Pale Skin Maintenance: Yoko Cream and What Works Best

(Or, “A Break from the Minutiae of Making a Dress”)

I had some errands to run today in Chinatown, as did my husband, so we drove out together.  I finished up first so I spent some time trolling the ethnic food shops in the area while I waited.  I love ethnic groceries- for the food and also because they offer a glimpse into daily life in another culture.  What products do immigrants miss most that they can’t find?  Which are irreplaceable elements of a transplanted culture?  I can’t help myself.  Grocery stores are living anthropology exhibits.  Today I stumbled across a small southeast asian grocery, tucked away on the second floor of a semi-dilapidated mall.

I stood transfixed in front of a rather large shelf stacked with this soap.  It’s a whitener bar.  I’ve been curious about whiteners since I saw them for the first time a few years ago, but I’m scared.  “Today is the day,” I thought.  I picked it up and had no idea how to pronounce any of the ingredients on the box- usually a bad sign.  I put it back, even though it smelled nice.

I moved on to Yoko Face Whitening Cream.  I don’t tan, I cover up in the sun, but I am not obsessed with being “the fairest of them all.”  Genetically and geographically, it won’t happen.  I am happy to be myself.  (Though I’d like to be the best version possible.)

However- I miss one element of tanning.  When my skin is tanned, the color covers annoying spots and imperfections in my skin- it even camouflages blackheads.  Pale skin shows everything and acne scars take forever to leave; in fact, my blackheads often re-arrange themselves to spell out SOS messages when I don’t exfoliate regularly.  It’s amazing.

Click for source

So I looked at Yoko and thought- what’s the harm?  How does it work?  Will it work?  I whipped out my phone for quick google search of Yoko Face Whitening Cream.  Some hate it, some swear by it, some use it as foundation but the major concern for me was the mercury found in the cream a few years ago, and the fact that Malaysia banned its sale and distribution.  Right.  No Yoko Face Whitening Cream for me.

Plain yogurt does a great job.  When I feel like it, I squeeze in half a lemon which has a mild “bleaching” effect on any dark spots.  (It tingles a little, but if you try this and it burns rinse it off quickly.)  Sometimes I mix in oatbran.  It works really, really well for me- those marks fade out and the yogurt leaves my skin dewy.  Just slap it on thickly, leave it for 20 or so minutes, and cleanse.  If I leave it longer than 20 minutes my skin gets “fat.”  It’s ridiculously cheap.  And I don’t have to worry about mercury and God Knows What Else.

I kept thinking about the mercury all afternoon, and historic lead and arsenic based makeup, and tanning beds and plastic surgery- How do you know if you’re looking your best or just being obsessed?

Where’s the line between maintenance and vanity?  Is the line drawn when vanity causes physical harm to the person, or is there another place to draw the line?  Where’s your own line?  I’d like to hear any thoughts on this, y’all are an interesting crowd.

Have you ever tried face whitening creams?  How was it?

(Edited to add: I can’t help but post this picture I hastily took when the grocer was giving me the “buy something or get out” look.  It’s a bag of Hershey Kisses- $13.95!!!  They’re not common here.)


67 comments

  1. I’m a redhead who is definitely the fairest of them all! I don’t go out in the sun and I just bought my first bathing suit. I have used whitening cream – ones with hydroquinone – but I didn’t really notice a difference. I haven’t used your formula but I really think I’m going to give it a try. As for vanity, I draw the line at happiness. If it will make me a happier person, then I’ll do it, if not, then I consider it vanity.

    • I still haven’t decided against using a whitener, it’s fun to play with cosmetics and see what happens… ;)

      I’m not sure where my line is, but I do know I feel guilty sometimes about caring about the shape of my eyebrows… But then I think- they’re eyebrows. Not a big deal.

