Skin bleaching means the usage of artificial products to lighten the dark spots on the skin or achieve an overall lighter complexion. These beauty products such as bleaching creams, soaps and even cosmetic treatments such as chemical peels and laser therapy. Skin bleaching provides no health benefits. In fact, the beauty results are also not guaranteed, but there is actual proof that the skin lightening product can lead to serious side effects and complications. What is face bleach? Face bleach is a pure chemical substance, and the main ingredient present in it is hydrogen peroxide, which is the bleaching agent. The hydrogen peroxide lightens your facial hair, and makes your face look glowy, brighter and fairer, but it directly does not lighten your skin.
Bleaching your skin decreases the production of melanin in the skin. Melanin is the main pigment component that is produced by the cells called melanocytes. The more melanin is produced, the more dark your skin will be. The amount of melanin produced in your skin mostly depends on the genetics. People with dark skin have more melanin. Hormones, sunlight, and some chemicals might also be the factors responsible for melanin production. When you apply a skin bleaching product on your skin, like hydroquinone, it reduces the amount of melanocytes in your skin. This can lead to a lighter skin and a more even skin tone. Read the article further to know about the benefits and side effects of face bleaching.
Benefits of bleaching face
Along with the different irritating smell, face bleaching products still have a lot of doubts and questions around it. There are some proved face bleach benefits such as tanning removal, treating hyperpigmentation, blackheads and acne, cleaning pores and reducing oil production on the face. Besides the cons, there are many other pros of applying bleach on the face. Therefore, here are the main benefits of bleaching face:
1. Reduces dark spots
Face bleaching treatments can help in reducing dark spots on the skin effectively. The dark spots that are caused due to sun damage, aging, and hormonal changes. It can be good for those who want to eliminate skin discoloration, including freckles, sun exposure damage and age spots. Bleaching reduces the blemishes and dark spots on your face, and can also treat the pimple scars you might have had for years.
2. Evens out skin tone
Lightening the skin can even out your skin tone by reducing the spots of hyperpigmentation, such as sun spots and tanning. It can also help in minimising the appearance of freckles. Melanin is the element that is responsible for skin colour. Therefore, uneven skin tone happens due to the presence of excess melanin in that particular area of the skin. Some people use home remedies for skin care, while some go for various drugs or medications. You can apply bleach to reduce this effect but it is not recommended for long term use.
3. Face looks brighter
The chemicals present in face bleach creams lighten your facial hair, and turn them into a light golden shade within 10 minutes, giving your face an immediate glow. By hiding the unwanted hair and reducing dark spots, another benefit that becomes an add on is that the face looks much brighter than normal. Thus, facial bleach is mostly used by people in their beauty routine. You can talk about the same with an expert before using it regularly.
4. Hide unwanted hair
You can also hide those dark unwanted facial hair without going through the painful process of threading or waxing your face. The major component present in facial bleach is hydrogen peroxide, which is the bleaching agent. Hydrogen peroxide lightens your facial hair and makes it golden in colour, which then hides all your unwanted facial hair easily.
Side effects of bleaching face
There are some countries where the usage of bleaching products on the skin are banned due to the harmful effects and dangers connected to it. You should be aware about some things before applying bleach on your skin. So, here are the main side effects of bleaching face:
Dermatitis usually occurs on the excess oil producing regions of the skin. This condition can make your skin very itchy and flaky. Dermatitis can develop on a lot of parts of the skin including the face, upper chest, armpits, and groin. This is a major side effect of applying bleach on the face. Many studies have linked skin bleaching with contact dermatitis. This is inflammation of skin caused by contact with some harmful substances. The symptoms vary from being mild to severe such as redness, blisters, hives, swelling, itching and burning.
2. Mercury poisoning
Some skin bleaching creams have been linked with mercury toxicity. Mercury has been restricted to be used as an ingredient in skin lightening products in the US, but the bleaching products made in other countries still have mercury. The main signs of mercury poisoning are numbness, high blood pressure, fatigue and even kidney failure. It can take years to recover from mercury poisoning. It is a cheaper skin lightening ingredient but can be harmful for your health.
3. Steroid acne
Steroid acne is caused majorly by skin bleaching creams that contain corticosteroids. Steroid acne usually develops on the chest, but can also occur on the back, arms, and other parts of the body with long-term use of corticosteroids. The symptoms of steroid acne are blackheads, whiteheads, red bumps and acne scars. Steroid acne is a common side effect that can be prevented and treated even if you stop using bleach on the face. Therefore, you can protect your skin from many conditions simply by not using bleach.
4. Nephrotic syndrome
Another disadvantage of bleaching on the face is nephrotic syndrome. It is a kidney condition that is caused by damage of the blood vessels in your kidneys that play a major role in flushing out waste products and excess water. It makes your body to excrete too much protein in your urine. Skin lightening creams have mercury present in them which is also linked with the nephrotic syndrome. The symptoms of nephrotic syndrome include swelling in ankles and feet, loss of appetite and feeling of fatigue too.
5. Blue black pigmentation
The blue black pigmentation that might develop on your face after using bleach is called exogenous ochronosis. Exogenous ochronosis is a skin disorder that causes blue-black pigmentation. It mostly develops as a major complication of overusage of skin bleaching creams that have hydroquinone. People who use it on large areas of the skin or on the whole body are at a higher risk of developing these blue black patches. Topical contact with hydroquinone can cause this discolouration and it is mostly permanent.
So, these were the benefits and side effects of bleaching your face. You should not use bleaching products on the face, especially not on a long term basis as it can lead to various adverse side effects. You can talk to your dermatologist or beauty expert before using bleach on the face as it can have numerous side effects on your skin. If your skin is already sensitive or are suffering from any skin condition, then it is advised to restrict bleaching products completely.
Read more articles on Skin care