3 skin “brightening” ingredients that damage and age the skin and body


OUMERE skin care

Last week I had to clean my glass knife maker in preparation for examining my specimens that I wrote about last week.

It’s an LKB knife maker made in the 1980’s so all mechanical and no computers. So if it needs servicing, I just do it myself. With all methods in electron microscopy, everything is done in-house. So the knives that are needed to cut the samples I buy, they are made right here in the lab.


Normally when a unit like this needs service the only way to get it working like new is by cleaning it so I figured this would be an easy fix.

But once I started, I realized I had to change the cutting wheel. Then, when I took the separator wheel out of its holder, I noticed that the support plate had to be tightened, and then one at a time. 5 hours later a simple cleaning turned into a complete overhaul of the machine and I fixed something unrelated to the original job.


This “yak shaving” endeavor is time-consuming, but it’s also a little mind-wandering and got me thinking about how skincare can often lead someone down the same path. Where you are trying to fix something like a dark spot, creating a litany of complex skin problems that are now a complicated and potentially impossible solution.

There is some good in skin care, but it is mostly bad. Finding a good, no-harm skincare product is harder than looking for a needle in a haystack, because at least if you’re trying to look for a needle in a haystack, there aren’t a bunch of pseudoscientists, bloggers, and fake online articles out there, trying to trick you into a bait needle.


False information spreads like a malignant tumor in the skin care world because it is cloaked in the guise of science. But the emperor doesn’t wear clothes when it’s said that hyaluronic acid is hydrating, or can hold 1,000 times its weight in water, or vitamin C can upregulate collagen. Whoever says things like that doesn’t know how biology works, and all I needed to know was simple primary research I did in my lab that disproved this long-held “knowledge”.

And therein lies the problem: skin care “scientists”, bloggers, youtubers, instagrammers and everyone else don’t really do research themselves. Skin care scientists only research how a product can be made more marketable. And the rest just parrots what they have heard from others without their due diligence.

The lack of credible information is why so many people come to OUMERE with damaged skin, often to the point of permanent disfigurement. They wanted to treat something simple, like a dark spot, and were told by bloggers, YouTubers, and fake studies to use skincare method X, which led to problem 1, so they used skincare method Y, which led to problem 2, and so on on. So instead of a small dark spot, you now have acne, dermatitis, deep scars, inflammation, uncontrollable oiliness, and possibly blood poisoning.


My hope is to have a louder voice in skincare so we don’t have this burgeoning problem of increased skin disease caused by harmful products. If you, the customer, are aware that ingredients are harmful and refuse to use products that contain them, manufacturers will be forced to stop using them in their products. And to start, let’s start with these 3:

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1. Hydroquinone

Perhaps the most dangerous on the list is hydroquinone. The most common ingredient in skin bleaching creams used around the world can be harmful to skin, but it can also do far greater harm, including the following:


– Hydroquinone is absorbed by the bone marrow and causes the synthesis of benzene, which can cause toxicity in the body, mutagenesis (mutation of genes) that can cause leukemia and other types of cancer, among other things, and induced apoptosis (cell death).

– Ironically, hydroquinone, used to lighten skin, can have the opposite effect and cause skin to darken severely and permanently. The skin condition that occurs with the use of hydroquinone is called exogenous ochronosis and is difficult if not almost impossible to treat.

Exogenous ochronosis is considered darkening of the skin

– Skin lesions

Severe skin lesions and darkening in patients using topical skin lightening creams containing hydroquinone

– Increased skin sensitivity

The worrying thing about hydroquinone is that there has been extensive research on its toxicity for decades, but major brands in America still carry this ingredient.

2. Vitamin C

It is well known in the scientific community that vitamin C cannot initiate, promote, or upregulate the production of collagen. Not in the skin, not in the knees, nowhere in the body. That is not its role in the body, nor was it ever its role. Vitamin C is only involved after collagen is made to change the shape of the protein. Yet despite this very basic fact of biology, we have this unscientific claim that vitamin C in skin care can magically do things that it otherwise cannot do in a biological system.