  2. That’s some expensive cheap chocolate! I’m going to add some lemon to my yogurt – it sounds like we have similar skin. I’ve been exfoliating weekly with milk or yogurt & nutmeg, cleaning with an OCM blend I finally settled on (which might need tweaking w/the warmer weather), and using raw honey in the morning. A little color def helps my skin look better, but let’s face it, I’m naturally pasty. So I use a mineral sunblock, shade, and don’t worry too much as long as I don’t get red & crispy :) I’m kinda creeped out by whitening creams & tanning creams alike.

    • Ooooh! I’m going to go try the nutmeg, I bet it smells lovely.

      I also add flaxseed oil sometimes… It’s really good for the skin when you eat it every day, but when it’s applied topically to inflamed skin it’s very soothing and calming… I just drop a spoonful into my yougurt.. (For eating or for masking…)

  3. I’m pretty pale because my work keeps me inside all the time and I’m not really an outdoor girl anyways. I do like a bit of color though. My skin is pretty translucent so you can see lots of my veins and I can look like I need to shave even if I’m actually smooth! Last summer, I did get some odd tan lines so I think I will try and get some sun this summer though. Tanning beds freak me out though. I used one once (before my wedding) and all I could think was “cancercancercancer”. Plus now I can smell when I’ve gotten too much sun (same smell from the tanning bed). Very weird.

    • That smell thing is weird!! Everyone I knew in highschool used them, but I just couldn’t do it… And everyone mentions that weird smell.. Eeek!

      But I’m sure you’re fine. :) I love the alabaster/translucent type skin… Well, really, as long as the skin is well-taken care of, it’s beautiful..

  4. When I was in Sydney I think I missed soda the most – Diet Mt Dew to be precise. When we got home and I had some it just wasn’t the same. I don’t drink it at all anymore. We also really missed Reese’s peanut butter cups. There was one store in the CBD that had some “American” snacks, condiments, and random food (5lb can of pumpkin pie filling!) but they were of course really expensive. Now we miss a lot of Australian things! Mainly experiential things, but also the pizza.

    • When I had lived here about 6 months, I had a craving for vegan black bean chili… I knew how to make it, so I trotted off to the grocery… And couldn’t find black beans. Or jalapenos. Or any of the ingredients I took for granted as staples… But it’s better now, I can even find canned artichokes in the grocery… And the ethnic stores have *everything*. :)

      Australians do good pizza? Where?

      • Lol, I know. We latched on to Pizza Haven, but I will fully admit that it a) may not be as good as we remember, or b) we just convinced ourselves it was amazing because there was nothing else. At any rate it hear it was acquired by Eagle Boys – I’d never heard of them until they did this. I don’t know if the pizza has also changed taste in the merger.

  5. my “line” is drawn when it go´s to surgery – including chemikal peeling. don´t know for others, because had never skin-problems. never tried whitening cream. and would not – its a bit scary for me. otherwise i´m very lazy with my skin, only some marseiller soap and moisture cream, with sunbloc 15. with all this gardening this year i get more tanned – mostly arms and legs – and i like it. if it go´s slowly and without burning red it´s okay i think…..

  6. Given the damage that colorism does to the self worth of people of color, I’m unwilling to give any of my money to companies selling skin whitening products. It’s one thing to even out skin tone, but the idea that people need to change the basic shade of their skin grosses me out.
    I mean, FFS, there is currently a vulva whitening product on the market. You know, because darker vulvas are gross. Logical, that.

    • What? I don’t know what even to say about that. Bleached vulva sounds, well, I don’t even know what to say…
      ~Jen

      • And truly, I also don’t like “colorism” or whatever. I really think we’d be best served by working to be the healthiest version of ourselves, the kindest version too and the beauty follows. Audrey was right. :)

    • http://www.fark.com/cgi/go.pl?i=7121281&s=1 Is that the article you saw? That hit fark last night when I published this, my husband sent it to me. I think it’s sad. And odd. I mean… Maybe I’m going to far here into TMI-ville, but I don’t wax or shave there either, on principle- let alone bleach it.. (Though it’s important to keep everything tidy…) Who and why can someone decide what we’re supposed to look like there? Do we blame porn?

