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Are There Any Side Effects to Skin Bleaching?

Are There Any Side Effects to Skin Bleaching?

Side effects to skin bleaching do exist, and it is important for anyone attempting to do it to understand them. Over the past few years, there have been many studies into skin bleaching, and this has led to the development of safer skin bleaching agents. Avoiding these side effects is as simple as choosing to use skin bleaching brands which are reliable, and those that have good reviews. These tend to not only bleach the skin, but also nourish it as well. That said, some of the side effects that you might encounter particularly if you use low quality skin bleaching agents include:

Skin Sensitivity

Your skin is likely to become more sensitive when you first start using some types of skin bleaching agents. Low quality agents purported to have a fast onset of action tend to have very strong chemical compounds which might end up irritating the skin. These include some types of acids. Your skin may become a lot more sensitive after a few days of using such products, and may require you to either buy a safer brand or reduce the amount that you use. The former is usually the best choice.

Increased Risk of Skin Cancer

The poorly made skin bleaching agents tend to be very harsh, and result in removal of virtually all the melanin from the skin. This might make you very light, but it also exposes you to UV radiation as well. The purpose of melanin is to prevent UV radiation from reaching the deeper parts of the skin. When all of it is completely removed from the skin, the UV rays from the sun end up damaging the DNA within your skin cells, and this could lead to cancer.

It also means that you will suffer sunburn much sooner compared to other people. Safe, high quality skin bleaches make your skin lighter without having to remove all the melanin, thus keeping your skin protected. Some of them may also contain anti-UV properties, which drastically reduces the risk of skin cancer and sunburn. You may think that using an aggressive product with harsh chemicals may speed up the process of skin bleaching, but remember that it will expose you to this side effect.


Depending on the nature of the ingredients and the sensitivity of your skin, some skin bleaching agents may also cause scarring. This can be disappointing particularly if you are using the product to get rid of scars or use it on the whole of your body. Scarring mainly results from the presence of harsh chemicals such as acids which physically and chemically damage the skin. As the skin repairs this damage, the scarring occurs. Quality bleaching agents are dermatologically tested and rarely lead to scarring.


Acne can form when one of the ingredients of a skin bleaching agent blocks the ducts leading out of your skin’s sebaceous glands onto the surface of the skin. As a result, the glands produce oil that is meant to keep the skin moist, but this accumulates within the gland due to the blockage. This finally results in inflammation, formation of pimples and acne. This risk is increased in people with oily skin. You can avoid it by buying skin bleaching brands which are non-comedogenic, which means they don’t have compounds that can block the ducts.