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Safe Skin Lightening with Botanicals

For many years hydroquinone was the go-to choice for skin lightening. Recent developments in research suggest that this ingredient may not be safe. In fact, in many countries hydroquinone has been banned as a skincare ingredient. Skincare formulators have found some very good alternatives to hydroquinone to achieve skin lightening.

There are many botanical skincare product lines on the market now with great alternatives for skin lightening. In fact, some believe these new botanical combinations work even better than hydroquinone. Below are some good ingredients to look for when choosing your natural skin lightening product.

Azelaic acid: Many know this as a botanical used to treat acne, but recent studies have shown that azelaic acid is great for reducing skin discolorations as well. Azelaic acid is a dicarboxy acid that inhibits tyrosinase activity when applied to the skin. It has exfoliating and disinfecting properties and works best when used with alpha hydroxy acids. Studies have shown that it is effective in in treating malasma and inhibiting melanin production, in addition to preventing acne lesions from forming.

Kojic acid: Kojic acid is a botanical lightening ingredient derived from a fungus. Kojic acid blocks melanin production in a similar way to hydroquinone. It is considered a melanin inhibitor, which means that it blocks natural pigment from being deposited in the skin. Therefore, this botanical skincare ingredient not only lightens, but also slows the formation of future spots.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C has many forms – magnesium ascorbyl phosphate, ascorbic acid, ascorbyl glucosamine, l-ascorbic acid, and ascorbyl palmitate. It is an ingredient commonly found in botanical skin lighteners that is also a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin C prevents melanin production and leaves skin with a brightened appearance. The strongest research has been conducted utilizing the ascorbic acid form of vitamin C.

Lactic Acid: Lactic acid is an alpha hydroxy acid that increases the water holding capacity of the corneum layer of the skin and enhances the delivery of botanical lightening ingredients by exfoliating the skin and driving ingredients for deeper penetration.

Salicylic acid: Salicylic acid is a beta hydroxy acid which comes from willow bark or wintergreen. This acid is typically found in acne skin care products because it can deeply penetrate into pores and offer antioxidant protection. When used with melanin inhibitors salicylic acid offers the essential exfoliation piece in the formula.

When you combine these botanical skin care ingredients, you can achieve fabulous results! Skin lightening does not have to be done using potentially harmful or toxic ingredients. Natural skin care products are available to treat a multitude of skincare challenges, especially skin lightening. Be sure to know what ingredients are in the products you choose and what potential harm and good can come from using them.

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