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    Feb 27, 2008, 09:29 AM
    Skin Lightening Warnings and Info
    How skin lightening products work

    There are two chemicals found in skin lightening products, Hydroquinone or Mercury.

    O Hydroquinone (C6H6O2) is a severely toxic and very powerful chemical used in photo processing, the manufacture of rubber and is an active agent in hair dyes.

    O Mercury in the form of Mercury Chloride & Ammoniated Mercury is carcinogenic. They appear on the list of toxic substances that can only be purchased via pharmacies with prescribed labels of toxicity.

    Both products perform a similar process. In the short term they will initially cause the skin to lighten by inhibiting the production of melanin. Without melanin formation in the basal layer no brown pigmentation will be visible.

    The long term effects, however, are those that must be addressed.

    The long term effects of using skin lightening products

    Hydroquinone or Mercury applied to the skin will react with ultra violet rays and re-oxidise, leading to more pigmentation and premature ageing. More product is then applied in an attempt to correct the darker blotchy appearance.

    These are the beginnings of a vicious cycle. By altering the skins natural structure and inhibiting the production of Melanin, it's natural protection, the skin is more susceptible to skin cancer.

    Prolonged use of Hydroquinone will thicken collegen fibres damaging the connective tissues. The result is rough blotchy skin leaving it with a spotty cavier appearance.

    Mercury will slowly accumulate within the skin cells striping the skin of it's natural pigment leaving behind the tell tale signs of gray/ blue pigmentation in the folds of the skin. In the long term the chemical will damage vital organs and lead to liver and kidney failure and mercury poisoning.

    Are these products legal?

    Products containing up to 2 percent Hydroquinone were legally available in the UK until 2001 when the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) issued the draft 24th Commission Directive. This bans preparations with Hydroquinone due to the long term effects as it accumulates in the tissues. The UK Cosmetic Product Regulations 1978 prohibits the use of Mercury compounds."

    To read the whole article please refer-

    In our quest for light skin,what are we really setting ourselves up for?

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