Tag Archives: skin lightening

Right way to skin lightening


Rihanna then


Rihanna now

Skin lightening is as old as early civilisation so it’s not new or strange that women more than ever are bleaching their skin. Many women don’t like to admit bleaching their skin so they use subtle terms like skin lightening. When you decide to alter your natural complexion completely, then of course, you are bleaching. Nonetheless, wanting to lighten or brighten your complexion is not a sinful act but a matter of how healthy it is and the consequences it has on your skin and health.

Skin lightening is not restricted to women of colour alone; women of all races seek to lighten their skin. I am not against it really;  what scares me is the measures women take to lighten. In Nigeria, women – and even men – use anti-inflammatory topical creams or anti-fungal, anti-bacterial topical creams in tubes. Some of these tube creams contain steroids which thins the skin and causes stretch marks. When the skin thins, it wrinkles faster because the protective top layer of the skin is affected. When the skin thins, it looses its bounce. Consider a fresh fish that has been de-skinned and you have an idea of what am talking about. When this happens, your skin starts to wrinkle even before you are fifty.

Other topical creams contain anti-biotics that causes your skin to build resistance to such drugs or medication so that your skin fails to heal when you have skin problems as your body would have built resistance to such class of drugs due to the abuse. This is why a skin which has been bleached fails to heal or heals slowly when infected.

Besides that, the stretch marks these creams cause are irreversible and unattractive. It’s a scientific fact that stretch marks can’t be removed; they can only be reduced.

Nigerian women combine a whole lot of diverse products to make super bleaching creams. They combine serums, which are themselves, concentrated formula, anti-inflammatory and anti-biotic tube creams with maximum whitening creams and lotions known as maxi tone and a host of things like bleaching soaps. When these individual products are combined, what you get is a warm and sometimes hot mixture that burns d skin on contact. If you are abusing Funbact A, Skineal, Dermovate, et al, you are exposing your skin to harm.

So, what healthy approach can you take?

Healthy and Right way to skin lightening

Lighten at night

Serums are consentrated formula for treating black spots;  do not pour them in your lotions. I know they are quicker at lightening your skin so don’t mix them with any other product. In stead, use them only at night when the sun is down. Most serums are hot or warm when it comes in contact with your skin; the more reason why your skin can be burnt by the sun when exposed. D harsh or strong chemicals in serums and most maximum whitening creams like maxitone or express whitening do not take kindly to the sun. Many women are getting sun burn because of the interaction between the sun and bleaching agents. Restrict your serums or express whitening maxitone products to night only.

Moisturize and sunscreen at day

During day time, stay away from bleaching or lightening products;  in stead, use sunscreen and moisturisers. Lightening products dehydrate the skin which is why you need mousturisers and sunscreens to hydrate and protect the body during day time. Do not step out without these. You can buy a brightening – not – lightening moisturiser with SPF for day time.

Exfoliate periodically

A lot of women are impatient and change products too often. Part of the reason is because you are not exfoliating your skin. If you look at your skin, you might find a darker skin preventing the lighter one from coming through. This happens because while the lightening product is trying to clear your skin, it is depositing the dead cells right back unto your skin. So exfoliation is key to a brighter skin. You can use an exfoliating soap or body scrub for polishing your body once or twice weekly. You can also buy an exfoliating brightening cream or lotion.

Embrace natural skin lightening

Except if you want to end up wrinkly, saggy and burnt even before you are fifty,  embrace natural skin lightening. There are foods, herbs and spices that brighten the skin like lemon, turmeric, milk, papaya, carrot oil, lavender oil, orange peels, yogurt and so many others.

To make your own scrub, cut fresh lemon and sun dry it with d skin or sun dry orange peels. Once dry, pound it and mix with turmeric and powdered milk. This makes a moisturising exfoliator.
Or make a simple mix of turmeric, brown sugar and lemon oil. This exfoliates well too.

You can combine fresh lemon juice with milk to make the perfect skin brightening cleanser.

You can make your own brightening oil by mixing almond oil with carrot oil, lemon oil, lavender oil and sandalwood or cedarwood oil.

Natural skin lightening products contain collagen, vitamins A, C, E and properties that protect your skin as well as slow aging.

Be patient.
Skin lightening takes time so be patient. Don’t switch in between products like a yoyo dieter. Most creams take two weeks to take effect. So be patient.

Buy ethical products

Ethical companies do not make unrealistic promises like express whitening in 3 days. Such companies use a high dose of hydroquinone and steriods but mark boldly on their bottles “hydroquinone free”. They disguise harmful ingredients and do not include them on the ingredients list. Except if you are ill-informed, illeterate or downright unrealistic, there is no way your complexion can change dramatically in a week without a concoction of harmful chemicals.

