Whitening cosmetics are natural and chemical cosmetics that are used in beauty treatments for skin lightening and teeth whitening purposes. Cosmetic whitening pastes, creams, lotions, soaps, and medications have been in use since ancient times, and have a high consumer following in the present age. Along with the popularity of such products, there has been and continues to be controversy about the racist aspects of skin whitening, as well as concerns about its safety and long-term health implications. In the case of teeth, it is a matter of concern whether frequent teeth bleaching and peroxide whitening may cause damage to the tooth enamel and gum tissue.
To begin with, it might help to understand how whitening cosmetics work. Teeth whitening products improve tooth appearance by targeting and weakening pigment molecules in the enamel. Skin whitening agents, on the other hand, target the melanin pigment in the skin epidermis, break down or inhibit melanin formation, and render the pigment colorless. The skin, as a result, starts to look paler or lighter than its normal hue. Such an effect is particularly evident in dark-skinned people.
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Fair-skinned people also use whitening cosmetics, mainly to get rid of freckles, to lighten age spots and to even out any skin pigmentation problems. The whitening may also be performed to treat a medical condition like vitiligo. In this disorder, patches of lighter color appear on a person's body, and, by whitening it, the skin can be given a more uniform appearance.
It is essential to consult a licensed dermatologist before using any type of skin whitening cream, skin lightening lotion, or skin bleaching agent. All ingredients are not always listed on the labels, and some whitening cosmetics may contain harmful chemicals like hydroquinone and clobetasol propionate. Hydroquinone can produce blue-black splotches and dots on the skin, and steroids like clobetasol can suppress the natural body steroids and cause problems such as hypertension. Indiscriminate usage can also lead to some unfortunate reactions like permanently bleached skin, blotchy skin, skin prone to irritation, or thin skin that is easily bruised and easily damaged by the sun. Skin cancer may also be a possibility.
It is also a good idea to visit a licensed dentist for teeth whitening. The chances of permanent tooth or gum damage will be reduced if the procedure is carried out professionally. It is usually sufficient to have the teeth whitened once or twice a year at most.