Are You Considering Bleaching Your Skin?
Let me start on this note: there is nothing wrong with bleaching your skin (at least that is what you want me to write so that you can go ahead, right?). After all, it is your choice, your body, your skin, and your life. And no matter what I write in here, it might not move you an inch.
But wait. Before you consider changing your skin color, you have to know what you’re getting into. Like I used to advise the people around me, if you’re not rich, don’t bleach your skin. But even if you’re the wife of Bill Gate, you still need to watch your steps.
Do You Want To Bleach Your Skin Because:
- Your friends are doing it, and they’re now getting the good, rich guys
- You have a low self-esteem (you look in the mirror and all you see is that ugly, good-for-nothing fellow that would probably rot in her father’s house
- Your favorite celebrity has done so (smh for you)
- You just desire it
- Your guy or girl is now looking at the opposite sex that is getting a skin bleach
- And so many other reasons that time and space won’t permit me to include.
I want to open your eyes to the reality. And before I delve right into what might probably happen to you, ask yourself this question: “how do I want to look when I clock 50 years?” Do you want to remain beautiful and radiant, or horrible and ugly? I bet you don’t want the latter.
Enough of the preamble. Let’s get started on the core reasons why you should reconsider your stand…even if you’ve invested heavily in your products.
Types Of The Skin And The Sun
Every person in the world can either have any of these six skins. They are
Skin Type 1
People under this category have red hair or blond, have pale skins, light, and colored eyes. If these people are exposed to the sun for 25 minutes, they’ll surely get a burn (1st-degree burn).
Skin Type 2
People under this category have light color eyes and have a fair complexion. If these people should stay under the sun for 25 minutes, their skin would be red. With continuous exposure to the sun, they can get a tan (tan is the transformation from pale-skinned color to brown after sun exposure).
Skin Type 3
The people in this category are fair. And after 25 minutes of sun exposure, they’ll tan. But more exposure to the sun will cause them to burn.
Skin Type 4
People in this category have brown or black eyes, dark hair, and are fair in complexion. These people, after 25 minutes of exposure to the sun, will develop an even tan. But they rarely burn (for instance, people from the North African Countries).
Skin Type 5
People from these group are usually dark-skinned people from India. They always tan steadily and rarely get sunburn.
Skin Type 6
People in this category are dark, even in areas that are not exposed to the sun. They are majorly from the African origin. When exposed to the sun for too long, they tend to tan to an even dark color. They never get sun burn.
What happens when you bleach? Let’s say you are as dark as I am, or you are light-skinned from birth. The moment you bleach, you dump your Skin Type level, changing from 5 or 6 to Skin Type 3. And what do you think will happen when this occurs? You begin to get tan at the slightest exposure to the sun. And when you expose yourself for so long in the sun, you get a sunburn that you’re naturally created to avoid (thanks to your melanin).
Of course, you may say that your sunscreen will do the protection. But who told you that the sunscreen can absorb (chemical sunscreen) or deflect (organic sunscreen like titanium dioxide) the whole UV rays? As a matter of fact, an SPF 15 sunscreen can only shield you from 93% of the sun rays (Read more about the sun). And what happens to the remaining 7%? You guessed right. It’s taking its toll on your body, accumulating to give you that saggy or wrinkled skin when you become 40 years and above.
What Happens When You Bleach
The melanocyte, residing in the basal layer of your epidermis, is responsible for producing the melanin, a natural pigment that determines your skin color, hair color, and eye color. The melanin protects the body from the harmful effect of the sun, which prevents against sunburn and melanoma (skin cancer).
The role of the bleaching agent is to suppress the production of melanin by the melanocyte. When you bleach, you are simply telling your melanocyte that, “Buddy, I can take care of myself. I don’t need your help.” Bad move! And what happens? The 7% UV rays that get past your body begins to cause a lot of havoc, like weakening your elastin and collagen (responsible for your skin’s strength and defense).
Although some bleaching agents are naturally extracted from bearberry like the arbutin family, we have licorice extract, kogic acid, niacinamide (vitamin B3), and so many of them. In as much as I don’t advice you bleach your skin, you might consider those safe ingredients if at all you want to suppress your melanin.
Sounds frightening, right? Yes, it is. But not all tumors are malignant (dangerous). Some are benign (not harmful).
Skin tumor is a lesion that represents an abnormal overgrowth of body tissue. The malignant tumor can spread rapidly, destroying its surrounding tissues and worst still some organs in the body. This type is called METASTASES.
A skin tumor can occur from the epidermis, dermis, or the subcutis. Most of the skin tumors originate from the keratinocytes (the top layer of your skin) and the melanocytes (the melanin-producing cells).
Skin Tumor That Originates From The Keratinocytes
- Solar Keratosis – They are lesions that usually occur in fair-skinned people older than 40 years. They occur in the areas that are usually exposed to the sun, like the back of your hand and your face.
Solar keratosis is precancerous lesions that are not dangerous to the body for as long as they remain in the epidermis. They moment they extend to the dermis, they become a Squamous Cell Carcinoma (cancerous skin lesions). But relax, the likelihood of this occurring is very, very slim. But it is possible. And by becoming “white” (or how do you call it) you just increase the chance of getting a Squamous Cell Carcinoma.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma – As explained. When the Solar Keratosis doesn’t remain in its place (in the epidermis), it becomes a Squamous Cell Carcinoma. It normally occurs in the parts of the body that have received accumulated sunlight. It can also occur in those parts that are properly shielded from the rays as well.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma – Like the above two, the Basal Cell Carcinoma is a common skin tumor of the light-skinned people (over 40 years of age) that have frolicked under the sun since they were teenagers. It can occur in the ear, nose, on bald areas, back, upper chest, and other exposed body parts.
Failure to notice and treat the Basal Cell Carcinoma on time will make it spread like wildfire, affecting its surrounding skins, some vital body organs, and even the bone.
Tumors That Originate From The Melanocytes
- Melanocytic Nevi (Moles or Beauty Spots) – These are benign lesions that begin from the melanocytes. They are usually dark in color, and they can sometimes be brown. They are not aggressive and are confined to a single spot.
- Malignant Melanoma – Here we go! The daddy of them all. Malignant Melanoma is the most aggressive and dangerous skin cancer with the highest mortality rate. The likelihood of a light-skinned person developing it is 1%…and the chance increases by the exposure of the body to the sunlight rays.
A melanoma can be either brown or black, and can sometimes be blue or a mixture of all. The chance of a dark-skinned person developing melanoma is very low, although possible. As long as you don’t leap from the Type 6 skin to the Type 3 skin all in the name of looking attractive, you are safe. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect the use of your sunscreen.
If the Malignant Melanoma is not diagnosed and removed on time, it would keep penetrating the skin, metastasize other areas of the body, to the vital organs. And the result is always death, as there is no cure for Melanoma.
So what am I saying since morning? Learn to appreciate your skin color. And if at all you can’t help it, you can employ some naturally extracted ingredients that go easy on your melanin. These might take months for you to achieve the results, but it’s better to wait than to face a grave consequence…all in the name of looking good.
Later in the future, I’ll be coming up with those vital ingredients that your skin need to achieve that healthy, beautiful looking state. Keep visiting mololo.org for more important updates.