Asians have always had an inclination towards lighter skin colors. This can be explained by several cultural factors and influences that have grown prevalent in most Asian countries and are expressed in the popular whitening products sold today. But when it comes to understanding what the words “brightening,” “lightening,” and “whitening” actually mean, there is very little that people can say except lighter skin tone. The reality is more complex, and these three things produce results that are distinctly different from each other.
Most people pick up whatever products carry any of those words on their labels without giving much thought to what results they actually want. A better understanding of these terms will help a great deal in aiming at treatments or skin care regimens that will help you reap the exact results that you want.
What is lightening?
This is the process of attaining a lighter skin color with consistent application of a product or the consistent undergoing of a treatment. This does not usually result in a sharp difference from a person’s original skin color, but rather a gradual change, resulting in the skin becoming lighter and lighter. The effects are not usually dramatic, even with consistency, but they are noticeable. In general, when the skin looks lighter, the person takes on a more youthful appearance, but the changes are not very drastic. The skin tone does not change; it only appears a shade or some shades lighter.
The skin lightening process
How is the skin lightened? A product is applied onto the skin in order to prevent melanin from being produced in the skin. Melanin is the reason why skin has color at all. Without melanin, skin is very light, like the skin of Caucasians, who have very little melanin. However, this does make them more vulnerable to skin diseases caused by sun damage or sun exposure. When melanin is inhibited, the skin tone is lightened on the area where the product is applied.
This is very efficient at color-correcting spots that are left behind by acne or scarring from any form of trauma to the skin, because the affected area becomes lighter and matches the original skin tone. Many lightening products that are aimed at correcting spots can be bought in the form of serums or creams. One very effective lightening package available today is the Zeta White 3-Point Lightening System. It provides care for every step in a complete skin care regimen and aims at lightening the skin to restore it to its original glow.
What is whitening?
Whitening, unlike lightening, takes a harsher route to changing the skin tone. It makes use of harsh chemicals that alter the color of the skin in order to completely change it from dark or brown to white. If the natural skin color is not light, the effect may look very synthetic. But for those who prefer this kind of treatment, it is unabashedly unapologetic in its effects.
In order to achieve a white complexion, most cosmetic companies use bleaching methods or bleaching ingredients to alter the original skin tone. This is harmful to the skin and can be very drying and irritating. Those who have sensitive skin should think twice before resorting to this kind of treatment, as a full-body bleach may turn out unpleasantly.
Another thing to consider when planning a bleach on the face is that the facial skin is generally more sensitive than that of other areas of the body and may react worse if the person has sensitive skin.
The whitening process
A bleach can come either in a cream package or in a powder form that is mixed with water and applied to the skin. Because of the strength of a bleach, you may experience a tingling sensation, and sometimes the skin may itch. It is advisable to do a patch test before doing a bleach completely.
Bleaching makes the skin more sensitive to sun damage, so going outdoors after a bleach should not be done without protective gear or sunscreen.
What is skin brightening
Skin brightening is restoring the skin in order to reveal a more radiant appearance. Here, the goal is not to alter the skin tone to become lighter, but instead to shed the dead skin cells and make way for a brighter, fresher complexion. Rather than a lighter complexion, the aim is to look more radiant and glowing.
Brightening products aim to shed any dullness brought about by premature aging or extreme dryness of the skin. Most of the products that aim to give brightening effects have exfoliating properties.
Choosing the right treatment
When choosing which treatment to do, it is important to first identify what the needs are in order to find out what direction to take. There is absolutely no hard-and-fast rule as to what is better for every single person. It is all a matter of preference, and it depends on a person’s personal taste and inclination.
However, the essential thing is to make sure that whatever treatment is taken to achieve the goal, safety is taken into consideration. Before taking any drastic measures, always seek the help of a professional whose expert advice will help you make the right decision. When buying products for your skin care regimen, choose those that do not contain very irritating chemicals, and opt instead for natural product lines.