'Fairness' is big business in India, and in other Asian countries. We are all obsessed with fair skin. We choose our life partners on the basis of their skin tone, we often choose our friends on this basis too. We usually tend to trust fairer people more than we trust darker people. All this because we are really obsessed with having fair skin. Naturally, fairness is big business. Multinational companies make big bucks off our obsession and fairness creams are easily the most sold cosmetic product in our country.
But do Fairness Creams really work?
Yes, they do. Dermatologist Dr Jamuna Pai says, "All whitening creams work by inhibiting Tyrosinase that is required for the production of melanin, which gives colour to Asian skin tones. The active ingredients that are present in these creams can be simple 'berry extracts' to chemicals like hydroquinone." These products work only if used regularly for at least a few months.
But what most such products really do is exfoliate the skin and act as a sunscreen. The exfoliation of skin removes the pigmented layer and brings out fresh new layer of skin cells that are less pigmented. You could achieve this result by exfoliating your skin yourself too!
One area of concern before you start using such creams is that the supression of Melanin could have adverse long term effects.