The dark skin tone is gorgeous. No matter how much the world is obsessed with lighter skin, the presence of enough melanin in your skin is just as beautiful as its absence. But if your hands and feet have become unusually darker than the rest of your body, it is important to get rid of that uneven skin tone. Using a whitening cream exclusively made for arms and legs can help you get back the actual tone of your skin and maintain it efficiently. However, instead of picking a commercial product, it is always good to opt for a homemade hand and feet whitening cream. Why? Let us tell you through this article. Also, learn to prepare your own limb-whitening cream at home.
Why Do Hands and Feet Get Darker?
Many of us do not take as much care of our hands and feet as we do of our faces. The skin on our limbs is often neglected even though it remains uncovered for most of the time and tends to undergo major tanning. Not only the exposure to the UV rays and environmental pollution result in the discoloration of our hand and feet but involvement in household chores also take a toll, leaving them a few shades darker than our face.
What Are Skin-Whitening Creams?
Skin-whitening creams, also popularly known as skin lightening creams, are chemical-filled cosmetics that primarily work to lighten the skin tone and make it even by lowering the concentration of melanin in it. This makes the skin appear softer, brighter, and fairer. They address issues like hyperpigmentation, dark spots, black spots, etc. quite effectively. Sometimes whitening creams are also used as anti-aging products that keep age spots, patches, wrinkles, and discoloration away. Typically, these products are available in various forms, i.e. bleaches, lotions, creams, etc.
The practice of skin whitening dates back to the 1500s in Asia. Nowadays, around 40% of women in Asia use skin-whitening products regularly while more than half of skincare products sold in India are intended for whitening the skin.
Composition of Skin-Whitening Creams
Several chemical compounds are used in commercial products as antimelanogenic agents or skin-whitening agents. These include hydroquinone, tretinoin, alpha hydroxy acids, kojic acid, glutathione, mercury, tranexamic acid, corticosteroids, etc. While many of these work as desired, they have also been found to be toxic or have questionable safety profiles (1). Hydroquinone, tretinoin, mercury, corticosteroids, etc. are not allowed in European cosmetics as they are supposed to have severe side effects. However, kojic acid, alpha hydroxy acids, etc. are considered much safer than these (2).
How Do These Whitening Creams Work?
A skin-whitening cream works by reducing the level of pigmentation (melanin) in the skin. Given below are the probable mechanisms of action it usually follows for this purpose (3):
- Inhibits the catalytic action of tyrosinase (the enzyme involved in melanin synthesis)
- Restricts the generation of tyrosinase
- Prevents tyrosinase from being activated to its functional form
- Averts the transfer of melanosomes to keratinocytes
- Eliminates the intermediate products of melanin synthesis
- Ruins the melanin-producing cells called melanocytes
- Destroys the existing melanin directly
Why Use Whitening Creams for Hands and Feet?
Studies and surveys have revealed that whitening creams if used regularly, may reduce the discoloration of the skin on our hands and feet quite effectively. They change the darker skin tone to a lighter shade over time and makes the skin appear whiter and fairer. They have also become a widely used beauty product, which is easily available over the counter, in drug stores, and online these days. In fact, they can also be prepared at home by using some easy to avail herbal ingredients, which are more budget-friendly in comparison to other cosmetic products. Hence, trying whitening creams for lightening hands and feet is certainly a good choice.
Why Use A Homemade Whitening Cream?
Though various types of whitening creams are easily available in the market, it’s equally true that these cosmetic items are chemically treated which can result in side effects. Hence, there can be nothing better than a homemade solution. Here is why you should prefer a homemade whitening cream over a store-bought one (4):
- Most synthetic whitening creams contain tons of harsh and damaging chemical compounds (only a few comprise safe ingredients, such as retinol, arbutin, etc.), But homemade whitening creams are made of natural herbal ingredients that are gentle on our skin and completely safe too.
- Rubbing a store-bought whitening cream on the skin regularly is a highly harmful practice. It can cause a number of minor to severe side effects over time, which include thinning of the skin, visible capillaries, permanent stretch marks, easy bruising, stubborn acne, etc. Conversely, homemade creams can improve the texture of your skin over time and make it softer, smoother, and suppler.
