What Is The Difference Between Skin Lightening And Skin Bleaching?

There are many different words used to describe the process of lightening your skin… including bleaching, whitening, brightening and of course simply lightening. There are also slang terms such as “rubbing”, “browning” or “toning” used within some communities.

Many people consider these words to be synonyms, just different ways of saying the same thing and many cosmetic companies and websites (including ours) use these words interchangeably.

woman with lightened skinIn the medical and pharmaceutical world, the term bleaching generally refers to the use of products at the harsh end of the scale. In other words, those that contain ingredients such as mercury, steroids and hydroquinone.

While skin lighteners are considered to be the products made from safer, natural ingredients with the goal of gently lightening the skin by up to a few shades. Usually used for a specific purpose such as fading age spots, scars or lightening intimate areas.

Skin brightening is a term used mainly within the cosmetic industry for a product that exfoliates the dull surface skin to reveal the softer, clearer, brighter skin underneath… which results in a more even skin. These creams often contain products to help illuminate the skin, giving a nice healthy glow.

A lot also depends on the specific language used by the general public. Take for instance, anal bleaching… which has been a very popular practice for quite a few years now. Most people when searching for information about this procedure, use the term “anal bleaching” and most websites, spas and medical practitioners also use the same words. However the procedure most commonly practiced and talked about is actually, anal lightening. Even in our own article about anal bleaching, we chose to use the most popular terminology.

Here at MyLighterSkin.com we believe that regardless of the language being used, health comes before beauty and therefore we recommend avoiding products containing potentially dangerous ingredients and instead opting only for products containing safe natural ingredients or otherwise make your own natural remedies at home.

What Is All The Fuss About Hydroquinone?

If you are thinking about using skin lightening products, then chances are you will have come across the word hydroquinone in your search for suitable products and information. You may be wondering what the fuss is about and why so many skin lightening manufacturers warn against using products containing this ingredient.

The main problem with hydroquinone, is that it isn’t safe to use lightening creams containing this ingredient for long term use. That is the main issue. You should only use these products for a short period, preferably under the supervision of a medical practitioner. If you buy these products over the counter or online, then there is no one to monitor for possible side effects or the length of time these creams are applied.

If you are interested in diy at home skin lightening, then you are best to steer clear of products containing hydroquinone. Instead you should only choose products made by reputable manufacturers that contain safe ingredients for over the counter use.

Should I Exfoliate My Skin Before Using A Lightening Product?

A lot of people like to exfoliate before using a lightening product, in order to get faster results. This can be done either with an exfoliating cream, or it can be done with an item such as a loofah.

Removing the dead cells from the surface of your skin (exfoliating) will indeed help to speed up the lightening process, however it will also make your skin more sensitive… so you do need to be careful. Special care needs to be taken, so that you don’t break the skin… as lighting products mustn’t be applied to broken skin as irritation or infection may occur.

Many skin lightening manufacturers recommend that you don’t exfoliate before lightening, for these reasons, so if you do decide to… proceed with caution. The best approach would be to exfoliate first and then wait a couple of days before you start with the whitening cream.

Can You Use Skin Lightening Products While You Are Pregnant?

It isn’t advisable to use skin lightening creams while you are pregnant. In fact you need to be careful in regards to anything you put on your skin, not just lightening products, while you are pregnant or breast feeding. The reason for this is that anything that you put on your skin can be absorbed through the skin and into your blood stream and therefore could have an effect on your child.

Another reason not to use skin lightening products while you are pregnant is because the hormones that your body makes when you are pregnant can actually cause skin darkening and discoloration. Therefore it makes sense to wait until the pregnancy is over before starting a lightening regime.

It is always important to consult with your doctor about anything that you put on or into your body while you are pregnant.

How Long Do Lightening Creams Take To Work?

As there are many different skin lightening creams on the market and the way that individual people react to these products will vary, there isn’t one set answer to this question. However, to give you a general idea, most people will see noticeable results within six weeks when using a good quality product made with natural and safe ingredients.

Therefore, it is always a good idea to select a product that comes with at least a 42 day (six week) money back guarantee.

Should I Use Sunscreen With Lightening Products?

If you use a lightening cream on any part of your body that will be exposed the sun, you should definitely use a high SPF sunscreen on the exposed area. Lightening creams block the production of melanin and it is melanin that gives your skin some resistance to the sun, therefore your skin will be more sun sensitive.

You must wait until the lightening cream has completely absorbed into your skin and dried before you add suntan lotion.