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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

15 Disadvantages of Bleaching Creams And Why They Can Destroy Your Skin

Bleaching creams, in other words, skin lightening lotions or skin whitening ointment, have both positive and negative effects o the skin. 

As opposed to removing black spots or dark patches, bleaching creams have numerous disadvantages and a higher tendency to ruin the skin type.

Pay attention to the points in this post if you use bleaching creams most often, and study its disadvantages.

1. Can cause skin cancer

Bleaching creams have a higher possibility of causing skin cancer due to some dangerous chemicals they contain. 

The presence of hydroquinone removes the top layer of the skin hence posing a devastating effect like cancer to the body. 

The bleaching cream used for lightening the skin causes severe complications like cancer. 

Hydroquinone, an ingredient in bleaching creams that inhibits melanin production is capable of causing skin cancer.

It does this by producing free radical cells through other chemical ingredients.

So, be mindful of how often you use bleaching cream and the chemical contents.

2. Causes dermatitis 

Dermatitis is another bleaching cream demerit that is very harmful to the body, and it occurs as a result of inflammation of the skin by certain substances. 

The presence of corticosteroid and fragrance allergens in bleaching cream is usually this skin itchy inflammation or irritation, dermatitis.

Excess bleaching creams with alpha-hydroxy, AHA level over 10%, and Retin-A serums can cause problems like dermatitis. 

The symptom of dermatitis includes scaly skin, hives, itching, and blisters, etc.

3. Mercury poisoning

Skin bleaching raises the chance of mercury poisoning as most of the creams contain mercury. 

Too much exposure can make mercury pass through the skin and destroy essential parts like kidneys, lungs, muscle weakness, confusion, and headaches.

4. Exogenous ochronosis

Exogenous ochronosis, abbreviated as EO, is a disorder that gives the skin blue-black pigmentation. It results from the accumulation of phenols which is one of the major ingredients in bleaching creams.

Those who apply bleaching cream frequently to particular parts of their body have a higher probability of developing exogenous ochronosis.

In addition to phenols, hydroquinone is another culprit in bleaching cream that can give rise to this cutaneous disorder on the skin.

5. Light sensitivity

Skin bleaching cream also comes with an adverse effect that can cause light sensitivity to a person. 

They are eye changes associated with the usage of creams that contain a high level of hydroquinone. 

The eye changes have trio signs, including posterior corneal striae, which radiate from 3 pm to 9 o’clock, thinning and plaques in the sclera, and endothelial cell count. 

Hydroquinone, among other chemicals in bleaching cream, reduces melanin production, making the skin more susceptible to light.

It also results in brown pigment, among other irreparable damage to the eyes.

6. Causes kidney failure

Regular use of bleaching cream over an extended period can lead to kidney failure or damage. 

Some dermatologists proved that some contents in bleaching creams could remove the top layer of the skin, thereby increasing the risk of kidney damage.

For this reason, the Food and Drug Administration warns people to avoid skin lightening products or anti-aging creams at all costs.

7. May result in acne breakout

Frequent use of bleaching creams and related products can result in acne breakout on several body parts.

The presence of corticosteroids in a bleaching cream usually causes acne, mainly on the back, arm, chest, and other body parts. 

Such steroid acne often comes with small red bumps, painful red lumps, blackheads, and acne scars. 

8. Causes skin thinning

Bleaching cream thins the skin and causes skin problems such as bruises, stretch marks, and their likes. 

This type of cream makes it hard for the skin to recover from abrasions and cuts. 

If bleaching must occur, at least once a month as consistent usage can thin down the skin.

9. UV reactions

The excessive use of bleaching cream causes a skin reaction to the ultraviolet rays, which is unfavorable to the human skin. 

Removing the epidermis that protects the dermis of hair follicles, capillaries, and sweat glands reduce the amount of melanin the body produces.

Toxic chemicals in bleaching creams such as mercury and hydroquinone are the culprits of UV reaction, causing premature aging and more pigmentation on the skin.

10. May result in high blood sugar.

Steroids in bleaching creams make the skin prone to an increased risk of high blood sugar. 

It takes effect when the cream slowly passes through the skin and enters the bloodstream, thus raising blood sugar levels.

Ingredients like hydroquinone and potent steroids are responsible for affecting the endocrine system, which regulates metabolism, blood sugar, and all the biological processes in the body.

11. causes neurologic symptoms

Prolonged exposure to bleaching creams and their contents have a greater possibility of showcasing neurologic symptoms like tremors, irritability, and memory loss. 

Also, continual usage of similar creams that contain kojic acid can cause brain damage or neurological disorder.

12. Dries the skin

The high PH value of hydrogen peroxide contained in a bleaching cream can lead to skin dryness. 

When the skin dries up, it can further lead to conditions such as eczema and is prone to happen to those with sensitive skin.

13. Wrinkles and burn

Bleaching creams containing phosphoric acid and benzoyl peroxide may cause wrinkles on the skin. 

The wrong proportion of skin bleaching creams can also lead to scarring or burning of the skin.

More so, an ingredient like hydroquinone can lighten freckles to post-inflammatory marks. 

14. Can cause fetal toxicity

It can cause fetal toxicity – a problem of the fetus; in other words, bleaching cream can cause damage to the womb for women. 

Exposing the skin frequently to mercury and formaldehyde in the bleaching cream during prenatal and postnatal periods can affect the reproductive system and pregnancy. 

15. Liver problem

Again, continual use of bleaching cream or skin lightening cream can cause a liver problem.

Furthermore, mercury content in the bleaching creams may lead to casual liver damage, if not permanent, fatal, especially using excessively and frequently. 

Why is bleaching terrible for your skin?

Bleaching cream is terrible for the skin because most people usually apply the cream to their whole body. 

Some active ingredient like mercury is a toxic agent that can destroy the skin. 

What are the disadvantages of bleaching cream?

There are several reasons you should not bleach the skin. Bleaching thins the skin exposes the skin to ultraviolet rays and other problems mentioned in this post.


The rate at which women and most men are buying into the skin bleaching sector is so alarming.

The primary use of bleaching cream lies between colorism and lack of confidence, whereas these creams have active ingredients that can ruin skin type.

Before using any cream, specifically bleaching, whitening or lightening brands, check if they contain mercury, kojic acid, and hydroquinone. If they do, avoid using them.

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