How light can my skin get?
Technically speaking, every person, regardless of their race and skin color can get their skin to become white. So white as to be completely pigment-free. You’re probably thinking now that I’m crazy.
I’m not crazy, though. And if you’ve ever been burned by a stray cigarette or had a particularly bad scrape somewhere on your body, you’ll know what I mean.
Our skin is made up of several layers, but the layers stop somewhere. If you hurt your skin deeply enough, that injury could remove all traces of color and the color-producing cells. When that happens, that patch of skin will be completely white and could remain so, even after it heals. Even someone with very dark, black skin can have these completely white patches.
But of course, that isn’t what you want. When you’re lightening your skin, an even tone is best.
What’s the most amount of skin lightening you can hope for?
And what is the lightest shade possible for you?
Well, this really depends on the method you use to lighten your skin or dark marks. Whether you choose to use natural methods or completely chemical methods.
Natural methods of skin lightening
I use the term ‘natural methods’ here loosely. You’ll see that exfoliation by using AHAs is classified as natural means below (even though these are made in a lab). This is because with gentle acids or light peels, you’re not doing much more than exfoliating the top layers of your skin to increase cell turnover – which is what your body does anyway on its own, you’re just speeding it up.
Natural methods to brighten the skin tone and fade dark marks
|Manual exfoliation||Acid exfoliation (gentle types)|
|Alpha hydroxy acids
Beta hydroxy acids
Low to medium acid peel concentrations
Natural fruit acids like lemon juice
|Internal methods||External methods|
|Raw food diet
Avoiding sun exposure
Wearing protective clothing
|Using only natural skin lightening methods — consistently and successfully — can get your skin as light as it was when you were a baby.
That is the lightest shade you can get naturally.
Why is a baby’s skin color a good indicator?
Your skin color when you were born is a good indicator of the maximum possible extent your skin can lighten in adulthood because that was your skin before environmental and lifestyle factors could have an effect on it.
From the first year of your life to now, you would have lived through thousands of days of sun exposure, harmful pollutants, and chemicals – all of which would have darkened your skin, both internally and externally.
Some common causes of skin darkening over the years are…
- Daily sun exposure. How many thousands of hours have you spent playing outdoors while you were a kid, going to the beach, swimming, playing organized sports at school?
- Environmental damage. Damage from the environment in the form of pollution, toxins and chemicals can make your skin appear dull and darker. Unfortunately, unless you live in a rural commune these toxins are in everything you touch, eat, and drink. If you live in the city or near an industrial area, the very air you breathe is full of toxins.
- Poor diet/lifestyle. Who amongst us hasn’t eaten greasy cheeseburgers and french fries, only to wash it down with sodas? While junk food may taste good, the frightening truth is that we become what we eat. Every cell in our bodies is made up of the nourishment we choose to ingest, and eating a poor diet filled with fat, sugar and preservatives will affect your health and give you drier, darker-looking and more damaged skin.
- Hormonal changes. Hormones can wreck havor on our bodies and our skin. Some of the causes of hormonal changes include puberty, birth control pills, pregnancy, and even eating hormone-injected meat. I won’t even mention the xenoestrogens we ingest. (Oops.)
There are of course other ways to lighten skin color beyond what you were born with as a baby. But I wouldn’t recommend it.