      So much to say on the subject…

      • Yeah, that would be the same product.
        AFAIK, It’s not really a porn thing, it’s a colonialism mixed with existing cultural biases and classism thing. It just shows up in porn because it already exists. I don’t think ti’s really as simple as blaming any one thing in particular and I get why women would use such a product although I find its existence horrifying. The world is depressing.

        • Ah- I meant maybe porn is part of the wider issue- making public norms about a very private area…

          Very depressing.

          Though I can’t help but think of the line in Bridesmaids where she says she loves her bleached- area. Heh heh heh.

  7. I’m originally from N. California, so a light tan is something I associate with (rightly or wrongly) health and fitness. I’ve been careful most of my life & have used sunscreen pretty much since it showed up on drugstore shelves. I still get a light tan with sunscreen and I think that’s okay. For a long time now I’ve lived in the northeast–winter seems to last half the year! So I found out how light my skin really is, since I’m not outside so much. I also developed rosacea and my skin is really sensitive now. I was interested in skin lighters, just to even out skin tone, but I’m too afraid to try them because of the sensitivity issue. I’m also worried that some contain chemicals that damage skin over the long term. I think that different cultures have different perspectives on skin tone, although in the U.S. some skin tone preferences may be related to institutional racism. I don’t think that this is true, for example, in Japan. There are different historical bases for aesthetic preferences.
    ~Jen

    • When I moved to Australia, I had skin issues for years. It might be some kind of reaction to changing your climatic conditions and your skin may get used to it? I find the yogurt works quite well even when my skin is having sensitivity issues…

      Definitely there’s various reasons for baggage about skin and coloring, but I think the baggages are different in various places… But it’s still there. Funny, isn’t it?

      • I have rosacea and so sensitivity just comes along with that. Climate is definitely an issue. It showed up, literally, when I turned 30 years old. I never had any problems on the west coast (CA), but the north east season are havoc. Indoor heating is just terribly drying in the winter and summer humidity can cause irritations. Strangely, a little (emphasis on little) sun seems to improve my skin and normalize it a bit. It’s all individual I guess.

        The baggage is interesting, for sure. I’m just reminded of how far the cultural differences on this topic can be (by my Japanese spouse). Steph, did you guess that you would have sparked such a huge discussion on skin with your post?! It’s been interesting reading all the comments.

  8. I’m carefull in the sun and don’t go out of my way to tan (family history of skin cancer) I don’t use any fake tan products anymore either, not since I stopped buying glossy magazines and sort of ‘opted out’ of the mainstream as it were, about two years ago. I feel quite unsettled actually about these all these lightening products/tanning beds/etc, seems so sad that people are unhappy with themselves to this extent. I won’t start ranting on about pressure from the media to conform to set ideas of beauty!

    The grooming I do is because I like to look my best for myself, I mean the me that I am now not me from 20 years ago! I think where I would draw my line is trying to look somehow ‘better’, not just my best but make ‘improvements’ like something is wrong with me, or to fit in (does that make sense?) I do dye my hair, but that’s something I’ve done occasionally for ages, more as I get bored than to cover up my greys. X

  9. I’ve used skin whiteners since I was a teen. I found that they don’t really whiten my face in the effect of say Michael Jackson but sort of evens out mild discolorations. I had stopped using them when I was in college and started noticing the color of my skin was sort of splotchy. So, I reclaimed my mothers skin care regime and started using some skin whiteners. My splotches evened out and it left my freckles exactly where they are.

    I currently use Eskinol, a whitening pearl cream, as well as a couple products from Belo (a sunblock and a whitening facial moisturizer). I totally get where people get freaked out when they see the term “skin whitener” but is really not as bad as it sounds. Just stay away from products that include Mercury and it is all good.

  10. I’m pretty pale and happy for it. My grandfather had skin cancer on his forearm, I remember my parents trying to explain skin grafting to me, and the scar was a good reminder that I didn’t want that. Now my dad has had many moles removed and my mom had flaky spots burned off her face last summer and looks like more are appearing. Not so good.

