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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys! I thought this thread might prove helpful to those trying to lighten very dark skin & who are experiencing only marginal success & much frustration.
Why is it so challenging?

- First off, there are 2 types of melanin. One type is seen in fairer people, the other in darker people. YES, I'm painting in broad strokes here but here's a thumbnail tutorial re melanin. Anyone seeking more detailed info can hit Google Scholar.Melanin Types The majority of products on the mass market have been designed & tested on people having the 1st type of melanin. Think Caucasians, fairer Asians & Middle Eastern/ Meditteraneans. Despite the black woman they show on the website or target in their ads, their rpoduct will not likely yield much in the way of results on darker skin.

-Secondly, Darkening white skin is not a societal hot button topic.Whites always have been privileged in The West esp & have always had a vast amt of options & the freeodm to make whatever choices they liked. Asians have a long history of accepting skin lightening as a legitimate pursuit that predates colonialism by centuries. Blacks, on the other hand, have only recently (in my lifetime!) seen the growth & availability of beauty products tailored to their needs. The right to alter Black skin as the person sees fit is one of the last bastions of resistance. Blacks get 'shamed' with pejorative labels if it becomes known that they're attempting to lighten their skin the criticism comes both from whites AND blacks! 'Society' has never been motivated to research & provide safe & effective options to this demographic. Their options are limited, effective treatments are banned under the auspices of 'cancer scares' & paternalism. Our forum, with its core of supportive members of every colour, can pool our knowledge & words of encouragement to buoy members facing this specific challenge.

- Thirdly, since, as was shown above, there's a difference in the type & amt of melanin produced, a different & more 'involved' approach needs to be taken from the beginning. I know. I was a deep red/brown mid range Fitz V WITH compounding sun-induced permatan in Jan of 09. Had I known then what I do now, I'd've approached my routine differently. I HAVE successfully & evenly lightened dramatically since then (I've shared update photos over the year & most 'old-timers' here have seen them). I've done so w/o any damage whatsoever or any health-related consequences (my liver & kidneys are fine, I don't have skin cancer & I haven't gone blind!)

This post is getting long, so I'll stop for now. I will add a second post this evening giving more details as to 'how to' make it happen using the same products available to everyone else. I hope, as always, members of all complexions will pitch in too sharing insights, asking questions & feeling welcome. When I was a FitzV, Caucasian member, GoatLady was my 'go-to' person for all things TCA related. This diversity is one of our any great strengths.
 

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Great post Ondine! Can't wait to learn more.
 

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I haven't even read the entire post yet, but I had to tell you: you rock! I mean, having your own thank you thread just doesn't seem to be enough.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Very dark skin will take a longer time to show progress since the new developing skin affected by the lightening agents is behind a thick layer of very dark skin. This can give darker people the impression that their routine isn't working when, in fact, it is! It'll just take more patience & time before the change becomes noticable.

EXFOLIATION is going to play an even greater role for Fits V-VI guys & gals than for lighter skinned people. Before even thinking about buying a bunch of lightening creams, lotions gels & serums, invest in:

- 40% Lactic Acid peel kit.(do NOT substitute this with TCA. It can discolour dark skin in high concentrations)

- the microfiber cloth (click on the helpful link in Goatlady's signature for the source)

- Tretinoin (RA) 0.1% from All Day Chemist (click link in my signature: scroll till you find it)

- Likas Papaya Soap. Do NOT substitute this with another soap containing kojic acid or AHAs.

-European sunblock (like Anthelios)

- Sea Salt

- Eucerin Lotion (do not substitute with shea butter or another lotion. the Eurea in this formula is extremely soothing to sensitized skin yet contains nothing thsat'll react badly with yr treatment creams.

Surprizingly, dark skin, despite its natural SPF of 15, is often very sensitive & can react unpredictably to acidic ingredients. This catches many dark people by surprise. Lactic acid is the most gentle & least drying of the peel treatments. At 40%, you don't risk frying your face or creating blotchiness.

