Skin Whitening In the Asian Beauty Market: Risky Yet Still In High Demand

Skin Whitening In the Asian Beauty Market

A person’s outside appearance is influenced by many things and one significant factor would be the skin, how flawless and fair it is. Humans are created with diverse features. Some races are naturally white while others have darker skin and yet each person is pleasing to behold. Despite each individual being beautiful the way they are, many people, especially Asians, still aim for a lighter skin tone.

Why Skin Whitening Is A Big Deal In Asia

It could take time, money, effort, and diligence to change something that you are naturally born with. Some procedures can be painful and risky too. Skin lightening is fraught with risk but it still thrives in the Asian Beauty Market. And here’s why:

  • Perceptions about skin color are ingrained cultural norms. Being fair or white is linked with being rich while dark skin is often associated with working in the fields and poverty. Skin color is considered an indicator of what one’s social class is.
  • Many Asian countries have been colonized by Western countries like the Philippines, for example, having been occupied by Spain and USA. Not only did the colonizees find white skin to be more attractive, but they also saw this specific skin color as a sign of power and superiority.
  • Most Asians were raised in a society where having skin with a lighter shade is a criterion for beauty.
  • Asians have idolized celebrities with fair skin from countries like Hong Kong, China, Thailand, and South Korea in recent years. K-pop and K-drama have changed the viewers’ ideas about beauty and fashion, making white and flawless skin more desirable.

These beliefs have been held onto by most Asians in at least the last century. It would be safe to say that having lighter skin is still a big deal especially in Asia. Take beauty pageants for instance. Nonthawan Thongleng was crowned as Thailand’s Miss World in 2014 and it was a big deal in educating the younger generation about beauty standards since she is tan-skinned and the usual winners in the past have white skin.

The Price of Having Whiter Skin

Although many individuals including celebrities already embrace their dark skin color and advocate loving yourself just the way you are, the quest for whiter skin is still being pursued by millions of men and women throughout the globe. According to research, the market for skin whitening in Asia is worth a whopping $7.5 Billion and this figure is still growing.

Using whitening products takes diligence. You do not just spend money on it. You also have to religiously perform your beauty rituals and adhere to precautions so that the products and/or procedures will work. There are things that you will be advised to avoid as well.

The drawback of aiming for whiter skin is that…

  • The skin becomes thinner so you become more delicate to sun rays.
  • Having lighter skin means less melanin, the skin pigment responsible for one’s color. But this also blocks UV rays from entering the skin so you get lesser protection. This is the reason for those with lighter skin being more prone to health problems such as skin cancer.
  • Some products give visible results faster but are known to cause negative side effects that can be fatal that is why authorities ban their use. Still, they find their way to the market. If you do not research about them, you may be using one or more skin whitening products that you may not be aware are being prohibited in your country.
  • There are reports of reactions to skin whitening products that resulted in temporary or permanent damage to the skin or even death.

Whiter Skin in A Healthy Manner

We are often told that we should do what makes us happy as long as we are not stepping on anybody. Go ahead and do something about your skin color if it will make you feel confident, content, and fulfilled. But whatever your reason for wanting whiter skin is, see to it that you do it in the safest and healthiest ways.

  • Consult an expert like a dermatologist about the safety and efficacy of the products like soap or serum you plan to use and the procedures you intend to undergo.
  • If you will undergo procedures like bleaching and laser treatment, ensure that it will be performed by a licensed professional in an ideal and sterile place.
  • Make sure that the products and services you use have been checked and approved by the authorities.
  • Always do a patch test to check for reactions before applying a certain product. Remember that reactions to beauty products are on a case-to-case basis. Just because it worked on someone does not guarantee it will produce the same effect on you.
  • Always read instructions and use the products as directed by the manufacturer. Applying more and/or using something more often can result in undue harm.
  • Avoid using multiple brands and products unless you are sure they will not have undesirable interactions with each other. If you are going to layer products, see to it that you leave an interval between applications. They say that the safest gap is 30 minutes before putting on another product.
  • Never go out without sunscreen. You also have to reapply every 2 hours to ensure you are protected from UV rays.
  • Combine the skin whitening products and procedures with a healthy lifestyle. Science has proven that avoiding alcohol, getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, consuming healthy foods, and working out regularly can significantly improve your skin.
  • Never risk your overall health by using cheap lightening and bleaching products whose safety and efficacy you are not certain of.

Skin lightening is fraught with risk but it still thrives in the Asian Beauty Market. Here’s why white skin is still widely considered as an epitome of beauty. Yet at the end of the day, you should always prioritize your health and safety because you will be amazing in any shade.


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