    As a teen, I was a lifeguard but outside of one summer, always in indoor pools. I wear a hat, I wear sunscreen, I usually have cool layers on. I sew my bathing suits higher in the back so there is more coverage.

    But… I don’t need my skin to look paler than it is, I just don’t want to tan. I do like wearing make up but often leave for work without it because I ran out of time. I like mixing a bit of foundation in with my sunscreen so it evens out my sometimes blotchy skin. I think I look better with blush or bronzer on, it makes my cheeks look more distinct on my round face, but again, half the time I don’t bother.

    • Interesting… I often dab a little bit of my lipstick from the blotting paper on the apples of my cheeks for a touch of color.. My makeup tends to be pretty monochromatic, but I definitely need a little color on my cheeks or people act like I’m some kind of zombie…

  11. The line between maintenance and vanity is a very personal one!
    I work with 2 girls and a boy, late 20s to late 30s. I am the only one who is not obsessed with fake tan and who only wears concealer and mascara when I remember – and yes, that includes the boy.
    But – it doesn’t mean I am not vain! I love my dresses, I match my outfits obsessively and I am constantly doing something to my hair – washing it, styling it, checking for flyaways and so on!
    I think that line also shifts depending on the occasion – I tend to become very obsessive when I am going to a wedding or similar occasion, but at the same time I do not understand those women who won’t take the bins out without make-up on. Or the one that go to the swimming pool with a full face of make up.

    The whitening cream is something that always made me very uncomfortable, as I have only always seen it in African shops, suggesting that it is somehow wrong not to be pasty-white.

    I also suffer from vitiligo, ie my skin doesn’t tan naturally and I get white patches everywhere. The white patches have no melanin, meaning they burn in the sun very quickly and very painfully (ask me how I know).
    It runs in the family, my Grandma had it but she was born in 1909, so no one really thought it was weird for her to cover up at the seaside. Or anywhere else.

    I am not obsessed with not tanning, but it makes me life a lot easier if I work not to, even though I love how a little bit of a glow makes every part of me look better. Stil, my white patches got burnt very badly on a holiday years ago and the pain was actual pain, and completely excruciating.

    I grew up in Italy, where sunbathing is a cult, and I remember as a teenager getting shouted at in the street by strangers because it was September and I did not have the required brown-leather look. It was a small town. Still is.

    Funny enough I am getting my revenge now – I see people whose age I know exactly, since we went to school together, and they have 30+ years of Italian-style tanning behind them, and they look fifteen years older than me. I might be a bad person, but I can’t help feeling smug about it.

    (sorry for the ramble)

    • An interesting ramble, so that’s fine of course. ;)

      I have some melanin-free patches of skin, too… It’s weird, but I don’t mind.

      That “glow” you’re talking about- that’s what I mean when I talk about what I miss about tanning… And it’s what yogurt, lemon and oats gives my pale skin. Exactly that.

      Australia is full of sun-worshippers, but I think that’s changing because of the aggressive PSA campaigns about skin cancer. Australia’s national cancer. I still get carded for alcohol, consistently, even though I’m ten years older than the drinking age… But yes, the sun ages skin dramatically..

  12. No face creams for this girl, because she’s lazy and prefers to spend her time in different ways. But I’m with you on the as natural as possible line.

    But my sister is facing a similar question now, because she’s taken up kathak dancing some time ago and now it’s reached the point where she goes professional (more or less). And together with that goes keeping up a certain image; an image of a good-looking woman. So now she’s looking into ways to keep her hair nice and long and growing, and her skin nice and smooth. Any tips for sensitive skin that goes red whenever she touches her face?