The first order of the day is to remove all those accumulated sundamaged layers you never even knew you had. You want to actually SEE your real colour before attempting to alter it. Dark skin attracts the sun & when you're using acidic agents & esp. RA, you become even more vulnerable. This is why some darker people using RA get the misleading impression that they're getting 'rebound darkening' or that the creams are having the reverse effect. You need to stay the heck out of the sun! You likely have over 2 decades of sun damage fro unprotected full-blast exposure. Whereas most Caucasians wore some kind of sunblock, very few dark skinned black people knew that they also needed to. Your true colour beneath the damage will surprise you. It sure caught me off guard! All that dark red stuff wasn't really 'me': it was permatan!

Since this post is long, I'll stop here. the next instalment will be about how to begin this exfoliating regimen
 
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Wow Ondine...simply Wow!!! I've never seen your before pic before, but from what you've described you've come a long way. Congrats!!! Did you lighten your entire body this way?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks, Jadedone. I'm even all over.
 

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Ondine ,you are simply the best.I have read almost everything you have shared with us.I'm also grateful to LNL ,Goddess of earth ,Cute black boy and a few others.I'm a mum and got through pregnancy with healthy eating lots of bio oil and never got the stretch marks.I'm now seeking to even out old scars and polish my skin.I have Gabriel Union skin tone on my face and Ciara elsewhere.I just want my skin to be harmonious lol.. .I can't use HQ as i am breastfeeding,but i'm looking into other ways.Besides,i can always prep for when the baby weans.
 

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Ondine, your posts are just fantastic to read. Thanks for all the information you provide.
 

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I'm anxious to know how to begin the exfoliation process
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Beginning the exfoliation process:

- whip out yr LA 40% peel kit. Need I reming you pros to perform a sensitivity test?

- Follow the directions to the letter leaving it on for lesser rather than greater time. Neutralize carefully, using COOL water. DO NOT scrub, rub or scrape yr skin. DO NOT use any other exfoliating (abraisive) or acidic agent for the next week

- Your skin won't go all ugly like with TCA nor will you trigger an increase in melanin production, which can happen easily with dark skin & TCA <----important to know.

- you may see some ashiness in some areas & some flaking or you may not. This doesn't mean that the peel didn't work. It did! Over the next few days, you'll see a change. Can't promise how much of one bec every skin is unique.

- You CAN cleanse 2x daily & GENTLY with yr Likas; just don't get cute & leave the suds on for extra time. PAT dry. You CAN apply a little Eucerin to the dry areas.

- 1 week later, repeat this process. Do it again for 4 consecutive weeks. YES, that's a long time, but remember that you're trying to find out what the heck colour you really are beneath all that build-up so you can decide what you want to do & make a reasonable plan.

That's all for now! I'll be back soon with the next steps
 
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Thank you Ondine so much for sharing your knowledge with us. You are truly an amazing person!
I did my patch test this moning and everything is well so far so this time next week I plan to do a full body peel. Hopefully after a few peels I will have reached my goal as I want to be about two shades lighter which I think will get me back to my childhood color. I will definitely keep you posted and perhaps ask you a few more questions along the way.
Thank you again!
 

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Thank you Ondine so much for sharing your knowledge with us. You are truly an amazing person!
I did my patch test this moning and everything is well so far so this time next week I plan to do a full body peel. Hopefully after a few peels I will have reached my goal as I want to be about two shades lighter which I think will get me back to my childhood color. I will definitely keep you posted and perhaps ask you a few more questions along the way.
Thank you again!
What is everyone's method for buying enough lactic acid for weekly body peels? I would like to stop torturing my wallet and find a cheaper alternative.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It IS drying for many people. Wha's great about it is that it cleanses very thoroughlu leaving a clean canvas for your treatment creams. You can always apply a little Eucerin if you're too dry & tight. If yu really can't use Eucerin, Cetaphil is pretty good as is Spectro gel. I've tried both of these but I always return to my Likas. You do what works best for yr skin.

Oh-& everyone: I don't care how dark you are, wear sunblock rain or shine on all exposed skin!
 
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Way to go, simply beautiful. Diluting this to 44% would be a snap. Thanks for contributing. This is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping would happen here.
 
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Way to go, simply beautiful. Diluting this to 44% would be a snap. Thanks for contributing. This is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping would happen here.
You are always welcome. I enjoying learning and sharing what I've learned as I draw nearer to my goal.
 

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Ondine, very informatice you are. Can't wait to read more. :)
 

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I didn't see this in the master thread:
Where's a good place to find Eucerin at a low price?
 
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