Skin Bleaching: Things to Know Before Trying it?


You may have often come across someone around you discussing skin bleaching. Living in a country obsessed with a lighter skin tone, this isn’t something new. If you have been thinking about this and want to learn more, continue reading the blog to understand skin bleaching, how it works and its side effects. It will help you get clarity if you should try it or not. 

What Determines Different Skin Colours? 

Specialised cells known as melanocytes in our skin, generate a pigment known as melanin. In other words, the amount and type of melanin determines your skin colour. Therefore, you may have darker skin due to more melanin. It is usually your genes that influence the melanin content in your skin. However, factors such as hormones and sun exposure also affect the production of melanin.

Why is Fair Skin Considered as Attractive?

This whole fixation stems from the notion that lighter skin tone is superior to darker skin tone. From the time a child is born, his/her skin colour becomes a hot topic of discussion for relatives, acquaintances and even family members. 

It is a perfect example of the social conditioning that has been travelling from one generation to another. Consequently, you start believing that you aren’t good enough or worthy based on your skin tone. Skin whitening creams/products are a multi-billion dollar industry because a lighter skin tone is considered superior in India and several other countries. It depicts the created mindset by society that a successful, privileged, and perfect life is only for those who have fair skin. 

At CureSkin, we believe that every skin tone is gorgeous, and there’s no superior or inferior skin tone. We need to create a society where no one feels they are less than others based on their skin colour. Our focus should be on achieving healthy skin rather than a change in skin colour. 

What is Skin Bleaching?

It is a cosmetic treatment that uses products to lighten darker areas of your skin. You can get it in the form of creams, pills and soaps. It can give you a lighter/fairer complexion or help spot treat certain areas with age spots, blemishes or acne scars.

How Does Skin Bleaching Work?

Skin bleaching products have ingredients or a combination of ingredients that lead to a decrease in melanin production. As a result, it can make your skin appear lighter or even-toned. 

Risks & Side Effects of Using Skin Bleaching Agents

1. Skin Bleaching Can Cause Dermatitis

It cannot only lead to contact dermatitis but also cause skin inflammation due to the presence of certain chemicals in these products. The symptoms can range from mild to severe such as redness, itching, burning, skin ulcers and swelling etc.

2. Exogenous Ochronosis

Suppose you are using skin bleaching creams for a long time. In that case, you can experience a skin disorder with blue-black pigmentation known as exogenous ochronosis due to hydroquinone.

3. Steroid Acne

Skin bleaching products with corticosteroids can lead to steroid acne. The symptoms include red bumps (small), whiteheads, blackheads, red lumps (large & painful) and acne scars.

4. Poisoning Due to Mercury

Mercury is an ingredient that is highly harmful to your skin. Several skin bleaching products contain mercury despite being banned. It can cause high blood pressure, kidney failure, numbness and fatigue.

These are a few of the possible side effects of skin bleaching, but you can notice other adverse reactions as well. In that case, talk to a doctor immediately.

It’s a Wrap

It is up to you to decide for yourself if you want to go ahead with skin bleaching or not. You cannot take it casually as there are risks involved. Skin bleaching isn’t a permanent solution to get rid of darker skin tone. It can make your skin bright and glow temporarily, but there are higher chances of side effects too. Connect with a dermatologist for any doubts or queries that you may have regarding skin bleaching. 


  1. How can you permanently whiten your skin?

You cannot change your natural skin colour. 

  1. Is it dangerous to bleach your skin?

Bleaching your skin can be harmful as some of the ingredients in these products can cause kidney failure, high blood pressure, neurotic issues, burning, rashes, numbness etc. You have to be careful if you are planning to do it. Always reach out to a doctor for better clarity. 

  1. Is bleaching your face a good idea?

Bleaching your face can give you an instant glow and even hide your facial hair, but be careful as it can lead to adverse reactions or side effects.

  1. Is skin bleaching a permanent solution?

No, skin bleaching isn’t permanent. It is a temporary solution, and the effects can wear off after some time. 



Picture of Chaitali Nayak

Chaitali Nayak

A writer and a skincare fanatic, Chaitali believes that words and kindness can transform the world. She has a master’s degree in Advertising & Public Relations and has worked for various advertising agencies and digital marketing firms. With the help of expert dermatologists at CureSkin, she works towards creating content that helps eliminate misinformation related to skincare. The aim is to educate yet bring something exciting and new every time for the readers. When not busy writing, you can find her talking to her plants, eating, drawing or watching movies.