Not long ago, the subject of skin complexion has become a hot topic around the Philippines.
Glutamax, a skin whitening brand was called out for its seemingly tone-deaf ad comparing skin complexions citing whiter skin is much better, favorable and gets the job promotion. As expected, this did not sit well to Filipino people who have come to accept and wear their ‘morena’ skin as a badge of honor.
True enough, the Filipino people and its neighboring Asian countries have been obsessed with skin whitening products. It is interesting to note that a ‘white skin’ does not necessarily look like those with Westerners.
When Asian people talk about ‘white skin,’ it leans more on brighter, porcelain glass complexion that can usually be seen from Korean women. And why not? They popularized the 7 Skin Method that has reached a global trend. Korean skincare products flooded the shelves of every beauty store- online and nearby shops alike.
The question now is: Of all the Skin Whitening or properly, Skin Brightening Products in the market, what makes these products really effective? How effective are these products?
I used to think that ‘Skin Whitening’ is one big scam the beauty industry tells you so that you’ll keep buying. But after a thorough investigation, I’ve learned that the right ingredients must be present for these topical products to work.
Here are the product ingredients you need to see on the product’s label before putting it on your cart:
1. Vitamin C
One of the whitening agents that are seriously underrated is the power of Vitamin C. Many know Vitamin C as a powerful shield against flu season but alas, it still has many tricks to uncover!
Taking Vitamin C orally increases the immune system of our body and it also has positive effects on our skin. On the other hand, Vitamin C applied to the skin can also bring many wonders. But don’t go crushing a Vitamin C tablet from a drugstore just yet!
When it’s applied to your face, Vitamin C needs to undergo a process so that you can apply it topically. This is usually called a derivative of Vitamin C. In skin whitening products, this must have been mentioned as Ascorbic Acid or it has the word ‘Ascorbyl’ in it.
2. AHA and BHA Acids
There was a time when Filipinos who were desperate to whiten their skin turn to astringents to peel away that dull looking skin. While some have experienced success, there were those who experienced skin damages such as hyperpigmentation and melasma. This is because hydroquinone, a potent but also harmful ingredient might not be suitable for all skin types especially if you have sensitive skin.
Good thing that Acids is making its way to be known. Offering a much better way to exfoliate and revealing a brighter you, AHA and BHA work as an exfoliant that also targets different skin issues.
Examples of AHA:
Example of BHA:
Most of these acids are very familiar and are very mild. This does not mean that you can just apply it daily. Wear sunscreen or sunblock when you start applying this on your face. As your skin peels, it’s still prone to sun sensitivity.
3. Kojic Acid
The glory of Kojic Acid in the Philippines has a reason behind it which comes from fermented mushrooms inhibits the overproduction of melanin in unevenly pigmented skin. This makes it a potent ally in brightening everything from freckles to melasma. Kojic acid has become revered worldwide for its skin lightening abilities. It, therefore, makes sense that it is found in numerous skin lightening products.
Although, if you have sensitive skin, Kojic Acid may or may not sit well for you as it is also considered as highly unstable. It pays to patch test first and see how your skin will react.