Skin lightening products -- also known as bleaching creams, whiteners
skin brighteners, or fading creams -- work by reducing a pigment called
melanin in the skin. Most people who use lighteners do so to treat skin
problems such as freckles, age spots, acne scars, or discoloration
related to hormones. It is also a technique used to lighten naturally
dark skin. Skin lightening products do come with some risks. As with any
new product, be sure to read the label and know the facts before you
buy and apply a skin lightener. What Determines Skin Color? Skin color
is determined by the amount of melanin in the skin. Melanin is a pigment
produced by specialized cells called melanocytes. People with dark skin
have more melanin. How much melanin your skin has is mainly a matter of
your genetic makeup. Sunlight exposure, hormones, skin damage, and
exposure to certain chemicals can also affect melanin production.
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