Beauty products are not evenly regulated, so you never know what is in your facial products. Before picking up that new whitening cream your best friend swears by, think about the long term effects. Whitening creams reduce melanin, a pigment that determines the color of your skin, by using different chemical produits. Here are some hazardous ingredients you should watch:
Mercury is a toxic agent that can cause serious psychiatric, neurological, and kidney problems. If you are pregnant, the mercury may pass on to your unborn child.
Hydroquinone is used in prescription creams to lighten blemishes and sun spots for short-term use. While it might work initially, a long term side effect is a darkening of the skin to a blue-ish black color. Similar ingredients have also been shown to have cancer-causing properties.
Topical steroids can lead to hypertension, elevated blood sugar, and suppression of the body’s natural steroids. In fact, you might even have long term lasting side effects, like stretch marks, acne, redness, and swelling of the small blood vessels under the skin, leading to easier bruising and bleeding. The skin around the eyes might become too thin and hyperpigmented – “the panda effect” is one of the more long-term side effects. There is even a possibility of developing serious chronic conditions like cataracts or glaucoma.
What if you have already been using a whitening cream for a long time? You should not just stop it abruptly since it has reduced your ability to create natural steroids, so that it causes your body to go into distress, dehydration, severe vomiting, diarrhea, low blood pressure and loss of consciousness. Talk to a health care professional about how to safely help you recover.
There are a variety of natural alternatives to using whitening and bleaching creams. If there is a real issue you are interested in fixing, consult and use products under the supervision of a professional.
For centuries, women have gone to great lengths for beauty – no pain, no gain. Remember, your body is yours for life, think of how your actions today are going to impact you tomorrow and beyond.