Weird Nature 14 Facts About The Skin Whitening Trend That Might Disturb You  

Crystal Brackett
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Many beauty fanatics and celebrities push the idea that bleaching your skin will make you seem bright and beautiful, even going as far as to "change" their ethnicity with the products. However, spokespeople certainly never flaunt the negative side effects of skin whitening. Horrific skin whitening stories detail full-blown depigmentation as well as instances of cancer. Using harsh chemicals, pills, and even lasers to physically de-pigment your skin might sound like a process that's reserved for extreme cosmetic changes or severe medical treatments; however, skin whitening in its various forms is an incredibly popular daily beauty routine practiced by people across the globe.

But what is skin whitening? Does skin bleaching involve actual bleach? And why is the industry so incredibly racist? Questions about the safety of lightening products will never be answered by advertising agencies pushing their products. The skin whitening industry is worth billions upon billions of dollars, and major companies won't reveal the harmful side effects that their merchandise can cause.

Home Skin Whitening Kits Are Sold As Cosmetic Products Under A Variety Of Different Names


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Photo:  mahmoud99725/Flickr

Skin whiteners, lighteners, brighteners, faders, bleachers, ect. — they all serve the same purpose. While these kits don't contain exactly the same ingredients and may be used for slightly different cosmetic purposes, all of them work to erase blemishes and give skin a fair complexion. The kits typically consist of topical creams that can be applied to localized areas, which gradually reduces the amount of skin pigmentation caused by melanin.

Over the counter kits are made to fade minor discoloration left behind by scars and acne. These products are sold as cosmetic items and can generally be picked up at beauty supply or convenience stores.

There Is No Medical Purpose For Skin Whitening


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Photo:  Kris Kesiak/Flickr

Skin whitening serves no purpose as a medical treatment. When someone picks up a skin whitening kit or cream, they typically do so as a means to cover up cosmetic features or blemishes. Everything from freckles to scars to hormonal discolorations are visibly reduced by regular application.

Creams aren't the only method of reducing skin's pigmentation — medical procedures can also be arranged for professional skin whitening. But even though a trained medical professional is doing the work, the whitening still doesn't serve an actual medical purpose.

Anal Bleaching Can Be Dangerous


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Photo:  Thomas Wanhoff/Flickr

Health experts warn that anal bleaching, which often involves waxing and whitening, could result in some nasty consequences. While spas and technicians sell you on the initial bleaching process, you might walk away with medical complications not mentioned at the outset.

Rips, tears, sensitivity, and strictures could occur if the bleaching is carried out by a spa technician and not a dedicated MD. If the spa doesn't practice proper hygiene, bacterial infections and viruses could also find their way into the body.

The Pigmentation Doesn't Go Away Forever


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Topical creams that whiten skin reduce pigmentation gradually over time, making blemishes on the dermis less noticeable. But the melanin won't disappear forever. The pigmentation gradually comes back over time as melanin renews itself.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, however, people who use lighteners excessively risk completely losing pigmentation. The area may turn permanently white instead rather than evening out skin tone if they're used in overabundance.