Sheila I am Mexican too and I have thought about skin bleaching a lot. I know I shouldn't but sometimes I think it might be easier to be whiter. What was your experience with it?
Let me tell you right now that I’m not going to yell at you. Or make you feel guilty. If your like me, you already feel really guilty for even THINKING about bleaching. A lot of the small, discreet forums I ran too when I first started bleaching were these tiny corners of the internet where mexican, hispanic, and black girls talked on forum about where to buy bleaches, how they got lighter. And they were always interspliced with us trying to tell each other to be strong, to stop, to not feel bad about what they were doing but also encouraging others not to start. It’s a sucky, sucky place to be, but I understand that you’re there. You know? And sometimes the act of controlling the shade of your skin can feel like overcoming the insecurity (its not.)
Instead Imma tell you the realities of skin bleaching.
First off, most of the brightening and bleaching products ARENT frederally regulated. I mean, they are super fucking dangerous. Just fyi. These companies are super shady and the ingrediants to even the FDA approved over-the-counter prescriptions of lighteners, have been linked to causing cancer. Over extended periods of time, it has been known to give a higher risk of, and even cause, cancer. They are still banned in a lot of countries. Yes, these are products that are used to help patients with post-sugery spotting, scarring, that are prescribed whiteners. Or even Vitilago patients, but even they are told the serious dangers and they are just using it for exactly that. SPOTTING. Not slathering it on your whole body.
Aside from being really fucking expensive, the ultimate thing that stopped me and others was this.
You can’t actually strip your skin of melanin/pigment.
It’s just not scientifically possible. Bleaching doesn’t actually BLEACH your skin. It just -delays and stops the melanin from forming- thats it. And in some whiteners, like the soap bar whitener, its actually peeling off layers of your skin to the non tanned cells beneath, and delaying melanin. This leads to redness, allergies, skin infections, and itchyness like a mutherfucker. It can be really painful.
But that also means that no matter how much you whiten, because you are only stopping melanin from forming instead of stripping, you will always be as tan as you are to begin with. You can only peel back and stop your layers so much before you reach your base shade.
So guess what that means?
Your shade will always come back.
Unless you plan on bleaching forever (see above about cancer) you will never reach a point that you won’t be tan, or won’t be in ‘need’ of bleaching. It will always, always come back. Because as soon as you stop using it, your melanin starts producing again. Unless of course, you damage your skin so badly you start DARKENING.
Yup, skin bleaching can also cause you to darken.
And I don’t mean, it makes you get tanner. It blackens you. It’s called exogenous ochronosis. It’s when your skin gets damaged by the use of whiteners/bleachers and starts BLACKENING. Mostly in the thinner areas of your skin. Around your eyes is the most common one. Its practically unrepairable. Unless you want to sit under lasers at the dermatogloist weeks on end.
And finally, the shades you whiten never feel like enough. We all experienced this. It’ s a paranoia from your insecurity. As white as you get, you’ll still be staring at the mirror thinking ‘im too dark, im too dark.’ Because in the end it’s in your head, not in your skin. You’ll be endlessly torturing your body to try and fix your mind. I still struggle with this, despite having used it for 4-5 years and now stopped for another 4. And I realized that even though I was actively getting lighter, I was still not happy. Still not satisfied. That’s when I realized that I wasn’t targeting the right problem. What I had been made to think. Not what I had been made AS.
And now, because I had beat up my skin so badly, I notice how much more easily I scar, I darken, I sun spot. The exact opposite of what I wanted. But i made my skin so tender, its more prone to tanning than not.
I hope this helps. I know that when I realized all these things it turned me off completely, and many of the other girls that helped me stopped other from using just by explaining what they might be getting into.
I’m always, always here to talk about this! On anon or privately!