Lastly, be gentle to your skin.

Your skin breathes; and it dies. To protect your skin, go easy. In Lagos, Nigeria, some people realized that a certain drug given to cancer patients lighten the skin so cancer free women are now injecting themselves with cancer drugs to whiten their skin. So what happens when they do get cancer? They may not heal because their bodies have already built resistance to the drug.

And one more thing: if your desire to whiten is so complex that you will go the extra length,  then am sorry to say that what you have is an addiction, perpetuated by low self esteem. For as long as you think that being beautiful means whiter skin, then there is a psychological problem to treat. You will hate me for this but you should seek help before it is too late.


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Skin preservation is key to ageless skin


The pursuit of beautiful skin is a rather challenging task for a lot of women but nonetheless, our utmost mission as women. This drive – or rather – obsession, as the case may be, has led many women into making wrong decisions. For the average African woman, the quest for beautiful skin simply means a lighter complexion, which in most cases translates to skin bleaching,  even though they would never admit this reality.

The fastest selling skincare products out there either “lightens” or “whitens”, promising quick fixes like “whiter skin in 3 days”. It’s amazing how a well informed woman can believe that a skincare product can whiten her skin in three days! The sad thing though is that not only do these creams damage their skin, these damaged women expect skincare professionals like I to find the solution to their problem.
The sight of ruptured veins, beyond imaginable stretched skin (stretch marks) and terrifying sun burns still send chills down my spine. It is worrisome the length women would go for lighter or whiter skin, only to end up with eternal scars that make it impossible for their spouses to touch them.
This, unfortunately is true and what I get to see day to day on the job. Unfortunately for these women, the majority of damaged skin cases may never be solved as skin that has been over-stretched is hard to heal. Sadly too, this translates to early or premature aging of the skin.

Facts about your skin you mustn’t ignore:

Your skin is a living, breathing organism; as such has its limits

Skin lightening or whitening products contain steroids and harmful chemicals like hydroquinone which damages the skin especially when it comes in contact with the sun. So steriods- plus -whiteners- plus-sun exposure means dehydration of the skin, sun burn and aging of the skin.

Your skin needs moisturisers and oils to give it suppleness and needed moisture which lightening or whitening products do not contain. This excessive drying of your skin causes wrinkles and fine lines.

Your skin needs collagen to stay young. So for as long as you are substituting moisturisers for skin whiteners,  you are accelerating aging.

Your skin needs oils as vitamins A & E,  which are vital for the production of collagen are predominantly found in oils.

A lighter or whiter skin does not mean beautiful skin; a healthy skin does.

While some women are guilty of exposing their skin to whiteners, others over process their skin. I know ladies who wash their face with soap, use cleanser and toner and still scrub their face daily. That is too much for one face and soon, you are breaking into acne or rashes. Excessive washing and cleansing leads to excessive drying of the skin, which strips the skin of sebum and causes imbalance in body oil. Whether you have acne or not, choose between a soap or foaming cleanser to wash your face with and then use a toner. Less is more.

Why skin preservation?

I treat my skin like an egg – very delicately because I know that prevention is better than cure; and that by preserving my skin, am delaying the aging process for a youthful skin for longer. By preserving my skin, am in fact, saving on some serious cash as I wouldn’t resort to plastic surgery in the future. Once your skin adjust to preservation mode, it stays healthy and youthful for longer.

Tips to adhere

Moisturize,  moisturize! Always buy lotions or creams rich in collagen, Vitamins A and E with essential oils for lubrication and gloss. To stay young, I make my own cream.


I made this out of pure aloe vera gel, Vitamins A, C, E,  almond oil, coconut oil, carrot oil, lemon oil and lavender and rosemary oils. This cream is moisturising,  fights wrinkles and aging as well as give me radiant skin.

I stopped using soap a long time ago. I now make my own face wash and body wash from castille soap into which I add coconut oil, olive oil and almond oil and carrot oil. I wash my face with cotton pads for deep cleansing so I don’t use my finger.


Brightening face wash and body wash


To tone,  I simply diluted my Boots rosewater and glycerine with equal part water and I tone with cotton pad. For some reasons, glycerine and rose water is harsh on me but I need the healing, moisturising and age fighting properties in it so I dilute with water and it works perfectly.

This is me; I don’t expect everyone to buy into my regime but I advice you think long term before using anything on your skin. You do not need to be three shades lighter to be beautiful; your goal should be having healthy, radiant skin for the long term


I embraced natural skincare for years now and am quite pleased that I don’t battle acne,  rash, sun burn or stretch marks. My skin is toned with the right elasticity. So if ageless beauty is what you want, then embrace skin preservation.