    So I guess when it’s a professional thing (or personal, as in wanting to look good for someone you love, perhaps) and helps you along your way of life, it’s fine; but once it crosses the line of keeping up the image just for the image itself, something’s gone wrong. Also, I agree with Paperdoll on the “looking your best” and “improving upon yourself” issue – that is, I think, another way to word my own opinions. Unlike her, I don’t even want to dye my hair either – mostly for the same reason she listed: the hair colour I have (and it’s changing on its own!) is the one that’s most likely to suit me, as I am, anyway.

    And then there’s a problem a lady mentioned last week on a conference I interpreted on – sometimes it hinders you professionally when you are unable to keep a sort of image. She’s allergic to make-up and has been turned down from jobs pretty much because she did not look “representative enough”. That’s something where I’m not sure of the line, but I have a fairly distinct idea that the prevailing cultural pressure is wrong.
    (The theme of the conference was “Volunteering to Enhance Employability” and it concerned mostly 50+ and disabled people, just so you know why I mention it.)

    • >Any tips for sensitive skin that goes red whenever she touches her face?

      If she has pale skin that flushes easily it may be early rosacea. There are fewer problems down the road if it is treated early, so it’s worth seeing a dermatologist — especially if she will have to use heavy makeup as part of her work. Also, it depends on the person, but I have found some relief with products that contain salycilic acid, which is sort of like aspirin for skin. It’s not a replacement for rosacea treatment though. Also, avoid chemical sunscreens if possible & look for the titanium dioxide based ones (Clinque makes a decent one).

      • I second what Jen said, and also… Don’t touch her face? A doctor told me that once, I was like “Whatever” but it actually helped my skin issues. It was a difficult habit to break though….

        I really, really think that good health is the best way to be beautiful because the rest will follow… Like- if I keep my skin happy by eating fruits, vegetables, flaxseed oil, etc and sleep enough and drink plenty of water and get some exercise- then I don’t have to do much to it aside from cleansing and the occasional mask… I don’t like wearing foundation because it slides right off my face in this weather… So I tend to focus on keeping my skin halfway decent…

        • Thanks for the advice! I asked without her knowledge. She does visit a dermatologist, so I suppose she’d tell her if something was wrong… Anyway, it’s always good to know what to look into!

  13. I find it crazy that pale people want to be dark and dark people want to be pale. Is nobody ever allowed to be happy with who they really are? Of course dissatisfaction is a powerful marketing tool, isn’t it? Perhaps awareness of how you’re being manipulated helps. Anyhow I’m one of the pasty pale folk though by the end of gardening season I usually end up with a bit of a “farmer’s tan” in spite of myself. Fades really quickly come autumn rains!

  14. Growing up in a very Asian part of SF, these products seem totally normal to me! And I’ll let you in on a secret: my dad’s cosmetics company used to make bleaching creams! I used to help him package them for shipping to Hong Kong and Singapore, although I don’t think we ever sold to Australia… I never tried any of them (as a teen, I was obsessed with getting a tan, but no longer!), but my mom used them regularly. Her skin wasn’t any noticeably lighter, but I will say that now, she looks about twenty years younger than her actual age. My dad came up with all the chemical formulas for the products himself, so I know they weren’t dangerous, but now I’m curious as to what the primary ingredient is.

    I haven’t tanned in years, and now I’ve gone to the opposite end of the spectrum and make sure I am always wearing sunscreen, standing in the shade, or even doing the *gasp* super-Asian thing and carrying umbrellas in the sun. Having seen what sun does to skin, I don’t want to take any chances, especially after all the time I spent trying to turn brown in my teens. But then, I imagine skin protection must be quite different (and more difficult) in Australia…

    • Ooooh! Oh! Find out what it was! I’m so curious. :)

      I love seeing Asian ladies with umbrellas in the sun. Love it. Makes me stand out less. I’m not sure that pale skin has caught on in Brisbane yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it does eventually…

      I slather on sunscreen, cover up, wear hats, and yes umbrellas. And as much as possible, I avoid going outside in full sun…. I tend to avoid the bright sun like some people avoid rainy days… It actually hurts me.

