Discrimination on the basis of colour is something our Constitution does not accept. Yet, you only have to skim the matrimonial ads where the demand for fair brides and, fair grooms too stares at you. What is the reason for the Indian obsession with fair skin? The caste system? The untouchables or Dalits often have dark skin in comparison to the higher caste.Being fair is just considered being “more beautiful”. And the advertising industry is leaving no stone unturned to cash in on this obsession. So are the numerous cosmetologists and beauty experts. Even the most talented actors who didn’t measure up on the fairness scale fell prey to the various fairness treatments. That’s neither Fair nor Lovely !
The fairness cream industry in India is worth around $450m– Fair & Lovely, marketed by Hindustan Unilever, has more than a 50 per cent share of the market. The BBC reported that in South Asia more skin lightening creams are sold than bottles of Coca Cola and another market research has predicted that the global skin lightening industry will reach $10bn by 2015, led by the growth in India and China.
Dr Megha Shah, Cosmetologist, Beauty and Curves Clinic talks about why celebs are increasingly opting for melanin treatment.
Skin whitening, skin lightening, and skin bleaching refers to the practice of using chemical substances in an attempt to lighten skin tone or provide an even skin complexion by reducing the melanin concentration in the skin.
“The obsession with fair skin in the Indian subcontinent is overpowering. It is difficult for actors to maintain fan following if one is viewed as dusky/ dark skinned. They resort to any amount of skin lightening agents to get the tone that they want. So, they are now going through Melanin Treatment which not only makes the skin look youthful but lightens the skin tone by several shades”, says Dr Shah.
What are these treatments? Popularly these are known as skin whitening or skin lightening treatments. They comprise different skin lightening surgical and non surgical procedures. They lighten melanin saturation over a period of time.
“In the past this was done by using a lot of chemicals and, chemical peels before some decades. It was done with the help of different vegetative like glycolic acid, lactic, trichloroacetic, salicylic etc. This used to peel and abrade the uppermost layer of skin but the brown sunburn- like appearance of the skin post treatment made its usage limited to certain extent amongst the celebrities and stage performers who had to face the camera daily and very frequently. “Along with this, microdermabrasion and dermabrasion were done in the past. These are old skin resurfacing procedures and they were used to treat facial scarring, tanned skin and sun-damaged skin. They also needed extra care post operatively. And its use became limited with the advent of better and newer technologies.”
“Slowly skin lightening became popular with IPL (Intense pulsed light devices), fractional laser, co2 fractional laser, erbium laser. Some of procedures needed downtime of some days to a month. Gradually, the use became limited. The latest devices worldwide at present in use are multipolar radiofrequency with magnetic pulse devices. None of the devices in cosmetology field presently have magnetic pulse in them, so these are most unique, absolutely painless, and safe treatments. “
What are they used for?They are used for face, neck, body and hair. They are used for fresh, tight, firm, rejuvenated, healthy skin. They lead to fat pockets reduction, body contouring, and reduced cellulite of skin. They give results immediately and in series of treatments, results improve with new skin protein (collagen) formation, skin tightening, skin brightening and skin glow. Commonly they are known as skin-brightening sessions.
“The most advanced technology is vari-pulse, multipolar magnetic pulse. This is very much in demand and preferred by all the celebrities in Hollywood as well as Bollywood. It has advantage of deep penetration on face, neck and body. It gives marked results for face tightening, brightening, shine, body fat reduction and body contouring and cellulite reduction. “
“The other technology is called Smart-scan, NanoFractional resurfacing. This combines NanoFractional radiofrequency and smart-scan technology to effectively treat textural irregularities, scarring, wrinkles and stretch marks. It delivers energy through the epidermis to the dermis, generating heat while stimulating fibroblasts and rebuilding collagen. The results are tighter skin, improved skin texture and reduced scarring safely. Face looks bright and tight.”
It is a better technology for people with hectic schedule, who are constantly exposed to cameras, who can’t take long downtime treatments, and those who need results quickly. It is the next generation in skin resurfacing and facial remodelling indicated for all different skin conditions to reduce acne scars for a clearer and healthier complexion, to improve stretch marks, oily skin and dry skin rejuvenation, to decrease visible open pores for even skin texture, to even out textural irregularities for renewed looking skin, to diminish deep lines and folds for younger looking skin, wrinkles revision, skin tightening, to smoothen necklace lines, to reduce the signs of aging, to reduce signs of ageing for a fresher, more youthful look, to tighten and firm lax skin for firmer décolleté.
It allows continuing with the daily activities immediately after treatments. One may experience mild redness post treatment.One can resume wearing make-up one day after treatment. It is used on all skin types and oil as well as dry skin.
“The smart pulse is the most advanced square pulse with internal turbo cooling and turbo charger. This is popular amongst all celebs as well as normal people for quick, painless, FULL body hair reduction. It has added advantage giveing smoothness to the skin and skin rejuvenation. It helps give brightened, tightened, and smoother skin on face, neck and body. The best part is that, after series of sessions, one may need very few maintenance sessions in a year to keep full body skin healthy.”