Your Pigmentation And How It Relates to Skin Care
Before we delve into pigmentation, it’s important to recognize the cultural contexts when it comes to skin pigmentation. We must recognize that in many cultures and countries, a lighter skin shade was directly correlated to socioeconomic status. This occurred in more than one continent, as it manifested in the caste system in India, as well as in various countries in Africa.
There are many countries outside of Europe where “light” skin features meant that one looked more European, which was significant because Europe was either the center of civilization for centuries, or busy conquering the countries that we are discussing. It is a complicated and multifaceted issue, where there is resentment on both sides, as “light skinned” Africans are not considered as “authentic”, and this problem even persists today.
The evolutionary reason for darker skin is that more people that evolved near the Equator would develop darker skin to protect against ultraviolet radiation. This is even parallel to what happened in India, as southern Indians are much darker because south India is nearer to the Equator. This is significant specifically because the climate in the subcontinent of India ranges wildly, since the Himalayas in North India created an entirely different climate, and one can see that there are many people that have much lighter skin in this region. The difference is quite marked.
This also has certain implications in America, where the pigment of someone’s skin may even have suggestions that delve back into master-slave relations, as masters used to rape slaves and create offspring that would be “mixed”, since they would be half-Caucasian and half-African American.
The point is that it is important to recognize that its these issues that make skin lightening a billion dollar industry. Unfortunately, many people choose to risk their skin care in order to lighten their skin, which of course is an extremely unhealthy thing to do. One should never sacrifice their health in any way for a beauty standard.
Interestingly enough, there are also people that actually choose to “tan”, which means that they are willing to darken their skin to fulfill a different sort of beauty standard. This has been prevalent since the 1950s, and does not have nearly the kind of traditional context that skin lightening may have, but it is important to note, this as well.
Now, let’s talk about skin care.
One might immediately ask, okay, if I have a darker pigmentation, does that mean that I have to treat my skin different? The answer is a resounding yes. One should always take into consideration their skin shade when it comes to using certain products.
First and foremost, one must take into consideration their reason for skin lightening, or brightening. A person may be uncomfortable with their skin color, and others might legitimately want to lighten their skin due to conditions such as melasma, age spots, or another reason. One particular thing to remember is that hydroquinone can be very irritable for many African-American and Latin people.
There are many substances in skin lightening products that are either illegal or unhealthy.
Unfortunately, similar to the cosmetic surgery market, this doesn’t stop people from paying for them, even if they are “under the table”. It is important to consider that if you have to go to these extremes for a skin lightening product, there may be an underlying reason that you should look into before going any further.
There are health risks to consider, but one thing should also be pointed out: these products may end up doing more damage than you think. Of course, there are very large health risks when it comes to certain substances. For example, hydroquinone may even cause skin or renal cancer, and also can lead to the breakdown of both elastin and collagen, which is certainly harmful to your skin.
However, beyond the health risks – the substances can also even cause cosmetic damage! It’s important to speak about how while there are many people who may want to treat their insecurities, they may not realize that by using the product, they end up causing irreversible skin bleaching. There is a big difference between wanting to lighten your skin, and bleaching your skin forever in a manner that you didn’t expect.
That’s a reason why the consumer needs to keep in mind that they have to know exactly what is in the products that they are using. Another point to make is that some countries may not even fully list every ingredient that is ACTUALLY in the product, because the way that industries are regulated are so different in different countries.
Skin care isn’t about fast and miraculous solutions, but instead about carefully researching and finding a customized solution to your specific skin problem.
We all may have our insecurities, but most rational people are able to understand that fully compromising your health or appearance forever simply to satisfy a minor insecurity can prove to be a lifelong regret. This is always important to keep in the back of one’s mind, so that they can keep a tempered perspective about the possible consequences.
Our bodies age naturally, and as a result, our skin and blood changes. This is not only natural, but inevitable. However, one must differentiate between minor beauty adjustments and major health problems. If you look into the mirror one day, and feel like there are dark circles under your eyes, you might find a great skin care product that solves your issue. However, if you are noticing a different in skin pigmentation and color in various parts of your body, you must realize that this could be an underlying health issue, and not something for a product to “fix” or “cover up”.
Regardless, when in doubt, it’s always important to ask any relevant questions (no matter how many ridiculous they seem) to your dermatologist, because it is, as the saying goes, “better to be safe than sorry”. We all know that different skin types have different needs, and as a result, we must treat skin damage – whether it’s from the sun, lack of sleep, aging, or a health condition – specifically within a certain context, and not confuse health issues with beauty issues.
No matter what pigmentation you are, there are some excellent skincare product options for you here at COUI skincare. Check out our high-quality products that will actually be effective along with an affordable price.