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    RickJ's Avatar
    RickJ Posts: 7,762, Reputation: 864
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    #1

    Mar 4, 2008, 05:52 AM
    Skin Lightening Frequently Asked Questions
    Check out this info - and answers to Frequently Asked Questions - from our Skin Lightening Expert
    PunkChic's Avatar
    PunkChic Posts: 986, Reputation: 51
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    #2

    Mar 4, 2008, 06:11 AM
    First and foremost: Read the Warnings and Information here.

    These are some commonly asked questions about Skin Lightening and answers to them. There is no definitive sure-fire answer when it comes to Skin Lightening as different products seem to have different results on different people so what works for someone else may not work for you. When trying out a new product remember to give it time, as lightened skin cannot be achieved over night. Beware of sellers that try to lure you to believe a product lightens you within days.

    * Why do people use skin lightening products?
    * How can I lighten my skin?
    * And what about Monobenzone?
    * This is so confusing. What should I use? I'd like to research more about this topic, where do I start?
    * Can you give any product recommendations?
    * I need some personal advice about skin lightening Where can I get help?
    PunkChic's Avatar
    PunkChic Posts: 986, Reputation: 51
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    #3

    Mar 31, 2008, 07:09 AM
    Why do people use skin lightening products?

    There are several reasons someone would want to use skin lightening products. Firstly they could be suffering from uneven skin tone, freckles, melasma, or age spots, secondly they could be fed up of racial inequality or discrimination and finally in extreme cases they could be suffering from Vitiligo, which is a skin disease causing white patches to appear on the face and body.
    Or maybe they would prefer to have lighter skin.

    PunkChic's Avatar
    PunkChic Posts: 986, Reputation: 51
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    #4

    Mar 31, 2008, 07:14 AM
    How can I lighten my skin?

    There are several skin lightening products out there that claim to lighten your skin. They can baffle you with fictional science to blind you into buying their product. But remember, the only way to find out if it could be worth trying out is to check the ingredient list.

    What are the ingredients I should be looking for?

    Hydroquinone - Proven to be the most effective ingredient but also the most controversial.
    Hydroquinone stops the skin from producing melanin (the substance responsible for skin colour). Basic over the counter skin lightening products have a mere 2% concentration of hydroquinone. Anything higher than that must be prescribed or available from a physician.
    Hydroquinone has been linked to cancer, liver disease and other illnesses. Due to safety concerns, some countries have banned this ingredient.

    Arbutin - Can be found in the leaves of several types of berry leaves (bearberry, mulberry, cranberry and blueberry) and also in many types of pears. It is known to contain Melanin-inhibiting properties although it is not yet known how much arbutin is required in a chemical formula in order to lighten skin. This is also a controversial ingredient as some fear this too has links to cancer like hydroquinone yet there have been no studies to prove its toxicity.

    Kojic acid - A by-product of the fermentation process for the popular Japanese rice wine Sake. There has been extensive research carried out on the skin lightening properties of Kojic Acid and the signs are good. It has been shown that Kojic Acid is very good at inhibiting Melanin production in the skin. One drawback with this product is its instability within chemical formulae. Exposure to the sun or even air will make it turn a horrible brown colour and lose its effectiveness.

    Liquorice (Glycyrrhiza Glabra) Japanese scientists discovered that the Liquorice plant contained a compound called Glabridin which when extracted from the root has very strong hyperpigmentation fading qualities. Glabridin works by restricting the oxidization activity of the melanin producing cells in the skin just as Kojic acid does. When used topically it is not toxic, does not discolour permanently and seems to be anti-inflammatory. Do not take orally as excessive intake may be toxic. Many people use this and claim it works for them, whilst many others claim it has little or no effect. As with all skin lightening products, results vary from person to person.
    Vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid, ascorbic acid, and magnesium ascorbyl phosphate) can be effective if used in conjunction with other skin lightening treatments as it has not been shown to lighten skin significantly on its own. The main reason for this is down to the manufacturers of skin lightening products using less than 5% strength Vitamin C. A small few tests have been carried out on stronger concentrations that show Vitamin C benefiting melanin production inhibition.

