Eat your way to lighter skin color

Beauty Cred on 27 Jun 2008 at 12:00am

Skin discoloration and hyperpigmentation are widely discussed topics on RealSelf.com. So when I came across Dr. Thienna Ho's book, it caught my eye. Dr. Ho has a PhD in scientific nutrition and her book is titled, "Unlocking the Mystery of Skin Color: The Strictly Natural Way to Dramatically Lighten Your Skin Color Through Diet and Lifestyle" ($64.95 retail).

Her theory is that by adopting behavioral patterns to maintain high levels of sulfur in your diet you can lighten your complexion.

What foods are sulfur-rich?

Eggs, organ meats, cauliflower, onions, garlic and brussels sprouts is a partial list. I haven't read Dr. Ho's book, but I did check out her website, thienna.com, wherDr Thienna Ho sells a sauna to help with skin lighteninge in the FAQ section I learned that for a 120 lb person, the suggested sulfur intake for health maintenance is 2,400 mg; for skin restoration, it's 4,800 mg; and for skin lightening, it's 9,600 mg. So if you can do the quick math (and this is consistent at every weight level's recommended sulfur intake), to achieve skin lightening you need to ramp up the sulfur intake by 400% of the amount required for health maintenance.

And, of course, Dr. Ho has her own line of Thienna supplements and skin care (with body care launching summer '08 and makeup launching year-end '08). There's also a ThermoDetox In-Door Steam Sauna (at right) "for brighter skin"--though I'm not sure what a $4,199.99 sauna is buying me in terms of lightening my skin.

While sulfur is an FDA-approved ingredient for OTC acne treatments, and you can find plenty of articles on the subject, there isn't as much to be found in terms of its skin lightening benefits.

What's your take on eating your way to lighter skin? Have you read Dr. Thienna's book? Let us know!

Comments (16)

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I think it's really IGNORANT to say things like it's hell being dark skin, I'm offended and sadened by that! I'm sure it's not ur skin colour maybe most probably u need to look at ur innerself, coz I cannot believe that skin could would do that.


Tanning and lightening are the same thing on opposite ends of the spectrum, eventhough I don't care about skin colour I'm bright enough to see that it doesn't matter what we think of what she looks like or looked like, what matters is that she is fit healthy and setting world records and I'm sure she feels beautiful in her skin colour.
Could it be possible that she stumbled upon the lightening effect by coincidence? I think so, and I also believe that like any other Person she use it to get to where she is now, it's safe for those want it and that means people will avoid dangerous products available in the market. Main point it's safe so who cares if u want to be light, I suspect it is also safer than tanning due to harmful uv rays etc hopefully there will be another discovery for a safe way to tan skin. :) good day.
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I read Thienna's info with great interest and I am also trying out her 'method' since
three months now, however, not buying from her, and simultaneously trying other stuff.

