What is the Difference Between Lightening, Whitening and Brightening?

Lightening, Whitening and Brightening

With all of the different products available on the marketplace, choosing the right one can be difficult. Currently, women can select between brightening, whitening and lightening creams. Before making a choice and starting a daily regimen, ladies need to figure out which product that they need to use. Although skin whiteners are available on the marketplace, they are generally not a good choice. Unless a skin whitener is prescribed by a dermatologist, individuals should avoid using them. Instead, skin lightening and brightening products should be used to achieve lighter, healthier skin.

Each person is born with a specific skin shade. When the skin is exposed to sunlight, it naturally darkens and creates a tan. With the help of certain products, people can return their skin to a lighter shade. Depending on the color of their skin, there are certain limitations to how white their skin can become. To get started, women need to protect their skin from further sun damage. Wearing a hat and using sunscreen can help prevent the skin from darkening further.

What is Skin Lightening?

When people use skin lightening products, the goal is normally to lighten the skin. With consistent use, it helps the skin lighten several shades and returns the dermis to a healthier color. Most of these products are made with chemical called tyrosinase inhibitors[1]. This active ingredient stops an enzyme[2] in the skin from producing melanin. Without melanin, the skin cannot darken in the sunlight. Individuals who use tyrosinase inhibitors have to be careful about sun exposure because melanin and tanning are actually how the skin protects itself from the sun. Although the skin will be whiter, it can also lead to worse sun damage.

How Skin Brightening Works?

Unlike skin lightening, the goal of skin brightening agents is not to exclusively whiten the skin. Instead, brightening agents are designed to impart a natural, vivid radiance to the skin. The skin is continuously creating new skin cells to replace dead skin. Often, these older skin cells remain on the skin’s surface and can cause it to appear dull and old. Skin brightening can help individuals improve the way their skin naturally sheds dead skin cells. For the best skin brightening products, ladies should look for treatments that include micro-exfoliants. By using micro-exfoliant products, the dead layer of the skin is shed so that newer cells can take their place.

What is Skin Whitening?

Skin whitening treatments are typically a lot harsher than brightening or lightening the skin. This technique uses some kind of harsh bleach to strip all or most of the pigment out of the skin. This irritates the skin and can even cause portions of the skin to be discolored. Certain individuals may develop post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation[3] (PIH). This condition occurs when whitening is applied to the skin and causes it to become reddened. Other people may develop ochrinosis which results in bluish spots that look like bruises.

In certain Asian countries, having whiter skin is considered beautiful. With this in mind, skin care companies have designed products that help to whiten skin. These whiteners can cause damage to the skin and irritation. Older women who have used these products throughout their life often develop hyperpigmentation on parts of their skin. This causes sections of the skin to be permanently darker or lighter than the surrounding area. Due to this, skin whitening products should generally be avoided.

Skin Lighening and Brightening Info

Skin Lighening and Brightening Info

Which Technique Works The Best?

Due to the numerous side effects and issues associated with skin whitening, women should avoid using these products. Instead, skin lightening and brightening should be used. Lightening simply returns the skin to a lighter shade, but does not cause it to reach an unnatural whiteness. With skin brightening, dull skin is removed for a more radiant look. Both of these techniques help to give a natural clarity and glow to the skin. Individuals who suffer from melasma, unusual pigmentations and dark spots can use lightening to make their skin take on a more even tone.

Practice Prevention Before Seeking a Cure

Like most things, it is far easier to prevent an illness than it is to cure it. Instead of resorting to harmful skin whitening agents, individuals should first work on preventing skin issues. Rays from the sun can cause damage to the skin. These rays are harshest around midday, so outdoor light should be completely avoided from 11 in the morning to 2 in the afternoon. Whenever individuals do choose to go outside, they should apply a sun block that is at least 30 SPF. If the individual goes swimming or is outside for more than a couple of hours, they should make sure to reapply it again.

In addition to using sunblock, individuals can take precautions like wearing long sleeves or a hat. This can help prevent the sun from tanning the skin. If this is not enough, skin brighteners and lighteners can work. Both of these products are considered safe to use. Skin brighteners are particularly effective at promoting radiant, vibrant skin. For skin that truly shines, take advantage of skin lighteners and brighteners for a better, healthier glow.

Emily Peetlukes

Contributor: Emily Peetlukes (The Beauty Insiders)

This Article Has Been Published on April 21, 2014 and Last Modified on January 7, 2019

Emily is a dreamer who was born to run wild and free; a traveler who is always on the move collecting research and experiences from different people and cultures from all over the world. Her love of writing comes naturally, and she finds it a great way to share stories, advice and information from her life experiences. Emily is a certified life coach, a dating expert and has a wide range of knowledge from health and fitness, adventure and traveling, sex and relationships as well as beauty and culture. She hopes to continue to share her passion of writing with the world through future projects including books, novels, articles and blogs. Follow her on Instagram and Facebook.

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