- If you check the labels of commercial whitening creams carefully, you will see that most of them contain prescription-strength steroids, hydroquinone, mercury, etc. They may use even more poisonous substances without disclosing about them on labels. This can cause hypertension, high blood sugar, nervous system damage, disruption of natural steroids, kidney disorder, liver damage, and many other fatal conditions. But homemade whitening creams are rich in skin-friendly ingredients that take overall care of the skin to make it healthy from inside and brighter from outside.
- Commercial whitening creams are pretty expensive and some are even not easily available. On the other hand, the ingredients used in homemade versions are easily available and way too cheaper than them.
Read Also – Natural Skin Whitening with Sandalwood Face Pack
Homemade Hand And Feet Whitening Cream Recipe
Made from the best of natural products and its extracts, a home-based hand and feet whitening cream is sure to be more effective and beneficial for the treatment of your skin. Below, we have provided you with the process of making a hand and feet whitening cream at home:
- Gram flour
- Turmeric powder
- Lemon juice
- Milk cream
Method of Preparation:
- Take some gram flour in a bowl and add a few pinches of turmeric powder to it. You can even mash a one-inch portion of the whole turmeric in a mixer to extract its juice and use it instead of the readymade powder.
- Squeeze in the juice of a fresh lemon in it and mix well. If your skin is allergic to bleaching agents, skip using the lemon juice as it can result in irritation and itchiness.
- Now, pour some natural milk cream (extracted by boiling the milk or yogurt thoroughly) into the bowl and mix all together nicely until it turns, thick, smooth, and creamy.
- Apply this homemade whitening cream to your hands and feet to get maximum benefits at the earliest. You can even store it in your refrigerator for up to 7 days for regular usage.
Other Home Remedies For Hand And Feet Whitening
There are some more time-tested natural remedies to lighten and whiten our arms and legs that you can try at home. If you are ready to experiment, here are the choices:
1. Licorice Powder and Milk
Combine licorice (mulethi) powder with cold raw milk to form a thick paste, apply it uniformly all over the skin of your limbs, and scrub it off gently with a damp cotton ball upon drying.
2. Turmeric, Aloe Vera, and Coconut Oil
3. Curd and Honey
4. Red Lentils, Tomato Juice, and Coconut Oil
5. Lime Juice and Rose Water
Add fresh lime juice and rose water to sandalwood powder and make a thick, smooth paste. Apply it all over your arms and legs, wait for 20 minutes and then, wash off with cold water.
When our hands and feet are darker than the rest of our body, it looks really unsightly. While commercial skin-whitening creams can help you even out your skin tone effectively, they usually come loaded with toxic chemical substances. It is always good to prepare your own homemade hand and feet whitening cream with natural ingredients for this purpose. You can also include simple skin-whitening packs in your daily skincare routine.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can Baking Soda Whiten Skin?
Yes, baking soda has bleaching properties, which help in lightening the skin, fading spots, and reducing pigmentation.
How Do You Lighten Dark Private Parts?
Prepare a smooth paste of medium consistency by mixing baking soda and plain water in equal quantities. Apply it to the troubled areas of your skin and wait for at least 15 minutes before rinsing off with tepid water.
Which Treatment is Best for Skin Whitening?
Apart from homemade skin-whitening creams, you can try chemical peel treatment. In this technique, a peeling solution is applied to the darkened part of the skin in order to exfoliate it effectively.
Which Vitamin is Responsible for Skin Whitening?
Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that helps in lightening the skin tone with its strong bleaching properties.
- “Skin Whitening“, Wikipedia.org
- “Overview of Skin Whitening Agents with an Insight into the Illegal Cosmetic Market in Europe“, OnlineLibrary.wiley.com
- “Mechanisms Regulating Skin Pigmentation: The Rise and Fall of Complexion Coloration“, ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
- “Skin-Lightening Creams are Dangerous – Yet Business is Booming. Can the Trade Be Stopped?“, TheGuardian.com