How whitening beauty products work?

Topical skin lightening agents are commonly used to lighten dark skin patches. These darks patches are also known as melasma, age spots and freckles. They are sometimes caused by sunlight, pregnancy, birth control pills, hormone medicines or injury to the skin.

As more people are seeking fairer complexions, a number of such agents have been incorporated into beauty care products to lighten overall skin tones.

Topical skin lightening agents work by various mechanisms:

  • Antioxidants and tyrosinase inhibitors such as hydroquinone slow down the production of melanin.
  • Agents like tretinoin (the acid form of Vitamin A) increase epidermal cell turn-over, resulting in the loss of epidermal pigments through formation of new epidermis.
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