For me, it has been HELL to be a black female. The skin colour is by and large reviled by whites (talking from 42 years' experience of living in UK), and the 'shadism' within the race can often be worse than the prejudice from whites. I have known lighter skinned black females who would not go around with me because I would not be liked in places where they go out and get accepted/or the whites are not too bothered to have them around; yet my features are actually more or just as attractive as theirs, I am also slim and not even the darkest of black, just a couple shades 'too much'. And those couple shades 'too much' make a CRITICAL and CRUCIAL difference! The result is predictable and instantaneous repeated REJECTION! Outcasted socially, professionally and romantically; "no one wants a black woman/glad I'm not dark". For me, as an educated and intelligent black woman, this has been so serious a cross to bear, that it has caused me to overdose three times during my life; if it had not been for a certain member of the public who found me lying unconscious the last time, I would not be around today. And even though I have lived so far to tell the tale, I am still suffering from depression and unable to work. And so, VICIOUSLY AND AGGRESSIVELY REGARDLESS of what a soul thinks on this planet; the colour gets lightened! I do my research and the money is there to pay for any treatment necessary.
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Hi Twillight, I'm a white & I'm sorry you Have been treated & feel like this. You can come out with me anytime. Prejudice is terrible. People are people good or bad and there is good and bad in every race. When will people grow up and learn to like people for who they are and not go on looks. Be proud of who you are, after all you're unique ;-) J x
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@Choji as a black woman I think your comment was best of all, very informative.
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great i agree with u
and this is beautiful revitalash
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Yes, I do agree her original skin color was much more beautiful.
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How sad Cindy. Tanning is NOT the equivalent to skin bleaching. Tanning came about in the 50's after the war when America was prospering. Whites who had enough money to go on exotic vacations returned with a suntan. Everyone wanted to look like they could afford the same and thus tanning became linked with affluence and frolicking on an exotic beach. I'm aware that some Asians, mainly Japanese, valued a lighter complexion long before whites began trading with them. That is a class issue, not a race issue. Pale skin meant you were wealthy enough to sit inside instead of being tanned while working in the fields. Bleaching elsewhere came about during slavery and colonization, when a lighter complexion meant you were of a higher class and probably mixed with European and therefore had more priveleges. For example, lighter skinned slaves got to work inside instead of doing back breaking labor in the hot fields. They were also more likely to be freed. See, they're not really the same thing after all. The origin is different and what they mean are different. Yes, they are both changing skin color, but remember, tanning is a natural act. When one goes into the sun, they tan (unless they burn). Bleaching or eating a limited diet to change your skin color is not. Walking around wearing bronzer is not the same as walking around in blackface. Yes, they are both forms of darkening parts of one's skin through the use of make up, but can't you tell the difference? You can become blonde through diet too. Just limit as many nutrients as possible.
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I disagree Choji. Tanning is most certainly not a natural act. If it was so natural and so safe, folks who choose to tan would not have to sit out in the sun, would not have to slather themselves with protection, would not have to go to tanning beds, or get spray on tans because its a safer alternative. Something that's natural doesn't require so much preparation or alternative methods. Talking is natural... a person can talk all day and other than probably their jaws getting tired, nothing will happen to them. If you sit out in the sun all day, you may not make it to tomorrow. If not death from heat exhaustion, you most certainly will be burnt to a crisp. So please stop it. What anyone chooses to do with their skin is their decision, of course some of the decisions come with consequences, which is why most try to find the safest alternative. Like Cindy said, black, white, asian, hispanic, whatever, if you want to change your appearance because it makes you happy and you have find what you feel to be a safe route for doing so.... be all means do what makes you happy. If you wanna tan, tan... if wanna lighten, lighten... but make sure you do your research and go about it safely. Peace.
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..... no its the same as white people tanning! Changing the color of your skin... whether "natural" or not is the same thing!!!! Its not natural to burn the top layer of your skin to be darker, because you go out your way to become another color, well same thing! They put creme on their skin to become lighter, whites put sun tanning lotion on and lay in the hot fu**ing sun to burn themselves to look darker... same thing diffrent method! And you know what?To each their own just be respectful of people and their passions because you think youre speaking intelligently on history and such but really youre obviosly insensitive and intolerant. Youre opinion isnt necisary here THANX
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how to get this book?
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She comes across as a very honest person. Finally someone whose done research on this much needed but neglected subject. Its great that people who want to lighten their skin color can do it safely now without using harmful chemicals. Those being uptight about it must also accuse and raise their voices against tanning salons, tanning product companies and whites wanting to be brown and golden. If someone wants to be white its their choice and they have as much right to it as it is for a white person to look tan. PS: I'm white myself but have the guts to raise my voice against this hypocrisy where whites can look however they want but blacks and asian can't.
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I got the gist of her "diet" elsewhere. It also says to avoid colorful or dark fruits and vegetables. This advice isn't sound. Dark fruits and vegetables prevent disease and can even stop a disease in it's tracks. So it's either prevent cancer, alzheimer's, the flu, depression etc. or have a lighter skin tone. To me it's not a hard decision. Not to mention that these foods keep the skin looking and feeling young, supple and clear. I also found some of her "science" to be faulty and misleading. "Why is she published, if it isn't all true?" Not everything that's published is gold! I've found books "proving" how good a vegetarian diet is for dogs and cats. For humans? Usually. For obvious carnivors? No! Her picture before seemed more natural. The after pic? Not as flattering on her. Plus the before pic looked like it was taken in the evening with darker light and the after was taken with the flash of a professional camera in a bright studio. It could be just a difference of 2-3 shades. Definitely not worth giving up all the nutrients and protection of dark fruits and vegetables. Just my 2 cents. ^___^ (P.S. Am I the only one who finds it a bit shady that she also SELLS the supplements she suggests?)
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She looks like a sickly ghost!! Her original natural golden color was far more beautiful. Now she needs to get a tan... and how come she is the only one who has achieved this from her sulfur pills? Not saying theres no benefit, but no one else has reached this except for her with her expensive sulfur tablets. You can get sulfur rich foods and tablets at the grocery for a frction of the cost and not be overcharged!!
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Is she asian. Because if she is this would not be a surprise for her wanting her starch white!!!
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yeah i agress she looks ghost in that skin color that she has and the blood red lipstick is worsning. the before pic is much better
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Thienna's orignal skin color was very beautiful. The new ghost-like look is very unnatural. Thienna's is indeed shameful of her native skin color. Well congratulation to your new research, I hope you will help many of our dark skin Vietnamese.
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