The other claim is that vitamin C can lighten skin. Vitamin C can only oxidize the skin, which can cause lightening, but only because you’re killing your vibrant, healthy skin. And when the skin dies, the dark skin dies too, if it had any dark spots. Because of this, vitamin C serums cause acne, inflammation, and increased oiliness of the skin: these are all consequences of cell death.

3. Benzoyl Peroxide

All peroxides can be harmful to the body. Your body naturally produces peroxides as a by-product of metabolism and also produces enzymes to break down peroxides due to the toxic effects of peroxides on the body.

Benzoyl peroxide is common in acne and skin lightening, and this ingredient makes existing acne and dark spots worse due to its harmful and toxic effects. The worst thing is, because the application is topical, your body cannot initiate the necessary mechanisms to break down the peroxide, so it sits on the skin, enters the body, and destroys both.

When benzoyl peroxide sits on the skin, some of the damage it causes is:

– Skin tumor genesis (development of skin cancer)

– Oxidation of skin cells leading to cell death

– Inflammation of the skin which may cause permanent redness

– Lesions, deep pockmarks and scars

– Thinning of the skin at the treated area, which may be permanent

– Worsening of acne due to increased inflammation and weakening of the skin

– Disruption of the natural skin biome, which can also lead to increased acne

When benzoyl peroxide enters the skin, it can also enter the bloodstream, causing the following internal health consequences:

– metabolic disorder

– Benzoin synthesis (benzoic acid) in the body

– Irreversible cytotoxicity

– Damage to the plasma membrane of cells

Additional points to consider:

Skin methods like lasers, peels, peels, and dermabrasion to lighten skin are just as destructive as the ingredients mentioned above. And since these are physical methods, the disfigurement caused may be permanent.

In skin care, therefore, a proper lightening product that works without causing damage is necessary. Many OUMERE customers use the eye serum as a spot treatment with positive results and I use it myself and see a marked improvement in dark spots.

However, those with more severe melasma, hyperpigmentation and age spots may need to use a stronger product. I’m currently working on a spot lightening skin treatment that doesn’t require the cancer-causing ingredients or skin-destructive actions mentioned above.

It will first be part of the exclusive offer program and then, after extensive testing, will be released for sale in the OUMERE store.


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Gerberick GF, Troutman JA, Foertsch LM, Vassallo JD, Quijano M, Dobson RL, … & Lepoittevin JP (2009). Investigation of the peptide reactivity of prohapten skin sensitizers using a peroxidase-peroxide oxidation system. Toxicological Sciences, 112(1), 164-174.

Huang, YH, Wu, PY, Wen, KC, Lin, CY, & Chiang, HM (2018). Protective effects and mechanisms of Terminalia catappa L. methenolic extract on hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress in human skin fibroblasts. BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, 18(1), 1-9.

Kooyers, TJ, & Westerhof, W (2006). Toxicology and health risks of hydroquinone in skin lightening formulations. Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 20(7), 777-780.

Nacht, S., Yeung, D., Beasley Jr., JN, Anjo, MD, & Maibach, HI (1981). Benzoyl peroxide: percutaneous penetration and metabolic disposition. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 4(1), 31-37.

Ota Y, Imai T, Onose JI, Takami S, Cho YM, Hirose M, & Nishikawa A (2009). A 55-week chronic toxicity study of dietary kojic acid (KA) in male F344 rats. The Journal of Toxicological Sciences, 34(3), 305-313.

Zhao J, Lahiri-Chatterjee M, Sharma Y, & Agarwal R (2000). Inhibitory effect of a flavonoid antioxidant silymarin on benzoyl peroxide-induced tumor promotion, oxidative stress and inflammatory responses in the skin of SENCAR mice. Carcinogenesis, 21(4), 811-816.


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