
1. Minimal side effects (unless you’re allergic to a certain ingredient)
2. Not as expensive as synthetic bleaches
3. Some synthetic bleach (especially those with ‘Tretinoin’) makes your skin vulnerable to UV rays which means you’ll always have to be extra careful under the sun. Natural ingredients are not risky.
4. Hydroquinone (one of the strongest melanin inhibitor) is banned in many countries as it has been shown that it caused cancer when it was tested in few animals.
An alternative – “Natural ingredients”
I’ve listed down natural ingredients that one can find easily, are not expensive and will work for sure when used the right way. One thing you should make sure, if you are allergic to any of the ingredients listed down, please don’t use it. In case you’re not sure if a particular recipe will suit your skin or not, start with a patch test.
I’ve seen a lot of de-tanning products which have ‘papaya’ as the main content! Papaya has ‘papain’ – an enzyme. It has a number of benefits for skin. It helps with acne, sebum, premature ageing and skin lightening. Papain, actually, not just works to bleach the skin. It is more popular since it exfoliates and renews the skin. To use papaya as bleach, peel a papaya and remove the seeds. Blend it in a smooth paste and add fresh lemon juice to the blend.
Lactic acid is known to have amazing skin bleaching properties. Yogurt has a good amount of lactic acid and hence can be used to bleach skin. It works as a melanin suppressor. Lesser the melanin content, lighter the skin. Lactic acid has AHAs (alpha-hydroxy-acids) which help with premature ageing. Lactic acid is ‘milder’ than glycolic acid and thus lactic acid is preferred over glycolic acid by most users.
3. Gram Flour
Gram flour or besan is the best ingredient to whiten the skin. The best thing about this ingredient is that you can apply it topically in different ways. Either mix it with milk or yogurt (rich in lactic acid). You can also mix it with turmeric (helps with dark spots/acne spots).
Citrus fruits! Lemon helps with bleaching the skin since it has ascorbic acid which bleaches the skin and makes it lighter. Scientist claim that ascorbic acid reduces the production of melanin and helps with hyper pigmentation. Enzyme tyrosinase present in our body stimulates the production of melanin. When lemons are used, the ascorbic acid in them acts against tyrosinase and lightens the skin.
One tip to remember: never use lemons or lemon juice directly on your skin. It is highly acidic and can cause irritations. Dilute the lemon juice either with a suitable essential oil or water before applying it on the skin.
5. Baking Soda
I’ve seen a lot of videos on the internet where they show how baking soda can work wonders as a ‘teeth-whitener’. I wondered if it works equally well for skin, but realised that it does so only when used in the right proportions. You can mix milk with baking soda to get a thick paste. Do not use the famous mixture of ‘lemon and baking soda’ because, they can rather be harmful for your skin in the long run.
Pineapple has a certain enzyme that helps to lighten the skin. Since it is an acidic fruit, the best recipe to use it as bleach is to make a mask with either essential oils or oatmeal. In case, you do not want to use a mask, mix pineapple (blended) with coconut milk and apply topically with a makeup brush.
7. Soya Bean
Surprising, no? Soya beans are said to have ‘phytoestrogen’ which helps to bleach skin. Phytoestrogen calms the skin, treats dark spots and whitens skin when applied topically. The easiest way to use soya beans as bleach is to make a paste (with water) and apply it topically.
1. Always do a patch test if you’re unsure about an ingredient.
2. Do not use ingredients with high pH directly on the skin. Dilute such ingredients wither with essential oils or water.
What’s your favourite way to bleach skin? Share with us in the comments below!
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