While the Western world was madly obsessed with tanning themselves to a crisp in the last century, fair, luminous skin remains a desired trait in most Asian societies such as India, China and Thailand.
In the East, fair skin is associated with beauty and wealth. Here, both men and women desire to be fairer, and seek partners who have fair, radiant complexion.
Sunblock : still the best
Despite what cosmetic companies tell you, sunblock is the best and most essential tool to effective skin lightening. Its very simple : skin renews itself in about 6 weeks, so all you need to do is to protect yourself from getting darker, and the darker skin will eventually slough off to reveal brighter, fairer skin.
Invest in a good sunblock with broad spectrum protection, apply generously, and reapply often!
Realistic Expectations : You are What You are Born With
Our skin colour is determined by how much melanin we have in our skin, which in turn is determined genetically. Hence, it is difficult to lighten your skin tone far beyond what you were born with naturally. Topical creams and medical procedures such as lasers and peels will help lighten your skin, but only to a certain extent. And once you stop taking protective measures, you will revert to your natural color again very soon.
In that case, how did Michael Jackson become so white?
The late King of Pop suffered from vitiligo, a disease which causes patches of depigmentation on the skin. The disease, however, does not cause uniform whitening like in his case. While no one could confirm how he managed to change his skin colour so dramatically, many speculate that he used strong topical creams such as high concentration hydroquinone, and multiple chemical peels. It was likely that he had undergone chemical peels which were so deep that they caused irreversible damage to the pigment cells in the skin, hence ceasing to produce melanin. These peels are extremely dangerous, and rarely performed now.
Invest in good topical creams
It is still possible to be a shade or two lighter, by religiously using medical grade whitening creams. Some of the commonly used active ingredients include Hydroquinone, Kojic Acid, Azelaic acid, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and alpha hydroxyl acids. Remember though that side effects such as sun sensitivity, stinging, flaking, and redness can occur with these products; and sun avoidance is ever more important when you use them.
Remove skin pigmentation to appear fairer and more radiant
Fair skin is commonly masked by overlying pigmentory conditions such as freckles, age spots and melasma. These unsightly dark patches on the skin, often caused by sun damage, are the enemies of glowing, radiant skin. Treat your pigmentation with topical creams and pigment lasers to reveal your fair, flawless skin underneath!