  15. I’m not a great fan of sun tan, at least in the last few years: my skin is rather pale and I can quickly have sun allergies when my skin is exposed too long. I’m especially aware of this because my job means that I will work ioutside in the sun 8 hrs every day in the summer and I’m worried of the effects it can have on my health. Of course I use sun lotion (the highest protection I can get) and renew it every 2 hours, but still, I’m not sure this is enough. That’s why I’m the only one in my family who doesn’t particularly want to go outside when the sun is out.
    I wouldn’t want to try whitening cream, I find it scary. I do use mineral foundation powder to even things a bit, and I’ve recently started to do oil cleansing with jojoba oil to reduce acne – I can’t seem to get rid of it – so my skin doesn’t feel so dry now. It helps a little with acne, but poor jojoba oil has a lot to do to fight hormones and chocolate!

    • The oats- really- use them every day for two weeks.. It’s like a skin brightening/detoxifying type thing… Oh! Also- if I have an icky pimple that’s rising to the surface (or on it) I cover it with plain toothpaste before bed and let it dry and sleep. It’s weird, but it gets rid of the pimple overnight. There’s usually still a mark, but it’s flat. Been doing that since highschool.

      • toothpaste? that’s really interesting, I’ll give it a try. As there as so many different types of toothpastes available, do you use any type? And about the oats, how do you use them? I think it’s a really interesting subject: it might sound futile, but leaving the house knowing that I have pimples or a bad skin can bring a shadow on my day..

  16. Of course living smack under the hole in the ozone layer, we kiwis are very aware about the dangers of sun – burn factors are even in the weather report during summer. As a kid, we used to smear baby oil on and go bright red then peel like new potatoes. Noone knew any better. And the melanoma count for my agegroup is insane.
    Anyway skincarewise, being in my late 40’s I take it more seriously than I did 20 year ago. I discovered a range of skincare called Paula’s Choice, Paula Begoun is the Cosmetics Cop and her stuff is void of hoky ingredients. I CTM every morning and as the only makeup I wear most days is lippie, I don’t cleanse at the end of day. It’s great. I also use her shampoo and conditioner. Having had very oily and sensitive skin as a teen, I now have dry skin and use that end of the range. And I think 8 years on, the haircare stuff still works on my hair – it hasn’t done that weird thing most brands do of suddenly not working. I only wash my hair once a week.
    The thing is, I’ve had problems with my skin, and am hoping the pending Change doesn’t cause issues. But what I have found over time is that looking after it with a simple routine with a gentle product, it has found its own balance. Somehow at a systemic level, I am unconvinced that “treating” problems is the way to go, as the treatments can pendulum the systemic balance. But maintaining a good regime may make it all come right in time. I cannot prove this theory, but it seems to feel right to me! :)

      • steph!
        try mineral face powder, pressed or loose. it calms “nervous” skin, covers a little and don´t run away in the heat. i use this since i developed a age-related “redness”, but only for leaving the house for the city :-)

        • I remember trying some a while back, my skin erupted into a big mess.. I might try it again sometime, maybe I used the wrong brand.. :)

  17. When I lived in California, the other people in the shop I worked at called me the pasty white girl. My boss was black, my two best friends were black, and half the rest of them were mexican, so of course I looked pasty compared to them, but I was paler than every single other person there. They laughed at me when I insisted I had a tan from walking to work every day – exactly one mile from my home – until I rolled up my sleeve and they saw how pale I REALLY was. I don’t tan. I burn, then it peels off and I’m pasty underneath again. (Until I got so badly burned on Australia Day this year that I was blistering.. I have a tan on my back now. I don’t like it.)

