As a natural skin care formulator and product manufacturer, I get asked this question quite often…. “I am fair in complexion, I hope this product will not make me get darker?”
To answer this question, I would like to start this way….
Is it possible for skin to darken?
Absolutely, Yes. No one maintains the same shade of color they are from birth over the years. This is as a result of exposure to environmental conditions and other factors like stress levels which make us appear darker. Melanin production by our skin is a defense mechanism of the skin to protect itself when exposed to the sun, which makes us darker.
Can a skincare product cause the skin to darken?
Again the answer is absolutely … Yes. Certain skincare products which contain photosensitive ingredients can make the skin darker if exposed to the sun. Examples include most lightening ingredients e.g. hydroquinone, AHA (alpha hydroxyl acids), Retinol, certain essential oils e.g. citrus based ones etc.
It is always advisable to wear a sunscreen when using products that contain any photosensitive ingredient or stay away from direct sunshine.
My skin is getting darker, but I am using a natural product that has no photosensitive ingredients?
Now each time I hear this, I ask some questions relating to the previous skincare products that the individual has been using…
My discovery is that if you have been using skincare products that contain lightening ingredients, but suddenly make a wise decision to switch to natural and wholesome products, the effect of the lightening product will begin to diminish, and your skin will gradually begin to return to its natural skin tone. You will soon begin to notice clearer, richer and healthier skin tone and colour,well moisturized textured skin… that might not be as fair as before .
I am using natural non lightening skin care products, how do I stop my skin from getting darker?
The answer… Please get a good sunscreen and wear it daily. Sunscreens help to protect your skin from harsh effects of sun exposure which includes skin darkening. With daily use of sunscreen, you will observe clearer, brighter complexion.
Wearing a sunscreen daily will most definitely obliterate the need for skin lighteners as it helps to protect your natural skin tone, helps with hyperpigmentation and helps to give a more even skin color.
Finally, I just want to add that no matter what your skin color or tone. if you take care of it and protect it from harsh weather conditions, use the right skincare products , eat and sleep well, you will see that there is absolutely no need to even imagine to change your skin color. Every skin color is beautiful !