The Indian obsession for fair skin dates back to the days when people from the lower social class often had much darker skin, as compared to the people who were categorically considered higher. It is an inherent notion in our society, that if you have fair skin, you are considered superior from others. Darkness is considered as something that needs a cure. This inclination towards fairer skin is mostly observed among Indian women, for reasons as many as stars in the sky.
Some women feel uncomfortable because they are conscious about their appearance, and feel odd among their peers who are fair. Fair complexion play a pivotal role in ‘making and breaking’ of relationships; as people face rejection from the dream man they are in love with, and the basic ‘criteria’ of every marriage alliances demands tall ,fair and beautiful looking girls for the groom. This makes one feel dejected from the society, which leads to depression and low self-esteem.
This has grown so much in India, that even the top celebrities opt for treatments and remedies, to get themselves look fairer than what they are.
Let’s have a peep through on how one of our very popular DDLJ actress; Kajol has transformed her dusky tanned skin to a fairer complexion…
Kajol, known for her powerhouse performances, has graced the big screen of Bollywood for the last 23 years now. She started her career when she was 18, and there was no looking back since then. But the one thing that stands out most is the never-before-seen ‘fairness’ of Kajol. Kajol’s unparalleled beauty has been her dusky complexion, which was far more popular during her early years in the industry. But as years have passed by, it is obvious that she has grown progressively fairer.
What is the secret behind Kajol’s “Transformation Fairness”?
In a recent interview, the actress said she didn’t take skincare seriously when she started out in the showbiz industry, but soon realised its value over time. Kajol eventually adopted a skincare routine, once she realised the importance of skincare and follows her beauty regime very religiously.
Talking about the details about the skincare routine that she sticks to, the mother of two said:
“The best way to maintain your skin is to wash, cleanse and moisturise, it every day, use a good sunscreen and save yourself from the sun. Drinking a lot of water is advised, as it naturally cleanses the body internally, flushes out all the toxins and improves the blood”.
These are the best ways to care for your skin, and most importantly yourself!
On the contrary, studies reveal that it is not just the women who face skin tone discrimination. Even a large number of men face it and it has become a worldwide issue. We hear about racist comments being passed on Indians and other dark skinned people from all over the world.
Although the originality of our skin tone is irreversible, but there still is a chance to improve it to a lighter tone with certain medications and treatments.
Dr. Priti Shukla to guides you with some facts about skin colour, and some treatments that can help in improving the skin tone.
Skin is the largest organ of the human body. It protects us from microbes and harmful elements, helps in regulating body temperature, and permits sensations like heat, cold and touch.
Skin has three layers, which are as follows:
The Epidermis: t is the outermost layer of the skin, which is water resistant and responsible for our skin tone.
The Dermis: Dermis is the second layer which is beneath the epidermis. The dermis contains tough connective tissues, sweat glands, and hair follicles.
The Hypodermis: Hypodermis or (the deeper subcutaneous tissue), is the last layer which is made of fat and connective tissues.
Melanin – The Biological Skin Colouring Agent
Human skin colour is quite variable all over the world. The skin’s color is primarily due to the presence of a pigment called ‘melanin’ in the human body. It is produced at the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) by specialised cells called melanocytes. These cells carry photosensitive receptors that can detect the ultraviolet radiations from the sun. In response to these radiations from the sun and other sources, melanocytes produce melanin. Melanin acts as a protective biological shield against the ultraviolet radiations of the sun.
Melanin absorbs the sunlight and prevents sunburns. White people from Europe and America have less melanin in their skin. Africans have maximum melanin to protect the skin from tropical climate. Indian skin varies from white to darker tones with variable amounts of melanin.
Melanin is produced in two forms::
- Pheomelanin, which colours the skin red to yellow in color, and
- Eumelanin, which colours the skin dark brown to black.
People with lighter skin tone or those who have fair complexion produce pheomelanin and those who have darker skin tone have eumelanin being produced in them.
Summer aggravates the problem of tanning and darkening of skin tone…
The Ultraviolet radiations of the sun increases in summer and decreases during winter. The skin is prone to tanning during the summers, as an adaptation to seasonal changes. Tanning is basically the increase in the size and number of melanin cells due to stimulation by ultraviolet radiations, causing pigmentation in the skin.
