Bleaching Cream – The Science Behind Blemishes
Skin has a natural defense against damaging UV rays. That defense mechanism is melanin. Melanin is produced by cells called melanocytes, which are triggered by the enzyme, Tyrosinase. Once triggered, melanin increases the skin’s pigments to help protect against sun damage and other environmental factors. There are two primary forms of melanin, one producing brown to bronze colors while the other produces yellow to blue tones. When the skin produces too much melanin, darker pigmentation occurs, prompting many to turn to bleaching cream to reverse it. There are basically three forms of hyperpigmentation: melasma, chloasma, and solar lentigenes. When these conditions occur, many patients turn to some form of bleaching cream to reduce the production of melanin, thus lightening the area.
Melasma is the general term used for areas of skin which have become abnormally dark. There are a variety of reasons, beyond just sun exposure, that skin becomes dark from too much melanin. Bleaching cream seeks to reduce the effects of too much melanin, thus partially reversing melasma. However, bleaching creams are normally intended only to lighten small areas of affected skin, such as moles, freckles, and liver spots. The use of bleaching cream on the whole body is not generally recommended by medical personnel.
Chloasma is the term used to describe when certain areas of the skin darken as a result of hormones. Chloasma is most common in women as hormonal changes are a normal part of pregnancy, prolonged use of birth control, or in women who take estrogen after menopause. These women often use bleaching cream to target these small patches of dark skin. However, bleaching cream is intended to lessen or lighten the area, not eliminate it completely. In these cases, women often use over the counter skin brightening cream first, only seeking the help of a doctor when those products do not work. The doctor will normally prescribe a prescription strength bleaching cream or serum.
Solar lentigenes is most commonly seen in older adults. These patients normally have a history of unprotected exposure to harmful UV rays. This is what most people refer to as liver spots, although they have nothing to do with liver function. Bleaching cream, like with melasma and chloasma, is the most common treatment modality. As with other skin conditions, bleaching cream is intended for small targeted areas, not the entire body. There are risks when using both over the counter and prescription bleaching cream products, so application across large skin surfaces is not recommended.
Skin Brighteners aid in reducing post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation revealing even skin tone. Skin brighteners also can help revitalize tired and dull skin resulting in a youthful, healthy glow.
Below you'll find some of the most effective skin brightening products on the market today, in our opinion.