Face whitening (also called face bleaching) is defined as the usage of a variety of cosmetic methods used in an attempt to exfoliate the dry face in order to whiten the face. Face whitening cream industry is a multi-billion dollar industry that tries to push the conventional urge that a fairer face is bound to make you look more beautiful, attractive. In the process, they push the idea that even dark face can be lightened in a persuasive way through various active ingredients and formulations in their face creams.
Understanding the science
Visible face pigmentation in humans results from the synthesis and division of melanin in the face, hair bulbs, and eyes. Pigmentation cells called melanocytes synthesize melanin within discrete organelles, termed melanosomes, which are produced in different sizes, numbers, and densities. The melanosomes later pass to the face to keratinocytes and end up in the hair shaft, where the final allocation patterns of the pigment are determined. This distribution plays is what determines face color primarily.
Face Whitening Cream: Mode of Action
The various cosmetics in the market achieve face whitening by formulating active ingredients that either
- Inactivating the activity of tyrosinase,
- Regulating the uptake and distribution of melanosomes in recipient keratinocytes or
- Interference with melanosomes maturation and transfer.
Common Face Whitening Creams
Several modalities of treatment in face creams include chemical agents and natural agents. Some of which are listed below in the table
- Chemical: Mercury
- Mechanisms of Action: Inactivate tyrosinase enzyme
- Advantage: None
- Chemical: Hydroquinone
- Mechanisms of Action: Inhibits tyrosinase, Cytotoxic to Melanocytes
- Advantage: Stable & present in many cosmetic combinations
- Chemical: Corticosteroids
- Mechanisms of Action: Vasoconstriction, Reducing the number and activity of melanocytes, Reducing production of MSH
- Advantage: Useful for inflammatory conditions of the face like eczema, contact dermatitis, and acne
Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
- Chemical: Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C)
- Mechanisms of Action: Reduce back o-dopaquinone to dopa, Antioxidant
- Advantage: Have a protective effect against face damage induced by UV-Radiation
- Chemical: Tretinoin
- Mechanisms of Action: Inhibits tyrosinase, Interferes with melanin transfer
- Advantage: Useful for treating inflammatory lesions in mild to moderate acne
- Chemical: Azelaic Acid
- Mechanisms of Action: Weak inhibitor of tyrosinase, a cytotoxic effect on melanocytes
- Advantage: Useful for lentigines, rosacea, and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation
Due to disadvantages associated with chemicals, natural face whitening ingredients are now part of face creams, few are listed below.
Pityrosporum ovale: Azelaic acid; C9-dicarboxylic acid
Aspergillus niger and Aspergillus penicillium: Kojic acid; 5-hydroxy-2-(hydroxymethyl)-γ-pyrone
Arctostaphylos uva-ursi bearberry: Arbutin; hydroquinone glucoside β-d-gluconopyranoside
Aloe vera: Aloesin; C-glycosylated chromone
Artocarpus incisus (best of) 23 heartwood species from Papua New Guinea: (+)-dihydromorin, chlorophorin, (+)-norartocarpanone, 4-prenyl-oxyresveratrol, artocarbene, artocarpesin and isoarto-carpesin
Morus alba Rheum undulatum: 1. Oxyresveratrol 2. Hydroxystilbene
Morus alba: Mulberroside F (moracin M-6, 3′-di-O-beta-d-glucopyranoside
Citrus fruit peel: 3′,4′,5,6,7,8-hexamethoxy-flavone (nobiletin)
Ramulus Mori (young twigs of Morus alba): 2,3′,4,5′-tetrahydroxy-stilbene (2-oxyresveratrol)
Glycyrrhiza glabra Licorice extract: Glabrene and 2′,4′,4-tri-hydroxychalcone
Grape seed: Proanthocyanidin
Aspergillus fumigatus and Saccharomyces cerevisiae: Melanin degrading enzymes
Carthamus tinctorius safflower seeds: N-feruloyl serotonin, N-(p-coumaroyl)serotonin, acacetin
Which to use?
They are facial creams that you use at home to either treat skin pigmentation — which could be anything from old acne scars to age spots, or just uneven skin tone areas — or even just to achieve an overall lighter skin.
Mostly they come as a cream, while some others come as masks or oil. Some come only as facial cream while others can be used all over the body (but check the label first) including hands, arms, legs and of course on your face.
There are a lot of products available, and the quality does vary. Which to use is left to your discretion based on your skin type and if you want to be natural which is slow and effective while chemicals are fast acting but usage over a long period can damage your skin. Facial creams across especially the chemical laden ones share many of the same ingredients, some of which you will probably want to avoid particularly if you favor more natural beauty products.
How Do You Apply Whiteners?
- Step 1 – First you wet your face with warm water. Warm water opens the pores of the area of your skin that you wish to apply the whitening product to, allowing the nutrients and oils to permeate through and be absorbed by your skin.
- Step 2 – Lightly exfoliate the area of your skin that you intend to apply the whitening cream too. You can do this by squirting a small amount of exfoliating cream into your palm and rubbing the scrub cream in a circular motion around the area. Exfoliating your facial skin will help you shed old and dead skin cells, giving you a smooth and clean surface to work with.
- Step 3 – Now you wash the exfoliant cream off your face with warm water and pat your skin dry with a clean towel. Try not to rub your skin dry by patting to cause minimal damage.
- Step 4 – You can also apply the facial whitening cream again if you feel you need to, just allow your skin to rest for a few minutes in between applications to give you enough time to determine whether you need a second coat or not.
A fair face should never be a measure of beauty – we should celebrate our natural face tone but increased exposure to UV rays and pollution makes our face dull, dry, blemished, and shades darker. And to give us that fresh rejuvenated look we need that face whitening cream on the market that works wonders in replenishing your lost face tone and texture. Amaira is the best face whitening cream which is suitable for every skin tone.