beauty tip

Olive White: Taking the Safe Steps to Becoming Snow White (LONG POST)

10:00 AM

Salam and hello!

Back in the days when I was still a little girl, I was very fair skinned :p But as I grew up, I started to get playful and naughty - cycling at my house compound, climbing trees and the swing at home, skateboarding, swimming etc I started to get quite dark. But still fair, just becoming more of a fair olive type. Probably like these babes:

Haha. Well you see, I don't have the typical Malay skin; as I am from Sarawak, Borneo I have a very mixed heritage :D I am a little bit of Malay (Kedayan and Bruneian), Chinese and very slight blood of Kayan too. 3 out of 4 of those bloods are mostly fair-skinned people. Lol. So sometimes I get compared how fair I am :x

But honestly, I am rather medium fair now. Hahaha. I couldn't go for whitening products just yet back when I was younger as I was still struggling with acne and all - whitening products aren't recommended for active acne-prone skin from what I've heard. Now I'm left with blemishes, and occassional acne (when on periods only) so I guess it's a go this time? :D FYI I am not obsessed with whitening, it's all about personal confidence and I find that if I get a bit more fair my self-esteem would at least rise a little (I have confidence issue).

There are a few precautions and tips that must be known of before starting a new type of skincare regime on this :) 

What do you need to know on Lightening @ Whitening Your Skin Safely?
  1. Wear sunscreen everyday. Sun exposure can create all sorts of havoc on your complexion - from freckles and brown spots, to burns and skin cancer. When you expose your skin to UVA and UVB light, your body produces melanin which makes your skin appear darker. Therefore, the number one most important thing you can do to lighten your skin is to wear sunscreen everyday - even when it's not hot; there's always that hidden sun exposure lol. You can also protect your skin by wearing light, long-sleeved clothing and by wearing a hat and sunglasses when you're in the sun for long periods of time.
    2.  Regularly cleanse and exfoliate your skin. Taking good care of your skin involves following
         a strict skincare routine where skin is properly cleansed, exfoliated and moisturised.
  • Thoroughly cleanse your face twice a day - once in the morning and once at night. This removes dirt and oil, which is important for a healthy, clear complexion.
  • Moisturise with a product suited to your skin type. If you have oily or blemish prone skin, you should go for light lotions, while people with very dry skin should go for heavier creams.
  • Exfoliate a couple of times a week - this is important as it removes the darker, dead skin cells and reveals the new, lighter skin beneath. You can exfoliate using a product containing small particles, or by gently rubbing your face with a clean, damp washcloth. Or use pore brushes - manual or machine these days. Very easy! e.g Olay Pro-X Advance Cleansing System, Clarisonic Plus
    3.  Drink more water and follow a healthy diet. Drinking water and eating right won't magically 
         make your skin lighter, but it will help skin to rejuvenate itself.
  • When skin rejuvenates, the old, pigmented layers fade away and fresh thus revealing new skin, leaving your skin looking brighter and healthier. Drinking more water speeds up this process, so try to drink between six and eight glasses a day.
  • A good diet also helps to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy by providing it with the vitamins and nutrients it needs. Try to eat as much fresh fruit and vegetables as possible (especially those high in vitamins A, C and E) and stay away from processed, high-calorie foods.
  • You should also consider taking a vitamin supplement containing ingredients such as Grapeseed Extract (which provides anti-oxident benefits) and Flaxseed or Fish oil, both of which contain Omega-3 and are excellent for hair, skin and nails.
    4.  Quit smoking. Everyone knows that smoking is bad for your health, but not everyone is aware
         of the damage it can do to your skin.
  • Smoking contributes to premature aging, causing fine lines and wrinkles. It also prevents blood flow to the face, causing it to become ashen or grey-looking.
  • Therefore, if you want healthier, lighter-looking skin one of the best things you can do is to stop smoking. Quitting may not be easy, but your body will thank you for it.
There are two kinds of methods for the quest of skin whitening - by using products and treatments OR using natural remedies.

