Skin whitening creams

Sounds surprising but the truth is that hundreds of thousands of people use creams which they feel are making their skin fairer or removing the fine lines from your skin. And the use of these creams is not limited to female consumers but males too are using these creams as well. Maybe most male users come from the groups whose skin has darkened due to exposure to sun or maybe the pimple marks is the other reason.  There are a big number of consumers who prefer to improvise the color of their skin without knowing the reality of most of these creams. As far I feel I have always thought that home remedies of improving your skin are always better and safer to greater extent than the artificial products you buy from different sources without knowing the facts but the fact that today there is a large number of skin whitening and fairness creams which are easily available in the Indian market. 

Have you seen the latest advertisement which says ‘The boys are getting luckier?’ That’s nothing but an advert which prompts boys to buy a particular cream claiming that particular cream has been manufactured particularly keeping the boys in mind. We should not find it surprising that the turnover of skin related products has touched multi billions in last few decades and the business is increasing at rapid rate. You can criticize them for their discriminating tactics of unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people, especially on the grounds of color but that’s their business and they find nothing wrong if they are prompting you to become handsome by making your skin fair. 

The role of whitening creams

I personally do not see how a man or woman will make a better worker based on his or her skin color. As far as the fine lines and spots or marks are concerned that is justifiable but up to an extent. No company mentions the side effects which may harm your health as all these products contain steroids, metals and some other ingredients which are extremely harmful for the skin, lungs, kidney and heart. And when I say the creams which claim to make your skin flawless or fairer we should keep in mind that no cream in the world can make you fairer more than 15-20 percent and that too only temporarily. Most of the creams claiming to make you whiter have their roles limited to protect your skin from harmful sun rays which happens due to lesser production of melanin, a dark brown to black pigment which produces in our hair, skin, and iris of the eye of all the people and animals alike which is main source of tanning of skin exposed to sunlight. However, there is no denial that use of these creams may cause more harm than benefit in any case.

The harmful results

Most of the consumers of whitening creams come from the 20-30 age group and almost 30-40% users mostly girls, fall prey to skin related problems by using these products and the users are not limited in this particular age group but they belong to all ages stating from 8-9 to 60-80. Most of these damages are caused by substandard products which make bigger and unreasonable claims and the worst part of the story is we have no effective regulatory in our country to keep a check on such products. People are suffering from various skin and other related diseases due to these products and wasting their hard earned money on further treatments. We should know that substandard products use harmful chemicals like hydroquinone, steroids, mercury, bleach and heavy metals which cause allergies, infections and even may lead to skin cancer. 

The side effects

We should also know that substandard creams which use hydroquinone a chemical basically used for photographic processing, rubber manufacturing and hair dye making purpose and the use of bleaching agents in these creams help reduce the production of melanin in the beginning which hides black or brown pigments and also remove the upper layer of skin which brings the lower layer having lesser melanin on top. This process in the beginning makes users believe that their skin is getting fairer. The process which normally takes three to four weeks changes faster if bleaches etc are used on the skin but the fact that the skin becomes more sensitive against ultraviolet rays since the natural melanin in your body saves your skin from the attack of UV rays.    

There are reports that some of the manufacturers of these creams use glutathione for whitening the skin. Glutathione is an anti occident which is also used for reducing the toxicity of chemotherapy in cancer patients. Just imagine the use of such a product in a mere whitening cream and the degree to which a substance can damage an organism is simply unbelievable. Glutathione is also available in form of capsules for use of 1 capsule a day for 2-3 months which is said to reduce the shade of skin up to some extent and that is not end of the story but this substance is available in form of injectable dose too. People taking all these so called treatments are not aware about the damages they will face in long run or in a near future but looking fairer they are playing with their health and money. People using all these creams and other medicines should know the harmful effects which all these products leave on their health.