    My biggest problem with skin-even-ness though is that I have eczema on my face too, and no matter how much or little I moisturise, or what kind of soap I use, or whether or not I exfoliate, 30 seconds after I step out of the shower my forehead looks like a dry lake bed, and any sort of liquid foundation just ends up making it more obvious and gross looking. Hydrocortizone creams help, but you can’t use them too long term cause they thin your skin. I’ve been using you’re oatbran mask for a while now and finding it helps a bit (which shouldn’t surprise me since my poor eczema-ridden son gets bathed with a stocking full of oatmeal instead of soap) and does wonders for acne (could have sworn they told us in PD classes at school that pimples were a teenager thing, grrr), but basically my face skin hates me regardless. So in general, since I’m home most of the time, I just try to not look in mirrors, and ignore it. If I’m going somewhere – church, playgroup, grocery shopping – I use a powder mineral foundation, which works surprisingly well to cover any odd discolourations, and doesnt stick to my lake-bed-fore-head the way liquids do, but otherwise.. I let my husband deal with however I look. Obviously, if I had an outside-home job, I’d be using that more so I looked presentable, but at home I don’t care.

    As far as maintenance v. vanity… for me personally it comes down to obsession. If you are obsessed with looking your best at all times, never let anyone see you without makeup/perfect hair/jewellery/shaved legs/whatever your Thing is, and spend HOURS getting it Just Right, thats vanity. If you put on makeup to even out your skin but don’t panic if you’ve forgotten one day, refuse to shave your legs in winter becasue who’s going to see them under the constant jeans, or really can’t be arsed to pluck your eyebrows today because you’d rather watch a movie, thats not vanity. Nothing wrong with doing lots to look your best, as long as you don’t panic if you miss a day or someone catches you by surprise before you’ve finished your morning routine.

    • Aw! That stinks… I used to get called “Snowflake” by darker friends, but “pasty” is kind of rude…

      Balance- I like it… Hmmm!

  18. Well, I need to send you some hershey kisses to repay you for the cherry ripes! I’m going to try your yogurt mask. I turned 30 this year and my skin reverted to 16. I have blemishes worse than I ever did as a teenager. I need to figure out a way to get the marks to fade. They seem to stay forever.

    • Aww. If you like. :) I thought I’d make some of those cookies with the kisses in the middle, but when I saw $13.95 I thought “Well well, we’re not in Kansas anymore…”

      Oh no!! It’s such a slap in the face, isn’t it? If you’re having problems with oiliness, leave it on for just ten minutes, or- just mix some oatbran with warm water and leave the yogurt if you find it’s too heavy. Oatbran and warm water is what I find dries up my skin (without overdrying) the best.

  19. I used to tan like crazy when I was a few years younger. I’m a quarter mexican, so I have a bit of a natural tan, but I loved to sit out in the sun with my mom to irritate her–she couldn’t tan as well as I could. Now I’ve been kind of anti-tan, but somehow I have this wierd farmer’s tan thing going on. It isn’t too noticable, except to me, but nonetheless is annoying. As far as whitening creams go, I’d be a little scared to try any of that stuff… It would be my luck that I would first have a nightmare about my skin doing some crazy illogical thing and then wake up in terror to find that it came true. Oh, and tanning beds freaked me out ever since I saw that Final Destination movie. Yikes…

    I’ll have to try your mask-thing someday! I still have left-over acne that I despise. I totally agree with the “try to avoid mirrors” thing, but I’ve gotten really good at looking and making sure nothing is out of place while ignoring anything I don’t want to see.

    I’m not really sure where I would draw the line with vanity. I am a bit of a vain person, but I’m not obsessive. If I have a blemish or anything like that, I sigh and think, “Well, just don’t go stare at it in the mirror at it.” Also, I think I’d die without all of my normal sweets, but I would’t pay that much for them. Jeez. I guess I would either turn into a rail or find a really nice cookbook with a bunch of delicious desserts.

    • I never saw final destination… Did the tanning bed eat a girl or something?

      Ugh. I wish I could avoid mirrors, but they cover half of one wall in my livingroom and another wall in the kitchen and several more around the place.. It’s a rental house, they were here when we moved in but I’d take them down if I could. So I see myself a LOT.

