Skin pigmentations are among the most common skin problems that many people experience. Unfortunately, pigmentations such as acne scars and age spots are just not nice to look at and can be a cause for concern and loss of confidence. And while some cases just go away in time naturally, some conditions may be just too stubborn and may worsen if not taken care of.

The good news is that there are various treatments available for skin pigmentations and one is with whitening products. However, it is important to keep in mind that some whitening products, while they do actually work, can also do serious damage on your skin, causing irritation or worse, skin cancer when used for long-term. So how do you choose the right product for your skin?

Here are some important things to keep in mind when purchasing a skin whitening product.

1. No mercury

Mercury is damaging and toxic. Unfortunately, many skin whitening products like facial cream, soap and lotion contain mercury, as it inhibits the production of melanin, resulting in a lighter skin tone. Although mercury can be very effective in skin lightening, it is also highly toxic in any quantity. It can damage your brain or organs and can eventually cause death.

2. No steroids unless prescribed by your physician

Steroids are usually used to calm down skin itching and control skin issues such as eczema and allergies. However, it is not for long-term use due to its adverse effects. Steroids thin the skin, causing more damage including pigmentation issues, increased risk of sun burn and sensitivity to chemicals. It may also increase your risk of skin infections, poor wound healing and acne.

3. Avoid hydroquinone

Hydroquinone can be an effective skin lightening solution but, as any chemical treatment, hydroquinone can severely damage your skin most especially when used in high concentration. The concentration of hydroquinone that is approved by the FDA is 2%. If the product says it contains hydroquinone but does not list how much it contains, it is better to stay away from the product.

4. Go for natural products

There is no better way to treat skin problems such as dark spots than with natural products that are made of powerful fruit or botanical extracts. The advantage of using natural skin lightening products is that they don’t strip all the natural oils off your skin, thus your skin remain soft. Chemical products, on the other hand, can be too harsh on your skin, causing dryness and appearance of wrinkles and irritation.

Glow Skin White cleanser and cream, for instance, are especially formulated with powerful botanical extracts that cleanse and hydrate the skin; and with kojic acid, a compound derived from mushroom and plant materials, that lightens pigmented areas by controlling melanin synthesis.

Getting that spotless skin you love should just be a breeze with the right skin care regimen—that is, with 100% safe and effective whitening products.