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Top 3 skin lightening ingredients

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Mary Anne Murmurs: Do you think buying high-priced products that claim to diminish sun/age spots are any better than the drugstore kind (like Olay’s?)

The Right Brain Roars:

Dark spots have a number of causes. For example, there’s the kind you get from acne scars. These are tough to get rid of! Then there’s the kind you get from sun exposure. Sunlight increases melanin production, the natural pigment in your skin that gives you a sun tan. Sometimes your melanin kicks into over drive and you end up with dark spots. Products that block this reaction can make your skin lighter. There are 3 basic types of skin lightening ingredients:

1. Hydroquinone

Proven to be the most effective ingredient but also the most controversial. Due to safety concerns, some countries have banned this ingredient. You can still find it in a number of products sold at different prices. For example, you can buy Black and White Bleaching Cream for only $12.00.

2. N-acetyl glucosamine

As we discussed in our post on Olay Definity, this glucosamine derivative has been proven to work in clinical trials. It’s less effective than hydroquinone, but it doesn’t have the same risks. How well it works will vary from person to person, but it’s priced low enough to give it a try. You can buy Olay Definity here for around $20.00.

3. Kojic acid and alpha-arbutin

We’ve blogged about these ingredients before; they’re used in products such as Meladerm. It’s a bit more expensive (around $50.00), but a number of our community have reported good results with Meladerm. You can buy Meladerm here.

And remember, using a sunscreen is a pretty good way to prevent dark spots from forming in the first place.

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