Causes of Pigmentation:
- 1. Melanin production increases with exposure of body parts to the sun. The parts that are exposed to the sun are face, neck arms and feet in women.
- S2. Skin colour is genetic, but tends to become darker with age, due prolong sun damage.
- 3. Melanin can also lead to certain hormonal imbalances and cause diseases like diabetes.
- 4. Melanin can increase during pregnancy due to excess hormonal imbalances in the body.
- 5. Skin can become sensitive to the sun due to some oral medicines like Tetracycline and local creams containing retinol and glycolic acid.
- Skin can also become sensitive to the sun after laser treatments, chemical peels or skin surgeries.
Tanning is a uniform change in skin colour to a darker shade on sun-exposed body parts. Covered body parts like chest and scalp can be compared with face skin to assess the tan.
Pigmentation is the uneven darkness of skin in the form of darker spots and patches on the lighter skin. Dark Patches on cheeks of middle-aged and older women are called melasma.
Causes of Uneven Pigmentation:
- Sun damage
- Acne spots
Pigmentation commonly happens alongside other skin problems like active acne, dryness or oiliness, large pores, scars or fine lines.
Treatment for Tanning
- Tanning can happen in any age group and prevention is better.
- Kids must use nothing except sunscreen with SPF 30 or more on all sun-exposed parts, on doctors advice. No other treatments must be done till 18 years of age.
- Adults must maintain physical sun protection – umbrella, avoid afternoon sun and must regularly apply sunscreen correctly on doctor’s advice.
- Chem Peels: Glycols – Any body part – 6-8 sittings
- Cosmelan Peels: Gives faster results but has downtime and peeling
- ZO 3 Step Peels: take away tan and fine lines — downtime one week
- ZO hydroquinone Kit: It contains a three months home treatment kit that gives remarkable results in most resistant cases. Contains face wash, toner, and four types of creams to apply morning /evening and sunscreen
- ZO non-HQ Kit: For use with HQ kit and those who are sensitive to Hydroquinone.
- Vitamin C brightening creams
- Glutathione Peels
- Q-switch Laser: This laser is specific for black and brown pigment of skin, and also targets and evaporates melanin.
- Glutathione Treatment:Glutathione is an antioxidant. Glutathione and Vitamin C injections and tablets help in overall body complexion improvement in some cases.
All the treatments mentioned are safe. All these treatments take 4-5 months for best results and work best if maintained by taking good skincare and protection.
- 1. Don’t expect miracles like Michael Jackson’s drastic change in skin tone. It is risky and not advisable.
- 2. Opt for healthy skin with even skin tone.
- 3. Don’t be in a hurry. No treatment works in days.
- 4. You must take equal care -sun protection, regular follow-ups and maintenance
- 5. Remember fairness is not the ultimate criteria of beauty. Healthy skin is!
- 6. Avoid internet miracle treatments, home remedies and quack treatments – THEY ARE OFTEN STEROID BASED as pastes contains steroids and such treatments also prescribes steroid creams. Such remedies may give you fast results, but skin can get damaged permanently.
If you too have been facing a problem of tanning and skin pigmentation, I hope our blog has helped you to understand your skin better… Ambrosia Clinic welcomes you to get the best of treatments done, to improve your skin. At Ambrosia, we provide treatments that are effective, lasting, affordable and most importantly very safe. Dr. Priti is one of the most skilled cosmetic and plastic surgeon in Hyderabad, and has been practicing for over 16 years. She believes that everyone is beautiful and anyone can be made to look more beautiful with the right treatments….
So you too can get back a fairer self with that glow and radiance of Kajol…
Embrace a healthy, beautiful and flawless skin!
About clinic and doctor
Dr. Priti Shukla is the best female cosmetic surgeons in Hyderabad. She has 18 years of experience in cosmetic plastic surgery and thousands of satisfied patients. Ambrosia Clinic is leading skin plastic surgery clinic of Hyderabad since 2009. Our team of dermatologist and Plastic surgeons at Ambrosia clinic offer services like hair transplantation, laser, skin care and plastic surgery.