1- Some Current Main Components Used:
- Lactic Acid: This ingredient is considered to be an alpha-hydroxy acid and is used in a wide range of skin care products nowadays. It is a powerful ingredient that helps get rid of acne breakouts and slow the process of aging and appearance of wrinkles.
- Glycolic Acid: Glycolic acid is the smallest α-hydroxy acid. it is odorless, colorless and is highly soluble in water. It is everyone’s favorite ingredient in exfoliators and scrubs as it removes skin dead cells and helps it stay hydrated and youthful.
- Kojic Acid: This ingredient is mainly used in beauty and skincare products. Kojic acid is used to help lighten the skin and decrease the dark spots, and that by preventing melanin production on the skin. This ingredient also has an anti-aging effect as well as scar removal properties.
2- Some Current Hazardous Components to Avoid:
- Mercury: This ingredient is used in skincare and beauty products in two major forms: organic and inorganic. It is used to lighten the skin and decrease dark spots. FDA banned the use of mercury given its dangers in most products by 1974 and can only be used in small portions with prior approval.
- Steroids: Also known as corticosteroids, this ingredient is considered to be an anti-inflammatory medicine. These are used for a range of skin conditions including allergies, but when used in big portions or not the right way, they can lead to permanent skin damage. If misused, steroids can lead to skin pigmentation or skin breakdown as well as the appearance of small and widened blood vessels.
- Monobenzone: This white and waxy solid works as an antioxidant. CIR Expert Panel evaluate this ingredient unsafe to use in cosmetic products. It severely affects the eyes area and skin in general by irritating it. It is also a skin sensitizer and Monobenzone solutions produces embryotoxicity.
- Hydroquinone: The component is used to lighten dark spots on the skin. It is not safe if used as a leave-on cosmetic product. On the other hand, it is safe to use in very small portions and if the product applied on the concern area is rinsed immediately. The maximum of concentrations permitted to be used in skin bleaching products is less or equal to 1%.
3- Natural Alternatives:
- Turmeric: This ingredient is considered to be an effective natural exfoliator. It has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits and can do wonders on acne prone skin. It also contains vitamin C which is very efficient in terms of skin lightening.
- Aloe Vera Gel: Originating from the Arabian Peninsula, aloe vera is a succulent plant species that has many uses such as soothing sunburn, relieving skin irritation, and providing more moisture to the skin. It is rich in both vitamins A and C as well as it is rich in antioxidants which helps in lightening the skin and leaving it smooth after application.
- Lemon Juice: Lemons are known to be rich in vitamin C and citric acid which help lightening the skin and decrease pigmentation. Lemons also are known to kill the acne causing bacteria and exfoliating the skin. Mix it evenly with water before application.