The reasons why people want to lighten skin fast varies. Therefore, reasons to seek a fairer complexion include hyperpigmentation, melasma, acne scars (or even scars in general), photo-aging, random dark areas on the body, and simply for aesthetic reasons.
Causes of skin darkening
Hyper-pigmentation is darkening of the skin, usually in patches. A common form of hyperpigmentation includes liver spot or age spots and melasma. Damaging exposure to the sun causes age spots. Whereas hormonal changes observed in pregnancy and birth control pills usage cause melasma. Hyper-pigmentation can also be representative of systemic diseases and medications.
- Acne Scars
While scars are often the result of rough, long, and continuous acne injuries, acne scars result from the darkening of the area around the pimples. There are many types of acne scars. However, here we are discussing the discoloration of the skin after injury and inflammation.
Photo-aging is aging of the skin caused by light (photo). The skin age prematurely due to repeated exposure to ultraviolet radiation (UV) from the sun and from artificial UV sources. Therefore, this aging is provoked and is different from chronological aging. Thus photo-aging is characterized by the appearance of dark spots, freckles, wrinkles, and etc.
- Random dark areas on the body
Many individuals experience darkening of body areas such as underarms, elbows, knees, toes, and fingers. Darkening of underarms is often associated with accumulation of dead skin cells, bacteria, and friction from tight closes. On the other hand, darkening of elbows, knees, toes, and fingers might be associated with skin dryness.
- Aesthetic reasons
Some communities believe that a fairer completion is more attractive. They pursue lighten the skin to be easily integrated into society, get a job, marry, etc. Similarly, some women and men believe they look better with a whither skin tone. Also, lighten skin tone commonly associated with being photogenic. Thus in the age of social media. Skin lightening has become a tendency.
Best ingredients used to lighten skin fast
Hydroquinone is usually the first line treatment used for skin whitening. Despite the many controversies around the compound, no definitive study ever showed hydroquinone harmful to human. Hydroquinone remains the number on ingredient dermatologists prescribe to treat hyperpigmentation, melasma, acne scars, photo-aging, or random dark areas on the body.
Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA)
They mildly exfoliate the skin, increase skin collagen and elastin. Ideal to get rid of dead skin cells accumulation. Skincare brands add them lotions, creams, peels, cleansers, and soaps. However, peels can be abrasive to the skin and dermatologists only recommend them for deep serious skin issues. Common AHA includes citric acid (found in citrus fruits), glycolic acid (found in sugar cane), and lactic acid (found in sour milk).
Kojic acid mildly inhibits the formation of pigment in plant and animal tissues. People, thus, commonly use kojic acid for skin brightening and to even skin tone. People who only wish to maintain a bright complexion and even tone appreciate the mild skin lightening effects of kojic acid.
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
Studies showed that topical use of vitamin C dramatically brightens and even skin tone. In addition, this powerful antioxidant help protects and repair skin cells.
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In other to protect your complexion and prevent skin darkening, it is imperative you use a sunscreen. Also, the ingredient used to whiten the skin make your skin weaker and more vulnerable to sun damage. Wear sunglasses, hat, or an umbrella if you live in a region where it is constantly sunny.
How to quickly lighten the skin?
Simply use a combination of hydroquinone and AHA or kojic acid or vitamin C. Never mix products instead, use them intermittently. An ideal weekly regimen will be as follow
Example: hydroquinone + kojic acid => 4 nights hydroquinone followed by 3 nights kojic acid
Always use sunscreen creams during the day and whitening creams during the night. Products that contain hydroquinone, AHA, kojic acid, and vitamin c, can be drying or not moisturizing enough. Therefore it is best to use them during the night when you sleep.
In addition to all of the above, consider adding oral intake of vitamin C, Betacarotene, and Glutathione supplements for drastic results