Skin whitening and skin lightening products are extremely popular across Asia and with people who have an Asian heritage, with tens of millions of dollars being spent on various skin whitening creams, lotions, and other products each year.
Historically there have been natural skin whitening products and recipes using ingredients like turmeric and other natural skin whitening herbs, and these feature prominently in Thai Traditional Medicine, for example. But in previous generations these natural skin whitening secrets were very much limited by cost and availability to the wealthy in society.
The current popularity of skin whitening and skin lightening products is a very recent phenomenon, really going back no further than the 1970's when the first whitening and brightening products were mass marketed in Asia - with resounding success.
But more recently some scientists have started to share concerns that there may be unexpected implications of this more widespread use of products that interrupt the natural production of the skin pigment melanin - resulting in skin that is more pale than the normal tone, and these concerns come in four ways.