Should men use fairness creams?

March 30, 2017 |

Since when did men’s grooming become a race for fairness? Nobody knows. Looks like the tall, dark and handsome phrase is now read only in books. And evidently the cosmetic industry is making huge turnovers with male fairness and grooming products. The usage of fairness products for women is growing by 7-8% per year, for men however the growth is a whopping 20-25%. Companies that are making considerable profits in the market with men fairness products are leaving no stone un-turned. From top cinema celebs to sports personalities, they are desperate to sell their products.

What really determines fairness of your skin?

With all that pressure, with all that glamour, with those handsome hunks on television claiming and selling these products, you bet your chances if it would make you handsome too. So, should men really use fairness creams? Now, now, we don’t wish to let you down, but all the studies point to a common conclusion – our skin colour is determined by our race and genetic lineage. Fairness creams can only work to a certain extent. As per dermatology studies, achieving fairness up to 20% is possible at the maximum, and that too is subject to various conditions such as skin type, complexion, climate etc.

What do fairness creams really do?

The fairness creams only block sun rays and prevent secretion of melanin. Thus they help in reducing tan and restoring natural skin. So the 20% fairness is the maximum that your natural skin color can give you. Any fairness product that claims otherwise is lying.

Are there any side-effects of fairness creams?

Sadly, yes. When you overstretch your skin’s natural way of keeping a certain colour, you interfere in a biological process. You are bound to get some kind of side-effects. Using fairness creams regularly damages skin since the concoction is made with chemical agents like hydroquinone, mercury, lead, nickel, chromium and high levels of steroids.

Did you know use of mercury is banned in India? Yet, 44% of fairness creams sold have presence of mercury in them (study by Centre for Science and Environment). Under the Drugs and Cosmetics Acts and Rules of India, mercury, a neurotoxin, is banned for use in cosmetics. Inorganic mercury present in fairness creams can damage kidneys and may cause rashes, skin discolouration and scarring. It can also cause anxiety, depression, psychosis and peripheral neuropathy.

Some noticeable side-effects of fairness creams are:

– Thinning of skin
– Discoloration of face
– Capillaries become prominently visible
– Severe acne
– Hypersensitivity to sun
– Rebound paradoxical pigmentation
– Unwanted facial hair growth
– Skin allergy
– Skin cancer

Thus these creams should always be used judiciously only under the supervision of a certified dermatologist.

So what should men do?

First, get the ‘fairness’ fixation out the door. You are an Indian man blessed with a naturally earthy complexion that many men in the West would kill for. Second, focus more on glowing skin. We have got some tips for you:

– Use sunscreen lotion to prevent tanning and harsh UV rays damaging skin
– Use external barriers like umbrella and Shades while going out
– Drink 6-8 glasses of water every day
– Apply moisturiser daily during day and before going to bed
– Wash your skin with clean water at least thrice a day
– Have anti-oxidant rich fruits
– Increase the intake of Vitamin C. It increases cell turnover, helps protect against sun damage, and boosts the production of collagen and elastin, the two vital component of healthy and glowing skin.
– Exfoliation is one of the most important steps in maintaining your youthful glow. We recommend weekly exfoliation to brighten the skin tone. Regular use of an exfoliation removes the oldest dead skin cells that cling to the skin’s outermost surface, or epidermis. It is an important part of both facials and body treatments

There are various natural means if followed regularly can help you keep your skin clean, hydrated and maintain that glow you so desire. Remember, whatever color you are born with, it is the best that can make you handsome. Changing the color would be changing who you are. Would you want that?

For more grooming doses, watch this space!