      I’m not the biggest sweets fan, my weakness is fried and salty food… ;)

      • Oh, it was awful! These two girls (spoiler alert) got in tanning beds right across from each other, and after a great deal of dramatic build up, a shelf fell off the wall and trapped them both in the bed. Then water started dripping on something important, broke the beds, and, somehow, they ended up catching fire and burning to death. Realistic or not, it’s enough to turn me off them, permanently. You should see if there is a clip on YouTube or something.

  20. You touched on something I’ve been pondering for a bit. It is the judgement call some people make about what folks in other eras did to their bodies in the name of cultural norms, fashion and beauty. They gasp over the horror over corsets and lead based make up. Yet are we any better? Tanning beds, surgury, animal testing for make up, mercury in whitening creams, (are perms and hair colors really safe?) We still insist on doing things even though we’ve been warned against them: sun tanning, smoking, wacked out diets. We think we know better but do we really?

    • I hadn’t thought about it that way, Wanda… Though I’m not too horrified by corsets, I think they’re pretty useful in moderation (not tight-laced)… Better posture, smoother figure..

      No, we don’t know better. Maybe. I don’t know! ;)

  21. I think historically mercury has been used for hundreds of years as a skin whitener,probably helps explains low life expectency of women in those era’s, quite a few of the major cosmetics used to contain it, the Japanese woment(in feudal times) used to use hummingbird poop to whiten their skin.
    Yum! Hershey Kisses.. Steph , there is a little shop in Central station that sells American candy, I have a hugh soft spot for candy corn and every time I see it I generally buy 2-3 bags.. there is also a little shop at Mooloolaba Wharf(Underwater world) that also sell’s Hershey bars, Reeces and *sigh* candy corn..

    • Candy corn is also delicious. I’m not a huge fan of candy, but mostly the stuff I like is really hard to find here. It’s for the best, I’m sure! :)

  22. I have olive skin and my daughter is mixed race, skin whitening has not really come on to our radar. I do use yoghurt as part of a hair mask and it works a treat. I have always avoided a lot of hair products for mixed hair as the amount of chemicals in them is astounding and I just couldnt bring myself to put them on her hair when she was young.So I did lots of research and came up with a routine and products that worked for her.

    The amount of chemicals in “beauty products” full stop is alarming. Whilst there are some things that ladies used in the past such as Mercury are definate no no’s I am sure that there are other recipes we could make use of today that would be far better for us and our world than the chemical laden products we are encouraged to use today. Plenty to be taken from other cultures too.I’m just mixing a batch of body cream – shea butter, coconut butter,olive oil,honey, sweet almond oil that works well for us both. We also use a muslin bag of oats in the bath or shower to soften the water and then as a scrub. Olive oil and sea salt or sugar makes a great body scrub too.

  23. I like a BHA lotion (Neutrogena makes one, or Paula’s Choice) for blackheads. I use sunscreen every day, and I’m lucky enough I haven’t had sun spots yet! If I do get some, I’m definitely getting the Paula’s Choice spot lightener thing. I don’t use all her products, but I really appreciate her reviews on products, and discussions on skin irritants. My bias is towards avoiding certain ingredients (mostly when I’m feeling cranky about the organic chemistry that goes reading the ingredients), but since she does list all ingredients in reviews and for her products, that’s not really a problem. :)

  24. I’m fair and have always been pretty good about sunscreen (much better in the past 5 years when the damage started showing up!), but have a lot of dark/sun spots. I’ll give the yogurt a try.

  25. hey does this yoko whitening cream really contain mercury? i am curious, because i just recently bought it because i heard the older versions used to contain mercury…so would like to confirm whether it actually contains mercury before using it on my face …

    • I have no idea, I prefer to stick to lemon juice or yogurt or egg white masks to clarify and whiten my pale skin. I know those are safe to put on my skin because I can eat them. I have not tried Yoko cream and probably won’t because it’s really hard to know what’s in it.

  26. Haha its okay, i have been using home remedies for quite some time now and i have noticed the difference …..so i will better stick on to it too..:) thnk u..


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