Can I use Carotone body lotion on my face?

I make a point of not commenting on other manufacturers’ products. Having said that…

I think sellers of skincare (and these are my people…) have rather monopolised the dialog on how many creams any individual really must invest in, whether it’s for the body/feet/legs/ under-eye cream/over-eye cream/ear lobe cream…. It is important to rein this in a bit. It’s good to remember than 100 years ago you would have been offered beeswax mixed with olive oil and rosewater (cold cream) to moisturise all of you - if you were lucky - and 200 years ago, it would have been a spritz of milk, a dollop of honey and some lard left over from yesterday’s lunch. So we’re very pleased with ourselves as we know a bit more now, but it has got excessive - you don’t need a different cream for every inch of skin.

You can put lotion formulated for skin on skin. Nothing terrible will happen if you put body lotion on your face. I believed the lotion you are considering is targeted at people wanting to lighten skin on the body. Any skin, anywhere that you are attempting to lighten will use pretty much the same ingredients, these will do one of the following to a greater or lesser degree: inhibit melanin production, inhibit melanin synthesis or inhibit tyrosinase production (this gets the melanin going) or it will increase skin turnover or exfoliate skin. It is very likely to contain one, or even all of the following: a-arbutin; kojic acid; glutamine; vitamin C; glabridin (from liquorice root), retinol/retinyl palmitate (or another ester); azelaic acid or if it is OTC it may contain hydroquinone (a-arbutin has a less potent effect and is less irritating). There are a few other plant extracts available, but given the name of the product, I would deduce it is using vitamin A in some form and possibly others from the list above to boost that effect.

Before liberally applying a body cream on a face, you need to take into account the following: skin on faces tend to be thinner - on average: foreheads are generally the thickest bit of epidermis on the face at roughly 2 mm and the eye lids and chin area are thinnest at under 1mm. Upper arm epidermis is roughly 2.5–3mm, lower arms about 1mm thinner; leg ratios are similar and the torso narrowly beats the upper legs and arms at an average thickness of around 3–3.5mm. This varies, depending on age, health, ethnicity, just having unusual skin…..etc.

After thickness there is sensitivity to consider. Faces tend to be more sensitive, mainly due to thickness, but there are also more nerve endings there. Skin on the face has more sebaceous glands, so tends to be oilier too. Lastly, our faces tend to get the full blast of weather, pollution, mad remedies rubbed into them, generally more attention and so tend to throw in the towel faster than body skin.

For the above reasons, you may react if you put a perfumed cream on your face when you haven’t reacted to it on the body (there are regulations in place to stop us all liberally scenting face creams and it is stricter than when scenting body creams).

So - a body lotion with some form of vitamin A, designed to lighten skin may be fine to use on your face. Just be aware that it could be too oily and worsen acne or clogged pores, it may be overly-scented making it irritating - more likely if you have very pale skin, you have had chemical peels, systemic medication for serious conditions, or it may have higher levels of the ingredients listed above for lightening skin, than recommended for thinner skin areas. So try a bit on your forehead. If that feels fine after 12 hours, try your cheek and if that’s ok…save yourself the money, don’t buy another cream for the face, use this one.

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