All skincare should be safe, but truth be told, skin-lightening ingredients don’t have the best track record. For this, we have mercury to blame. Any skincare products that can make you fair in such a short time are always associated with mercury. Mercury is inexpensive, effectively removes dark spots, and lightens your skin. But mercury is very harmful to your health, and our government has banned few products that contain mercury. But do not worry. There are many safe skin-lightening ingredients available to you, and here are 5 ingredients recommended by our dermatologist.
Kojic Acid is a somewhat under-the-radar acid that deserves some time in the skincare spotlight, particularly if your goal is a brighter and more even complexion. It is excellent at fading hyperpigmentation and discoloration or which means good for lightening dark spots. Kojic acid does have a few other standout qualities and they are:
- Inhibits the production of melanin in the skin: The pathway that leads to excess melanin or pigment is complex, but at the heart of the matter is an enzyme known as tyrosinase. Kojic acid blocks tyrosinase, in turn, inhibiting the production of excess pigment. This means it can help lighten existing sunspots and photo-damage, fade the dark marks left over from acne scarring and even improve melisma.
- Acts as an antioxidant: Kojic acid can help scavenge and counteract skin-damaging free radicals caused by exposure to things such as UV damage and pollution. This not only helps improve overall skin tone as well but also makes it a good general anti-aging ingredient.
- Has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties: Unlike many other acids, it also has these unique characteristics, though they're secondary to the skin-lightening benefits.
For brightening up a dull complexion and erasing sun spots, vitamin C is the gold standard of ingredients. As such, getting familiar with the powerhouse antioxidant is essential for any strong and healthy skincare strategy. Vitamin C neutralizes free radical damage and protects the skin against UV light and other environmental aggressors, such as pollution and cigarette smoke. Vitamin C also playing an important role in blocking abnormal production of pigmentation to even skin tone and fade dark spots. Vitamin C is a much-loved, multi-tasking skincare ingredient. Just look at this list of activities:
- Collagen builder
- Anti-aging active
- Lightens skin
- Skin brightening
- Builds skin’s strength
- Helps shield skin against pollution
Vitamin C is a necessary skincare antioxidant. Since your skin naturally makes vitamin C, therefore, it is one of the safest skincare actives you could use.
Alpha arbutin is another natural active skin lightening. Alpha arbutin’s made by Mother Nature and found in the leaves of the bearberry plant. Used in skincare at a 1 to 2% concentration, alpha arbutin can rival even the most effective skin brighteners. Similarly, to Kojic acid, alpha arbutin works by inhibiting the skin’s tyrosinase enzymes.
Also known as tocopheryl acetate, hydroquinone is found in skin-lightening creams, serums, cleansers, and moisturizers. Hydroquinone is a topical skin treatment for melasma, freckles, age and sunspots, and even acne scars. However, our dermatologist has advised that hydroquinone only can be prescribed by a doctor. Therefore, you should avoid buying hydroquinone on your own for your safety.
Don’t let acid scare you, azelaic acid is the same pH level as your skin, 5.5pH which is also slightly acidic. Azelaic acid is most commonly known for its ability to help calm rosacea, which is a chronic redness accompanied by irritation and scaling. Azelaic acid is also an effective skin-lightening ingredient. Used in skincare azelaic acid will not only help even your skin tone, but it will also help keep your skin clear.
Getting brighter skin could be a difficult journey. Although all of these ingredients may help lighten your skin, for hydroquinone and azelaic acid, you need a doctor`s prescription and you are advised to not buy them online. You should check with your dermatologist before use, especially if you have sensitive skin or a medium-to-dark skin tone. They can advise you on how you should use this ingredient, if at all. Meanwhile, for the rest, they are safe for you to use. Would you like to know more? SkynFyx is a platform that provides completely free skincare education. It is run by a group of skin doctors and skincare experts who want everybody to achieve flawless skin at the cheapest possible cost. Therefore, feel free to contact SkynFyx if you have any inquiries concerning skincare.