Is skin lightening safe

Midnite Rain asks…I have dark skin, and i would love to have a much more fairer complexion. I have read that Uva Ursi (Bearberry Extract) is good for lightening African American skin, and I’ve also heard that L-Glutathione is great too. So, if i want to max my skin lightening, is it safe and more efficient to use both at the same time?

The Right Brain responds:

Midnite’s question prompted a good discussion in our Forum about the various options for lightening/whitening your skin. (There was even a bit of a philosophical argument about whether you SHOULD lighten your skin or not!)

You should also understand what ingredients you should NOT use to lighten skin. Mercury is one good example. Mercury compounds like mercurious chloride, mercury oxide and ammoniated mercury can penetrate the skin and deactivate the enzyme involved in melanin production. These chemicals essentially turn off the switch that causes dark spots to appear. Unfortunately, long term use of these products can cause neurological and kidney damage so have banned from cosmetic use. This is a very timely discussion since it was recently discovered that many commercially available brands of skin lighteners still contain illegal levels of mercury. You can read the entire story in the Chicago Tribute.