The appeal of lighter skin may seem irresistible but here are the hidden dangers of bleaching creams and why you’re doing more harm than good.

Melanin is the product that gives skin and hair its dark colour. Reducing its quantity in the skin will make it less dark, whether it’s in scar tissue or all over the body.


According to skin bleaching manufacturer Skintrium, these include:

Preventing Melanin from Deposited onto the Skin

In order to make the skin dark and protect it from UV radiation, the melanin formed has to be transported to the upper layers of the skin.

All the particles of melanin are arranged in order. This transfer process depends on the movement of a number of cells, and also expends energy. Some bleaching agents act by preventing this from happening.

This means that while the melanin is formed, it is not transported to the upper layer of the skin. This is a continuous process. Melanin already in the upper layers of the skin is lost when skin sloughs off.

Destruction of Melanin and Melanocytes

The pigment that darkens the skin can also be destroyed by chemical agents that can be found in some skin bleaching products, leading to a lighter skin tone.

Alternatively, the cells that produce the melanin, known as melanocytes, can also be damaged and therefore not produce any melanin. An ideal bleaching agent should not only destroy the surface melanin without affecting any other system, since the melanocytes will simply increase the rate at which the melanin is formed to replace them.

This is why it is common to find these bleaching agents target the melanin. In the process directly influencing other parts of the system. Transportation of melanin to the surface or production of the melanin.

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Inhibiting the Activity of an Enzyme Known as Tyrosinase

Melanin is produce in the melanocytes. There are some products that reduce the formation or effectiveness of this enzyme, which means that the amount of melanin formation will be reduced as well.

However, there are some biological agents which modify the expression of the gene. This is also responsible for the manufacturing of tyrosinase. The bleaching agents which depend on inhibition of this enzyme are very effective.

What exactly is inside bleaching cream?

Every bleaching product contains two main chemicals, Hydroquinone and mercury, both are toxic. Hydroquinone is a chemical, in photo processing and hair dyes. Also in the rubber industry as an antioxidant.

Mercury as a bleaching agent. Incredibly toxic, it can cause the skin to go grey or blue-black, rather than lighter. Moreso, in many cases, has resulted in the user suffering from mercury poisoning. Mercury is also a carcinogen.

These products both work in the short term to lighten the skin. Bleaching cream stops the production of melanin in the body. The more melanin you have in your body, the darker your skin.

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Doctors suggest that the two toxic chemicals, Hydroquinone and mercury, react with ultraviolet rays. This means that it leads to more pigmentation and premature ageing.

Also, continued use of hydroquinone will roughen the skin. It will make it look like an uneven patch of colours with a patchy appearance.