What's in this stuff, anyway?
Discover which ingredients to look for when choosing a bleaching cream - and which to avoid.
Skin Lightening Methods
Compare the pros and cons of spa lightening treatments versus take-home bleaching creams.
Anal Bleaching 101
Before embarking on your butt beautification, learn more about the anal bleaching process.
"Most places offer the initial application at the spa for about $100-150, then sell you a set of the bleaching lotion or gel to use at home. The whole in-spa process takes about 20 minutes, one Sacramento technician told us. Depending on how dark your skin is, you may need to reapply a number of times to see results. One Los Angeles spa even said that for some people they recommend applying it twice a week for up to eight weeks."
"Much to my ignorance, bleaching one's anus (I guess to bring it back to its budlike, puckish pink) has become an obsession far beyond the young jet set and the detail-oriented gay community. These days, anal-bleaching creams can be purchased as easily as cough drops."
"The safe pigment reducers are vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin B3 (niacin). Other herbs like emblica and licorice, and fruit acids like glycolic acid, also work. Beware, however, because the most common skin lightener, hydroquinone, is not uniformly safe. It's been banned in Europe and the FDA has proposed to ban it in the US. Hydroquinone may cause cancer and it causes rashes and can even darken the skin."
What is Bleaching?
Bleaching is the newest beauty spa treatment to take center stage in the world of cosmetics. No, we're not talking about the Clorox under your kitchen counter; bleaching products are used to lighten skin imperfections and discolorations everywhere on your body. And when we say everywhere, we mean it. For a mere $200 bucks a pop, an aesthetician at your local high-end spa can brighten up even the naughtiest of your nooks and crannies.
But why would anyone want to bleach their back-door, you ask? For the same reason we wax and pluck and tweeze and tan and dye - so we can look drop dead gorgeous, dangit! Alright, maybe not, but curiosity is nevertheless a powerful motivator. And besides, if you're safe and practical about it, what's wrong with making your chocolate starfish vanilla? Whatever your flavor, it's still delicious.
How to Choose an Anal Bleaching Cream
Admit it, we've piqued your interest. Well, if you're interested in making your rear a little rosier, we can help. First things first, how do you bleach your behind? Currently, you've got two options. Anal bleaching is a highly sought after cosmetic service springing up in top notch salons and spas in major metropolitan areas across the country. However, this method is certainly not for the shy. Be prepared to drop those drawers and spread those cheeks as you're bent over bare-assed before a complete stranger as she lathers your lady parts with unlabeled lotion.
If spa treatments seem a tad too public for your private parts, consider an over the counter or online variety anal bleaching cream instead. Local drugstores carry quite a few over the counter skin lightening creams that are not necessarily back-door specific, but are sure to add a little pink in a pinch. Course, if you're not sure what to look for, be prepared for an extremely awkward encounter with customer service at your local CVS. Unless your accustomed to discussing the darkness of your derriere, that is. O_o
If discretion is what you're after, you've come to the right place. There are plenty of intimate lighteners available online that offer discreet billing, packing and shipping. But before you place an online order on your own personal bottle of booty bleach, you should probably read up on what's actually in these things. Because, you know, a raw, rash-ridden bunghole isn't beautiful, no matter how bright it might be.
What are Safe Bleaching Ingredients?
First, let's tell you what's not. While shopping around, make sure to avoid the following:
- Hydroquinone - This alleged cancer-causing chemical is definitely not something you want to spread over your most sensitive areas! It doesn't take much exposure to hydroquinone before you break out in red, bumpy blisters all over your backside. And that's not even the worst of your worries. Long-time use of hydroquinone can cause a scary skin disease called ochronosis. What is ochronosis? A DISFIGURING disease that will turn your skin black and blue. Counter-productive, to say the least. Save the bruising for the BDSM and opt for a safer active ingredient instead.
- Mercury - I'd like to think that everyone and their mother knows how toxic and unsafe mercury is in this day and age. While this may be true, how many people actually stop and take a second to think about what's in their skincare products before slopping it all over their face? For the most part, mercury is not permitted in cosmetics made in states, but buyer beware of seedy international purchases made online.
Now that you know what you don't want near your butt hole, here's what ingredients to look for (a sign of a quality bleaching cream):
- Bearberry extract (a-arbutin)
- Licorice extract
- Mulberry extract
- Azelaic acid
For more information about these herbal bleaching ingredients, check out Web MD's skin lightening pages, or visit our ingredients page.
Best Bleaching Products for Skin Lightening
Right now there are so many different types of bleaching creams and lightening serums that it can be difficult to pick the best one for your needs. If you're looking to clear up dark underarms, freckles, age spots - or essentially any skin discoloration regularly exposed to sunlight - we recommend a lightening cream with SPF 30 or more. However, if you're looking to bleach where sun don't shine, a nightly topical cream should do the trick.
For a detailed list of the pros and cons of the most popular bleaching products on the market right now, visit our product reviews page.