As a kid, I had the most tanned skin in our bunch. My 7-year old picture (that flagrantly boasts my star complex) above shows I am easily a NC35. Now, the shot beside it taken a week ago presents that I am a stable NC25 ---- light-skinned enough to be mistaken as Chinese (by a Chinese tourist group in Disneyland, California), Japanese (by OFWs in Japan when I was en route to Manila) and Korean (by Koreans in school). My mom is flabbergasted as to why I am whiter than all of my siblings ("Nung pinanganak kita ikaw pinaka-maitim! Bakit ka nagkaganyan?!").
Yes, I've experimented with Glutathione (oral and IV) and DIY bleaching treatments but I've never taken/done these on a regular basis. To keep myself consistently fair-skinned, I have relied on body scrubs and soaps (and lotions if I remember to put them on).
Anyway, these are my favorite soaps which I have been repurchasing over and over for the past years:
1. Dermablend Papaya Orange Skin Whitening Soap
This is the "Sam Milby Soap" - I always forget the name of this brand, so I always tell people who ask me what soap I use to buy the one with Sam Milby on the cover! This product allows for mild micropeeling and never fails to help whiten scars and exfoliate the body. The orangey scent is lovely, too. It can be a bit drying though, so I alternate with Belo. I buy mine in bulk at the grocery. I've tried the other orange/papaya soaps (Likas Papaya, Silka, Kojic, etc) but I always go back to this one.
2. Belo Essentials Smoothening Whitening Body Bar
I like the pink variant because it whitens and moisturizes at the same time. This soap actually provides no micropeeling and no significant whitening if used on its own, so I find it effective only when used after exfoliating soaps (like the "Sam Milby Soap" and Cyleina). The scent is very pleasant as well! Plus, I love it when Belo goes on sale at the local department/grocery store, because you can get three for the price of two!
3. Cyleina Organic Rice Bran Soap
This one I like not because it whitens, but because it exfoliates VERY WELL. I get itchy when I use it daily, so I limit myself to thrice a week at night (and lotion after)! My sister Dawn adores this soap - even considers it her HG "magic" soap - since it's very good at controlling bacne. I find it helps with eliminating ingrown hair too. So in a way, good exfoliation leads to better whitening results! Use a good whitening/smoothening lotion and you're good to go. You can find multiply sellers everywhere to buy Cyleina.
PS. So as to appease any possibility of mestiza-mentality-debate here in the blog - please take this post lightly. I don't have a problem if anyone else's preference is different from mine. I just happen to think I look better with fairer skin as opposed to being morena (in the same light that I prefer my hair straight over curly). OK? Peace out, folks. And do try the soaps, I hope they work for you. =)