Common Lightening Ingredients


Beberapa ingredients yang sering kita jumpai di skincare2 khusus buat mencerahkan wajah nih hehehe… dari yang bagus sampai yang berbahaya ada di sini.

In the past, hydroquinone was the standard ingredient for skin lightening treatments. Although effective at whitening skin, research now suggests that there may be serious side effects associated with the long-term use of hydroquinone. Studies in rats have shown evidence that hydroquinone may act as a cancer-causing chemical, resulting in its ban in skin whitening products in some countries. Long-term use of hydroquinone has also been linked with the medical condition known as ochronosis, in which the skin is damaged and becomes dark and thick. The use of hydroquinone at high concentrations also causes skin irritation.

Some skin whitening products contain mercury (II) chloride as the active ingredient. The use of mercury in cosmetics is illegal in the United States and European Union as it can lead to cases of mercury poisoning. We highly recommend avoiding any products that contain mercury as an active ingredient as this chemical is considered highly toxic.

α-Arbutin is a glycosylated hydroquinone extracted from bearberry plant. It inhibits tyrosinase and thus prevents the formation of melanin. It is widely used in whitening formulations. However, there is evidence that α-arbutin can be converted to hydroquinone and therefore may share some of the risks associated with this lightening agent.

β-Arbutin (Bearberry Extract)
β-Arbutin is derived from the leaves of bearberry, cranberry, mulberry or blueberry shrubs, and also is present in most types of pears. It has mild melanin-inhibiting properties, although it has yet to be established how much β-arbutin it takes to lighten skin when it is added to a cosmetic formulation. Many cosmetics companies use plant extracts that contain β-arbutin. However, there is little to no research showing it has any impact on skin, especially in the tiny amounts used in cosmetics.

Kojic Acid
Kojic acid is a chemical produced by several species of fungi and is also a by-product in the fermentation process manufacturing of sake. It is an inhibitor of the formation of pigments in plant and animal tissues. It is not as effective as hydroquinone, but has no risk of causing ochronosis. However, use of kojic acid at high concentrations can cause skin irritation.

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that has skin lightening effects, although there are few studies that show a specific melanin-inhibiting effect. The drawbacks of using vitamin C in skin lightening formulations are the high concentrations required and its rapid oxidation (inactivation) upon exposure to air or sunlight.



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