    Tretinoin is another treatment best used in conjunction with other treatments. Lots of research into the effects of Tretinoin has shown it has minimal effect on skin tone. Results improve drastically when used in conjunction with Sun block or Hydroquinone. I would avoid Hydroquinone and opt for Tretinoin with Sun block.

    Azelaic Acid - is a fairly weak inhibitor of the oxidization in melanin producing skin cells that selectively targets overactive cells. It was originally used to treat acne and has also successfully treated postinflammatory hyperpigmentation. It is usually prescribed topically as a cream at about 20%. The effectiveness of 20% Azelaic Acid is very similar to that of 4% Hydroquinone when used to treat dark-skinned patients for facial hyperpigmentation. It can be used to very good effect with Sunscreen and/or Vitamin C.

    Glycolic Acid is an Alpha Hydroxy Acid, it is not used to specifically lighten skin as it has little or no skin lightening properties. However it is often incorporated into skin bleaching regimens as it exfoliates the skin cells clearing away dead top layer cells. If used alongside Azelaic acid, Hydroquinone or Kojic acid the theory goes that new lighter skin cells will replace the old darker top layer ones.

    PunkChic's Avatar
    PunkChic Posts: 986, Reputation: 51
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    #5

    Mar 31, 2008, 07:15 AM
    And what about Monobenzone?

    Monobenzone is used to treat people who suffer from Vitiligo. Vitiligo is a skin condition found primarily on people with darker skin tones which causes them to lose pigmentation on seemingly random patches of their skin. The most famous sufferer of Vitiligo is Michael Jackson and it is rumoured that he used Monobenzone to treat it. Monobenzone is not to be used to treat other skin conditions such as freckles, melasma, age spots etc.

    The purpose of Monobenzone is to permanently remove colour from normal skin surrounding the areas affected by Vitiligo. The effects of this treatment are irreversible and leave the user permanently sensitive to sunlight. There are many side effects that come with using Monobenzone including: Redness, burning, cracking or peeling of the skin, dry skin and irritation. If you notice swelling, a rash, skin discolouration in areas not treated or any other symptom not mentioned above you need to see a doctor straight away.

    PunkChic's Avatar
    PunkChic Posts: 986, Reputation: 51
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    #6

    Mar 31, 2008, 07:15 AM
    This is so confusing. What should I use? I'd like to research more about this topic, where do I start?

    The key is to research, research and research before purchasing a skin lightener. Read the ingredients, research about them and then it's up to you to decide what you want to use. Also, a trip to see the dermatologist would be ideal.

    Google is your best friend here.
    Here are also some very interesting articles which will help you decide what you want to use.
    Google Answers: which skin whitening product really work
    Skin whitening - skin care guide
    eMedicine - Skin Lightening and Depigmenting Agents : Article by Alaina James
    Skin Bleaching

    PunkChic's Avatar
    PunkChic Posts: 986, Reputation: 51
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    #7

    Mar 31, 2008, 07:15 AM
    Can you give any product recommendations?

    On the forum there are many topics covering many types of products. Please read the threads thoroughly.
    All products are unique to each individual. What works for someone else may not work for you as everyone has a different skin type.
    Here's a site with some product recommendations
    Skin Care Product Reviews: Skin Lighteners

    PunkChic's Avatar
    PunkChic Posts: 986, Reputation: 51
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    #8

    Mar 31, 2008, 07:15 AM
    I need some personal advice about skin lightening Where can I get help from?

    Click on the orange "Ask About Skin Lightening" button at the top of this page and I will try to answer to the best of my ability but I'm not a dermatologist. So your best bet would be to seek advice from your dermatologist.

    revankarriya's Avatar
    revankarriya Posts: 2, Reputation: 1
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    #9

    Jan 29, 2009, 02:42 AM
    Comment on PunkChic's post
    Not bad

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