Team BB would like to reiterate the importance of embracing the colour of your skin, and never letting societal standards of beauty distort or make you question your own beauty. Beauty isn’t limited to a certain complexion. There are multiple versions of beauty, and you must acknowledge your own, instead of trying to adhere to what’s conventionally accepted as beautiful. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with skin that’s darker in colour - it just means that you have more melanin than someone with lighter skin. Melanin is a naturally-occurring pigment that determines the colour of your skin – the more the melanin, the more pigmented the skin. It’s that simple. Every complexion is beautiful; but if you’re looking to invest in a lightening cream, for whatever reason, you must ensure that you’re selecting the correct one.
There’s a lot of confusion surrounding lightening creams - it’s tricky to determine which one’s the right fit for you, where to apply the cream, and what kind of side-effects a cream of this nature brings with it. We’ve broken down every aspect of it for you in this article.
- How do you apply a lightening cream?
- How long does a lightening cream take to work?
- How do you choose the correct lightening cream?
- Which is the best lightening cream in the market at the moment?
How do you apply a lightening cream?
Keep in mind that you’re not supposed to coat your entire body with the cream - just the areas you’d like to lighten. And you mustn’t use the cream more than once or twice a day. Always refer to the instructions on the back of the packaging before you apply the cream - or consult a dermatologist if you’re not sure. Some creams lighten scars, some lighten spots, and others counter damage caused by the sun - it's important that you use these creams to address the concern they're intended to address.
Conduct a patch-test to ensure that you’re not allergic to the product. Smear a little bit of the product on your wrist, and wait for a while to rule out any possibilities of a reaction. Cleanse your skin with your go-to cleanser before using the cream. And try exfoliating for better results. Sloughing off dead cells on the surface of your skin can enable better penetration of the product. Once you’ve exfoliated your skin, wash your face with lukewarm water, and towel-dry by patting the skin. Use the cream in small amounts with clean hands, and steer clear of the areas around your eyes, nose, and mouth. Make sure you’ve washed your hands thoroughly right after. And layer your skin with sunscreen - the rays of the sun can tan your skin, and reverse the effects of the lightening cream.
If your skin is sensitive or acne-prone, we’d advise you to stay away from brightening, whitening, or lightening products containing vitamin C. Start off by cleansing your skin with a gentle cleanser, proceed to tone your skin with a gentle brightening toner, apply a whitening cream formulated for skin that’s sensitive, and conclude with a non-comedogenic (a product that doesn’t clog the pores) sunscreen. And try avoiding prolonged periods of exposure to the sun.
How long does a lightening cream take to work?
It’s a gradual process. It’s not realistic to expect the cream to lighten your skin overnight. Don’t overwhelm your skin with the cream for quicker results. This will just jeopardise your efforts, and trigger reactions on the skin. You must commit to applying the cream consistently to witness changes. You might notice a change within a few weeks of applying the cream; but you must exercise patience if you’re looking for a transformation as the process can take months. It’s also contingent on your skin type and the tone you’re aiming to achieve.
The rate at which you see results depends on the amount of skin-whitening actives in the formula, how consistently you’re using the cream, your skin’s natural rate of exfoliation, and how well you protect your skin from exposure to the sun.
How do you choose the correct lightening cream?
When you’re investing in a lightening cream, you must keep a few pointers in mind.
- Look for a product that isn’t loaded with chemicals. A cream containing bleaching agents that aren't synthetic but natural, and infused with plant-based compounds is ideal - especially if your skin is sensitive. Avoid products containing harsh chemicals like hydroquinone.
- Once you've ensured that the product is safe to use, consider your goal. There are some creams that lighten your overall complexion, some that reduce the visibility of scars and spots, and some that counter sun damage. Choose a product designed to address your concern.
- Identify which part of your skin you're attempting to lighten. It isn't advisable to use a cream for the body on your face.
Which is the best lightening cream in the market at the moment?
Pond’s Bright Beauty Spot-less Day Cream
As the name suggests, the Pond’s Bright Beauty Spot-less Day Cream brightens your skin, and smoothens your texture for a luminous glow. Enriched with vitamin B3, hyaluronic acid, and gluta-boost-C, the cream seeps into your skin seamlessly for a spotless finish. You can complement the Pond’s Bright Beauty Spot-less Day Cream with the Pond’s Bright Beauty Day Serum as well.
Lakmé Absolute Perfect Radiance Brightening Day Cream
Apart from brightening and illuminating your skin, the Lakmé Absolute Perfect Radiance Brightening Day Cream, infused with niacinamide and glycerin, moisturises and nourishes, protects you from damage caused by the sun, and evens out your skin tone.
Pond’s White Beauty Anti Spot Fairness Day Cream
With a promise to lighten dark spots from within, eliminate dark circles, and even out your skin tone, the Pond’s White Beauty Anti Spot Fairness Day Cream comes infused with pro-vitamin B3 and anti-spot formula for a spotless glow.
1) Are there any side-effects of using lightening creams?
You might experience irritation, hives, blisters, drying, stinging, cracking, inflammation, acne or contact dermatitis as a result of applying a lightening cream on your skin. These creams might lead to your skin breaking down, and leave you with open sores and scarring. And this can trigger the development of redness and lesions on the surface. If the cream you’ve chosen contains hydroquinone, you might notice the formation of black-and-blue spots on your skin. A disorder called exogenous ochronosis, this condition leads to the permanent discolouration of the skin - and it’s difficult to treat. And consistent exposure to creams containing mercury can, in the long-term, cause fatigue, forgetfulness, tingling, numbness, dizziness, breathlessness, and other side-effects. If your cream contains corticosteroids, you might notice the development of ‘steroid’ acne - whiteheads, blackheads, small red bumps, and large painful lumps - on your body. Seek immediate medical attention if you’re experiencing any of these indications - regardless of how mild you think the symptoms are. It’s also said that these creams don’t deliver long-lasting results - your skin returns to its original condition after the bleaching effect wears off.
2) Are lightening creams beneficial for the skin? What are they used for?
Apart from lightening your skin, these creams reduce the appearance of pigmentation, spots, freckles, and scars caused by acne, and promote the appearance of an even tone. Make sure you're following all the instructions as printed on the back of the packaging. Don't forget that these creams come with their own side-effects and risks.
3) Can a lightening cream remove dark spots?
These creams can diminish the appearance of darker spots on the surface of the skin caused by ageing, sunlight, and hormonal changes. If you’re suffering from melasma or post-inflammatory marks from eczema and psoriasis, a lightening cream can help reduce the visibility of such spots.