GNcareers, from Gulf News

Skin lightening the natural way

Skin lightening the natural wayImage Credit: Supplied

While most Westerners perceive golden tan or brown skin as beautiful, the reverse holds true for some people of the East whose ideal of beauty is associated with fair skin. Unfortunately for those who want fair skin, the majority of creams out there are chock-full of dangerous chemicals that, over time, can cause increased pigmentation and even cancer.

For dark spots, uneven skin tone and patchiness, opt for natural ways to get clearer skin minus the associated risks of chemical skin bleaching.

Raw grated potatoes are excellent for their natural bleaching properties. For dark under-eye circles, slice an unpeeled potato in thin rounds, refrigerate until cold and apply over the eye area. Do this daily for around 20 minutes for one month for good results.

For overall dull skin, use the juice of grated raw potato all over your face using a cotton ball. Let this sit for approximately 20 minutes and then rinse with water. Try this three times a week for one month to get good results. Another home remedy to lighten skin is lemon, but its acidic properties can irritate the skin. A good remedy for uneven skin tone is adding a few drops of lemon juice to one teaspoon of organic honey. Apply and let it sit for 20 minutes. Rinse with cold water. Apply a moisturizer afterwards.

Some cosmeceutical creams available in the market also contain safe ingredients. One is Vitamin C which is used to gradually brighten the skin. Other ingredients from nature are licorice, azelaic acid, alpha arbutin and kojic acid, all yielding gradual skintone evenness and considered safe under controlled use.

Handy Hints:

* Mercury is a common skin lightening ingredient 

* Safer alternatives are AHAs, licorice, azelaic acid

* Ensure you use an unbanned whitening product

Source: Saadiya Ahmad, Special to Classifieds

The writer is a freelancer