There are many different treatments available for skin bleaching, including laser, cryotherapy (freezing off the lesion), microdermabrasion (“sandblast” the skin with chemical substances), oral treatments (pills) and topical products (creams and lotions).
Skin bleaching creams and lotions are the most common treatments used. You will find a wide variety of them on the market. Some available by prescription and others over the counter.
Most of the skin bleaching creams contain ingredients that can reduce the amount of melanin production by inhibiting tyrosinase, a key enzyme to melanin synthesis. Three of the most commonly used are:
– Hydroquinone. Very effective but also potentially harmful. Skin bleaching creams containing hydroquinone are banned in Europe but available in USA (concentrations of 2% over the counter and higher by prescription).
– Arbutin. It is a natural and safe alternative to hydroquinone extracted from some berry plants. It seems to whiten skin very effectively with no dangerous side effects.
– Kojic Acid. It is another natural ingredient widely used in skin bleaching creams. It is obtained from a type of fungi or as by product in the fermentation of rice when making sake.Besides inhibit melanin production, it has antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
There are some very effective skin bleaching creams available. However, specially if your hyperpigmentation problems are not too serious, you can also try some home remedies. Keep in mind that home remedies, like commercial bleaching creams, must be applied regularly as a part of your daily routine.
For more effectiveness, always clean your skin thoroughly before applying any skin bleaching cream (homemade or commercial)
Here are some inexpensive and easy recipes to make your own skin bleaching cream at home.
(CAUTION: Do not apply on the eyes area)
– Buttermilk. One of the simplest skin bleaching home remedies is buttermilk.It contains lactic acid, which exfoliates the skin. Once the top layer is removed, the skin renews itself, appearing lighter in skin tone. Just apply buttermilk with a cotton ball. Leave it on for 15 minutes, then rinse it off with warm water.
– Potato. Another simple home remedy for whitening skin. Grate a potato and spread the paste on the skin. When grating the potato do not strain it because you want all its juices.They are the ones that contain the bleaching agent that will lighten your skin. Allow the potato mask to dry and rinse it off.
– Almond Paste. Almonds also contain whitening agents. Soak 5 almonds in a bowl of water overnight. Peel them and mash them up into a paste. Apply the paste on your skin. Allow it to dry and then rinse off with warm water.
– Orange peel. Sun dry some orange peels. When they are fully dried, grind them to make a powder. Add milk to it, make a paste and apply it on your skin. Leave it for 15 minutes, then rinse it off with lukewarm water.
– Sandalwood paste. Make a paste using sandalwood powder, lemon juice, tomato juice and cucumber juice. Apply on the skin until it dries. Rinse with water.
– Lemon juice and honey. Prepare a paste with lemon juice, honey, almond oil and milk powder. Apply it for 15 minutes and then rinse.
– Oatmeal, tomato juice and curd. Mix well the three ingredients and apply the mixture on your skin. Let it work for 15 minutes, then rinse off with cold water.
– Turmeric powder and lemon juice. Make a paste and apply it on your skin. Rinse after 15 minutes.
Again, those home remedy can be effective if your skin is just slightly hyperpigmentated. For more severe hyperpigmentation problems, you better look for a commercial skin bleaching cream.