Products and Treatments
  1. Try a skin lightening cream. There are an abundance of skin lightening creams available over-the-counter. They all work by reducing melanin (the pigment which causes tanning and sun spots) in the skin. Look for products containing effective skin-lightening ingredients such as kojic acid, glycolic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, vitamin C or arbutin; these products tend to be pretty safe to use, but be sure to follow the directions on the packaging and to stop immediately if your skin has a bad reaction. Never use a skin lightening cream which contains mercury as the active ingredient. Mercury-based skin creams are banned in the US, but are still available in other parts of the world.
  2. Use retinoids. Retinoid creams are made from an acidic form of Vitamin A and can effectively lighten skin through exfoliating the skin and speeding up cell turnover. Not only do retinoid creams lighten skin and clear discoloration, they are also highly effective at smoothing out fine lines and wrinkles, plumping up the skin and making it look brighter and younger. In higher concentrations, it can also help to clear acne. On a slight downfall, it can cause dryness, redness and flakiness at first, but these symptoms should subside once your skin gets used to the product. Retinoids also make your skin more sensitive to sunlight, so you should only apply them at night and be sure to wear sunscreen during the day. Retinoids are only available with a prescription, so you should make an appointment with your dermatologist if you are interested in pursuing this treatment. However, a less potent version of retinoid cream, known as retinol, is available in many over-the-counter beauty products.
  3. Consider using hydroquinone. Hydroquinone is the only FDA-approved skin-lightening ingredient in the US and it works by preventing melanin production. How safe it is, however, is up for debate; it has been found to have caused cancer in laboratory mice, which led the European Union to ban the ingredient from cosmetics in 2001. The United States, which tends to be less regulated when it comes to some cosmetics, allows it in over-the-counter products, as long as the concentration doesn't exceed 2%. You can find 4% hydroquinone in creams meant to treat skin conditions, but you'll need a doctor's prescription. Some prescription creams combine hydroquinone with tretoinin (Vitamin A) to combat melasma, a skin darkening condition that can be caused by pregnancy or extended over-exposure to the sun. 
  4. Get a chemical peel. Chemical peels can be very effective at lightening the skin. They work by burning away the top layers of skin which are highly pigmented or discolored, revealing the fresher, lighter-colored skin underneath. With a chemical peel, an acidic substance (such as alpha hydroxy acid) is applied to the skin and left to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. The peel may cause a tingling, stinging or burning sensation on the skin can often leave it looking red or swollen for a couple of days afterwards. A series of chemical peels (done 2 to 4 weeks apart) is usually recommended. During this time it is important to avoid the sun and to be vigilant about wearing sunscreen, as your skin is extra sensitive. In other words, you will experience being a vampire XD
  5. Lastly, try microdermabrasion. It is a good alternative option for people whose skin is sensitive to acid peels and creams. Essentially this method exfoliates or "polishes" the skin, removing dull, darker layers and leaving skin brighter and fresher. During the treatment, a small closed vacuum with a rotating diamond tip is applied to the face. Dead skin cells are removed and then sucked into the vacuum. It usually takes somewhere between 15 and 20 minutes, although 6 to 12 treatments may be necessary to achieve noticeable results. Some people may experience a little redness or dryness after the treatment but, in general, microdermabrasion has fewer side effects than other treatments.

Natural Remedies
Many women swear that basic food items such as lemon, whole milk and turmeric powder can naturally bleach and lighten skin. Here are some very popular recipes recommended:
  1. Lemon juice is a natural skin lightener. Used daily or every few days over the course of a few weeks will give you the best results.
  • Recipe 1: Use 1 part lemon juice and one part oil (olive oil, extra virgin coconut oil and almond oil are all good choices). Add a teaspoon of flour to make a paste. Leave the mask on for 10 minutes and then rinse off with lukewarm water.
  • Recipe 2: Use 1 part lemon juice, 1 part honey and a dash of baking soda to make a paste.
  • Recipe 3: Use 1 part lemon juice and 1 part yogurt for a mask.
     2.  Try turmeric -  an Indian spice which has been used in skin lightening treatments for
          thousands of years. It is believed to inhibit melanin production, thereby preventing the skin
          from becoming tanned.
  • Mix turmeric with some olive oil and chickpea flour to form a paste. Apply the paste to the skin using gentle circular motions. This will help to exfoliate the skin.
  • Leave the turmeric paste to sit on the skin for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing off. The turmeric may stain your skin slightly yellow, but this should quickly wear off.
  • Repeat this treatment once or twice a week for best results. 
     3.  Try raw potato, it is believed to have mild bleaching properties, due to its high vitamin C
          content; Vitamin C is used as a lightening ingredient in many skin creams. To use:
  • Simply cut a raw potato in half, then rub the exposed flesh over the skin you wish to lighten. Leave the potato juice to sit on the skin for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing.
  • You will need to repeat this treatment several times a week in order to get any beneficial results. Instead of a potato you could use also a tomato or cucumber, as both of these foods also have a high vitamin C content.
      4.  Try aloe vera. Aloe vera is a very soothing substance, which can help to ease redness and
           fade discoloration. It is also very moisturizing on the skin, which aids skin rejuvenation.
  • To use aloe vera, break a leave off of an aloe vera plant and rub the gel-like sap over the skin.
  • Aloe vera is very gentle so it's not necessary to rinse it off, however you may prefer to remove it if it makes your skin feel sticky.
  • I also suggest if you do not have the raw aloe vera, you can use the Nature Republic 92% Soothing Gel as an alternative
      5.  Try coconut water. Some people claim that coconut water is an effective skin
           lightener and it also makes skin supple and smooth.
  • To use, simply dip a cotton ball in the liquid and use it to rub the coconut water all over the skin you wish to lighten. Coconut water is very natural and gentle, so there's no need to rinse it off.
  • You can also drink coconut water to boost your hydration levels and increase your intake of several essential minerals. Yum~:p 
Fuh, very long post indeed :x I hope you enjoy my tip of the day :)

Til then blurbers <3

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