How to whiten skin and the risks that come with it

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How to whiten skin and the risks that come with it
How to whiten skin and the risks that come with it

Having white and bright skin is everyone's dream. Various ways to whiten the skin were done to make it happen. However, before you try this method, there are some risks that you need to know and be aware of

Melanin is a natural pigment or dye that gives color to a person's eyes, hair and skin. Dark-skinned people have higher levels of melanin than light-skinned people.

How to whiten skin and the risks that come with it - Alodokter

Melanin itself actually acts as a skin protector from sun damage. However, unfortunately, many people feel less confident when they have dark skin, so they try various ways to lighten or whiten their skin.

Various Products and Natural Skin Whitening Ingredients

Currently, many skin whitening products are circulating that contain natural ingredients, such as wheat, coconut oil, aloe vera, and green tea. Although these products claim to make skin lighter, their effectiveness has not been proven until now.

Therefore, to make it safer to use, you should first look at the ingredients contained in the product. The following are some ingredients that are commonly found in whitening products and are relatively safe to use:

1. Azelaic acid

Azelaic acid comes from the Pityrosporum mushroom species which can inhibit the formation of melanin cells and fight free radicals.Therefore, this substance is often used to treat skin problems due to excess pigment or melanin, such as darkened skin due to acne scars and melasma.

2. Kojic acid

Kojic acid is a natural skin whitening agent derived from Aspergillus mushroom extract. In various countries, such as Japan, this ingredient has been widely used as skin care products.

This material is considered safe to use. However, on the other hand, there are studies that say that this ingredient can potentially cause an irritating reaction to contact dermatitis skin. This reaction is more at risk of appearing in people who have sensitive skin.

3. Arbutin

Arbutin is an ingredient that comes from plants and is widely used to treat hyperpigmented skin conditions. However, if used incorrectly or in the wrong dosage, arbutin has the risk of causing an increase in pigment and actually making the skin look darker.

4. Hydroquinone

Hydrokinone is often used in cosmetic products because it functions to lighten dark areas of the skin. Hydroquinone is also often used to whiten darkened skin due to scars, hormonal disturbances, or side effects of drugs, such as birth control pills.

However, this skin whitening ingredient can cause side effects, such as redness, swelling, and itching of the skin.

For those of you who use products containing hydroquinone, it is recommended to avoid sun exposure and use skin darkening methods, such as tanning.

In addition to the various ingredients above, there are two other substances that are claimed to whiten the skin in a short time, namely mercury and steroids. However, keep in mind that these two ingredients can be dangerous if used carelessly.

The use of mercury and steroids as skin whitening agents, especially if the dosage is incorrect or for too long, can cause various problems in the body's organs, such as the brain, liver, and gastrointestinal tract. Improper use of mercury is also at risk of causing mercury poisoning.

Meanwhile, steroids are also known to cause some side effects, such as Cushing's syndrome, glaucoma, thinning of the skin, and weakened immune system.

Although many are sold freely, not all of the above ingredients are safe to use as a way to whiten skin. Therefore, consult your doctor first before using any skin whitening products.

How to Whiten Skin that Can Be Done by Doctor

Besides using skin whitening products, doctors can also use the following methods to whiten skin:


Peeling is done by applying a chemical-based liquid to remove dead skin cells and stimulate the growth of new skin cells, so that dark spots on the skin will be reduced.

To be on the safe side, make sure to do skin peeling at a doctor's office that has an official license.Even though it is carried out by a competent doctor, sometimes the peeling procedure can also cause side effects, such as pain and irritation of the skin, as well as the risk of skin infection.

After treatment, it is recommended that you protect your skin from sun exposure for at least one month.

laser therapy

Laser therapy as a skin whitener works by removing the top layer of dead skin cells that produce melanin. The success rate of this therapy depends on the type of skin you have. Therefore, consult your doctor first regarding the effectiveness of this procedure for your skin.

In addition to the relatively inexpensive price, whitening lasers generally have side effects after use, namely redness, bruising, and hardening of the skin. In certain cases, complications can occur such as skin infections, scarring, until the skin becomes darker or too white.

Before undergoing treatment, make sure you are clearly informed about the various risks and complications that may occur and what to do to deal with them.

Tips for Keeping Skin He althy

Instead of wanting whiter skin, it's better to keep skin he althy. There are many simple ways you can do to get he althy skin without spending too much. Here are some ways to do this:

  • Avoid being outdoors between 10am to 4pm. If you have to go outside, make sure you wear long pants and long sleeved clothes.
  • Always use a sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher at least 30 minutes before going out. Choose a sunscreen that can protect against UVA and UVB exposure. Reapply every 2-3 hours, especially if you are doing outdoor sports and swimming.
  • Apply lip balm to protect lips from the risk of sunburn.

In the end, what determines your skin tone is melanin, not the skin whitening products you use. Reconsider if you decide to reduce melanin levels in the skin because it can actually harm the skin.

Consult a dermatologist regarding how to whiten your skin and the appropriate treatment for your skin type. What you need to remember, if you maintain he althy skin, any skin type and color can look attractive and make you more confident.

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