*Originally written 2012.*
A very popular question comes up from time to time from my readers- ‘Is it ok for me to use Ambi?’. Most of the time it is done in private, so that no one sees their tweets or knows that they asked, because of this lingering negative stigma that was placed on black women that choose to use Ambi.
Where did this misconception come from?
In my opinion, it came from the media- I have seen 38883929 talk shows about black woman (with deeper skin tones) not wanting to be dark anymore and they always talk about how they use Ambi. (But you do notice that their skin color has not changed much right? No? well ok.).
People commonly refer to it as ‘skin bleach’, which it technically is because it contains hydroquinone, but we will talk about that ingredient later. But it is what the packaging says- A ‘fade cream’. It is efficient at fading scars and small patches of hyperpigmentation with long term use (over a month).
Before we begin
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Please note that if you have very sensitive skin, this ‘skin brightener’ ‘fade cream’ will not work for you. The active ingredient, hydroquinone, can sometimes cause itching, burning, skin peeling, swelling, and irritation around the mouth. Also, I am not a medical expert and my warnings are not to scare you, but to leave you aware.
There is also the lingering rumor that Hydroquinone is a carcinogen. This is only true for oral use, which was banned by the FDA and banned in Europe. This does not include topical use.
Also, even though Ambi contains a sunscreen, find another SPF 30 sunscreen to use in conjunction with Ambi.
What’s in Ambi?
The four main ingredients-
- Hydroquinone (2%)- skin lightening agent.
- Vitamin E- softens the skin
- Alpha Hydroxy- exfoliates the skin, this quickens up the process of making the dark skin fade.
- Octinoxate (2%)- Sunscreen
The inactive ingredients-
Betaine (Sugar Beet), Butylene Glycol, Cetearyl Alcohol, Cyclomethicone, Cyclopentasiloxane, Dimethicone Crosspolymer, Disodium EDTA, Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamate, Ethylparaben, Fragrance, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycene Soja (Soybean) Protein (Soybean), Hydroxyethyl Urea, Isopropyl Myristate, Lactic Acid, Methylparaben, PEG 100 Stearate, PEG 16 Soy Sterol, Pentaerythrityl Tetra Di T Butyl Hydroxyhydrocinnamate, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Propylparaben, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate (Vitamin C), Sodium Metabisulfite, Stearic Acid, Tocopheryl Acetate (Vitamin E), Water
How to use
Apply a small amount as a thin layer on the affected area twice daily.
I personally baby stepped into using Ambi, I applied it once a day for about 2 weeks, then 2 times a day from then on out. Once I got the results I was looking for, which was removing a few acne scars, I stopped using it and threw the tube in the trash.
Does it actually work?
Long term use, over a month or so, yes it will work. You will notice old acne scars fading and hyperpigmentation lessened. This is of course if you are using it as directed.
Does it help to balance moisture?
In my opinion, there is enough vitamin E to sustain you through the day, but since you need SPF protection anyway, I suggest finding a moisturizer like Clinique or Aveeno to give you more moisture and protect you from the sun.
What if I don’t want SPF protection?
Then don’t use this product. The consequences of using Ambi without SPF protection can be detrimental. This will cause the sun to literally cook your face, and cause more darkness.
If you are a black woman and you are looking to balance your skin tone, get rid of acne scars, burn scars, or other minor scaring and/or hyperpigmentation or you are looking to brighten your complexion, don’t hesitate to use this product. The results are promising, and when coupled with the right products, you are sure to get what you are looking for.
Don’t let society, media, or whoever convince you that you should shun this product. It will NOT whiten your skin, it will not make you light skinned. It will do exactly what it intends to do.