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Ask Dr. Vivian – All About Skin Lightening

Ask Dr. Vivian – All About Skin Lightening


On this week’s ASK DR VIVIAN, we are  answering your questions on one of the most talked about skin topics: Skin Lightening. We do hope that the answers to these questions sent in by our readers help you to make better decisions about your skin.

Dr Vivian will be answering questions on skin acne next week so if you have any questions, please send them to


When your face is exposed to the Sun, the skin darkens to help protect you from harmful sun rays. Melanin production is stimulated as a result which leads to the darkening. There are creams available to lighten the skin. I advise you see a professional to recommend safe creams as there are loads of dangerously toxic creams out there. Sunblock must be worn daily to protect skin and help prevent darkening.
The mechanism of action of what is popularly referred to as  “toning”and “bleaching” are the same. The action of the enzyme Tyrosinase  responsible for Melanin production is inhibited. 
In cosmetic terms toning is the use of a lotion or liquid after cleansing to re-acidify, exfoliate and deeper cleanse the skin.
When the bleaching process is mild it is often called brightening and toning. When extreme it is Bleaching and Whitening. The degree of lightening is dependent on the the ingredients/chemicals used.
When the skin is lightened, it becomes more vulnerable to Sun damage. Chemicals applied to skin are are absorbed into the blood stream and are deposited into Vital Organs like the Liver, Kidneys and Bone marrow which may damage them. They can also thin the skin causing it to wrinkle and sag. They can also damage blood vessels making them more visible. Wound healing is compromised and cuts and scrapes may not heal. Healing after Surgery may also be affected. 
Several skin bleaching  products contain dangerous chemicals like Steroids, Mercury, household bleach, peroxide for bleaching hair, acid and hair relaxer. Using a Sunblock every day is a must even when you’re not bleaching.


Skin reflects well-being and the best care starts from within. Nutrition and water consumption are important factors. A well balanced diet with the right vitamin and mineral supplementation goes a long way at determining how healthy the skin looks. Adequate water intake hydrates the skin and aids the flushing out of toxic waste. Constipation must be addressed as Eliminating what we put into our bodies is essential for overall health as well as healthy skin. 

Exercise improves circulation, oxygen and nutrient delivery to the skin and also expels toxins. 

A good basic skincare routine and regular exfoliation as well as the use of the right moisturizer and Sunblock will get your skin glowing!


In this video below, Dr Vivian talks about skin care

To read more of Dr Vivian’s articles on skin lightening, click the links below

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