Let’s face it; we live in a world where women are on continuously on the hunt for products that’ll help them look more youthful and radiant. Which is why it makes so much sense that the trend of skin whitening and brightening has become big business.
Sure, there are still thousands of women who’ll flock to the beach in an effort to give their complexion a bit of a sun-kissed tan, but it seems that lately a bigger emphasis is now being placed on having clear, bright skin because of how youthful-looking it will leave your skin. Dermatologist Dr. Adrian Lim from the Australasian College of Dermatologists says: “A nice, even-toned complexion counts for a lot. They’ve done studies on faces and having an even pigmentation can wipe off up to 10-15 years.”
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF GETTING YOUR SKIN LIGHTENED?
There are a number of beneficial features from getting skin whitened and brightened, but overall it can really help your complexion. It can work to reduce any unwanted pigmentation, get rid of any damage cause by the sun, and can help improve the texture of your skin by removing thickened layers of skin and dead skin.
HOW DOES SKIN LIGHTENING AND BRIGHTENING WORK?
Lasers target the melanin in the pigment cells, which causes the pigment cells to, for lack of a better word, crust off and reveal refreshed, glowing skin underneath.
Then, it’s up to certain active ingredients to do the rest by helping to prevent pigmentation production.
According to GMC Cosmedical cosmetic physician and laser surgeon Dr George M. Calfas, the popularity of the trend has sparked improvements in the products available to those who want to brighten and even out their skin tone. “There’s a much better range of skin products now, particularly in regards to medical grade or prescription products,” he says.
Products now feature effective agents like hydroquinoine, kojic acis, azelaic acid and retinoid acid, and there are so many more better quality and higher grade chemical peels available – all of which help to penetrate deeper into the skin without compromising safety. There have also been huge improvements in the technology of the lasers, meaning that many people can have the treatment and go back to work with little down time.
BUT WHAT ABOUT OVER-THE-COUNTER PRODUCTS?
This boom in skin whitening treatments and technology isn’t just restricted to clinic and salons, there’s also been a huge increase in skin care products that help even out and bright your skin. So how do these over-the-counter products compare to professional treatments and do they deserve a place in our bathroom cabinets? While at-home treatments are not as effective as professional lasers and peels because they are less powerful and produce slower results, they can still improve the complexion significantly. “It’s cost effective. A little bit slower, but it works. Obviously if they get prescription grade products they’re faster working because they’re more intense,” says Dr Calfas, who believes that at-home treatments are good for those people who can’t afford to take down time.
However, Dr Caswell says that unless there is only a minimal problem, most over-the-counter products are not strong enough to do the job properly. She also reveals that facial skin pigmentation such as melasma and cholasma can only be treated using chemical and fractionated laser. Dr Lim also credits over-the-counter products for maintaining treatments, which are a big part of treating pigmentation.
Do you suffer from uneven skin and pigmentation? Would you consider having your skin professionally lightened and brightened?