Use of steroid based creams give better results in skin diseases like eczema and other such problems but using them regularly without the consent of your doctor is harmful. Now think about the people who use creams for purpose of improving the complexion of their skin or removing the stains containing steroids regularly for unlimited period of time. Unfortunately, products containing corticosteroids are available freely over the counters in India without any warning or restriction which can be used by anyone without even knowing the side effects they produce. Here I would like to mention some of these steroids like clobetasol propionate, betamethsone and halobetasole propionate which are more dangerous compared to hydrocortisone and fluticasone etc. 

Now look at the problems you might face by using the creams containing steroids

1- Your skin becomes thinner by constant use of creams containing steroids. You may get rashes or stretch marks on your skin even with a light touch

2- There is a general belief that these creams can cure pimples but on the contrary the prolonged use of steroid added creams increase pimples at a rapid rate

3- One of the worst effects of steroid containing creams comes in form of visible blood cells on the skin as the thinner skin fails to hide these blood cells under the skin. The skin becomes lesser resistant to diseases which increase the danger of harmful effects of different diseases.

4- Another harmful effect of use of steroid comes in form of growth of hair on your face which makes a great concern, especially for female users.

Most of these being available over the counter even if you do not have a prescription or the attacking advertising campaigns making you believe that your future is in these creams as you will be of no use for the companies which may recruit you only when you have a whiter face or in most cases girls falling in the trap of getting a better match makes a big difference on sales of these products. But what you get in turn is loss of health and money and nothing else.

One should face the fact that these products just work like a polish which stays for a limited time period on your skin. Your skin needs to be healthy from inside which is an entirely different proposition unless you intake all the healthy ingredients necessary for healthy skin. 

So what you should actually do for a healthy and shiny skin? 

1 Use moisturizer instead of creams containing harmful ingredients

2 Clean your skin multiple times with fresh water

3 Use a standard sunscreen lotion according to your skin to protect from ultraviolet rays. 

4 Cover yourself as much as possible to keep your skin protected from sun and avoid tanning

5 Use as much water as you can which will keep your skin healthy and glowing

6 Use as much fruits and green vegetables as you can as these contain anti Occident 

7 Use Vitamin A and Vitamin C which is good for your skin that helps produce collagen and elastin and reduce the risk of harm from sun rays. 

8 It’s better to avoid regular bleaching as the ammonia and hydrochloric acid are harmful for your skin and the aging, wrinkles and fine lines  show up faster

What harms your skin?

- Most of the so called beauty products contain ingredients which cause harm to your skin and give you a burning feeling while out in sun. The rate of tanning also goes up than in normal course

- If you use the same anti acne cream over a long period the chances are the pimples will increase

- Your skin will lose its natural shine and it will look dull

- The skin gets thinner and show the blood cells

- Your skin lose pigments

- You get undesired facial hair and if the product contains harmful ingredients like mercury and lead etc the chances are your skin will suffer from allergies or in worst case from cancer 

Researches and results

A number of groups are engaged in researches on such products and have come to certain conclusions. The results say that most anti aging, fairness, whitening creams, lip balms, lipsticks and related products contained mercury also known as quicksilver which is a banned item for use in beauty products but the researchers found that these products had up to 40% mercury and rest of the ingredients contained Hydroquinone, lead, nickel, chromium and steroids. A dangerous proposition of course as the use of hydroquinone is a good bleaching agent otherwise the use of which can discolor your skin permanently. 

Likewise the use of glycolic acid, retinal and beta hydro oxide which are used  for whitening and shining the skin effect the resistance power of the skin and makes it weaker against fighting from ultraviolet rays ultimately the skin ages faster and fine lines show up on the skin. Tretinoin, which is a preparation of retinoic acid and applied on the skin for treatment of acne and other disorders, can produce rashes if used more than the prescribed quantity also the skin gets thinner and dry. Silicon which is also used in beauty products can also cause allergies to the skin. During the use of tretinoin, the skin may feel irritation and the quantity of pimples increases against the contrary claims by the manufacturers which are nothing but false adverts. Now, the choice is yours.  

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